With a quick marinade of lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings, this easy grilled tilapia recipe is the perfect way to enjoy fresh tilapia fillets while enjoying that blackened flavor that makes fish simply mouth-watering.
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.
GRILLED TILAPIA INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 1 ½ pounds tilapia filets
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 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 addition 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, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour over tilapia and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour, turning halfway through – this will make sure the flavor is evenly distributed.
STEP TWO: Prepare your outdoor grill by lightly oiling the cooking grates so your fish won’t stick and heating 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 garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon 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.
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 fish on both sides it will overpower the fish.
STEP FIVE: Place fish diagonally across the cooking grates, seasoned side up. Grill for about 4 minutes, turning when fish begins to pull away from the grate. Turn and grill about 4 minutes on the other side or until fish begins to flake.
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 sauteed 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 your tilapia will so you’re not serving cold fish.
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.
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 it moist while it warms. Use a little lemon juice to help refresh it if needed as well.
So fire up the grill and make the best-grilled tilapia you’ve ever had with this simple recipe! Skip the pan-fried fish and the foil packets, and enjoy grilled fish the way it was meant to be enjoyed! This tasty combination of marinating and using dry seasoning yields delicious results when making grilled tilapia. The lemon and olive oil marinade infuses the fish with flavor, making it light and flakey, and the dry seasoning will give it a crispy, blackened cajun-style flavor everyone loves!
Any flaky white fish would be delicious for this easy recipe. Try haddock or cod for two great choices.
This delicious fish could be served with plenty of different side dishes such as simple sautéed vegetables, potatoes, rice or a salad.
You’ll know your fish is done when the fish flakes when you cut it with the edge of your fork.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- 1 1/2 lbs tilapia fillets
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- Place tilapia in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour over 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 450º to 500º.
- In a small bowl, make the seasoning mix by combining the garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, oregano, paprika, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
- Place fish on a plate and pour 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 fish begins to pull away from the grate. Turn and grill about 4 minutes on the other side or until fish begins to flake.