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Grilled Tilapia

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close shot of a plate of grilled tilapia
This tasty grilled tilapia recipe uses an easy marinade to make it perfectly flaky, with additional seasonings to create your new favorite summer dish.
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Table of Contents
  1. Grilled Tilapia Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Grilled Tilapia Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This easy grilled tilapia recipe comes off of the grill perfectly every time. With a quick marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings, it is the perfect way to enjoy fresh tilapia fillets while enjoying that blackened flavor that makes fish simply mouthwatering.

close up shot of a plate of grilled tilapia served with rice and a corn mix

Grilled Tilapia Ingredients

Grilled Tilapia raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1½ pounds of tilapia fillets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

OLIVE OIL: If you don’t have olive oil on hand, you could also use vegetable oil in a pinch.

PAPRIKA: Smoked paprika would also add a bold smoky flavor to this grilled tilapia if you have it on hand. 

LEMON PEPPER: Lemon pepper would be a tasty addition to your seasoning mix and give your fish a bit of tangy flavor.

FISH: Fresh is ideal, but grilling frozen tilapia works fine. Just make sure your tilapia is fully thawed before placing it in the marinade. It’s best to let your fish thaw in the fridge overnight before grilling for the best results. You could also substitute any mild white fish fillets in its place, such as haddock or cod.

How To Make This Grilled Tilapia Recipe

STEP ONE: Place tilapia in a bowl or sealable plastic bag. Make the marinade by combining olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour over the tilapia and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, turning halfway through. This will make sure the flavor is evenly distributed.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Grill plates can also be used if your grill bars are too far apart for small fillets.

oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt whisked together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Prepare your outdoor grill by lightly oiling the cooking grates so your fish won’t stick. Heat the grill to high heat, about 450ºF to 500ºF.

PRO TIP:

Don’t skip oiling the grill grate as you want to make sure to keep the fish from sticking and pulling off all your flavor.

STEP THREE: In a small bowl, make the spice blend by combining the remaining garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Making your own seasoning mix is so much better than buying a store-bought mix!

PRO TIP:

If you plan to make this recipe regularly, you can make up a big batch of the seasoning mix and store it in the cupboard for next time.

seasonings combined in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Place fish on a plate and pour the remaining marinade over the fish. Sprinkle the seasoning mix on one side of the fish. If you season the fish on both sides, it will overpower the fish.

tilapia marinaded and sprinkled with seasonings

STEP FIVE: Place fish diagonally across the cooking grates, seasoned side up. Grill for about 4 minutes, turning when the fish begins to pull away from the grate. Turn and grill for about 4 minutes on the other side or until the fish begins to flake.

tilapia being cooked on a grill

How To Serve

Finish off your grilled tilapia with some fresh lemon juice, or some mango salsa to amp up the great flavor even more!

We have lots of sides you can serve with this delicious entree. Try sautéed vegetables, grilled potatoes, or rice. This fish cooks very quickly on the grill, so make sure your sides are prepared or will be finished at the same time as your tilapia so you’re not serving cold fish.

Eat this by itself with some yummy Spanish rice, or you can make it into grilled tilapia fish tacos – perfect for Taco Tuesday with a twist!.

Check out our grilled salmon and grilled chicken for two more delicious grilled recipes. 

Storage

MARINATING: If you don’t have time to marinate while you prepare the rest of the meal, you can always place the fish in the marinade in a sealed container in the fridge overnight before cooking the recipe the next day.

IN THE FRIDGE: Grilled tilapia is best eaten the day you cook it but if you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for a day or two.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze cooked tilapia for up to 1 month. Thaw and use in salads or casseroles.

REHEATING: Grilled tilapia can get a little dry when you try to reheat it, so it’s best to eat it fresh. If you need to reheat leftovers, it’s best to microwave them in a mostly sealed container to allow the steam to keep them moist while it warms. Use a little lemon juice to help refresh it if needed as well.

overhead shot of a plate of grilled tilapia with slices of lemon

So fire up the grill and make the best grilled tilapia you’ve ever had with this simple recipe! The lemon and olive oil marinade infuses the fish with flavor, making it light and flaky, and the dry seasoning will give it a crispy, blackened cajun-style flavor everyone loves!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What other types of fish can I use for this recipe?

Any flaky white fish would be delicious for this easy recipe. Try haddock or cod for two great choices.

What can I serve with this great recipe?

This delicious fish could be served with plenty of different side dishes such as simple sautéed vegetables, potatoes, rice, or a salad.

How do I know when the fish is done?

You’ll know your fish is done when the fish flakes when you cut it with the edge of your fork.

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close shot of a plate of grilled tilapia

Grilled Tilapia

5 from 3 votes
This tasty grilled tilapia recipe uses an easy marinade to make it perfectly flaky, with additional seasonings to create your new favorite summer dish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • pounds tilapia fillets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions
 

  • Place tilapia in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour over the tilapia and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, turning halfway through.
  • Prepare the grill by lightly oiling the cooking grates and heating the grill to high heat, about 450ºF to 500ºF.
  • In a small bowl, make the seasoning mix by combining the remaining garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Place fish on a plate and pour the remaining marinade over the fish. Sprinkle the seasoning mix on one side of the fish.
  • Place fish diagonally across the cooking grates, seasoned side up. Grill for about 4 minutes, turning when the fish begins to pull away from the grate. Turn and grill for about 4 minutes on the other side or until the fish begins to flake.

Notes

  • Grill plates can also be used if your grill bars are too far apart for small fillets.
  • Don’t skip oiling the grill grate as you want to make sure to keep the fish from sticking and pulling off all your flavor.
  • If you plan to make this recipe regularly, you can make up a big batch of the seasoning mix and store it in the cupboard for next time.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 1253mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 283IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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