Bake tilapia fillets at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time may vary based on fillet thickness.
For added flavor, consider seasoning with herbs, lemon, or spices before baking. Always check for doneness to avoid overcooking.
Tilapia is a light, mild fish that pairs well with so many tasty sides. It’s perfect for busy weeknights and is guaranteed to please!
Here’s everything you need to know about baking tilapia at 350 degrees.
Should You Rinse Tilapia Before Baking It?
Washing store-bought tilapia before cooking isn’t typically recommended. It can actually increase your risk of running into foodborne illnesses.
Washing raw fish in your sink can splash bacteria onto surfaces. While heat can kill bacteria on cooked food, raw foods like salad greens or fruits become a risk.
So, be mindful while washing your fish and be sure to clean out the sink afterward!
How to Bake Tilapia at 350
- Start the oven: Let’s get things warmed up! Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Don’t forget to prep your baking sheet with a liner of foil or a quick spritz of non-stick spray.
- Prep the fillets: Carefully rinse your tilapia fillets under cool water and pat them dry. They should be completely dry before moving on to the next step.
- Arrange the fillets: Lay out your fillets on the prepared baking sheet. They need their own space, so spread them out well.
- Create the spice blend: In a bowl, mix the Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. This spice mixture is the key to enhancing the flavor of your fish.
- Season the fillets: Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly across all the tilapia fillets. Be sure each fillet gets a good coating.
- Add the butter: Distribute the pads of butter evenly on each fillet. This adds a rich flavor and helps keep the fish moist.
- Add the lemon and parsley: Slice your lemon into thin rounds and arrange them on top of the fillets. Finish up by sprinkling some dried parsley flakes over everything.
- Bake the tilapia: Time to bake! Put your prepped fillets in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. The fish should easily flake with a fork when it’s done.
- Final touches: After you’ve removed the baking sheet from the oven, you can add some extra flavor. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice will give the fish a bit more zing.
- Serve and Enjoy: And just like that, your baked tilapia is ready to be served and savored. Enjoy!
Do You Cover Tilapia When Baking?
Have you ever considered baking your fish in foil? It’s entirely a matter of personal preference, but it sure comes with its advantages.
First, think of baking in foil as creating a mini steam room for your fish right in the oven. The moisture gets trapped inside the foil packet instead of escaping into the oven. This makes for the juiciest fish imaginable. Yum!
But the benefits aren’t just for the fish. The real win is less cleanup. There are fewer dirty oven bits to scrub, and let’s not forget about the utensils.
What Temperature Should Tilapia Be Cooked To?
You know what they say, better safe than sorry, right? So, to get that perfectly tender and safe tilapia, aim for an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
This magic number is just right. It’s hot enough to send any potentially harmful bacteria packing. Plus, it’s also cool enough to make sure your tilapia doesn’t end up overcooked and dry.
How to Tell When Tilapia Is Done Baking
Want to know a super easy way to tell if your tilapia is cooked just right? Here’s a little trick. Grab a fork and gently give your fish a twist at the thickest part. If it’s done, it’ll flake easily. Plus, it’ll lose that raw or see-through look it had when you first put it in the oven.
Don’t forget to use your food thermometer! Your tilapia should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Should You Bake Tilapia Wrapped in Foil?
Wrapping your tilapia in foil is a neat trick to keep your fish super moist and prevent it from drying out.
But here’s a little heads up. The foil keeps your tilapia moist and tender. But it also means you won’t get that beautiful browned or crispy top.
The foil’s just too good at its job of keeping in the moisture. So if you’re a fan of a crispy top on your fish, skip the foil and let your tilapia bake in the open.
Can I Use Frozen Tilapia?
You can definitely use frozen tilapia. But it won’t taste nearly as fresh or clean as fresh fillets.
Don’t let that stop you if frozen fillets are what you have on hand. You just need to thaw them completely before cooking. This will help ensure they cook evenly and you still end up with a tasty dish.
How Long to Bake Tilapia in the Air Fryer at 350
Craving some tilapia but short on time? Why not give your air fryer a whirl? Baking tilapia in the air fryer is like taking a fast track to a delicious dinner.
Your air fryer heats up in a jiffy and cooks the tilapia evenly. Before you know it, you’ll have that perfect flaky texture that’s usually a labor of love in the oven.
So, how long should you air fry your tilapia? If you’re setting your air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, your fish should be ready in about 8-10 minutes.
But remember, this can depend on how thick your tilapia fillets are and the model of the air fryer. So keep a close eye on it to ensure you get your tilapia just how you like it.
Tips & Tricks for the Best Baked Tilapia
- Choose quality: Fresh is best! But if you’re using frozen, be sure to thaw it fully before cooking for even heat distribution.
- Seasoning is key: Don’t be shy with your spices. Old Bay, garlic powder, and seasoned salt are just a few of your options.
- Spice it up: Want a bit more heat? Jazz it up with seasonings like gochujang, chopped herbs, curry powder, or chili flakes.
- Rest time: Let your tilapia chill for about 5 minutes before serving. This little breather helps the fish keep all its juicy goodness and rich flavor.
- Pat it before prepping: Grab some paper towels and gently pat your tilapia dry before cooking. This helps ditch any extra moisture that could get in the way of achieving that gorgeous golden crust.
What to Serve With Baked Tilapia
Looking for the perfect sidekicks for your baked tilapia? For a zesty pairing, cilantro lime rice brings a bright, citrusy kick. If you prefer something a little simpler, jasmine rice is the way to go.
Or, go on a little flavor adventure with Mexican street corn. It has a delectable combination of char, spice, and tang that will lift your meal to new heights.
Craving some fast food vibes? This Popeye’s French fries recipe is perfect.
How to Store & Freeze Leftovers
Storing and reheating tilapia is as easy as pie.
First, let your fish cool down to room temperature. Then, tuck it into an air-tight container or wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Slap a label with the date on it, pop it in the fridge, and voila! You’ll have tasty tilapia ready for a quick meal for the next 3-4 days.
But if you’re looking at the long game, tilapia can stay in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Just follow the same process as above. Easy-peasy!
How to Reheat Baked Tilapia
Here are a few simple methods to reheat your fish while keeping it tasty and moist:
- In the oven: Start by preheating your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, cover your leftover tilapia with foil and place it on a lightly oiled baking sheet or casserole dish.
Pop it in the preheated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. You’re aiming for an internal temperature of between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the microwave: If the microwave is your go-to, be sure to use a microwave-safe cover. Dial down the power level to a gentle 30 to 40% of maximum power.
Now, here’s the key: microwave your tilapia in quick 30-second bursts, flipping it over every half a minute to make sure it heats evenly.
- In the air fryer: First, preheat your air fryer to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange your tilapia fillets in the air fryer basket or tray, being sure to leave a bit of space between them.
Then, reheat your tilapia for about 5-7 minutes. Give them a gentle rotation halfway through the cooking time.
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