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lemon butter tilapia with cilantro

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Lemon Butter

Enjoy this lemon butter tilapia in a pan, which is infused with a hint of tart lemon, cilantro, and sweet, creamy butter that creates a delicious dinner for your family.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 214 kcal


  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic freshly minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon slices cut into 1/4 inch circles
  • 4 tilapia 5 ounces skinless fillets


  • Mix butter with cilantro, garlic, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Stir until blended then set aside
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season fillets with salt and pepper
  • When oil is hot, add fish fillets top side down. Cook until fish is almost cooked through and the underside is deep golden brown. About 3-4 minutes
  • Flip fillets using a large spatula so they do not break apart
  • With a small spatula, spread butter mixture over each fillet.
  • Add lemon circles to the pan and allow to cook with fish for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Serve immediately with lemon circles as a garnish


Expert Tips:
To make it in advance, slice the lemons and mix the lemon butter sauce for this recipe ahead of time. All you will have to do is saute the fish in a pan and add the lemon butter sauce and lemons. You could have the main dish ready in 10 minutes.
Balance the lemon with this quick and easy sweet coconut rice, a creamy, slightly sweet aromatic Jasmine rice recipe prepared using an electric pressure cooker. 
Don’t overcook the fish. Before cooking the fish is rather shiny and translucent. When it's done, the fish flakes easily with a fork and turns opaque.
Don't crowd the fish in the pan. This makes it cook less quickly and difficult to turn over. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the fish in batches.
Serve with extra lemon wedges for more lemon flavor.
Whenever possible use fresh tilapia to make this recipe.


Serving: 1gCalories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 35gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 112mgPotassium: 571mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg
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