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Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia

Garlic lemon tilapia served with green beans and white rice
Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia

The recipe and photos for this post were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at

Tilapia makes an easy “any night” dinner for a few reasons. It is inexpensive, easy to prepare and has a mild flavor. From Mexican to Italian, Tilapia can be prepared in a variety of ways and it even works great for a fish fry. Today I’m keeping things really simple with butter, garlic, lemon and just a hint of smoky, sweet paprika. If you prefer a bit of heat in your meal, then swap out the paprika for a bit of red hot chili pepper.

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia Ingredients

Butter gives a very delicious taste to this dish, but if you are trying to be health-conscious, you can replace butter with olive oil or even coconut oil. The taste will be very different but I assure you it will still be delicious. I even like this recipe with the addition of capers and a bit of white wine. The briny saltiness of the capers goes nicely with the richness of the butter. You can experiment and adjust this recipe any way you like to suit your family. Once in the pan, it’s 15 minutes in the oven and ready for your table.

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia in Baking Pan

We like to serve this with rice because the sauce that’s left in the cooking pan is delicious poured over the fish and rice giving everything a rich buttery flavor. Tonight we’re having it with fresh green beans, but any vegetable of your choice will do.

Garlic Lemon Tilapia on Plate

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika or for a bit of spice add red chili powder.
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 (6 oz.) tilapia fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Wash the tilapia fillets and pat them dry.
  2. Arrange the fillets in a baking dish.
  3. Mix lemon juice, butter, garlic, paprika or red chili powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl.
  4. Pour this mixture over the tilapia.
  5. Arrange lemon slices in between the fillets.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the fish for 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook the fish or it will dry out.
  7. Garnish with fresh parsley. Use the pan drippings to pour over the fish fillets once you have served it on the plate.

Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia on Plate

Table and Dish, Sally Roeckell
By Sally Roeckell
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. She has photographed people, food and life all over the US and in Spain, Basque Country, The South of France and Paris. She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features on 365 Barrington and on her website at

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