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April 10, 2023

Baked Tilapia

It’s time to turn our attention to this simple-is-better buttery baked tilapia. It just takes a little lemon, garlic, and a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs to make a really special baked fish recipe.


baked tilapia seasoned with salt, paprika, garlic, lemon zest, panko breadcrumbs, and pepper
Photography by Gayle McLeod

An Oven Baked Tilapia Recipe For Any Night Of The Week

Baked breaded tilapia this is not. It’s more straightforward than that, and can be filed in the healthy baked tilapia recipe category. This oven baked tilapia is just seasoned tilapia baked with a lemon garlic butter. The finishing touch is a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs, a crack of pepper, and a little fresh parsley.

tilapia, butter, salt, paprika, garlic, lemon zest, lemon slices, breadcrumbs, and pepper prepped to make baked tilapia

How To Make Baked Tilapia

This recipe for baked tilapia requires seasoning the filets and making a simple lemon garlic butter before a quick bake. Once it’s out of the oven, you’ll sprinkle over toasted breadcrumbs before digging in! The main components of this dish are as follows:

  • How to season baked tilapia: Pat the tilapia filets dry with a paper towel. Season all over with salt and paprika.

  • What temperature to bake tilapia: 425°F

  • How long to bake tilapia: Bake until the tilapia easily flakes with a fork, 10-12 minutes.

tilapia seasoned with salt and paprika on top of lemon slices in a baking dish covered with melted garlic butter

What To Serve With Baked Tilapia

Baked tilapia filets are an easy and delicious main to serve with a variety of accompaniments. Baked and steamed vegetables are a simple and healthy way to make a meal with baked tilapia. Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans and Easy Succotash are nice and light. For something a bit more substantial, there’s Green Bean Casserole and Zucchini Bake. A fresh and crispy salad, like our Easy Fennel Salad, along with a pot of rice would make a satisfying meal. Many of our rice recipes would pair well–Brown Rice and Lemon Rice are excellent starting points.

Tools You’ll Need

baked tilapia seasoned with salt, paprika, garlic, lemon zest, panko breadcrumbs, and pepper

Don’t Stop With Baked Fish!

When you’ve finished making this simple baked tilapia recipe, we’ve got some other great fish recipes for your files:

baked tilapia on a dinner plate served with brown rice and roasted asparagus

One Fish, Two Fish

We hope you made this classic and easy baked tilapia recipe. Show us your snaps and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Baked Tilapia

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  12 min
  • Calories: 322


  • 4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets (1½ pounds total)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 5½ tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, minced (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Pat the tilapia dry with a paper towel. Season all over with the salt and paprika. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon zest.

  3. Place the lemon slices in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Add the tilapia over top of the lemon, then pour over the garlic butter. Bake until the tilapia easily flakes with a fork, 10-12 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Stir in the panko and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

  5. Divide the tilapia between plates and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs, pepper, and parsley. Serve the lemon rounds on the side if desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories322
  • Protein35 g
  • Carbohydrates4 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol126 mg
  • sodium663 mg
  • Total Sugars0 g

Baked Tilapia

Questions & Reviews

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  • Maria

    Thank you for this super easy and yummy recipe! I love it when they are easy, fast and delicious!

    You're welcome, Maria! We are so glad you love this one!

  • Kay

    This was incredibly easy and fast to make and turned out so delicious! Steamed some broccoli and had brown rice with it. This will now be one of my go to recipes for fish.

    Thanks Kay, so happy you found it delicious and easy!