Honey Lime Tilapia (df)

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Honey Lime Tilapia – Crispy pan-fried tilapia with a sweet honey lime marinade. This tasty recipe is good enough to convert any fish hater!

Honey Lime Tilapia // One Lovely Life Michael and I talk all the time about how being married and eating together has changed the foods we eat.

For instance, I didn’t eat much in the way of potatoes, hardly ever bought red meat, and had NEVER cooked steak of any kind before we were married. Now, potatoes find their way into our menu once every week or two and one of my favorite meals we’ve discovered together is a sort of steak stir-fry.

Michael, on the other hand, never really ever ate fish. Not that he didn’t like fish, he just never really ate it. Now, he really likes tilapia and shrimp (he can’t get enough of our cajun fish sandwiches and shrimp po’boys).

Because I love fish so much, and I’m always looking to expand our seafood recipe repertoire, I hunted down this REALLY easy method for cooking tilapia. After eating this for dinner, Michael said it was the best fish he’d ever eaten. Woo hoo!

Honey Lime Tilapia // One Lovely Life

Now, I know it looks like fried fish. It isn’t. In fact, all the ingredients required for this dish are pretty healthy and straightforward. I even used whole wheat pastry flour for dredging the fish! Also, I found that it was a great balance of flavor and not too sweet. I loved the combination of lime and honey.

One of the beauties of fish is that it cooks very quickly. With only a little bit of preparation beforehand, this meal comes together in about 10 minutes. Seriously. You did read that right. 10 minutos, dear reader.

I tried an experiment with the recipe, which originally called for marinating the fish about an hour ahead of time. I wondered if it would work to marinate it longer than that, so we cooked half the fish one night after about an hour of marinating time, and waited 24 hours to cook up the rest for dinner the next night. I couldn’t tell any difference in texture, and the flavor was, if anything, better.

Because of that, you could easily mix up the marinade, pour it in a zip-top bag with the fish fillets and keep it in your freezer until you’re ready to eat it. You just pull it out of the freezer, pop it into the refrigerator for the day, and by dinner time, all you have to do is dredge it and cook it up. Easy-peasy!

As for what to serve it with, we tried it with a simple squeeze of lime juice, and it was delicious. Or, you could certainly serve it with some peach salsa. I loved it!

Honey Lime Tilapia // One Lovely Life

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Honey Lime Tilapia

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4.9 from 51 reviews

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x



For the fish and marinade:

  • 4 (4-5oz) tilapia fillets (thawed if frozen)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

For dredging and cooking:

  • 1/2c flour (I tried both white flour and whole wheat pastry flour with good results)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 12 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Assemble marinade by combining lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a gallon-sized zip-top bag or shallow container with a lid. Add fish and marinate in the refrigerator anywhere from 1 hour up to 24 hours*.
  2. When ready to cook, combine flour with salt and pepper on a plate. Remove each fish fillet from the marinade and dredge lightly with the flour on both sides (just a light, light coating).
  3. Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook fillets 2 at a time for 3-4 minutes per side or until opaque and browned (this works best if you don’t disturb the fish much while letting it cook).
  4. Serve with lime wedges or peach salsa.


*If you want to plan this meal in advance, you can prepare the fish and marinade in a large freezer bag and keep it in the freezer. Move frozen fish and marinade to the refrigerator the morning you plan to serve the fish and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. It will marinate while it thaws!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main dish, seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

This Honey Lime Tilapia is so good it converts kids and fish haters alike. It's our favorite!


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  1. Tilapia used to be my favorite fish, but divorced it for salmon 🙁 Lately I haven’t been liking Tilapia too much, so I am super stoked to try out this recipe. I’m going to emit the flour part, but I plan on marinating the suckers for a long time 😉 Thank you!!

  2. Delicious! I’m making it again for the second time in two weeks! We like to serve it with spaghetti squash (we put a little butter and brown sugar in the spaghetti squash). A very healthy and low carb meal. Thanks!

  3. Thank you. The recipe is pretty basic with nice flavor. A do over for sure. I added more lime zest and used 1/2 and 1/2 butter and oil to fry. Served with an Asian type salad and dinner was a hit.

  4. I’ve made this recipe 3 times, once with just the marinade and twice with the flour coating. Usually serve it on a bed of quinoa. YUM! Thank you for sharing this!

  5. Would I get the same results if I baked it? Should I omit the flour if I do? Recipe sounds great but I don’t have a non stick pan to use and I’m afraid it will stick to my skillet (cast iron). Thanks.

    1. Stephanie – I don’t think the results would be the same if you baked it, as far as the crispy coating is concerned. You could probably get delicious results from the marinade, but I wouldn’t attempt the flour coating if you don’t plan on cooking it in your pan on the stovetop. Love to know how it turns out!

  6. Thanks for the great recipe! I’m assuming I could throw them in the oven with the same result..?

  7. Very yummy! Thank you for an amazing tilapia recipe. Made it without the flour (no wheat or dairy here) dredging in a hot cast iron skillet with a little olive oil.

  8. I just marinated everything and am going to let it sit in the fridge for about two hours.
    Can’t wait to cook and serve and EAT tonight 🙂
    thank you

  9. Made this for dinner tonight and I am so happy I did. My fiance and I are not big fish eaters but this we both absolutely loved! Thank you for posting it!

  10. This recipe was in my “to try” folder for ages. I finally made it this past weekend – marvelous!!
    Easy and quick to prepare, too. Thanks for another winner!

  11. I made this for me any by hubby, and we both absolutely loved it! I added mango salsa on top for a little kick, and it was the perfect pairing. Thanks for this amazing recipe!

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