Lemon and Butter Broiled Tilapia Fillets

Broiled tilapia with lemon and butter

The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate Time: 10 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
335 Calories
16g Fat
3g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 335
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 764mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 745mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tilapia is one of the most budget-friendly white-fleshed fish there are. With a popular mild flavor and firm texture, tilapia is now farmed around the world, and even locally in the United States. Finding good quality tilapia shouldn't be a problem. Easily available in most supermarkets, it's most commonly found as frozen fillets. These are great for our recipe, but if you have the chance to find fresh tilapia fillets, don't miss out. The fresher the fish the better. Our flavorful take on tilapia requires very little time and few ingredients, just a quick marinade and 10 minutes under the broiler for a wholesome delicious dinner with the perfect buttery taste.

As with any other farmed fish, do your research and ask your fishmonger the origin of the fish. Some farming practices endanger the quality of the fish and thus create an animal that isn't suitable for human consumption, such as with high levels of antibiotics, additives, or other harmful chemicals. When raised properly, tilapia is a low mercury fish.

Tilapia makes an easy-to-cook main dish. There are many tasty ways of preparing these fillets, but by broiling them, a beautiful golden and succulent brown exterior develops, enhancing the mild flavor of the fish. If using frozen fillets, thaw in the refrigerator before your start. Serve with your favorite sides, such as rice, potatoes, vegetables, roasted asparagus, or pasta salads, and sauces like tartar or tzatziki.


Click Play to See This Easy Tilapia Recipe Come Together


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Broiled tilapia ingredients
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh 
  2. Combine the melted butter, lemon juice, and soy sauce in a small bowl.

    Combine melted butter
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  3. Place the fillets on a dish, sprinkle with garlic powder, and pour the marinade over the fillets. Turn to coat and let stand for 10 minutes.

    Pour over tilapia
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  4. Heat the broiler to 500 F. Oil the rack of the broiler pan and place it in the oven about 4 inches from the heat source. Heat until the pan is very hot.

    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  5. Carefully place the fish on the broiler pan and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side—depending on thickness—or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. For fillets that are thinner than 1/2-inch, do not turn.

    Place fish on broiler pan
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  6. Once done, sprinkle the fillets with paprika.

    Sprinkle with paprika
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  7. Serve with your choice of sides and enjoy.

    broiled tilapia plated with asparagus
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls for adding liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Baked Tilapia

If you'd rather cook your fish by baking it, follow these simple instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Marinate the fillets as directed.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet or large baking pan with foil and grease the foil.
  • Bake the fish on the prepared pan for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

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