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Basil-Wrapped Tilapia

Basil-Wrapped Tilapia

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Jane Bruce

Basil-Wrapped Tilapia

There's nothing that smells more like summer than a beautiful fish cooking in basil. With this recipe you get a light summer dish, but also something that's very quick and easy to make. The basil is what makes this dish stand-out: once it's baked it gains a crunchy texture that is hard to stop eating.

See all recipes for basil.

Click here to see Bountiful Basil Recipes.


  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine, preferably dry
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 16 Ounces tilapia fillets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 Cup large basil leaves
  • 1/4 Cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup diced shallots

  1. Topping
    • 1-inch cube fresh gingerroot, finely chopped or grated
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped or grated
    • 2 green onions (green part only), finely chopped
    • Fresh chile to taste
    • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
    • 2 tbsp grapeseed (or safflower) oil
    • Dash of toasted sesame oil
    • Dash of soy sauce
    • Dash of fish sauce
    • 4 tsp dark maple syrup
  2. Tilapia
    • 4 fillets (4 oz each) fresh tilapia (or other firm-fleshed whitefish)
    • 4 large banana leaves (or unbleached parchment paper)
    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a fillet on each banana leaf and divide topping evenly among them, spreading it over the top. Fold each banana leaf over to form a packet around each fillet and seal the edge of each packet with a small piece of aluminum foil, crimping it tightly. Place on a baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

    Nutritional analysis provided by Self

    1. Season both sides of your fish filets with salt and pepper while the olive oil heats in a large skillet (or sauté pan).
    2. Pour flour onto a shallow dish, dip each side of the filets into the flour,shaking off any excess flour, and set in skillet. Cook on one side (until golden brown) for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip filets, and cook another 2 minutes (until golden brown. Fish should be light and flaky).
    3. Drop the butter pieces into the hot skillet and circle around fish. Once the butter becomes foamy, squeeze in the lemon juice (so that is mixes with the butter) and top fish with basil. Quickly spoon the butter/lemon mixture on to top of fish until covered.
    4. Remove from heat and serve

    I used a brussels sprouts and kale salad under the fix and used the juice as the dressing. It was perfect.

    Easy Tilapia Recipes

    Tilapia is a versatile and inexpensive fish, making it a great choice when you need a simple (yet satisfying) meal. Whether you’re craving crunchy, fried fillets or savory, spice-infused fish tacos, these easy tilapia recipes are sure to please.

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    Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Butter, Capers and Orzo

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    Blackened Tilapia with Black-Eyed Pea Salad

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    Tilapia and Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

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    Seared Tilapia with Asparagus and Spicy Mint Gremolata

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    Chicken-Fried Fish

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    A light, aromatic tomato broth is the base for this rustic stew of tilapia and steamed mussels. Serve each bowl with a slice of toasted ciabatta bread for dunking.

    Baked Tilapia with Herb Butter

    Make your own compound butter by chopping up fresh herbs and folding them into room-temperature butter. You can make it ahead and freeze it, or immediately add a pat of the butter to baked tilapia for a quick seasoning.

    Lemon-Garlic Tilapia with Spinach

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    Ways to Use Leftover Tilapia

    Leftover cold roll ups make delightful and tasty cold fish pesto pinwheels that are delicious for lunch or as a salad topper. It would be worth it to make two fillets even if you’re on your own and have the remaining fish pinwheels cold the next day.

    You’ll have some pesto left over for sure which I often use for summer salad dressings. Thin it out with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

    If you’ve made this Baked Tilapia with Pesto, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

    • 1 1/2 lbs. (0.6 kg) tilapia fillet or cod, sole, halibut, etc. (4 fillets)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • ground black pepper
    • 3 dashes cayenne pepper
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    • lemon wedges, for serving
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
    2. Rinse the tilapia fish fillets with cold running water. Pad dry with paper towels. Arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish. Add the olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
    3. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on top of the tilapia. Top with chopped parsley.
    4. Baked the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.

    • 4 tilapia fillets (about 1 pound)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • Zest of 2 limes
    • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons bourbon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • Black pepper to taste

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Combine olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, fresh basil, bourbon, salt and black pepper in a small bowl.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Place tilapia fillets in a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over top. Make sure all surfaces are coated well with the marinade. Seal bag and refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Remove fish from bag and pour marinade into a saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil, immediately reduce heat and let simmer on low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Grill tilapia fillets for 3 to 5 minutes per side over high heat. When fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 F and appears opaque in color.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Remove from grill and serve with a few spoonfuls of marinade drizzled over top.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


    If using the fish for tacos, brush the tilapia with the cooked marinade as it cooks. Remove from heat once done and flake into bite-sized pieces.


    • 5 cups thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
    • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
    • 1 cup snow peas
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 4 (5-oz.) tilapia fillets
    • 8 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
    • 4 lime wedges

    Nutritional Information

    • Calories 254
    • Fat 10.2g
    • Satfat 1.9g
    • Monofat 4g
    • Polyfat 3.8g
    • Protein 32g
    • Carbohydrate 9g
    • Fiber 3g
    • Cholesterol 71mg
    • Iron 2mg
    • Sodium 592mg
    • Calcium 86mg
    • Sugars 4g
    • Est. added sugars 0g

    Related Video

    This fish was delicious and extremely moist. Like other reviewers, my zucchini didn't wrap the whole way around the fillets but it worked anyway. Love this recipe.

    This is a very simple, but elegant way to prepare salmon. It has become a regular in this household.

    Wonderful, especially given the shear simplicity of the ingredients! I used cod and it was fine and added a little lemon zest to the roll-up. Fish was moist, perfectly cooked and flavorful! Can't wait to make it again for company.

    This is fast, easy and healthy. It tastes good, but it doesn't pack a punch. A weekday meal that I would make again but not something I would serve to company. For a quick and easy salmon recipe, I prefer the Rosemary Roasted Salmon, also on this site.

    I made this dish last night and it was really delicious, interesting combination of flavors, esp. the basil with the zucchini. A couple of things that will make your life easier: a. make sure you buy a long and firm zucchini. I bought two and one of them was too soft inside and had too many seeds and the slices were not good enough to wrap the fish in. b. it is better to use a cheese slicer than a peeler. Maybe my peeler is too efficient cause it was literally peeling the zucchini and not coming out with .25 inch slices.

    This was so good for a dinner party for 6 people. I also made the Skillet potatoes with Olives and Lemon and people were not talking because they were stuffing the food in their mouths. I followed the recipe exactly - very easy - very tasty. Cut the salmon or halibut down to size to fit the zucchini - it's just not that hard!

    This was excellent and to the cook from MD, what could be easier? Naturally, get long zucchinies or narrow the sliced fish. I jazzed it up by making a compund butter from 2 sticks of butter, 3 shallots minced, 1 tube of Anchovy paste and 1 bunch of basil, chopped. Spread 1 tsp. of it on each fish and then proceeded as directed. Will make it again when I want something effortless. Michael Weber

    I thought this was a pian to make. I purchased the longet zucchini I could find and it still didn't wrap around the fish. I ended up securing the top with toothpicks, thus cooking the fish seam side up. And if you are even thinking about cutting back on the salt, forget it. I thought I added too much and it still wasn't enough. I would only make this again as an appetizer or perhpas as part of a surf and turf. It was light, yes, but overall, not as easy to make as they bill it to be.

    This was great. A coworker was eating leftovers at lunch and I was intrigued by what she described. I was going to attempt to recreate it but then I ran across this recipe. She used pesto instead of just basil which was great. The fish cooked quickly and preparation was fast. I think the entire meal was made in under20 minutes. We served with some peso pasta on the side. Definately a winner. Our almost 2 yo could not get ENOUGH of this fish.

    MMMM. One of the most moist salmon dishes I've ever had! Due to time constraints i didn't even bother making the lemon sauce. Instead I quartered the lemon and let my diners squeeze it over their salmon. That way they got to choose how much they wanted. Next time i make it i'll try the sauce.

    Made this for the first time last night, using wild Alaskan Salmon. My wife and I loved it. Be sure to get long-ish zucchini , because wrapping the slices around the salmon can be tricky, otherwise.

    I loved this recipe. The slight change I made was to pan sear fish on both sides then finish in the oven. This gave the zucchini a crispy crust. The lemon sauce at the end really boosts the flavor of the whole dish.

    A delicious recipe ,easy to prepare and beautiful to look at.An additional plus is that is very light and healthful. I made it the day after my August issue of Bon Appetit came and it was a hit.

    I loved this dish as it was beautiful, flavorful and moist. I cut the oil by 1/2 and sauteed some fresh garlic in the oil before placing fish in pan. Can't wait to eat it again.

    really moist and delicious. not terribly flavorful but could easily be with a nice sauce, possibly a horseradish creamy sauce on the side. very easy to make and cannot emphasize enough how moist my salmon was.

    Baked Lemon Butter Tilapia

    Okay, guys. I figured we all needed a little bit of a chicken thigh break.

    I clearly love to create a new chicken thigh recipe once a week but we were due for a change. But still, we’re keeping the basics down with the whole lemon-garlic-butter situation.

    Because let’s face it. We don’t want to mess with that combination.

    So that’s exactly what’s happening here. We’re using budget-friendly tilapia, which cooks in just 10 minutes, drizzled with that butter sauce. It goes right in the oven from start to finish, making your life just that much easier.

    Watch the video: Easy Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze (January 2023).