Lemon Garlic Tilapia

Light, fresh, and citrusy, lemon garlic tilapia is as quick and easy as it is scrumptious. The fish marinates in a lemon and garlic mixture that perfectly complements the delicate flavor of tilapia. The fish is then pan-fried for just 10 minutes.

We hear all the time we should eat more fish. I, for one, don’t need any prodding, as I love all things fish and seafood. This recipe doesn’t involve heavy breading; just a few simple ingredients to add a lovely flavor to the fish.


Tilapia: Tilapia is a mild-flavored, white-skinned fish. I chose two medium-sized fillets of similar size and thickness for the two of us. Choosing two similar-sized fillets ensures they are cooked through at the same time.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is one of my favorite marinade ingredients. The bright, fresh flavor comes through so beautifully in the finished dish.

Garlic: One to two cloves of fresh garlic.

Red Pepper Flakes: Adds just a touch of heat.

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper: Additional seasoning for the fish.

Flour: Creates a light crunch coating on the fish when pan-fried.

Butter & Olive Oil: I really like the combination of butter and oil for the taste, crunch, and color they create in the coating on the fish.


Two hours before dinner, mix up the marinade. Simply combine the lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. The garlic should be either very finely minced or use a garlic press to assure the garlic flavor is well dispersed throughout the marinate.

Place the tilapia fillets in a small resealable bag. Pour the marinade into the bag. Remove as much of the air as possible out of the bag and seal. If time allows, turn the bag once or twice during the marinade process to ensure all fish sections are flavored with the marinate. It is best to only marinate for about two hours as the fish can get mushy and fall apart if allowed to marinate longer.

When you are ready to pan-fry the fish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. Pull the fish from the marinade. Lightly dredge the fish in the flour mixture to allow the flour to stick to the fish.

Add butter and olive oil to a large shallow pan and heat until the butter is melted. Swirl the oil and butter together.

Add fish to the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side.

Quick and healthy, this tasty lemon garlic tilapia is a great easy dinner any night of the week. I nearly always serve potatoes with fish, they just seem to go together, in my opinion. We always have a side of green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, or green beans.

For another quick fish recipe, try this honey lime version along with an easy tartar sauce recipe!

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • ½ tsp Red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  • Combine lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Place tilapia fillets in a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade in with the fish and marinate for 2 hours.
  • When ready to prepare the fish, combine flour, salt, and pepper on a plate.
  • Pull fillets from lemon mixture and dredge in flour, salt and pepper. Pat flour onto the fish and try to cover as much of the fillet as possible.
  • Add butter and olive oil to skilled heated to medium-low heat. Fry the fish in a skillet for 5 minute per side.
Keyword Crunchy, Easy


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