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Easy Lemon Grilled Tilapia | The Recipe Critic


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Fire up the grill! This grilled tilapia is deliciously seasoned and has the best flaky texture. Mix a few simple ingredients for the marinade, give it a little time to get super tasty and then it is grilled to perfection in a matter of minutes!

Grilling recipes are some of the best! They are easy, quick to prepare and have the best smoky flavor. I love to pair this grilled tilapia with grilled sides like grilled zucchini, grilled Mexican street corn and this fresh grilled caesar salad!

Top view of grilled tilapia on a platter.

Reasons You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Simple: Making grilled tilapia is so easy and can be ready to serve in just over 30 minutes including marinating time.
  • Light and Filling: Fish is a great source of lean protein and includes essential healthy fats.
  • Versatile: This is the perfect dinner that pairs with EVERYTHING!
  • Filled with Bright Flavors: Fresh lemon and garlic create the best flavors combined with the smokiness of grilling. You will love the taste and texture of this fish!

What You Need to Make Grilled Tilapia

You’ll only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this super tasty grilled tilapia! They come together for tender tilapia that will rival even the best seafood restaurant! The complete list of ingredients and measurements are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Lemon adds fresh flavor to almost any grilled fish.
  • Olive Oil: Provides the marinade with a bit of fat and also is used for cooking the filets on the grill.
  • Garlic: Minced fresh garlic adds a delicious savory taste.
  • Seasoning: A simple blend of fresh ground black pepper, salt and mustard powder brings out all of the flavor in the fish.
  • Tilapia Filets: This recipe calls for 4 tilapia filets to feed 4 people.
Top view of all of the ingredients laid out individually and labeled.

How to Make Grilled Tilapia

Tilapia is one of the easiest proteins to grill! Marinate the fish for about 30 minutes, and then grill it for less than 12 minutes. You will want to make this recipe all season long!

  1. Make the Marinade: Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, salt, and mustard powder to prepare the marinade.
  2. Marinate the Fish: Pour the marinade into a large sealable bag or container and place the tilapia filets into the container. Marinate the tilapia for 30 minutes to an hour. While the filets are marinating, preheat a grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Grill: Once the tilapia filets are ready, remove them from the marinade. Brush the grill with olive oil and grill the filets for 4-6 minutes per side. The filets should easily come off the grill, if they are sticking give them another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve: Remove the grilled tilapia from the grill and enjoy!

How to Know When Tilapia is Cooked

You’ll know your fish is cooked through when it’s completely opaque. However, you definitely don’t want to overcook it, or it will become dry. Additionally, you can use a meat thermometer to check and see if it has an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips for Grilling Tilapia

Here are a few things to keep in mind when grilling tilapia. They are simple tips, but will ensure your fish turns out perfect!

  • Serving Options: This dish goes great with rice, couscous and your favorite vegetable side like grilled asparagus!
  • Thaw Filets: If using frozen, be sure they are thawed before you marinate. Thaw overnight in the fridge or place packaged frozen filets in cold water for about 10 minutes.
  • Discard the Marinade: Be sure to discard the used marinade after using.
  • Cook Time: The fillets I used were a little on the thicker side, so about 5 minutes was perfect. If your fillets are thinner, reduce the time.

Close up of grilled tilapia.

How to Store Leftover Tilapia

Although grilled tilapia is best served right away, here’s how to store leftovers to enjoy them later!

  • In the Refrigerator: Once it has cooled, then place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Put it in your fridge, and your fish will stay good for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: The quickest way to reheat your grilled tilapia is in the air fryer for a couple of minutes at 350 degrees. You can also reheat it over medium heat on the stove with a little melted butter in the pan.

Close of of tilapia on a plate with a fork.

More Seafood Recipes

We love to enjoy seafood dishes often because they are satisfying yet light and typically contain many nutrients. Here are some of our favorite fish recipes that we make on repeat. And if you’re looking for more, browse through our many other seafood recipes!

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  • Prepare the marinade by whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, salt, and mustard powder.

  • Pour the marinade into a large sealable bag or container and place the tilapia filets into the container. If using frozen be sure they are thawed before you marinate.

  • Marinate the tilapia 30 minutes to an hour. While the filets are marinating, preheat a grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Once the tilapia filets are ready, remove them from the marinade. Brush the grill with olive oil and grill the filets for 4-6 minutes per side. The filets should easily come off the grill, if they are sticking give them another 1-2 minutes.

  • Remove the grilled tilapia from the grill and serve!

Calories: 68kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 582mgPotassium: 22mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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