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posted October 09, 2023

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon and Garlic

With my grilled tilapia recipe, you can enjoy yummy, flaky fish anytime! Not only will you be able turn out perfect, zesty filets, you do it all in less than 30 minutes. This recipe is a must for anyone who likes fish.

Grilled tilapia on white plate with lemon wedge and parsley leaves.

 

What is tilapia?

Tilapia is one of the most used fish in the United States for a few different reasons. It’s a fairly inexpensive fish and you can find it in most grocery stores. It also has a very mild, slightly sweet flavor which doesn’t taste too “fishy,” which makes it ideal for picky eaters.

Some chefs don’t like cooking tilapia because it tends to take on the taste of whatever you’re cooking it with. You don’t need to worry about that, because I’m going to teach you how to pack in the zesty flavor without sacrificing that sweet tilapia taste.

Raw, seasoned tilapia filets on grill grates.

How to Season Tilapia

Because tilapia has such a mild flavor, it’s important not to overdo it when it comes to seasoning. You want your flavors to add a little something extra without taking away from the natural taste of the fish. That’s why this recipe only calls for a few key ingredients.

  • Wet ingredients. I’m using olive oil for this recipe, but you can also use avocado oil. Whatever you have available is fine as long as it’s a high heat oil. You also want to squeeze some fresh lemon juice on your filets.
  • Dry ingredients. Using the same lemon and a microplane, sprinkle fresh lemon zest on to your filets. Add some freshly minced garlic, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

That’s it! I told you it was simple.

Seasoned tilapia filets on baking sheet with garlic being minced on top.

How to Grill Tilapia

  1. Preheat your grill. Set your grill to 400-450 degrees F. You want to coat your grill grates with a high heat cooking oil, like avocado or vegetable oil. You want to make sure your filets don’t stick to the grill.
  2. Drizzle and season. Place your tilapia filets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, then top with lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Turn the tilapia filets over on the baking sheet to thoroughly coat both sides.
  3. Grill. Transfer the seasoned filets to the grill, close the lid, and cook for 4 minutes. Open the lid and use a thin metal spatula to carefully lift and flip the filets. Add an extra 1-2 minutes if they’re sticking to the grill.
  4. Flip and finish. Close the lid and cook the tilapia for an additional 4-6 minutes, until the internal temperature of the tilapia reads 145 degrees F. Be sure to use a reliable food thermometer.
  5. Plate. Remove the tilapia from the grill to your serving platter and garnish, as desired, with additional lemon wedges and fresh parsley.

Grilled tilapia filets on the grill.

How Long to Grill Tilapia

Grilling tilapia directly on the grill only takes 8-12 minutes. You’re looking to give them around 4 minutes on each side to get to an internal temp of 145 degrees F. If they’re sticking to the grill, give them an extra 1-2 minutes of cook time to ensure they come off easily. The last thing you want to do is leave all that yummy seasoning stuck to your grill grates.

Thermometer checking internal temp of tilapia filets on the grill.

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon and Garlic Recipe

If you enjoyed this recipe be sure to check out the Hey Grill Hey App for more amazing fish recipes, as well as anything else you can imagine throwing on the grill.

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Tilapia filet on white plate with lemon wedge and parsley leaves.

Grilled tilapia with lemon wedge and parsley leaves on white plate.

Grilled Tilapia with Lemon and Garlic

Susie Bulloch
Zesty, flavorful tilapia filets in just a few minutes.
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 8 mins
Calories : 211kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 filets tilapia
  • 1 lemon (for zest and juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional Garnish

  • 1 lemon (wedged)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian parsley (chopped)

Instructions

  • Preheat your grill. Set your grill to 400-450 degrees F. Lightly coat your grill grates with a high heat cooking oil, like avocado or vegetable oil, to make them more non-stick.
  • Coat and season. Place your tilapia filets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, then top with the zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Turn the tilapia filets over on the baking sheet to thoroughly coat both sides.
    4 filets tilapia, 1 lemon, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Grill. Transfer the seasoned filets to the grill, close the lid, and cook for 4 minutes. Open the lid and use a thin metal spatula to carefully lift and flip the filets. If your filets still seem stuck to the grates, let them cook for 1-2 more minutes. Once the first side is cooked, it will naturally release from the grill grates.
  • Flip and finish. Close the lid and cook the tilapia for an additional 4-6 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the tilapia reads 145 degrees F. Be sure to use a reliable food thermometer.
  • Plate. Remove the tilapia from the grill to your serving platter and garnish, as desired, with additional lemon wedges and fresh parsley.
    1 lemon, 1 Tablespoon Italian parsley

Nutrition

Serving: 1filet | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 2337mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 396IU | Vitamin C: 122mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
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