When I first started cooking, I will admit that I was a little bit afraid of making fish. I loved to eat it but making it at home was a whole different story. It seemed so complicated! With a thin line between under and over cooked and concerns about freshness (especially living in the midwest), it wasn’t something I thought of as an easy, weeknight meal option. Thankfully, a few years living in Boston, where fresh fish and seafood is abundant, shook me of that notion and now I love to make fish as often as I can. This Lemon Herb Baked Tilapia is the perfect recipe whether you are a fish expert or novice.
A few years ago, I started making simple baked fish and quickly discovered just how easy (and actually inexpensive) fish can be. Lately, I’ve been loving tilapia. If you haven’t used it before, Tilapia is a mild, flaky white fish that is widely available in the US. It bakes beautifully when in a light sauce and has a very mild flavor that makes it really versatile.
I like to get my fresh tilapia from Costco, as it is sustainably sourced and a great value. This recipe for Lemon Herb Baked Tilapia also works well with other light white fish. You can check sustainable sources here.
I have found that the key to making fish easy and accessible for weeknight meals is to keep the preparation simple and bake it in a light sauce with tons of flavor. In this recipe, we make a simple sauce with butter, fresh oregano, garlic, and lots of lemon zest and juice. Top off the fish with some more lemon slices and finish with good sea salt (I love Maldon) and fresh pepper. I love to serve it with a fresh grain (like quinoa or brown rice) and a side of simple, steamed veggies like green beans or broccoli.
The fish is best eaten the day it is made, but if you have leftovers, I recommend you reheat gently in the oven with extra sauce spooned over the top to keep it from drying out!
Lemon Herb Baked Tilapia
A fresh and delicious baked fish, perfect for weeknight dinner.
- 4 Tilapia filets
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 medium lemons
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a small sauce pan or microwave safe dish, melt the butter.
Add in the minced garlic and oregano.
Zest one of the lemons, and add the zest to the butter/herb mixture.
Juice the rest of the lemon and add it to the butter mixture.
Pour a very small amount of the butter sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (just enough to cover the bottom). Lay the fish filets in the baking dish and coat the filets with the remaining butter sauce.
Thinly slice the remaining lemon and place the lemon slices on top of the fish.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12-13 minutes, or until opaque and flaky. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper and serve immediately.