Oven Baked Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

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This easy oven baked tilapia recipe is the perfect healthy dinner ready in just 20 minutes. Learn how to make super flaky and tender lemon butter baked tilapia that will become a family favorite.

Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

Whenever you’re short on time, make this easy baked tilapia recipe, and dinner is on the table in just a few minutes. Simple and quick meals that don’t require tons of time spent in the kitchen are always a great idea, especially during a busy week.

It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook but still want a tasty meal. Not only does this recipe take minimal effort, but it also uses ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. Plus, it looks impressive enough to serve at any dinner party too!

The best part is that this easy fish recipe is delicious paired with many side dishes such as roasted vegetables, air fryer asparagus, or cauliflower mashed potatoes.

What Is Tilapia Fish?

Tilapia is one of the most commonly consumed types of fish in the US. It’s inexpensive, a fantastic source of protein, super low in calories, and has a mild flavor. So, it’s perfect to use in tons of healthy recipes

Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

Why Are You Going To Love This Baked Tilapia Recipe

  • Healthy dinner recipe that everyone loves
  • Perfectly tender baked tilapia smothered in a rich garlic sauce
  • Loaded with flavor: This baked tilapia combines the rich taste of garlic butter with the refreshing zing of lemon.
  • Quick and easy to make with a few simple ingredients and minimal prep.
  • A naturally low carb recipe, perfect if you’re on a keto diet

Garlic Butter Baked Tilapia Ingredients

Another great thing about this baked fish recipe is that it requires just a few basic ingredients that you probably have on hand. On top of that, it’s a one-pan meal, meaning less dishes to clean later. Here is everything you need:

Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia ingredients
  • Tilapia Fillets – Either fresh or frozen, Tilapia fillets would work well. If the fillets are frozen, defrost them and pat dry before using them.
  • Butter – if you are using salted butter, you have to pay attention to the amount of salt you are using. For the best flavor, I love to use grass-fed butter.
  • Garlic – fresh garlic is the best for this recipe. You can use more or less as you’d like.
  • Lemon – we’ll use both lemon just and lemon zest that adds a bright lemon flavor and pairs perfectly with the silky, buttery texture.
  • Paprika – For a more intense flavor, use smoked paprika
  • Thyme and Oregano – you can replace them with your favorite dried herbs.
  • Salt and Pepper – to taste.
baked tilapia recipe 2

How To Bake Tilapia?

Baking oven baked garlic butter lemon tilapia is a delicious and easy way to get a healthy meal on the table. Not only is this dish incredibly flavorful, it’s also relatively low in calories – one serving contains under 300 calories.

Preparing The Tilapia

We start by marinating each fillet with fragrant herbs, garlic, and melted butter – giving the fish its savory base flavor.

Pat dry the tilapia using paper towels – this will help ensure that our seasoning adheres to the fish during cooking time.

Make the marinade: In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and seasonings.

make the garlic butter lemon marinade

Assembling The Dish

Lay four tilapia fillets on a greased baking pan, and pour the garlic lemon butter over the fillets. Generously spread the butter mixture all over each piece. And now for the finishing touch: top each fish with thin slices of lemon.

Assembling The lemon garlic butter tilapia

Baking Instructions

We’re almost done here! All that’s left is popping everything into the preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. After that, just plate up your beautiful creation and enjoy!

Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the fish is flakey and cooked through.

Garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper chili flakes. Enjoy!

oven baked tilapia recipe

Tips For Baking Tilapia

  • To achieve a delicious crust on your tilapia fillet, it’s important to start by patting dry fish with paper towels. This step helps remove excess moisture, allowing for a crispy texture.
  • For an extra burst of flavor, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each tilapia fillet approximately 5 minutes before they are ready. The cheese will melt and create a savory topping that complements the fish perfectly.
  • Check the filets after around 10 minutes to ensure they are not overcooked. They should take no more than 12-15 minutes to be done. Aim for about 15 minutes of baking time per inch (2 cm) thickness of the fillet or until cooked through and at an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C).
  • Out of tilapia? You can use cod or salmon instead.

Other Variations

You can easily add a variety of flavors and ingredients to make your oven-baked garlic butter lemon tilapia even more delicious:

  • Spices: For an extra kick, sprinkle on a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper. You could also experiment with onion powder, lemon pepper, basil, dill, or Cajun seasoning.
  • Herbs: Fresh parsley, basil, or dill are all great options for adding freshness and depth to the dish.
  • Vegetables: Onions, peppers, mushrooms, or asparagus can be added along with the fish in the baking pan.

Storing Ideas 

  • Fridge – Store the leftover baked tilapia in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer – Store this garlic butter lemon tilapia in the freezer in an airtight container for 2 months. But you need to know that once you thaw it, the texture of the fish will change a bit.
  • Reheat tilapia in the oven at 350F. I don’t recommend using the microwave to reheat fish fillets.
Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

How To Serve

I like to serve this fantastic baked tilapia recipe with lemon slices and roasted vegetables. But there are other interesting ideas that you can try:

baked tilapia

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Choose The Perfect Tilapia Fillets?

Look for boneless, skinless tilapia fillets with pink and white-colored flesh in any grocery shop or fish market.

What Does Tilapia Taste Like?

Tilapia is a white fish that is mild and flaky, and it doesn’t taste or smell like fish at all. I like how subtle the flavor is and how it pairs well with almost any flavor combination.

How To Know When My Tilapia Is Done?

Tilapia is a white fish that is mild and flaky, and it doesn’t taste or smell like fish at all. I like how subtle the flavor is and how it pairs well with almost any flavor combination.

How To Know When My Tilapia Is Done?

When the flesh turns white and flakes easily with a fork, you know the tilapia is done baking. If you’re still unsure, stick a thermometer in the thickest section and see if the temperature is at or above 140°F.

Can I Use Frozen Tilapia For This Recipe?

Sure, you can use frozen tilapia. But I recommend doing that only if you forget to thaw it, and if you are using frozen tilapia, you need to know that you will have to cook it longer in the oven.

More Fish Recipes To Try 

Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

Oven Baked Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia

5 from 5 votes

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yelds 4 servings
Author Ioana Borcea from LowCarbSpark.com


This easy baked tilapia recipe is the perfect healthy dinner ready in just 20 minutes. Learn how to make super flaky and tender lemon butter tilapia that will become a family favorite.
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  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  • Pat dry tilapia fillets using paper towels. Arrange them in a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce over the tilapia and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
  • Remove from the oven, garnish and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving.
Total Carbs
Net Carbs

How do we calculate the nutrition info?

These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.

Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Oven Baked Garlic Butter Lemon Tilapia
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Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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