Best Tilapia Recipe Ever: Baked With Parmesan Cheese

Victoria Lynn loves cooking and sharing traditional recipes for the holidays and every day.

Baked parmesan cheese tilapia fresh out of the oven. You won't believe how delicious this fish is until you try it!

Baked parmesan cheese tilapia fresh out of the oven. You won't believe how delicious this fish is until you try it!

People Who "Don't Like" Fish Love This Recipe!

"This tastes too fishy."

"I don't like fish very much."

Have you heard these statements before? I have. I even used to hear them from my boyfriend.

But not anymore—not since I started making his tasty, easy tilapia recipe. He loves this dish, and he goes on about how good it is every time I make it. Each time I serve it, he's surprised all over again about how tasty fish can be.

Tilapia is a fish that is very easy to cook and hard to mess up. It doesn't take long to cook, and it always tastes good, at least when I make it at home. It's more expensive than whiting filet (one of the cheapest fish you can buy), but it's less expensive than most other cuts of fish. T

ilapia is a mild-tasting white fish that is unlikely to turn anybody away. There are many people who may like fish, but who are turned away by fish that tastes too strong or too "fishy." Tilapia is not like that. Tilapia is mild . . . and never overwhelming in smell, nor in taste.

My Favorite Tilapia Recipe

I came across this particular tilapia recipe online many years ago. I was subscribed to some recipe site, and thus I would receive different recipes every week for various types of foods. I was always looking for different ways to make fish. I loved frying it, but I wanted something healthier—and different.

The recipe I have now is a torn piece of paper, printed on an old printer, tattered from years of use in the kitchen. Years ago, I started noting on my recipes when I made them, who I was with, and what the results were. Was it good? Tasty? Needed a little extra of this or that? So there are scribbles all over this recipe, like so many other recipes tucked here and there in my kitchen.

This particular tilapia recipe, based on my handwritten notes, shows me making this recipe at least once a year since 2005. And my comments on it show that all reports were good, the first comments being "Excellent! Tasty!" This is a recipe you can't go wrong with, as long as you do like tilapia. Maybe you don't even know you like it. It's definitely worth a try.

Since the last time I checked, I have made the recipe much more often than once a year.

Ingredients for tilapia topping

Ingredients for tilapia topping


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds tilapia filets, thawed (My recipe says that orange roughy, cod, or red snapper could be substituted. I would guess that most fish would work.) I just put enough filets to cover the bottom of my 9 x 13 casserole dish. Six of them fit perfectly.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)

Baked Parmesan Cheese Tilapia: Rate this recipe! (I recommend rating it AFTER you try the recipe. I'll bet the rating will be closer to 5 if not higher!) This r


  1. Prepare your 9 x 13 inch baking dish by spreading butter in the bottom or using non-stick spray (that's what I do). Lay thawed tilapia filets in a single layer. If you forgot to thaw the filets, stick them in cold or warm water for a few minutes; they will thaw in a very short time.
  2. Brush top of fish with lemon juice. Put fish in preheated oven of 375 degrees. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish starts to flake.
  3. In the meantime, in a bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, softened butter, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, seasoned salt, black pepper, and dash of hot pepper sauce. Mix up well with a fork and set aside. (Note: Do not put the topping on before putting the fish into the oven the first time. Once, when I already had the topping prepared, I forgot to wait until the end. Instead, I put the topping on right after the lemon juice and popped the dish into the oven. While the final product was still good, it was drier and not anywhere near as delicious as normal. So remember to wait on the topping!)
  4. After the fish has cooked to point of being flaky, take out of the oven and spread the cheese mixture on top. Turn oven to broil to brown top of fish, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep an eye on the fish, as baking time will be impacted by the thickness of the filets. Do not allow to overcook. Quicker option: Turn oven to broil setting. After the oven heats up, place in tilapia. Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until almost done. Take out, and add Parmesan cheese mixture. Then broil another 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Keep a close eye on tilapia so as not to burn it.

Even Quicker and Simpler Tilapia Recipe

You should be very pleased with this tilapia recipe. If you would like to try an even easier, even quicker tilapia recipe, perhaps the easiest of all, then I have tried such a thing that works really well.

  1. Take the desired amount of frozen tilapia out of the bag and place it in a buttered or sprayed non-stick pan. You can sprinkle a little olive oil or canola oil in the pan if you prefer. Place a lid over the pan of fish, with the burner turned to medium heat. Do make sure the pan is hot before you put tilapia in it. Cook 3 or 4 minutes before checking fish. If tilapia is starting to turn white, it's time to turn it over.
  2. Sprinkle choice of seasonings on tilapia before turning. A simple option is sprinkled salt and pepper, or perhaps lemon pepper. You can also experiment with your favorite seasonings: garlic salt, dill weed, or cajun seasoning, to name a few. You can even brush the fish with melted butter.
  3. Cook tilapia for another 3 or 4 minutes on the other side. Add more seasonings on that side if you'd like. When tilapia flakes easily with a fork, it is ready to eat. Be careful not to cook too long, as tilapia—like most fish—is much better when it's not overcooked.

If you're hesitant to cook or eat fish, try this baked tilapia recipe, or even tilapia in other recipes. Tilapia is a mild fish that cooks quickly. Messing up the flavor would be hard to do, too. Try it!


Kim on September 24, 2018:

Oh my gosh this baked Parmesan fish was sooooo good! I used Texas Pete hot sauce (about 4 drops) and fresh grated Parmesan. Since we get fresh local red snapper, I used that instead of tilapia. I will definitely keep this recipe!!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 13, 2016:

Sounds good, Kristen. :-)

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 03, 2016:

I'll let you know sometime this winter.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 03, 2016:

Cool, Kristen. I would love to know what you think about the recipe with the Tabasco sauce. :-)

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on January 03, 2016:

Thanks Victoria. I'll get it next week when I go shopping. I'll let you know.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on January 02, 2016:

Yes, get that Tabasco, Kristen. It's good to perk up flavor in lots of recipes--with just a few drops! If you want to go even lighter, get something like Louisiana hot sauce. It's not overly hot even by itself.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 30, 2015:

Hmm. Something to consider for next year, when I buy some Tabasco sauce.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 29, 2015:

Yes, do, Kristen! I find that just a few drops of Tabasco can really perk up the flavor in things--without adding a lot of heat.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 24, 2015:

Victoria, I'll give it a try with the hot sauce, when I get some. I'll get back to you on that real soon.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 24, 2015:

Kristen--I'm glad you like the recipes! I hope you try the Tilapia recipe. I DO recommend adding the hot sauce. It doesn't make it hot, but adds flavor. :-) Thanks for checking it out!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 20, 2015:

Vicki, what terrific recipes you have here! I've brought some fresh tilapia patties from Gordon food service and have enough for a couple of meals next year. I would love to try this out soon and pass on the hot sauce too.

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on May 21, 2014:

Creative Mixtress--I hope you like it! It is easy--and tasty, for sure. It has become my go-to recipe for fish.

Dori Ball from Safety Harbor, Florida on May 20, 2014:

This looks incredible.. and easy enough for me to cook! Thank you Victoria Lynn... I will give this recipe a try!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on May 14, 2014:

It really is good, Cyndi. My boyfriend isn't a big fish fan, and he likes this dish every time I make it for him! Go for it!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on May 14, 2014:

Wow! I'm not a big fish fan, but I will eat tilapia and dang - I might make this tonight...if I can get my husby to go to the store for me. :D This sounds divine!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 20, 2014:

Crystal--Tilapia is definitely a favorite of mine. Nice and mild and not too "fishy." Hope you like this recipe!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on February 19, 2014:

Yum! Thank you for this recipe. I just started eating fish and tilapia is becoming a favorite. Pinning this

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2014:

midnightbliss--I have served a lot of different things as side dishes. You could serve a vegetable such as steamed broccoli or asparagus, plus some brown rice, and a side salad. Bread and wine are always good. A potato dish would be good with it. I've served it with potatoes I made in the microwave or a hash brown casserole. I've sauteed mushrooms on the side. In the summer, I might grill zucchini and squash. Really, the possibilities are endless. Some kind of dish with noodles would be good, too. I usually do some kind of dish plus a salad and bread. Hope that helps!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2014:

sgbrown--That sounds fun! You go, girl! And let me know if you like the recipe!

Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on February 19, 2014:

Your parmesan cheese baked tilapia recipe looks delicious!! What side dishes do you recommend? Wine?

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 19, 2014:

I looked for some fish in the freezer today, to make this with and realize I am out of fish! Oh no! I have a pond full of fish and am going to have to either go fishing or buy some at the store. I think I'll go fishing tomorrow! :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on February 19, 2014:

sgbrown - I think it would be great for any type of fish. I've made it a lot. I love it! Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy it!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on February 19, 2014:

I love the sound of the first recipe. We have catfish ponds here on our place and I bet this would be great on catfish too! I am always happy to find new recipes for fish, other than frying. Pinning this for future reference! Thanks! :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on December 17, 2013:

Nicole, I'm so excited to hear that you love the recipe! My boyfriend isn't a big fish eater either, but he likes this recipe every time I make it. Thanks for the feedback. That's great!!

Nicole on December 17, 2013:

Let me start by saying I'm not a huge fish eater at all, but I absolutely LOVE this recipe!!! Tonight is my second time making it- definitely a go to recipe for fish! Thanks :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on September 17, 2013:

Ingenira, you're welcome. I think that if you turn it up to about 500, that should brown it. You can experiment. Just keep an eye on it. It doesn't take very long. :-)

Ingenira on September 17, 2013:

Thank you another yummy fish recipe. Sorry my oven doesn't have broil settings. What's the temperature for that?

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on November 11, 2012:

ComfortB--Glad yo like it. I'm sure mozzarella would be fine. It will just give it a different texture since the Parmesan is the flaky kind. But melted cheese sounds pretty darn good, and mozzarella is pretty mild, so go for it! I bet it would be great like that!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on November 11, 2012:

ImKarn--You should try tilapia. It's a mild fish that is pretty inexpensive. I love salmon, too, but it does costs more. Tilapia is a nice alternative choice if you like fish! Yes, they need a delicious button.

The only thing that might be sad about putting the people I'm with on recipes is later if that person is no longer around . . .. Oh, well, maybe it will mean happy memories . . . .

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 10, 2012:

When I saw Tilapia in the hub title I just couldn't resist. I love that fish. Taaassstttyyyy!

Nice recipe, only I don't like permesan because if it's overwhelming taste, so I'm thinking to replace that with mozzeralla instead. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

Karen Silverman on November 10, 2012:

i've never tried tilapia, Victoria - does it taste like fish - or chicken...LOL..

What a great idea to mark dates, people, and comments on your recipe cards!

Im hoping it's never too late to start..

this LOOKS delicious...

i like a milder fish like cod, pickerel, salmon..

now..i will try tilapia considering it shan't break me!

Thanks for this idea - i'm also passing it onto my daughter - the chef!

I think they need a 'Delicious' button, eh?


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on April 15, 2012:

Peggy--Your comment made me hungry for tilapia. I made a quick piece on the stove with some lemon, pepper, garlic, and other seasonings. Tilapia really is a mild, tasty, easy fish to eat and cook. Thanks for the comment!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2012:

We love eating fish of all kinds and you are right in that tilapia is a good mild flavored fish and not too expensive for those people who are unfamilar with different types of fish. Your recipe sounds good! Will have to give it a try sometime. Usually we just use a little browned butter or lemon juice over lightly floured and sauteed tilapia. Voted up and useful. Thanks!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 22, 2012:

eatforcheaper--You should try it! Tilapia isn't too expensive, so that's right up your alley!

eatforcheaper from London on March 22, 2012:

Hey Victoria another great hub! I've heard a lot about tilapia but I've never tried it and as you know I like to save money on food! Thanks :)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 22, 2012:

prasetio, I'm sure the recipe will be good with any fish. Hope your mom tries it! Thanks for reading and all the votes!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 22, 2012:

I am glad you put the fish into this recipe. It looks delicious. I can't wait to show this hub to my mom. Maybe she'll use another fish. I wish the result still yummy. Thank you very much. Good job, my friend. Rated up (useful. awesome, interesting)


Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 21, 2012:

Sunshine, lemon pepper is great. Hey, you got a new profile pic. Very nice! So is "catch of the day." :-)

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 21, 2012:

You bet, teaches! You won't be disappointed!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 21, 2012:

Go for it, MarieAlice!

Hyphenbird--Hope you like it. I love it!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 21, 2012:

Tilapia is delish!! I use lemon pepper seasoning. This hub is my "catch of the day!"

Dianna Mendez on March 21, 2012:

Fish is a favorite of mine any day of the week. Your recipe looks absolutely delicious. I agree that is is easy to prepare and hard to mess up. Thanks for the recipe idea.

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on March 21, 2012:

Your Hub inspired dinner at our home tonight. Thanks for a great recipe.

Maria Alicia Cardenas from Spain on March 21, 2012:

delicious...thanks for the recipe I will try it with other fish since I don´t have tilapia here!!!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 21, 2012:

It is, Laura! Thanks for checking it out!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 21, 2012:

It IS delicious, random! You and your husband should try it!

LauraGT from MA on March 21, 2012:

Looks good and easy. Thanks for sharing!

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 21, 2012:

My husband and I love tilapia. I have never made it with a sauce like this, but it sounds delicious!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 20, 2012:

John, it's really a tasty way to fix tilapia. Hope you like it. Thanks for the votes!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 20, 2012:

Yes, Cardisa. Use the pre-grated cheese (not shredded). You're right. It tastes different from cheese, and he might not be able to tell in this recipe. Try it and see what he thinks. I would be curious to know how it goes!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 20, 2012:

The topping works great, Marcy! Hope you try it. Thanks for the votes!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 20, 2012:

It's great, RealH! Try it!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on March 20, 2012:

I love Tilapia very much and buy it all of the times. I use simple ingredients though. Will have to try it like this.

Voted useful


Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on March 20, 2012:

What a tasty looking dish. I love fish and am running out of ideas because the man don't like them too fancy. He hates cheese but I could trick him since the taste of the parmesan is different from cheddar especially when cooked. I bet he wouldn't know it's cheese. Will the instant parmesan work...I mean the one in the bottle that's already grated.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 20, 2012:

This sounds delicious - I've had a similar recipe with other types of fish, and it was wonderful. The combination of the onion, seasoning salt and mayonnaise makes a very tasty coating, and it keeps it moist. I've not tried it with tilapia yet, but I plan to do so now that I've read your hub!

Voted up, awesome and useful.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 20, 2012:

I bet everyone will love this! I can't wait to try it - I think I've got almost everything on hand. Thanks - sounds perfect!

Victoria Lynn (author) from Arkansas, USA on March 20, 2012:

Thanks, Susan! I really love it. Very tasty!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 20, 2012:

I've tried tilapia so many different ways as I really enjoy this fish. Will try your recipe soon as it look delicious with the Parmesan.

Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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