This Citrus Butter Tilapia is such a delicious and healthy meal. It’s cooked to perfection, with a flakey tilapia filet coated with a tangy homemade citrus butter. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, or a special occasion.
Sometimes it is a lot of fun to experiment with different new recipes, and discover new ones that are really good. It doesn’t always work out, but this tilapia with citrus butter is a definite winner. (The beet chips I made, however were not).
Tilapia is a delicious, mild, white fish that is easily flavored with a variety of spices, seasonings, or toppings. If you love it, you’ll also love our blackened tilapia or macadamia nut crusted tilapia.
This citrus butter tilapia is a great one to add to the mix. It’s so good, with such a delicious fresh flavor. The citrus butter on it’s own is delicious, and would be really good on top of some grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or even on a warm roll.
Why you’ll love this Citrus Butter Tilapia:
- Ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Has a delicious fresh flavor
- Can be paired with so many side dishes
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Tilapia and Citrus Butter recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- orange zest
- lemon zest
- fresh mint leaves
- ground ginger
- salt and pepper
- tilapia fillets
How to make Citrus Butter Tilapia?
- You’ll first make your citrus butter. You’ll need orange zest, lemon zest and kumquats or oranges for the citrus flavor. Mint leaves and ginger for the fresh flavors, and of course butter. Blend your oranges up into a pulp in your blend, or mash them with forks, etc.
- In a small bowl mix your softened butter, kumquat pulp, lemon zest, orange zest, and mint leaves. Add in a dash of ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Mix till you have a nice soft butter.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a little bit of the butter to the skillet to let it melt. Rub more of the butter over the tilapia fillets and add them to the pan. Cook about 4 minutes on the one side, then flip over to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
- Top with more butter if desired, and serve hot.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can also bake the tilapia, instead of cooking it in a pan. Spread the citrus butter over the fillets, then bake it at 400 F for 12-15 minutes. You want the internal temperature to reach between 140 and 145F.
- This recipe makes enough citrus butter for about 4 tilapia fillets. You can cook less fillets for a smaller group and have extra citrus butter for other uses. Or you can easily double the recipe for more people.
How to store leftovers?
If you have any leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat the tilapia in a hot skillet on the stove top over medium heat until hot throughout. I don not recommend microwaving this dish.
What to serve with Tilapia?
Tilapia is a versatile fish to serve with a variety of different side dishes.
- Roasted Vegetables: roasted asparagus, zucchini, carrots, or even potatoes
- Rice or Quinoa: A great filling accompaniment to this tilapia dish.
- Salad: A light and refreshing salad is an excellent compliment, especially topped with a tangy vinaigrette.
- Pasta: A side of pasta with a lighter sauce, like a lemon, garlic, or marinara sauce.
- Bread: You can’t go wrong with crusty bread, or rolls.
This citrus butter tilapia is such a fresh tasting dinner that everyone will love. It’s an easy dish to make, and is perfect paired with your favorite side dishes for a nice, healthy, dinner for any day of the year.
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Tilapia with Citrus Butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/2 orange (peeled)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 4 fresh mint leaves (minced)
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/8 tsp black pepper (to taste)
- 4 tilapia fillets (about 4 oz each)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Add the orange to a blender and pulse until smooth. Or add it to a large bowl and mash with forks, or a potato masher.
- Add the softened butter, orange pulp, lemon zest, orange zest, and mint leaves to a medium sized bowl and mash them together with a fork until well mixed.
- Add a dash of ginger, and salt and pepper to the butter. Mix it all together until you have a nice evenly mixed citrus butter.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add 1/2 Tablespoon of the citrus butter to the skillet and let it melt.
- Rub 1 Tablespoon of the citrus butter over each tilapia fillet to coat them.
- Add the fillets to the saucepan, and cook for 4 minutes on 1 side and then flip to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other side until the fish is opaque and cooked thoroughly. (An internal temperature of 140-145F)
- Add more butter to melt on top, if desired.
- Serve hot with your choices of side dishes.
- Save any leftover butter in the fridge.
This citrus butter tilapia was first posted on March 11, 2014. The photos and text were updated on April 28, 2023.