Honey Lime Tilapia (df)

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

  • 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

Keywords: tilapia, honey lime, honey lime tilapia,

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. This was DELICIOUS!! We had to make ours gluten free so we just used better batter flour for the coating. It was so good that even the kids had seconds. Thanks for a great recipe! Quick, Easy and Tasty!

  2. Hi Emily, I found this recipe on Pinterest and was curious if you could replace the lime juice/zest with lemon? Another question was whenever I cook fish like this the breading usually falls off even if i don’t touch the fish while it’s cooking.

  3. I have never made Tilapia before. this was so delicious! great recipe! will add it to my favorites list !

  4. Gotta tell you …this fish and peach salsa was AMAZING – a total hit with everyone in our family. In fact, I’m going to make another recipe of the marinade and get some more tilapia ready for another meal. Love the idea of freezing the fish in the marinade and pulling it out for a quick dinner (of course, you have to remember to defrost it). LOL.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. I made this about a month ago and it was sooo delicious. It’s marinating in the fridge as we speak for dinner tonight.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful, delicious and simple recipe!

  6. This marinade sounds delish, however, my husband is deathly allergic to all seafood. Would this work, as written, with boneless chicken breasts?

    1. Marnie – Sorry to hear that! The marinade and coating DO work on chicken. You will have to cook the chicken longer than you would fish, adding a few minutes to the cook time for each side. Hope that helps!

  7. I left my tilapia marinate over night and had it for lunch and it was absolutely amazing! This recipe is gold!

  8. I made this for supper tonight and my 5 and 6 year old girls loved it. Not to mention my man. He suggested that I make this way all the time. The girls love tilapia but we were getting burned out cooking it the same way all the time. Now I have another awesome recipe to break it up. Thank you so much.

  9. Made this for dinner last night for myself, my husband and adult son (who seems to always drop by at dinner time!). Served it with Aglio e Olio as I couldn’t find peaches and we all absolutely loved it! I will surely make again and again! I’m a “seasoned” cook at 68 years old and humbly thank you for “teaching” me some new tricks!!!

  10. I tried it without flour, used both lemon, and orange juice, and it was a HIT! SO GOOD!! I served it with Farro “risotto.” Perfect dinner date. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  11. I just made this for my husband tonight and he absolutely loves it ! He moaned all through dinner. I will definitely be keeping this recipe.

    ps, I tried to rate it a ” 5 ” star but it wouldn’t let me rate at all, but know that i am rating it as high as possible !

    1. Looks like no. Maybe consider adding that to your little blog. Also you should really list the most recent comments first. I have no interest in 6 year old comments.

      1. I mean I have to scroll all the way down to accurately track my comment that was made in the last hour….

    2. Amber – Thanks for all of your comments on “my little blog.”

      Nope! You didn’t miss anything. Nutrition software and plug-ins aren’t in my budget. In the meantime, I use MyFitnessPal (the app or the site) for a great free resource that lets you import recipes from the web.

      Also, thanks for the suggestion about the comments. It usually works best in situations like this for the oldest comments to be first, since *most* of the time, questions have been asked before and the reader can answer their own question from the comments section. I’m sorry that wasn’t the case for you this time and that it required more scrolling. Hope you have a great day!

  12. This recipe is awesome. Ive useed it for both talapia and flounder with great results. Ive also marinated for 24 hrs and 8 hours. Just as good either way.

    Thanks for sharing!

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