Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce

This tilapia with lemon caper sauce is so good. It’s healthy, amazingly easy and light and flavorful. You’ve got to give this one skillet meal a try!

This dinner is as fancy as it is easy.

Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

And I just can’t get over how light, fresh and filling it is too. And believe me filling is not usually what I think of when I think of eating fish for dinner, but between the fresh tilapia, the super flavorful quinoa underneath and grilled asparagus. It was like somebody served me dinner at a fancy restaurant… only that I was both the chef and patron. Oh and the bus boy annnnnd the dish washer. Ummm yeah…


I’m excited about this recipe two fold. I get to share with you yet another one of STAR’s new olive oils, the Hojiblanca. How do ya like that rolling off the tongue? This extra virgin olive oil is the first press from the hojiblanca olives and totally unblended and pairs perfectly with fish or poultry. It’s light, smooth and adds just the right amount of fruity flavor to pair with this lemony-wine-caper sauce, which let’s face it… it’s all about the sauce!

s & p tilapia

Start by seasoning the tilapia fillets with a little s & p.


Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet.

olive oil

Add in the STAR Hojiblanca olive oil and preheat to medium/medium-high. I always adjust the heat during the pan-frying process so I don’t burn the fish.

fish down and season

Working in batches, lay the tilapia fillets down season-side-first and season the other side with salt and pepper.


Cook for 4 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove and tent with foil before repeating with the remaining fillets.

shallots and garlic

Once the tilapia is cooked and keeping warm under the foil, add the chopped shallots and garlic to the pan.

add the wine

Pour in the wine…

lemon juice

… then squeeze in the lemon juice.

zest capers and fresh parsley

Lemon zest, capers and chopped fresh parsley are next to go in.


Season this glorious sauce with plenty of salt and pepper to taste before bringing it to a simmer to thicken the sauce a tad.

back in the pan

Then I place the fish back into the pan with that wine-tastic sauce and spoon some of it over top before serving.

Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

But this tilapia isss goood. It’s healthy, amazingly easy and light and flavorful. You’ve got to give this one skillet meal a try!

Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

You won’t be sorry!


Enjoy! And if you give this Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 4 servings

Pan Seared Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce

Pan Seared Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce
Healthy fresh flavors for a quick and delicious meal.
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 4 fresh tilapia fillets
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, squeezed through a garlic press
  • 3/4 cup white wine, [like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio]
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • sliced lemon, for serving


  1. Season both sides of the fish with kosher salt and black pepper.
  2. Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of STAR Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  3. Work in batches of two and carefully place the tilapia into the hot pan. Cook the tilapia for 4 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and repeat with the second batch. Keep the tilapia warm by covering loosely with foil.
  4. Add the minced shallots and garlic to the same pan and cook for two to three minutes or until fragrant and soft. Add in the wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil over medium-high heat until it thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the capers, parsley and lemon zest, then taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Place the fish back into the skillet and spoon sauce over top before serving with a few slices of fresh lemon and a light drizzle of olive oil.

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24 Responses to “Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce”

  1. #
    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — August 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

    What a perfect dinner, I love what capers adds to a sauce like this!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 7th, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

      Thank you Cathy! I do too!

  2. #
    Jaclyn — August 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I love tilapia and I make it in a similar fashion, such a yummy healthy meal!

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 7th, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

      I’ve been trying to eat more fish, shrimp etc. for that same reason. However I defeat the purpose by eating my daughters leftovers. Ugh. 🙂

  3. #
    Tieghan Gerard — August 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Mmm! Such an elegant, but easy meal!! It is beautiful and I love that caper sauce!

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 7th, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

      Thanks so much Tieghan!

  4. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — August 7, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Tilapia is definitely a favorite of mine and I love to pair mine with lemon and capers.

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 7th, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

      Great minds… 🙂

  5. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — August 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Love me some easy-fancy (or is it fancy-easy?) recipes! This one is going on the to-make list, for sure!

  6. #
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — August 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Love the easy and quick nature of this recipe and all the fresh flavors!

  7. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — August 7, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    This looks so simple but the flavors are amazing!!

  8. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — August 8, 2013 at 1:14 am

    totally trying this out. Plus, it gives me yet another reason to drink some white wine. 😉

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 8th, 2013 @ 10:30 am

      EXACTLY! Totally a wine-in-hand-sort of situation 🙂

  9. #
    Donna — August 8, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Oh my ….I honestly didn’t think I would EVER proclaim a fish dish as food porn…but …yep…this is IT!…Capers…lemon…garlic…flat-leaf parsley…perfection choice of olive oil ….quality ingredients AND way less “swimming-in-a-stick-of-butter” versions so commonly found here in France.

    Loving your healthy, colorful riff with a vengeance..and it will be on our table within the next two evenings…as soon as I can visit our local fish man!!

    As always…thanks for your ultra-generous sharing. Unabashed, loyal fan of your blog.

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 8th, 2013 @ 10:29 am

      I’ll take it Donna! Thanks! 🙂

  10. #
    danielle — August 9, 2013 at 5:41 am

    the quinoa link isn’t working: is that your rainbow quinoa with pine nuts? our grill is broken (no!!!!), and we are waiting for the after-season Labor Day sales to buy a new one. and I don’t know how to cook in the summer without a grill. so (minus the grilled asparagus) thanks for this!

  11. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — August 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

    So, I made this for dinner tonight & it was delicious! I used a 2010 Beringer Chardonnay which worked perfectly. I also enjoyed a glass while cooking which made for a very enjoyable night. Thanks for a tasty recipe!

  12. #
    Aaron — March 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Made this tonight on a whim as I had all the ingredients. I don’t cook fish very ofter but it was spectacular. Thank you. I dipped the fish in flour first before frying which I would recommend. I also left out the parsley as my wife is not a fan. Thank you for the great work.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — March 11th, 2014 @ 1:24 am

      Thank you! I’m going to have to try your version with the flour 🙂

  13. #
    Kiyomi — September 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Ughhh your website is soo beautiful! Everything looks sooo delicious!!


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