Dinner is so easy and fast with this simple Baked Tilapia. A scrumptious crispy topping made with breadcrumbs, butter, and garlic makes these fish fillets flaky inside and crispy outside. A super simple and over-the-top delicious baked tilapia recipe is at your fingertips.
Tilapia has a very mild taste and a medium to firm texture, which makes this whitefish the perfect candidate for crispy herbed toppings. You can take a less expensive fillet of fish and turn it into a mouthwatering dinner with just a handful of ingredients.
What I Love About This Baked Tilapia Recipe
- Budget-Friendly. Tilapia is one of the most economical types of fish you can buy. Plus, the additional ingredients for this baked tilapia recipe are pantry staples like butter, lemon juice, panko, parsley, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Easily Accessible. You can use fresh or frozen tilapia in this recipe. Tilapia is easy to find you your grocery store or from your fishmonger. I don't recommend making baked tilapia from frozen. Always thaw your tilapia overnight in the refrigerator under cold running water in your sink. Do not let fish sit out on your countertop to thaw.
- Easy Weeknight Meal. Baked fish is a great choice for those evenings when you haven't planned dinner ahead of time. Just take out some frozen tilapia fillets, defrost the fillet, add the ingredients and bake them in the oven. All this can be accomplished in under 20 minutes. This tilapia recipe is also fantastic because you can easily change the serving sizes as the number of people eating changes.
- Versatile. There are many seasonings and sauces that go well with tilapia. For this dish, I've kept it as simple as possible so dinner is ready quickly and easily. There are also an abundance of easy side dishes that go well with tilapia.
- Delicious. It's hard to beat crispy baked tilapia with a moist and delicately flavored interior. Panko makes the the baked tilapia crispy without over-cooking. Seasoned with garlic, paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper, and you have a dish that is hard to beat in simple flavors!
For a healthy weeknight recipe, you won't be disappointed with this crispy baked tilapia with vegetables on the side.
Is Tilapia Healthy?
Tilapia, along with other species of fish, is an excellent source of protein, omega-3's, vitamins and minerals. All these benefit the brain, heart, and eyes with only about 200 calories per serving.
Fortunately, for consumers wanting a healthier diet, the bad information about tilapia has been dubunked. Tilapia received bad publicity at one time but with no sound scientific evidence to support the misinformation. A number or health professionals and reputable institutions have commented about the health benefits of tilapia.
Eating Tilapia helps to maintain a healthy weight and increases heart and brain health.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating 2 to 3 servings, approximately 4 ounces each of a variety of seafood each week. The FDA lists tilapia on it's Best Choices of fish list.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of eating tilapia, you can check out Tilapia Nutrition + 9 Things You Need to Know About Tilapia from the National Fisheries Institute.
How To Make Baked Tilapia - Fearlessly
If you have every worried about making perfectly done fish at home, I’m confident you will love how easy and delicious this baked tilapia recipe is.
- Preheat your oven. The oven temperature for baked tilapia is ideal at 400°F for a crispy outside and a flaky inside.
- Add the tilapia fillets to a baking dish, brush with a bit of melted butter, squeeze a little lemon juice on top, season with salt and pepper. You can also make this baked tilapia without lemon, if you prefer.
- The seasonings for baked tilapia are so simple. A combination of parsley flakes, garlic powder, and paprika are all the spices that are needed to mix in with the buttery panko topping. Lightly pat the topping onto the tilapia to make the tilapia crispy and scrumptious.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Check the tilapia at 12 minutes to see if it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. If not, continue baking until it is done to perfection.
- While the fish is baking, make an easy side dish that goes with baked tilapia.
- You are ready to eat dinner in under 20 minutes! Serve with optional lemon wedges, if you prefer.
- Note: The USDA recommends that an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish registers 145°F. With thinner pieces that is often difficult to do and the visual doneness indicators work well.
What Goes With Baked Tilapia
These side dish recipes can be ready in the time it takes your tilapia to bake.
- Sautéed Broccoli with Garlic
- Sautéed Green Beans with Brown Butter and Almonds
- A simple mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette.
Time to make the best Baked Tilapia ever. You will be glad you did.
You may want to try these quick and easy dinner recipes too:
Baked Tilapia (Super Quick and Easy Dinner)
- 2 tilapia fillets, about 4 oz each
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice about ¼ lemon
- 5 tsp melted butter, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp plain panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Using a paper towel, pat tilapia fillets dry. Place tilapia in the baking dish. Brush the top of the tilapia with 2 tsp melted butter. Drizzle lemon juice over the top. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, and remaining butter; stirring well. Pat mixture on top of tilapia.
- Bake, 12 to 15 minutes or until the tilapia is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve.