How Long To Bake Tilapia At 400 (Helpful Tips + More)

How Long To Bake Tilapia At 400

Do you know how long it take to bake Tilapia at 400 degrees Fahrenheit? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Tilapia is delicious with any meal, but you must know the best ways to prepare it. Otherwise, your dishes could fall flat. Baking it at 400°F (about 204°C) is best.

You should bake tilapia at 400°F (204°C) for 15 minutes. The fish should be soft enough for you to pull it apart with just your fork. It’s very easy to overcook fish, so don’t leave it in the oven for much longer.

Overall, tilapia is super easy to bake. It doesn’t take a lot of cooking tools or your time, so it’s perfect for beginners. 

How To Bake Tilapia

You don’t need many cooking tools to make this recipe. You will need to use:

  • Baking pan
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Spatula

Once you have all of your ingredients and tools, you’re ready to prepare this dish. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (around 204°C).
  2. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Set the fish in the baking pan, so the filets don’t touch, and drizzle olive oil or melted butter over them.
  4. Add salt and black pepper.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes. The fish should easily flay with a fork.
  6. Squeeze lemon over the tilapias and add dried parsley for garnish.

This seafood recipe is very simple; you can make it in about 20 minutes. You can also alter it for kids, so it’s versatile and suits just about every palate.

Just make sure that you don’t bake the tilapia for too long! The fish keeps cooking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, making it very easy for you to dry the meat out.

How To Serve Tilapia

Oven-baked tilapia is excellent when you serve it with butter, garlic, and lemon wedges. The lemon slices make a fun garnish too, plus you can use them to squeeze some more lemon juice onto the fish. 

Many different sides go great with tilapia. Here are a few that you’ll want to consider preparing:

  • Jasmine rice
  • Corn
  • Mac and cheese
  • French fries
  • Cilantro and lime rice
  • Baked potatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips 

After baking the fish, you’ll want to know how to plate it- presentation adds to the flavor, after all! Start by laying down some rice, parsnips, or another vegetable.

Lean the fish against them, so it’s half on the plate, half on your side. Doing so makes it look like the fish is almost standing up.

Then, place your other sides on the open space. You want to use the whole plate, so don’t feel as though you need to crowd everything together.

There should also be room for lemon wedges and a parsley garnish on your plate.

Read also >> How Long to Bake Lasagna at 400℉? (Full Guide)

Read also >> When Do I Add the Vegetables to My Slow Cooker (Helpful Tips)

Dehydrate Your Tilapia

If you have too much tilapia, you can always dehydrate some of it and use it as a snack.

Here’s a quick and easy way to dry out your tilapia:

  1. Skin and bone, the fish, to make a filet.
  2. Cut the tilapia into thin strips.
  3. Marinate the fish pieces for 12 hours.
  4. Rinse the fish, then lay them on a dehydrator tray, so they don’t overlap.
  5. Dehydrate the food slowly at 145°F (63°C) for 12 hours.
  6. You want the fish to have the texture of jerky.
  7. Store them in vacuum-sealed plastic or airtight containers, such as jars or Tupperware.
  8. Store your fish jerky in a dry, dark place for up to two months.

Dehydrating your seafood is a great way to use it when you get more than you need. It’s also a great treat for dogs, and you can rehydrate the fish later if you want.

Occasions for Tilapia

Did you know that tilapia is perfect for eating on any occasion? You don’t need a special reason to make this dish. 

Tilapia fillets are very inexpensive, making it easy to get food all over the world. It’s affordable and good for you, so you can make it for dinner any night of the week. 

Overall, if you’ve never prepared tilapia before, don’t worry. It’s easy, and your meal is sure to turn out great. Below you’ll find the ingredients and a simple recipe to use. This fish is pretty versatile, so you can always search the internet for even more complex recipes- but we recommend you give this one a shot first.

Tilapia Ingredients

Baked tilapia is healthier than frying it, and you can add many different seasonings to enhance the flavor.

You also won’t need as many ingredients to bake it.

There are many different ways to prepare tilapia fish. However, these are the ingredients that you’ll want to use in a classic recipe:

  • Tilapia filets
  • Melted butter (or olive oil)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper 
  • Minced garlic
  • Dried parsley
  • Lemon slices

This lemony garlic taste is very comforting. Although, if you want to give your fish more kick, you can try using sriracha seasoning or cayenne pepper instead.

Another great ingredient would have to be lime. 

Tilapia Nutrition Facts

The nutritional content of your tilapia will change depending on how you prepare it and what ingredients you use.

Here’s the nutrition that you can expect to find in a plain four-ounce piece of tilapia: 

  • 146 calories
  • 3 g fat
  • 65 mg cholesterol 
  • 64 mg sodium
  • 431 mg potassium
  • 0 g carbs
  • 0 g fiber
  • 30 g protein
  • 4% of your daily iron intake
  • 42% of your daily vitamin D intake
  • 5% of your daily vitamin B6 intake
  • 35% of your daily cobalamin intake
  • 9% of your daily magnesium intake

Fish is a very healthy source of protein, so you’ll want to ensure that you have it as a regular part of your diet.

It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals and even healthy fats. Tilapia is even low in mercury when compared to other fish, and it’s not “dirty” either.

Overall, you can happily enjoy tilapia, knowing it’s very good for your body and brain. The fish can help your body produce red blood cells too!

Tilapia Best Tips

Now that you know a basic tilapia recipe, you’ll want to know some tips to make your dish even more delicious. Use the below tips any time you have tilapia at home for the best results.

Here’s what you can do!

1. Store Your Tilapia Properly

Knowing how to keep your fish fresh goes a long way in preserving its taste. You’ll need to keep it very cold until you’re ready to bake it.

Start by wrapping the fish in either parchment or plastic, then place it in a container with holes filled with ice. You then put this container in another bin, which collects the water as the ice melts. 

You want to take care to wrap the fish properly- you don’t want it to touch the ice at all. If it does, the fish’s skin will lose its quality. 

You shouldn’t store your tilapia; it’s best to get it fresh and prepare it as soon as possible. However, there are ways to freeze it if you have to.

2. How To Freeze Tilapia

Dry your filets first, then vacuum seal them. From there, you can place them in a container in the freezer.

Vacuum sealing the filets can keep them good for up to a year, so you won’t have to worry about using them immediately.

You can also try ice glazing your fish. To do this:

  1. Start by dipping the filet in cold water, then place it on a baking sheet.
  2. Put the sheet with the fish in the freezer. You’ll need to wait for it to freeze, dip it in cold water and freeze the fish again.
  3. Keep doing this until there’s a 1/4 inch layer of ice over your tilapia filets. 

This icing process takes a lot of time, preventing your filets from drying out while you store them. They stay good for a long time, although they likely won’t last a year if you do this method.

3. How To Thaw Tilapia

Once you freeze your tilapia, you must know how to thaw them without ruining the fish. Never microwave it! Instead, either thaw the filet in the fridge or place it in a bowl of cold water.

Thawing it at room temperature can also ruin the texture, so you should avoid doing that.

You always need to make sure you thaw your tilapia, too- if you don’t, your fish will have a very soggy texture when you cook it. 

Knowing how to thaw your filet is just as important as storing it. Improper thawing can lead to many issues that make your dish turn out poorly.

4. Always Salt Tilapia Before Cooking

Lastly, you must always salt your tilapia before you cook it. Give your fish about 15 minutes to absorb the salt; then, you can start baking. Salting helps add more flavor and keeps the fish moist during baking.

You can do this by cutting your fish in half, then seasoning both sides with salt. After that, leave the fish to sit at room temperature for about five minutes.

You can then pat it dry and prepare it however you want to.

Salt won’t absorb into the fish after you cook it, so it’s best to apply it first. You can still add some as a seasoning when you’ve finished baking the tilapia, but it’ll just remain on top of the fish.

In short, salting your tilapia is one of the best things you can do to bring out its flavor.

How Long To Bake Tilapia FAQs

If you’ve never made tilapia before, you might have some questions. This fish is very easy to prepare, so don’t give up before you start!

Here’s what you need to know.

Is Tilapia Bad for You?

Tilapia is very good for you, although it might cause some inflammation in the body. It’s a very healthy protein source and comes with many vitamins and minerals. 

Tilapia might even help prevent cancer and heart disease. Plus, it’s great for increasing the strength of your bones. There are plenty of benefits to eating it.

However, tilapia can be bad for you if it comes from a less-than-reputable fish farm. Certain pesticides that fish farmers use can be harmful to you. Always make sure that you know where your food comes from!

Overall, tilapia isn’t bad for you- depending on how you prepare it. It’s best to bake it and not include any breading.

It tastes great, too, so you can enjoy it knowing that you’re making a good meal for your body.

Can I Eat Too Much Tilapia?

Tilapia contains mercury, although it has much less than other types of fish. It’s not dangerous to eat a lot of tilapia unless you’re part of an at-risk group.

One of these groups includes pregnant women and nursing mothers because they can accidentally pass the mercury on to their babies.

Tilapia also has a pretty small serving size. Even those in at-risk groups can safely enjoy two six-ounce pieces of tilapia each week.

You’ll want to measure your servings to ensure you aren’t eating too much. Doing so only takes a moment and ensures you don’t accidentally eat too much mercury.

Although, keep in mind that tilapia already has lower levels of mercury than many other types of fish. 

What Do Tilapia Fish Eat?

In the wild, tilapia fish eat algae. However, if your tilapia comes from a fish farm, the staff there likely fed your fish corn or soybean meal.

Their food comes enriched with protein and other vegetables. 

You’ll want to ensure you get your fish from a reliable, high-quality farm if you don’t catch it yourself. These top-notch farms produce the best fish- which shows up in the taste.

Plus, quality tilapia are much safer and healthier for you to eat.

These fish aren’t “dirty” and won’t eat waste unless there’s no food available for them to survive.

What are the Health Benefits of Tilapia?

Many health benefits come with eating tilapia. First, they contain many omega-3s, which are excellent for your cells. These fatty acids boost your heart, blood vessels, lungs, and immune system health.

Tilapia even contains ample amounts of omega-6s, which are essential acids that your body doesn’t produce on its own. If you’re low on omega-6 in your body, tilapia is a great way to up your intake of it.

In short, there are plenty of reasons to eat tilapia! Fish, in general, is very good for you, with tilapia being a great option.

It’s very affordable, too, so you should have no issues finding a great filet to prepare.

Why is Tilapia So Cheap?

Tilapia is affordable, making it a great option for many to feed their families. Since these fish are easy to farm in large amounts, they can be quite cheap to buy.

It’s usually easy enough for these fish farms to meet the demand they receive from consumers, so they don’t have to raise their fish prices.

You must ensure that you only buy your tilapia from quality farms. Low-quality farms can overcrowd their fish, leading to disease and sea lice.

Some farms use more chemicals and pesticides to raise their fish than others. Certain chemicals can even be toxic to humans when you consume enough of them through the fish.

Overall, you should always ensure you obtain your fish from reliable sources. Anything the fish eats could pass on to you, so you need to know that the fish was healthy and had a good quality of life on the farm.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you’ll want to bake your tilapia for about 15 minutes when you set your oven to 400°F (204°C). You’ll know it’s ready to eat when you can easily flay the fish with your fork.

Tilapia is super easy and fast, so you can make it with plenty of simple side dishes without a problem! Many foods go great with this fish, so you’ll want to try as many combinations as possible.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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