Garlic Lemon Tilapia Recipe (30 minutes)

4.91 from 10 votes
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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!

A pan of tilapia with lemon and garlic.


 

Our seafood recipes are definitely some of my all time favorites. From easy Greek mahi mahi and baked cod to fancier recipes such as our orange glazed salmon and grilled branzino 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.

Ingredients

To make this tilapia recipe you need lemon, tilapia, garlic, butter, spices and olive oil.
  • 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.

Instructions

dip the fish in olive oil and spices, dredge in flour and sear on both sides.
  1. If using frozen tilapia fillets, thaw them completely.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Serving suggestions

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 Persian sabzi polo (herb rice), 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any other kind of oil for searing?

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.

Can I use gluten free flour?

Yes, you can either use gluten free flour to dredge the fish, or use almond flour as a gluten free option.

How can I tell that my fish is cooked completely?

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.

What to do with the leftovers?

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

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a 5-star🌟 rating below. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter to get a free e-Cookbook!

4.91 from 10 votes

Garlic Lemon Tilapia Recipe

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!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 4 tilapia fillets, boneless
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Garnish

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 473kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 395mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 974IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4.91 from 10 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious! I made this last night for my family and everyone loved it. Definitely making it again. Thanks for such an easy and tasty recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I love tilapia but I’ve always been nervous to make it at home. Your recipe was so easy and delicious and everyone loved it. Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I love making tilapia because it is so budget-friendly. And this recipe is perfect since it is ready in 30 minutes!