Tilapia actually refers to several types of fish. This fish is full of flavor and great in all types of cooking, including on the barbecue. Here are several easy BBQ tilapia recipes - these are simple preparations that take only minutes, but turn out wonderfully tasty grilled fish... perfect for a light summer meal.
To prepare the fish, simply rinse under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into serving-sized portions, if desired. Marinades should be left on no more than about 15 minutes (many types of fish will start to break down and turn into mush after that). You can BBQ tilapia directly on the grill, or wrap it in foil. You don't need to turn it. Fish is done when the flesh turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork (watch carefully - fish usually takes only a few minutes to grill over medium-high, depending on the thickness of the fish).
Basic foiled-wrapped tilapia:
Place one fish portion on a piece of foil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a little lemon juice and top with a small pat of butter. Seal the foil packets and place on the grill.
Lemon dill tilapia:
Lightly drizzle olive oil over the fish. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and lemon pepper, then with finely chopped fresh garlic. Sprinkle with dill. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish, and let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Orange ginger tilapia:
This marinade makes enough for about 2 lbs of tilapia. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice and the zest from the orange. Stir in 3 tbsp of finely chopped fresh ginger (use half of that, if using ground ginger) and 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro. Season fish to taste with sea salt and pepper, then marinate fish for about 15 minutes.
White wine grilled tilapia:
This marinade makes enough for about 2 lbs of tilapia. Combine 2 tbsp olive oil with the juice and zest of one lemon. Add 2 tbsp white wine, 1 tbsp finely-chopped fresh garlic, and 2 tbsp of finely-chopped white onion. Add 2 tbsp fresh parsley (or use 2.5 tsp dried parsley, if you don't have fresh) and 3 tbsp chopped scallions. Place tilapia on foil and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste. Evenly pour the marinade on top and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. If you have another lemon, slice it and place on top of the fish before sealing up the foil packet(s). If you want extra color, you can add a couple of tablespoons of finely-chopped red and green bell peppers to the top of the fish.
This marinade makes enough for about 2 lbs of tilapia. Combine 1/3 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup lime juice and the zest of 2 to 3 limes. Stir in 2 tbsp of finely-chopped fresh basil (use half that amount if using dried basil). Season fish to taste with sea salt and pepper. Pour marinade over fish and let marinate for 15 minutes.
These BBQ tilapia recipes are all fast and easy, and there are countless variations too! Wonderful served with a fresh, crisp garden salad and a baked potato (learn how to bake a potato in the BBQ)... or pair it up with some fresh grilled veggies and a side of wild rice. Fresh fish is has a delicious flavor all on its own - a simple marinade or seasonings is usually enough to bring out and complement the natural flavor of the fish. Check out our other BBQ seafood recipes too.