Tilapia makes an easy “any night” dinner for a few reasons. It is inexpensive, easy to prepare and has a mild flavor. From Mexican to Italian, Tilapia can be prepared in a variety of ways and it even works great for a fish fry. Today I’m keeping things really simple with butter, garlic, lemon and just a hint of smoky, sweet paprika. If you prefer a bit of heat in your meal, then swap out the paprika for a bit of red hot chili pepper.
Butter gives a very delicious taste to this dish, but if you are trying to be health-conscious, you can replace butter with olive oil or even coconut oil. The taste will be very different but I assure you it will still be delicious. I even like this recipe with the addition of capers and a bit of white wine. The briny saltiness of the capers goes nicely with the richness of the butter. You can experiment and adjust this recipe any way you like to suit your family. Once in the pan, it’s 15 minutes in the oven and ready for your table.
We like to serve this with rice because the sauce that’s left in the cooking pan is delicious poured over the fish and rice giving everything a rich buttery flavor. Tonight we’re having it with fresh green beans, but any vegetable of your choice will do.
Garlic Lemon Butter Tilapia
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika or for a bit of spice add red chili powder.
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 4 (6 oz.) tilapia fillets
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- Wash the tilapia fillets and pat them dry.
- Arrange the fillets in a baking dish.
- Mix lemon juice, butter, garlic, paprika or red chili powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl.
- Pour this mixture over the tilapia.
- Arrange lemon slices in between the fillets.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake the fish for 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook the fish or it will dry out.
- Garnish with fresh parsley. Use the pan drippings to pour over the fish fillets once you have served it on the plate.