Lemon and Herb Tilapia

Baked Tilapia
Arthur Kwiatkowski / Getty Images
Ratings (19)
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1276 Calories
49g Fat
6g Carbs
192g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tilapia is a mild white fish. The average tilapia fillet weighs about 4 ounces, with only around 109 calories and 22 grams of protein. It's an excellent choice for the weight-conscious, and it's low in mercury.

Tilapia fillets are thin and cook quickly. The simple preparation steps and quick baking time make this tilapia recipe perfect for a busy evening.  The recipe takes no more than 30 minutes, start to finish! 

The butter, lemon, and herbs flavor the fish beautifully, and it makes a fabulous meal with hot cooked rice or a baked potato. I love Brussels sprouts or broccoli with fish, but any steamed vegetable or salad would make a good side dish. You'll find some cooking tips and substitution ideas below the recipe.


  • 1 small lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, with tops
  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 6 ounces each, about 1 1/2 pounds total

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6). Butter a shallow 2- to 3-quart baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Zest the lemon and squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice into a small bowl. Add the lemon zest to the juice with the softened butter, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and chopped green onions.

  3. Place the tilapia fillets in the prepared baking dish, folding thinner ends under as necessary to keep them uniform in thickness. Spread the butter mixture over the fish fillets.

  4. Bake the fillets for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Makes four 4-ounce servings.

Tips and Variations

  • Fish should be cooked to 145° F (63° C), or until the flesh is opaque and it flakes easily with a fork.

  • If you have to divide a large fish fillet, cut it lengthwise down the center.

  • Small individual baking dishes are convenient because they go from the oven to the table and they make a nice presentation.

  • Omit the green onions and add another herb to the lemon butter mixture. Fresh chopped dill or fresh thyme are both good with fish.

  • Replace the parsley with fresh chervil, or use about 1/2 teaspoon of dried chervil.

  • Use a blend of herbs: 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley, and 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh chervil.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of finely minced fresh garlic to the butter mixture, or about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

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