This delicious tilapia recipe uses a common chef secret – the trick to amazing restaurant quality, melt-in-your-mouth flaky fish is the poaching method. Some of the best chefs I know poach their fish for dishes and when you poach it in a lemon garlic butter sauce? You get the best tasting tilapia you have ever made at home!
Butter Poached Tilapia
If you’re looking for a new quick and easy dinner time staple that’s also super healthy, this tilapia recipe could be it. It takes less than half an hour to make this mouthwatering lemon butter tilapia and if you’re new to cooking fish it’s an excellent first dish to get started with! This butter poached lemon garlic tilapia is super juicy and it’s amazing when served with some rice, Parmesan pasta, or my simple roasted garlic & rosemary potatoes.
What is Tilapia?
Tilapia is a leaner white fish so it’s high in protein and low in fat with fewer calories than other types of fish. It’s also not very “fishy” in taste so it’s a good option if anyone in your family is on the fence about fish! The lemon and garlic really give it a much-needed punch of flavor so you get a healthy and delicious end result!
How To Make Butter Poached Lemon Garlic Tilapia
This light fish recipe is super simple to make and won’t take long at all!
- Start by preheating your oven to 400 F.
- Grease your pan with butter and melt the remaining butter.
- Juice and zest a lemon.
- Wash the fillets under some cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Once rinsed, place the tilapia fillets in the baking dish.
- Mix together butter, garlic, and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture over the fish.
- Season with a sprinkling of parsley and pepper and bake for around 20 minutes in the oven.
- You’ll know the fish is ready when it’s turned a solid white color and flakes easily when pulled apart.
- Once you’ve made sure your fish is done, you’re ready to serve!
Tilapia Cooking Tips
- If you aren’t serving this cooked fish right away it’s best kept warm in a warming drawer or at 200° F in the oven.
- You can stop the fish falling apart/flaking by cooking it in small separate au gratin baking dishes.
- Lemon juice concentrate works just as well as fresh juice if you want to save even more time!
- If you want to keep the dish for a while you can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days, just bear in mind that the longer you store it the less flavorsome it will be! Most chefs will recommend that you eat it right after prep.
- If you’re using frozen fillets it’s important to refrigerate them well in advance so they have time to thaw.
- Overcooked fish will not rock your world, so make sure to start checking on the fillets after about 10 minutes.
More Delicious Fish recipes to try:
PIN this recipe to your SEAFOOD RECIPES boards and remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST for more great recipe ideas!
Thanks to ads on this website, readers of The Kitchen Magpie are now sponsoring 2 families a month through the Edmonton Food Bank. Learn how you can help here.
Subscribe to The Kitchen Magpie on YouTube
One click and you'll get notified of new videos added to our YouTube account!
Butter Poached Lemon Garlic Tilapia Recipe
Tilapia fillets are poached in a decadent buttery lemon garlic sauce to flaky perfection. This tilapia recipe is fast, fresh and so easy to make!
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 3-4 fresh tilapia fillets
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup salted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- pepper to taste
- Lemon slices for garnish if desired
Preheat your oven to 400 °F.
Grease the pan with your butter, then melt the remaining butter.
Juice and zest the lemon.
Rinse the tilapia fillets under cool water and then pat them dry with paper towels.
Place the tilapia fillets into the buttered baking dish.
Mix the lemon juice, butter and garlic together, then drizzle over the fish fillets.
Sprinkle the fillets with pepper and parsley.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The fish is done when it turns a solid white and flakes easily when pulled apart with a fork.
- I had very large and thick tilapia fillets so mine took 25 minutes to bake. Fish is done when it reaches 145°F.
- The nutrition includes ALL of the butter sauce which you don't eat, so values will be less
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.