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Baked Tilapia with Garlic-Herb Brown Butter

Despite the fact that I grew up in Boston, the home of lots + lots of great seafood, I’ve never been a huge seafood fan. In fact, until this past February, I had never cooked fish AT ALL. That’s right, not a single time. My husband is a huge seafood lover, so I set myself a little goal – to learn to cook + enjoy fish. We’ve had some ups + downs in my foray into fish-cooking. There was a blackened tilapia, which was really good. But there was a ginger-soy tilapia that was really bad. And then there was this, my favorite of all the fish recipes so far – Baked Fish with Garlic-Herb Brown Butter.

Y’all, this is SO delicious. For the past month, I’ve made this every Friday evening for my husband + I, as it feels fancy enough to be a celebratory Friday night dinner, but is still quick + simple after a busy day + week. The fish is buttery, fork-tender + packed with tons of amazing bright flavor. I use very mild white fish like swai or tilapia, and the light sweetness of the fish pairs beautifully with the robust sauce. So, if you’re looking for a new, simple seafood recipe, give this a try!

Baked Fish With Garlic-Herb Brown Butter

serves 2-4, adapted from About.com/Southern Food


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 swai or tilapia fillets, about 4 ounces each (or substitute any mild, white, flaky fish)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).

In small frying pan over medium heat, combine the butter, garlic, salt, paprika, lemon pepper, + Old Bay seasoning. Cook until butter begins to brown slightly, garlic turns golden, + seasonings are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Brush a little of the herb-butter mixture in the bottom of the aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, then place fish fillets on the buttered area. Brush top of each fillet with an equal portion of the butter mixture. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until fish is opaque, cooked through, and flakes easily with a fork.