Tilapia Piccata

Tilapia Piccata - Featured Image

Tilapia Piccata. “Piccata”, that’s such a fun word to say. Give it a little accent at the “tah”. Like Hakunama Tata ♥ Anyone go see The Lion King yet? SO JELLY! I have to go and relive the tramatic experience that was mufasas death. Okay, back to food Sharon, back on track. 

This Tilapia Piccata is all you could want. It’s light, buttery, quick, and surrounded by yummy capers. Definitely weeknight meal material. Oh! Did I mention its KETO? Totally winning with this one! *high five

Lime Butter Caper Sauce

Let’s get saucy. It’s all about the sauce. What better to go over a lightly seasoned tilapia than lots of butter with tons of capers. This sauce is done in under 10 minutes, making it one of the easiest sauces ever. It’s so simple it can be cooked in under 15 minutes, making it one of the most simple sauces ever, clearly. You can also cook it and the tilapia fillets simultaneously if you’d like. 

What will you need? 

  • Butter
  • Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Lime (for the juice) and its zest
  • Red Chile Flakes
  • Parsley
  • Capers

This Lime Butter Caper Sauce can be created in a sauce pot but I like using my little 8-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. You don’t need to cover the sauce and you will use it almost immediately, so a pot with a lid isn’t entirely necessary. 

  • Melt the butter in a pot or skillet over medium heat. 
  • Add minced garlic, red chile flakes, lime juice, lime zest and capers. Raise to a simmer for 1-2 minutes to combine the flavors. Gently mix the sauce around and lower to low heat. 
  • Once on low, stir in the fresh parsley. 
  • Serve immediately or keep over low heat until the tilapia finishes cooking. 

Yield Notes: I like tons of sauce over my tilapia and I even drizzle a little bit over my rice. In reality, this is probably enough sauce for up to 4 fish fillets (depending on size and preference)

Stove Top Tilapia Fillets

There isn’t much to the tilapia. It’s lightly seasoning with sea salt and finely ground black pepper. Don’t forget to pat dry your fish with paper towels before seasoning. I like working in a dry surface because it allows the seasoning to penetrate the skin rather then staying on top of the skin where it could easily wipe off. There is some logic to that, right? I think so! 

  • Heat a saute pan with canola oil over medium-high heat
  • Add the seasoning tilapia and cook until the edges appear crispy and the sides, and outer edges are turning white (you can sneak a peak under the fillet with a spatula to make sure it is not burning and ensure you are getting that golden appearance)
  • Flip over and cook until second side is golden or the fish reaches 145F internal temperature 

Note: Owning a digital thermometer has been a life saver when I want to ensure my proteins are properly cooked. 

*Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the tilapia. When it reads 145F or higher, the dish is done and safe to consume. Be careful, you also don’t want to over cook the fish either or it will turn a dark brown grey color that does not look appealing (guilty of this madness). I find it best to cook fish right before you intend to eat it. You will get it, it doesn’t take long, but also depends on the thickness of the fish. If you are worried about under cooking or cover cooking, go strictly off internal temperature rather than appearance. 

  • Pour in the Lime Butter Caper Sauce over the top of the cooked tilapia fillets – let it sit on and around the fish for about 1 minute and serve immediately 
Tilapia Piccata - Plated with Rice

Serve with garlic rice or noodles, or keep it extra light and add a vegetable, like broccolini, brussel sprouts or summer squash.

My go-to? Garlic Rice, any day, all day, every day ♥

Yum! Tilapia Piccata ready to enjoy!

Tilapia Piccata - End Result

You can’t NOT make this delicious Tilapia Piccata. And when you do, because I HOPE you will, show me! 

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Tilapia Piccata

Enjoy this light keto Tilapia Piccata in under 20 minutes. The butter, the capers, the magical flavors! You'll want to eat it any day of the week!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Seafood
Keyword: capers, fish, seafood, Tilapia
Servings: 2 people
Author: Sharon Guerrero-Perez

Ingredients

Lime Butter Caper Sauce

  • 6 tbsp Butter (unsalted)
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Lime Zest
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chile Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Capers (drained, washed and pat dried)
  • 2 tbsp Parsley (fresh, rough chopped)

Stop Top Tilapia

  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 8 oz Tilapia Fillets (4 oz/fillets)

Instructions

Lime Butter Caper Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a small sauce pot or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic, lime juice, lime zest, red chile flakes and capers. Raise to a simmer and gently mix all the ingredients together.
  • Stir in the fresh parsley.
  • Use immediately or lower the heat to low and keep warm until ready to use. (Try not to make too far in advance)

Stove Top Tilapia

  • Heat the canola oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Pat the tilapia fillets dry with paper towels. Lightly season with the sea salt and black pepper (pat into the skin with your fingers).
  • Add the seasoned fish to the hot saute pan. Cook until golden and the edges appear crispy. Flip and cook until the other side is golden and internal temperature reaches 145F.

Tilapia Piccata

  • Pour the Lime Butter Caper Sauce over the stove top tilapia and allow it to bubble around the fish for about a minute.
  • Devour time!

Notes

  • The tilapia and Lime Butter Caper Sauce can be cooked simultaneously, but for the sake of the recipe, I will cook the sauce first and the tilapia after 
  • I like tons of sauce over my tilapia and I even drizzle a little bit over my rice. In reality, this is probably enough sauce for up to 4 fish fillets (depending on size and preference)
  • Use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the tilapia is at least 145F.
    • Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the tilapia. When it reads 145F or higher, the dish is done and safe to consume. Be careful, you also don't want to over cook the fish either or it will turn a dark brown grey color that does not look appealing (guilty of this madness). I find it best to cook fish right before you intend to eat it. You will get it, it doesn't take long, but also depends on the thickness of the fish. If you are worried about under cooking or cover cooking, go strictly off internal temperature rather than appearance. 

We are seafood lovers in this house. If you are too, check out my Cajun Baked Tilapia Tacos – uber delicious! and perfect for Taco Tuesday! ♥

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