Baked Tilapia With Garlic Butter

Baked Tilapia
The Spruce
Ratings (86)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Makes 3 to 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
264 Calories
7g Fat
11g Carbs
38g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This tilapia recipe is an excellent choice for a low carb diet. For that matter, it's a healthy choice no matter what diet you follow. The simple garlic and herb mixture flavors the fish perfectly, and the dish takes just minutes to prepare and bake.

To keep the meal low in carbohydrates, serve the tilapia with mashed cauliflower and this simple broccoli with garlic. Or serve the fish fillets with a rice dish or roasted potatoes and steamed green beans.

This tilapia recipe allows about 4 ounces of cooked fish per person. Double the recipe for larger portions or more dinner guests. A 6-ounce tilapia fillet will yield about 4 to 5 ounces of cooked fish.

For a crunchy oven-fried version, try this baked tilapia with panko coating this easy recipe with Cajun crumb topping.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash salt
  • Pinch dried dill weed (or parsley)
  • Dash paprika
  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

Steps to Make It

In a saucepan, combine the butter, minced garlic, pepper, salt, dill weed, and paprika. Heat over low heat until butter is melted and begins to simmer.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Brush a little of the butter mixture in the bottom of a shallow baking dish (line baking dish with foil, if desired) then place tilapia fillets on the buttered area.

Brush top of each tilapia fillet with the seasoned butter mixture.

Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes, until it flakes and separates easily with a fork.

The recipe makes four 4-ounce servings or three 6-ounce servings.

Fish Cooking Tips

Cook fish to a temperature of 145 F or until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

If you aren't serving the fish immediately, keep it warm in a 200 F oven or warming drawer.

For each serving of fish, allow 4 to 6 ounces per person.

Tilapia is small, but if you must divide a large fish fillet between two people, cut it lengthwise through the center seam,  not crosswise. 

If you're baking a fish fillet with a thin tail, tuck it under so the fillet is fairly even in thickness.

To lessen the problem of fish flaking and falling apart, cook it in small individual au gratin baking dishes you can serve at the table.

A Few Ways to Minimize Fishy Odor

Soak the fish in a lemon and milk solution with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice for each cup of milk.

Soak fish in buttermilk for about 15 minutes.

Soak fillets in salted ice water.

Rub the fish lightly with lemon juice or lime juice.

Use garlic, onions, crumbled fresh aromatics, or other stronger aromatics in the fish dish.