The Sauce Series: Episode 5—Baked Tilapia with Peppered Lemon Butter Sauce and Capers

Tilapia is a pretty mild fish compared to most alternatives, which is why I enjoy cooking it so much. Not having any strong, standout flavors really opens up a world of opportunity in terms of what seasonings, sauces, or marinades I can use. Tonight, I’m preparing one of my personal favorite sauces for white fish: Peppered Lemon Butter Sauce.

By the name alone you may be able to gather that this dish completely destroys the fact that Tilapia is very low in fat and calories…but I like to assume that people out there are like me and understand that sometimes healthy things need to be “unhealthified” by delicious sauces. Why do you think they invented gravy? Case in point.

But let’s not dwell too long on defacing healthy food. It’s time to cook!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tilapia filet(s)
  • Shallots
  • Capers
  • Lemon
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

(Make sure to rinse the tilapia in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel before you begin)

Start off by putting the tilapia in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.

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Cover and bake for 15 minutes.

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While the fish is in the oven, start working on the sauce.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add finely chopped shallots.

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Sauté the shallots until tender.

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Turn the heat to low and add the rest of the stick of butter.

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Note: The sauce will hold like this until you are ready to finish it. Wait for the last 10 minutes of oven time for the fish before you complete the sauce. That way they should be done around the same time.

After 15 minutes is up, take the fish out of the oven and (carefully) uncover. Drain the excess liquid from the baking dish and put back in the oven (uncovered) for another 10 minutes.

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To finish the sauce, add the juice from half of a lemon and season with salt and pepper.

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Then use a whisk to incorporate the flour into the butter. Add just a little bit at a time until the sauce begins to thicken.

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Note: Make sure you don’t put in too much flour. It can quickly turn into a batter if you’re not careful (I’ve learned the hard way).

Once out of the oven, plate the tilapia with sauce and capers over the top.


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So, as you can see, it’s not the healthiest fish dish you’re ever going to make, but I can assure you that the flavor is truly delectable. If you’re really bent out of shape about it, the difference between a healthy version and not healthy version of this meal is simple. Just kick the sauce and throw some salt and pepper on the fish before you put it in the oven. When it’s done cooking, squeeze some lemon juice over the top and BAM! You got healthy.

Either way, I would highly recommend serving it with some grilled (or roasted) asparagus and wild rice.

Until next time, take care.


P.S. That Guy In The Apron would like to thank and welcome the new followers! Hope you all enjoy the blog. 

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