Baked Citrus Tilapia


Here is our second tilapia recipe. Our first was Jerk Tilapia. Jerk is a popular method of seasoning in Jamaica and other nearby islands, and is wonderful although it requires quite a few spices.

Although spices are great for bodybuilders and others as they add flavor with essentially zero calories, this recipe uses fewer ingredients.

Tilapia is a sustainably farmed fish that is high in protein, low in carbs and fat, and widely available. It is a mild flavored fish so it is great for flavored recipes like this Baked Citrus Tilapia, based on a recipe in Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking.

It’s simple, fast, and easy, using fewer ingredients than Jerk Tilapia.

First the ingredients (I often double the recipe):

  • 1 pound Tilapia fillets
  • ¼ cup lime or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (I like seasalt)
  • A few shakes of black pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons of lemon or lime zest (see below)
  • Optional: hot sauce of your choice or a hot chili or jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced into thin pieces.

Tilapia, Ready to Cook, looking very red due to blood red orange juice (it’s what I had handy!)

First make the marinade. It’s pretty simple.

Combine the lemon or lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and the lemon or lime zest.

Zest is simply the grated outside of a citrus fruit: lemon or lime in this case. About one lemon or lime worth is perfect – use a grater and just grate off the very exterior  (a microplane grater, if you have one, makes this super fast but any grater will work).

If this is too complicated (or you do not have a lemon or lime), it’ll taste a little different but fine without zest.

Freshly squeezed juices are best, but bottled are absolutely fine. I use whatever I have on hand. In the pictures, I actually used a blood red orange because I happened to have one.

Optionally, if you want it hot, add hot sauce or hot peppers as described above in the ingredients.

Add the tilapia to the marinade and make sure it gets all over the fillets. Put the tilapia and the marinade in a baking pan. If you want to cut down on things to wash, you can even mix the marinade in the baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Once it is preheated, place the tilapia inside.

It’ll take about 12 minutes to cook. It is obvious when it is done as the fish will flake easily with a fork and be opaque.

Nutritionally, an entire pound of tilapia cooked this way has only 800 calories, 130 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, and 28 grams of fat. That is for an entire pound!

I’ve slightly modified the recipe, but thanks to Dave for the inspiration!


5 Responses to “Baked Citrus Tilapia”

  1. Fletch

    Mar 17. 2014

    Wow is this an easy and fast recipe!

    I used inexpensive frozen tilapia I buy from Costco, only lemon juice as that is all I had, and no zest as I didn’t have any whole lemons or limes to zest, and it came out fantastic.

    I really like tilapia as it is high protein while low everything else including calories, but it can become boring.

    This seemingly “can’t mess up” recipe adds a lot of flavor to tilapia, and I like the Jerk Tipalia you posted too.

    Your recipes have all been WINNERS so far! Are they all from The Anabolic Cookbook?

    Reply to this comment
    • Ted Baldwin

      Mar 17. 2014

      Thanks Fletch.
      Most of these recipes are from Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking (see writeup here: but not all.

      I’ll be posting some new recipes before long – just got to write them up. Already have some great pictures etc.

      If you do not have Dave’s Anabolic Cooking and you like these recipes it is an absolute must have! You will LOVE IT!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Frushcinda

    Jul 08. 2014

    I sort of hate Tilapia, but my boyfriend loves it – this is one recipe I enjoy and make for him every once in a while.

    I think tilapia is boring, but this makes it reasonably tasty.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ted Baldwin

      Jul 08. 2014


      Tilapia is not a highly flavored fish – it has a mellow white fish taste so I guess you could call it boring 🙂

      It’s strength is that it takes flavors and spices well – try the Jamaican Jerk Tilapia recipe on this site too if you haven’t yet

      Reply to this comment
  3. Andrea

    Nov 17. 2014

    This has become a regular in our house – two semi-serious bodybuilders. We buy Tilapia in frozen filets in big bags at Costco and love this recipe!

    Reply to this comment

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