Tilapia with Lemon Pesto…So Easy and Delicious!

By Jodee Weiland

Tilapia is so easy to bake for dinner, and what’s even better is how easily you can change the taste by what you add to it.  You can just add a seasoning, butter, and lemon juice, or you can add a sauce.


I decided to try it with one of my all-time favorites, Italian Basil Pesto sauce.  I use homemade Italian Pesto because it is fresh, and I know what’s in it, but you can buy it in jars at most stores.  Just try to make sure they are using good oils and the ingredients you prefer.

I am always looking for recipes that are fast and easy, and this recipe, with my other tilapia recipes, are my go to recipes for fast, easy, and healthy.  Since I freeze some of my homemade Italian Pesto sauce, I just thaw it earlier in the day and have it ready when it’s time to cook dinner.  I also like to keep fresh lemons on hand, since I use them often in my cooking, but you can use bottled lemon juice as well.  No matter what, this recipe is great!  Why?  Because this recipe is easy, delicious, and healthy!


Tilapia with Lemon Pesto…So easy and delicious!

3 to 4 frozen tilapia fillets (approximately 4 ounces each)
6 to 8 tablespoons homemade Italian Basil Pesto
(see my recipe or buy prepared pesto sauce)
Lemon juice freshly squeezed from to taste
Olive oil spray to prepare baking dish


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use olive oil spray on rectangular baking dish. Rinse frozen fillets, but it is not necessary to thaw them. Then arrange fillets in baking dish. Put about 2 tablespoons of homemade Italian Pesto, more or less, on top of each filet. Place baking dish in oven and cook for 15 to 17 minutes. Halfway through cooking, about 8 to 9 minutes, spread pesto evenly across the top of each filet with a cooking brush and drizzle with lemon juice. Continue to bake for the remaining 9 to 10 minutes.


When finished cooking, serve fillets with a vegetable of your choice. I use steamed green beans or broccoli because they blend well with the pesto and lemon flavors of the tilapia. This dish is excellent served with a nice Riesling wine. We love this dish because it is easy to prepare and cook, allowing you to serve dinner in less than a half hour.  It really is one of my go to dinners when I have a hectic crazy day.  I’m sure you know what I mean.  We all have days like this, but what’s important is that we go for something healthy to eat, not just something easy and fast, like fast foods.  You and I deserve better than that, so try this recipe and enjoy!

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