Grilled Tilapia in Foil

This foolproof method for Grilled Tilapia uses a foil packet to create perfectly flaky, flavorful fish fillets every time. Paired with vegetables and a lemon butter sauce, this is an easy dinner you’ll come back to over and over again.

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes? Try my Skillet Tilapia with White Wine Sauce, Honey Soy Salmon, or Spicy Tuna Sushi Bowls!

Grill Tilapia in Foil for an Easy 30 Minute Meal

Dark gray plate with grilled tilapia fillet and summer veggies and lemon slice on the side.

Summer is my absolutely favorite season to cook. All my favorite veggies are in season (HELLO, tomatoes, asparagus, and zucchini, I’ve missed you!), and grilling makes for fast and easy dinners with minimal clean up.

Grilling in foil packets is one of the best ways to make clean up even easier. I use this method to cook Hobo Dinner Hamburgers, Foil Packet Shrimp and Zucchini, and even BBQ Banana S’mores.

Cooking fish in foil packets was an absolute game changer for me. I was frustrated by overcooked, dry salmon for years until I tried this technique. Now this Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa is one of our favorite meals.

Another favorite? This Foil Packet Tilapia with Vegetables. This One Packet Wonder™ fits an entire meal into one neat little package. Cooking in foil steams the fish, keeping it super flaky and moist. And best of all? The recipe creates its own incredible lemon butter sauce. You’ll want to lick your plate (or foil!) clean.

This dish is endlessly adaptable based on what you have on hand, and works for a variety of diets, including gluten free and dairy free. Great for dinner parties or just a quick weeknight meal, this is one you’ll return to over and over again!

Ingredients in Grilled Tilapia with Summer Vegetables

Foil packet loaded with uncooked tilapia fillet, sliced summer vegetables, slivers of butter, and lemon slices.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Foil- You can use one sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil or two sheets of standard foil, stacked on top of each other.
  • Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • Sliced vegetables- I use asparagus, zucchini, and summer squash
  • Seasonings- I like to keep things simple with Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill
  • Lemon slices
  • Butter
  • Capers- Capers aren’t for everyone, but I love the briny bite they add, especially to lemony dishes like this one or my Panko Crusted Chicken Piccata.

How to Make Fish in Foil on the Grill

This method really could not be easier, and it works with any fish, veggie, and seasoning combos of your choice.

  1. Start by spreading out a long sheet of foil. Spray it with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. 
  2. Place the fish fillet longways on top, then sprinkle with the seasonings of your choice. Top with a few slivers of butter and two lemon slices. Add sliced and seasoned veggies on the side along with a few more slivers of butter.
  3. Bring the long edges of the foil together and roll down to seal. Then bring the short sides up and roll them together to seal. Your packets are ready to go!

Note: In the instructions I have used specific measurements of the seasonings, but this is a recipe that’s pretty easy to eye ball! Sprinkle the veggies and fish generously on both sides with salt, pepper, and the seasonings of your choice, and you’ll be good to go!

Rolled up and sealed foil packet ready to go on the grill.

How Long to Grill Tilapia in Foil

Preheat the grill to high heat (around 500 degrees). The packets can be placed directly on the grill. Grill for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

How to Bake Fish in a Foil Packet in the Oven

Don’t have a grill? No worries! You can still enjoy this no-mess technique. Just preheat your oven to 450 degrees, place the packets on a baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Tilapia fillet topped with lemon slices and surrounded by sliced squash and asparagus in a foil packet.

How to Tell if Tilapia is Cooked Through

  1. Check the color. Cooked tilapia should be white in color and opaque.
  2. Gently stab it with a fork. Cooked fish should flake easily when prodded with the tines of a fork.
Gold fork flaking off a piece of grilled tilapia on a plate.

Substitutions and Variations

  • You can grill almost any kind of fish in a foil packet. Try this recipe with cod, haddock, or salmon.
  • You can use frozen fish fillets if you prefer. The sauce is not quite as good and a tad waterier, but it works if you’re in a hurry! Just add a few minutes to the cooking time.
  • Feel free to substitute the squash and asparagus for your favorite veggies. For the best results, stick with varieties that are quick cooking. Bell peppers, thin sliced shallots, and cherry tomatoes all work well.
  • If you’d like to make this dairy free, omit the butter, and toss the veggies and fish with olive oil instead.
  • Fresh herbs, like dill and thyme, can be substituted for the dried herbs. You can also use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder if you prefer.
Seasoned tilapia fillet otpped with capers on a plate with sliced squash and asparagus.

What to Serve with Grilled Fish

Adding veggies to your foil packet fish gives you a built-in side dish, but if you’d like to add something heartier, try pairing this with a pasta side like Parmesan Lemon Linguine, Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad, or Greek Pasta Salad with Feta.

It would also pair well with these Air Fryer Potatoes or a Creamy Caesar Salad with homemade Air Fryer Croutons.

Grilled Tilapia topped with dried dill and capers on a palte with summer vegetables and lemon.
Grilled tilapia on a plate with sliced squash, zucchini, and asparagus.

Foil Packet Grilled Tilapia with Veggies

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Tilapia is cooked in a foil packet on the grill with summer vegetables, butter, and lemon for a super fast, flavorful, and healthy summer meal!

Ingredients

  • 4 (4-6 oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • ½ lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 large lemon or 2 smaller lemons, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons capers
  • Cooking spray
  • Foil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to high (between 450-500 degrees)
  2. For each packet, you will need 2 large (about 20 inches long) sheets of foil, or just 1 sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  3. Create four packet making stations with the foil, then spray each with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
  4. Mix together seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dill) in a bowl. Layer each foil packet with one tilapia fillet and 1/4 of the veggies. Sprinkle evenly with the seasoning mixture, turning the fish over to coat both sides.
  5. Place several slivers of butter on top of each packet, a few on both the fish and the veggies. Put two slices of lemon on top of the fish, then toss the capers over everything.
  6. Fold the long sides of the foil in towards the center and roll over to seal, then roll up the short edges.
  7. Place on the preheated grill, cover, and cook for 10-12 minutes. If the fillets were frozen, add a few minutes to the cooking time.
  8. To serve, carefully remove the fish from the grill and peel back the foil layer. Fish are done when they are white (not translucent) and flake easily with a fork. Serve in the foil packet or on plates with the sauce from the bottom of the packet.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 packet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 523mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2.5gProtein: 24g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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25 Comments

  1. Love love love this dish! We’ve added it to our regular dinner rotation. So delicious and so easy to make. Not to mention you can clean everything up in the amount of time the fish sits on the grill. For garlic lovers like me, I like to toss in a few cloves of crushed garlic with the veggies for added flavor. Thanks for this recipe!

  2. Yummy! I am just starting to eat fish and definitely prefer a lighter white fish right now.

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