20 Light and Easy Tilapia Recipes

The Firm, Flaky Fish Will Be a Hit at Dinnertime

BAked Panko-Crusted Fish Fillets

The Spruce

Tilapia is an inexpensive and versatile firm white fish that's a healthy choice for family dinners. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor is easily enhanced with simple seasonings, plus it cooks quickly, so you can rely on it for busy weeknight meals. Here's a collection of our favorite tilapia recipes to inspire you to get baking, sauteing, and grilling this delicious fish.

  • 01 of 20

    Lemon and Herb Tilapia

    Lemon and Herb Tilapia

    Arthur Kwiatkowski/Getty Images

    When you're craving something light and tasty for dinner, look no further than this simple broiled fish. Butter, lemon juice, and simple seasonings are all that's needed to bring out the natural sweetness of firm, flaky tilapia.

  • 02 of 20

    Baked Stuffed Fish Fillet

    Baked Stuffed Fish Fillet

    Juanmonino/Getty Images

    Impress company when you serve this elegant stuffed fish dinner that has a secret — it's easily prepared in muffin cups! The fish is filled with a scrumptious mixture of buttery breadcrumbs, sage, and chopped celery to create an entree that looks beautiful perched atop a bed of white rice with lemon wedges on the side.

  • 03 of 20

    Tilapia With Cilantro Lime Cream

    Tilapia With Cilantro Lime Cream

     Diana Rattray

    Weeknights are the perfect time to make this 30-minute recipe. The fish is prepared in a rich, flavorful sauce made with fresh cilantro, lime juice and zest, and a good amount of heavy cream. It'd make a delectable dinner party entree along with hot cooked rice, a simple green salad, and perhaps some crisp white wine.

  • 04 of 20

    Baked Tilapia Fillets With Mustard-Pecan Crust

    Baked Tilapia Fillets With Mustard-Pecan Crust

    John E. Kelly/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Only four ingredients and 20 minutes are needed to create a delicious fish dinner you can enjoy any day of the week. The fillets are coated with a mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, rolled in chopped pecans, and baked until golden and crispy on the outside and perfectly flaky on the inside.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Baked Panko-Crusted Fish Fillets

    Baked Panko-Crusted Fish Fillets

    The Spruce Eats

    Once you learn this essential preparation method for tender white fish, you'll want to use it again and again. Tilapia fillets are dusted with flour, dipped into a Cajun-seasoned mayonnaise and egg wash, then coated in breadcrumbs and parsley, before going into the oven to bake to perfection.

  • 06 of 20

    Baked Tilapia With Spinach Pecan Pesto

    Baked Tilapia With Spinach Pecan Pesto

    Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images

    A homemade spinach and pecan pesto makes a tasty and nutritious sauce for oven-baked tilapia fillets. You can adjust the garlic level in the pesto to suit your family's tastes. Serve with hot cooked rice and steamed vegetables for a healthy weekday dinner.

  • 07 of 20

    Baked Tilapia with Tamarind Sauce

    Baked Tilapia with Tamarind Sauce

    4kodiak/Getty Images

    Enjoy the signature sweet, sour, spicy, and salty flavors of Thai cuisine in this easy, 30-minute recipe for baked tilapia. The fish is smothered in a tasty, homemade tamarind sauce. Scatter thinly sliced scallions and radishes over top when serving for a pretty presentation.

  • 08 of 20

    Broiled Tilapia Fillets With Lemon and Butter

    Broiled Tilapia Fillets With Lemon and Butter

    Philippe Desnerck /Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Broiling is a healthy way to prepare tilapia and ensure that the meaty fillets come out of your oven juicy and fork-tender. Here, they're simply seasoned with butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, and a hint of garlic powder for enjoying on top of hot buttered rice.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Seafood a la King with Tilapia, Shrimp and Crab

    Seafood a la King with Tilapia, Shrimp and Crab

    Doug DuCap

    Seafood a la king is a classic way to enjoy fish and shellfish. A classic, creamy white sauce envelops tasty morsels of seafood, with your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables adding color, texture, and added nutrition. Serve on top of hot cooked rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

  • 10 of 20

    Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Aioli

    Spicy Grilled Tilapia with Aioli

    peredniankina/Getty Images

    Amp up the mild taste of tilapia with this easy, healthy recipe featuring a creamy, garlicky aioli. Keep a close eye on the fish while grilling since it cooks very quickly. Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

  • 11 of 20

    Baked Tilapia With Cajun Crumb Topping

    Baked Tilapia With Cajun Crumb Topping

    Diana Rattray

    Spice-lovers will enjoy this Southern-style baked tilapia dish with a crunchy, Cajun breadcrumb topping that gives it an almost-fried crust. Serve with rice or potatoes and lemon wedges for squeezing,

  • 12 of 20

    Sauteed Tilapia with Bacon and Capers

    Sauteed Tilapia with Bacon and Capers

    Danilo Alfaro

    Summer dinner parties call for colorful and fresh main courses that won't weigh guests down. Serve them this scrumptious sauteed tilapia smothered with salty bacon, briny capers, butter-basted tomatoes, and caramelized red onions.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Baked Tilapia With Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

    Baked Tilapia With Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

    Diana Rattray

    Tilapia is seasoned with a simple mixture of herbs and spices and finished with a smooth, delicious roasted red pepper mayonnaise sauce in this quick and healthy recipe that makes a great family weeknight meal.

  • 14 of 20

    Crispy Baked Tilapia

    Crispy Baked Tilapia

    John Scott/Getty Images

    Eat healthfully while enjoying the crispy, breaded texture of fried fish with this oven-baked variation that coats the fillets in an ingenious crust combining panko breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips, and grated Parmesan cheese. The fish is baked over a bed of leeks, red peppers, garlic, for even more nutritional value in this dish.

  • 15 of 20

    Tilapia With Dill and Sour Cream

    Tilapia With Dill and Sour Cream

    Diana Rattray

    Change up your baked fish game with this quick and easy recipe that slathers tilapia fillets in a luscious sauce made with sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, dill, parsley, and lemon juice.

  • 16 of 20

    Tilapia With Buttery Crumb Topping

    Tilapia With Buttery Crumb Topping

    Diana Rattray

    In less than 30 minutes, you can serve up tasty tilapia fillets with a crunchy crumb topping. A little dried basil is added to the coating for a hint of herbal flavor that's an easy way to elevate the fish.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Simple Oven Fried Tilapia

    Simple Oven Fried Tilapia

    Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images

    Fake the texture of fried fish fillets—minus all the fat and calories of deep frying—with this sneaky, delicious oven-fried version that's quick and easy enough to make on busy evenings. The breadcrumb coating includes cornmeal and Creole seasonings for extra flavor and texture.

  • 18 of 20

    Grilled Lime and Basil Tilapia

    Grilled Lime and Basil Tilapia

    Mike Kemp/Getty Images

    Zingy lime, fresh basil leaves, and a little bit of bourbon add fantastic flavor to flaky tilapia fillets. Marinate the fish for half an hour and grill it up in 10 minutes, to enjoy in fish tacos or plated with rice and steamed vegetables for a heart-healthy dinner.

  • 19 of 20

    Baked Tilapia With Avocado

    Baked Tilapia With Avocado

    Alison Miksch/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Tilapia is simply delicious with a little olive oil drizzle. Pantry spices help bring out its mild, slightly sweet flavor, as do the garden-fresh salsa of creamy avocado, cherry tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, and parsley.

  • 20 of 20

    Thai-Style Baked Whole Fish in Garlic-Chili Sauce

    Thai-Style Baked Whole Fish in Garlic-Chili Sauce

    Ekaterina Smirnova/Getty Images

    If you have never cooked a whole tilapia fish, this Thai-style recipe is a great one to try. It can be prepared baked or grilled, and makes an impressive entree for serving guests, who will rave about the salty, savory, sweet, and tangy sauce that hits every point on the palate.