Chili Lime Tilapia

Chili lime tilapia fillets are very quick, easy, and best of all, full of flavor!

Fish is an excellent option for a weekend dinner. Tilapia has become our favorite thanks to the mild taste. The fillets are relatively thin, so they bake quickly. I have been making this honey lime version regularly for years.

These tilapia fillets bake up perfectly in 15 minutes. My side dishes usually take longer than the main entrée when I make fish for dinner.


Spices: A bit of paprika, parsley, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne infuse the fish with great flavor. You can use more, or less, of any of the spices based on your personal tastes.

Salt & Pepper: Bring out all the great flavors.

Olive Oil: The olive oil helps keep the fish moist as it bakes.

Tilapia Fillets: Select fillets of similar size and thickness to assure even baking.

Butter: Wonderful rich flavor.

Lime Juice: Adds brightness. Lime is a perfect complement to the spice rub on the fish.


Prepping the tilapia fillet for dinner starts with a dry rub of spices. I usually take a couple of minutes that morning to mix and rub the fish.

That evening, preheat your oven. Place your tilapia fillets in a baking dish and give them a drizzle of olive oil.

Baked the fish for 15 minutes. The fillets are cooked when they appear opaque and flake easily. Try not to overcook the fish as it can get tough.

Shortly before the fish comes out of the oven, prep the butter lime sauce. I find the easiest way is to simply microwave the butter in a small dish, such as a glass ramekin.

When the butter is melted, stir in the lime juice. Pour the sauce over the fish either in the baking pan or once you have the fish plated.

Tilapia, Smashed Baby Potatoes, and Green Beans

I typically serve chili lime tilapia with potatoes and a side vegetable. Skillet green beans are an excellent choice!

Chili-Lime Tilapia fillets

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • tsp each of paprika, parsley, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 2 tsp butter melted
  • 2 tsp lime juice


At least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours prior to baking:

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the spices, including the salt and pepper, and mix well.
  • Rub the filets with the spice mixture. You will use the entire rub, so make sure to coat them very well.
  • Refrigerate the tilapia until ready to bake.

When time to bake:

  • Preheat the oven to 400℉
  • Place the filets in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The fish will flake easily and be opaque throughout when it’s cooked through.

A few minutes before the fish is done, prep the butter lime sauce:

  • In a small bowl, microwave the butter for 15-20 seconds until melted. Stir in the lime juice.
  • Pour the butter lime sauce over the filets and serve immediately.
Keyword Easy, Hot, Quick

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