Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia soaked in buttermilk and covered with bread crumbs, is the perfect dinner option for busy weeknights. The fish is cooked in about 15 minutes, and it has a fresh and delicious taste.

If you want to deviate a bit from a traditional meat meal, this Baked Tilapia is the perfect candidate. It is a quick and great dinner option, and you can serve it with Chunky Mashed Potatoes or Creamy Scalloped Potatoes. For a healthier option, you could pair the tilapia with Oven Roasted Bok Choy or Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia

Easy Oven Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia has a nice mild flavor, so it’s a great dinner option for the whole family. Prior to baking, I soaked the tilapia filet into buttermilk and then coated it with Panko bread crumbs. This mixture gives the fish a juicy and buttery flavor on the inside, and a crispy coating on the outside.

Also, the bread crumbs coating gives the fish a nice golden brown color when baked. After cooking the tilapia, I top the fish with the most delicious homemade light lemon aioli sauce, for the perfect finish.

This meal is incredibly delicious, refreshing, and satisfying, while made in a very short time. I love making this dish for dinner since it’s healthy and ready in just 30 minutes. I used frozen tilapia filets, as they tend to be cheaper, but fresh fish would be even better. For frozen filets, make sure you let them thaw, and pat them dry with paper towels before cooking.

How do you make baked tilapia crispy?

The secret in making the tilapia perfectly crispy is starting with dry filets, coating them with bread crumbs, and baking at a higher temperature. In this case, it is best to bake the fish at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. For full directions, please follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. Check out the video below on how to easily cook this dish.

Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia

What to serve with Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia?

The fish will pair well with vegetables, rice, potatoes, and greens. Some great suggestions are listed below:


You could pick from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir as these wines have good acidity, which pairs nicely with tilapia. Also, Sauvignon Blanc is a great match with light, zesty tilapia.

Recipe Tips:

  • If you use frozen fish fillets, make sure you place them in the fridge way in advance so they can gradually thaw.
  • If using fresh tilapia fillets, I like to rinse them under cold water first and dry them with paper towels.
  • Don’t skip the lemon juice, it adds an amazing citrusy flavor to the fish.
  • Also, if you love garlic, add some to the fish.
  • Don’t overcook the fish, check on the filets after about 10 minutes mark. They don’t need more than 15 minutes top to be done.

Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia


  • Tilapia can be kept for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking. That is if you just bought very fresh tilapia filets, or if you just defrosted in the fridge frozen tilapia.
  • However, if you thawed the tilapia in the microwave or in cold water, you should cook it immediately.

Watch Recipe Step by Step Video:

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5 from 8 reviews
Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 18 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 25 mins


  • 6  tilapia filets  (thawed and pat dry)
  • 1  egg 
  • 1 cup  buttermilk 
  • 1 1/2 cups  Panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 teaspoon  Italian seasoning dried herbs 
  • 1 teaspoon  dried basil 
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  red pepper flakes 
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt & pepper  (or to taste)

Homemade Light Lemon Aioli:

  • 3 tablespoons  light mayo 
  • 1/2 cup  plain greek yogurt 
  •  zest of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons  chopped green onions 
  •  salt and pepper  (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add parchment paper to a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the egg and the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Set aside.

  4. Add the panko bread crumbs to a large shallow bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients: Italian seasoning mix, dried basil, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

  5. Pat dry the fish filets, using tongs or by hand, take a fish filet, dip it into the buttermilk mixture, toss into the breadcrumb mix. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the others.

  6. Ensure the breadcrumb mixture is not soggy or wet after tossing the first filets, if needed add more panko breadcrumbs. For a thicker coating, after the first round of dipping, dip each fish filet again into the buttermilk mixture and breadcrumb mixture. In that case the panko breadcrumb quantity should be doubled.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the coating is golden brown and fish is fork tender. Spray with cooking spray mid baking for the coating to have a shiny, golden brown color.
  8. Remove from oven, lightly squeeze some lemon juice onto the fish filets and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon aioli and lemon wedges on the side.

Homemade Lemon Aioli:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir until fully combined. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper or lemon juice.
Calories: 337 Carbohydrates: 23 Protein: 41 Fat: 8 Saturated Fat: 2 Cholesterol: 118 Sodium: 398 Potassium: 659 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 4 Vitamin A: 230 Vitamin C: 2.3 Calcium: 144 Iron: 2.7
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Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia

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Amber Myers

This looks so delicious! It would be such an incredible meal. I will have to try this some day for sure.



Tilapia is a wonderful white meat fish to fix and enjoy. Cooks fast and is delicious. 



I love trying new fish recipes for my family. This recipe looks so yummy. Looking forward to giving this recipe a try. 



This looks delicious! And thanks for the tips about how to make baked fish crispy. Our always tend to be on the soggy side.


Pam Wattenbarger

Tilapia is my favorite fish because it is so mild. This looks delicious, especially with the aioli!



I've tried tilapia once before, but I don't think I cooked it very good. I'm going to try to use your recipe and see if it tastes better than the last time I tried to make tilapia.


Shelley King

Fish is one of my favorite things! I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. My family will love this recipe!


Terri Steffes

You make tilapia look good! That crispy skin looks so good. I wonder how it would work in the air fryer?



Yum!! Don’t laugh at me, but I’ve actually never madenfish at home...! I’m too nervous! Love the idea of baking it though. Sounds yummy and easy!



I have never tried tilapia but after reading your post and recipe I think I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for the recipe!


Cathy Mini

Wow! I love to try this one and it looks so yummy. I never tried it before but it's quite interesting!


Chubskulit Rose

I love fish dishes. This tilapia looks delicious. I can almost smell the aroma from over here, yum!



This looks so crispy and delicious! Sounds like a great recipe, and I like how easy it is to make. I am in a cooking rut and will have to give this a try.



Okay, I just printed your recipe because we so love tilapia over here and we love it crispy too. Bet this is so good. Thanks!



We love tilapia and this recipe looks delicious. I've never had lemon aioli, but it looks really good.



I love crispy coatings on my meat. This looks so delicious and I can't wait to get it in the oven.



Oh, that looks so tasty. I tried something similar to this recipe and air fried the fish instead. I would love to try this version. Thanks for sharing!


Denay DeGuzman

This oven-baked tilapia looks so delicious! I've just now added your recipe to next week's meal plan and pinned it to Pinterest. Yum. Yum!



This oven-baked tilapia looks really good. Will have to bookmark this on Pinterest for future reference.



This came out so delicious, I followed it to the t even the Homemade Light Lemon Aioli. Thank you, this will be a favorite.


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