Recipe: Easy Baked Tilapia with Cumin and Lime

updated May 1, 2019
Easy Baked Tilapia with Cumin and Lime
A quick and easy dinner recipe for baked tilapia rubbed with cumin and lime and dressed in a bright cilantro and garlic salsa.


Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Want to cook more fish? If you’re not sure yet, baked tilapia is all the convincing you need.

This white fish is rubbed with an aromatic mixture of both lime zest and juice, ground cumin, and olive oil before it’s quickly baked. It seems simple at first, but then healthy spoonfuls of a cilantro- and garlic-packed salsa verde, which is assembled in the food processor or blender while the fish cooks, turn it into an dinner that’s packed with both color and flavor. Serve it alongside roasted sweet potatoes for an even more colorful plate, and you’ve got a meal that’s sure to be a hit.

Is Tilapia Sustainable and OK to Buy?

If you’re looking for guidance on buying tilapia, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide, where you’ll find their recommendations for the best, most sustainable options for buying this fish. The key is to check the source; some are recommended by the guide, while others are to be avoided.

A Quick and Easy Fish Dinner

This is a dinner you’ll feel good about — it’s light and fresh, yet it completely satisfies that grumbling stomach. Plenty of lime in both the rub for the fish and the salsa verde is what keeps the whole dinner bright-tasting. The herby salsa verde that accompanies the fish is one of our favorite salsa recipes on the site and comes together in a matter of seconds in a food processor or blender. We like to keep it fairly chunky for this recipe to give the dish some extra texture, but feel free to blend it to be more smooth if you prefer.

Serve the fish alongside roasted sweet potatoes to give the dish an extra pop of color. The potatoes can be roasted on the same sheet pan as the fish — just pop them into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes first, then carefully add the tilapia fillets to the baking sheet and continue roasting for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Easy Baked Tilapia with Cumin and Lime

A quick and easy dinner recipe for baked tilapia rubbed with cumin and lime and dressed in a bright cilantro and garlic salsa.

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 6

    (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lime

  • Juice of 1 medium lime

  • 1 cup

    salsa verde, blended until chunky or smooth, depending on your preference


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the fish in a single layer on it.

  2. Combine the olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, lime zest, and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the fish and use your hands to rub it so that it evenly coats the fillets.

  3. Bake until the fish easily flakes with a fork and is just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately, spooning the salsa verde evenly over each fillet.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Salsa verde: We like this salsa verde for this recipe.