Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia

All you need is 2 ingredients, a little salt and pepper and 20 minutes to have this pesto tilapia on your dinner table!

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

I’ve taught a couple of classes to my church group on quick weeknight meals over the past few years. Slow-cooker and freezer meals somehow always make it into my class, but those take planning and preparation before hand. If you’re like me, you don’t have the motivation/freezer space to make 30 gagillion freezer meals and be set for the month. I know some people do it and LOVE it and there are all sorts of amazing blogs that tell you how, but I just haven’t found my way onto that train yet. So when I teach a class like this I like to focus on foods that take very little preparation and cook time and quickly take on different flavors. Fish is one of these foods.

Tilapia is a relatively inexpensive, firm white fish. It’s flavor is super mild so even if you don’t think you’re a fish person, you might give this one a go.  I most often buy my fillets frozen from Costco where they come individually vacuum sealed so all I have to do is throw however many I need to cook for the night in the sink with some warm water and within 15 minutes they are thawed and ready to go.

To start this pesto tilapia all I do is place the thawed fillets in a baking dish and season them with salt and pepper.

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

The pesto I use, is again, from Costco (I promise this isn’t sponsored) and it’s one my favorite things to get there. This big jar is right around $8 and gives us at least 5 different meals each time I buy it.

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

Spread 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of the pesto on top of each seasoned fillet. It’s okay if you don’t completely cover the sides because as it bakes it will move down and all will be well.

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

From here it’s just a quick bake in the oven– 10-15 minutes depending on how big your fillets are. The fish is done when you twist a fork in the thickest part and it flakes easily. Also, the flesh will be opaque when cooked through.

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

It’s super flavorful, great served with rice or pasta and is done in 30 minutes!

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com

Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia

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  • 4 tilapia fillets or other firm white fish
  • 1/4-1/3 C prepared pesto (I like Costco brand best)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Place fillets in a greased 9x13" baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1-1½ Tbsp of pesto over each fillet
  4. Bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque.


Oven Baked Pesto Tilapia | heatherlikesfood.com
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Fast, easy, yummy! I make my own pesto using cilantro instead of basil. Next time I think I’ll throw some panko on top! Thanks for the good idea Heather.

This was such an easy recipe, and it tasted great! I might even add a little more pesto and pepper next time. Normally I’m not really a fish fan, and even tilapia can be a bit much for me, but this recipe did an excellent job making the fish flavor more subtle. Great texture, too.