Ready in 30 minutes, this garlic lemon tilapia recipe makes the perfect dinner. This is one of the best tilapia recipes out there and it's so easy to make!
Our seafood recipes are definitely some of my all time favorites. From easy sheet pan salmon and baked cod to fancier recipes such as our orange glazed salmon, there is a recipe for everyone to try. Today's recipe is one of the best tilapia recipes out there, trust me, and I can't wait to share it with you!
About this recipe
Beside being unbelievably delicious and easy to make, this seared tilapia is a healthy choice for a quick dinner that's ready under 30 minutes. It's perfect for picky eaters because tilapia doesn't smell or taste fishy at all and is quite mild.
Moreover, this is the perfect recipe for the novice cook. You don't need any special skills to make a delicious tilapia recipe that makes everyone ask for seconds.
Is tilapia good for you?
Tilapia is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein. It's best to get your fish, including tilapia from a reliable source. Wild caught is always best but responsibly farmed is pretty healthy, too.
- Tilapia: Boneless fillets work best for this recipe. I opted for frozen tilapia fillets and thawed them before cooking, but you can use fresh fish, too.
- Spices: You need a combination of salt, pepper, Aleppo pepper (can use chili flakes instead), cumin, coriander and allspice.
- Flour: This pan seared tilapia recipe uses all purpose flour to create a light coating for the fish.
- If using frozen tilapia fillets, thaw them completely.
- In a shallow bowl mix the olive oil with lemon juice and all the spices. Place the flour in a separate shallow bowl or a plate.
- Melt some butter in a pan over medium low heat. Dip the fillets in the olive oil and lemon juice mixture and then dredge in the flour mixture. Shake to get rid of the excess flour and place it in the pan. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
- Sear for about 4 minutes on each side until golden. Then pour the olive oil and lemon juice mixture over the fillets and crank up the heat to bring it to a low simmer. If anything is stuck to the pan, gently scrape it using a spatula. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened and the fish is fully cooked.
How long to cook tilapia fillets
This depends on the size and thickness of the fillets. The thicker the fillet, the longer it takes to cook. Like many other seafoods, tilapia cooks pretty fast and would take about 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Keep a close eye to avoid overcooking and dry fish.
This lemon tilapia recipe is ready in just 30 minutes and I love it for a quick dinner. You can serve it with different side dishes such as Mediterranean salad, Turkish rice pilaf with orzo, Greek fries or some Mediterranean potato salad. You can also follow my instructions for Greek salmon salad and use pan seared tilapia instead.
More side dish ideas:
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use vegetable oil or canola oil to sear the fish as well. If using olive oil, make sure it's not too hot or smoking.
Yes, you can either use gluten free flour to dredge the fish, or use almond flour as a gluten free option.
No one wants to bite into a piece of raw or half-cooked fish. You know your fish is cooked completely when the color is solid and the fish feels firm to touch and flakes easily using a fork.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. It's best to reheat the fish in a pan over medium low heat for about 5 minutes on each side.
More fish and seafood recipes
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Garlic Lemon Tilapia Recipe
- 4 tilapia fillets boneless
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juice of
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 lemon sliced
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- Pat dry the tilapia fillets and set the aside.
- In a shallow bowl mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, cumin, coriander and allspice.
- Place the flour in another shallow bowl or a plate.
- Melt the butter in a large non stick pan over medium low heat.
- Dip the fish fillets in the olive oil mixture and then dredge in the flour. Shake to get rid of excess flour and place the fillet in the pan. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
- Cook the fillets for about 4 minutes on each side until they are golden.
- Pour the remaining olive oil and lemon juice mixture in the pan and turn the heat to medium. If anything has stuck to the pan, gently scrape it using a spatula. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit and the fish is cooked completely.
- Plate and drizzle some sauce on top. Finish with lemon slices and chopped parsley.
- If using frozen tilapia fillets, make sure they're completely thawed.
- You can use vegetable or canola oil to sear the fish.
- If Aleppo pepper is not available, use chili pepper flakes.
- For gluten free option, use gluten free flour or almond flour.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.