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.
Grill Tilapia in Foil for an Easy 30 Minute Meal
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.
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
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
- 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.
- Start by spreading out a long sheet of foil. Spray it with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
How to Tell if Tilapia is Cooked Through
- Check the color. Cooked tilapia should be white in color and opaque.
- Gently stab it with a fork. Cooked fish should flake easily when prodded with the tines of a fork.
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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat the grill to high (between 450-500 degrees)
- For each packet, you will need 2 large (about 20 inches long) sheets of foil, or just 1 sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Create four packet making stations with the foil, then spray each with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold the long sides of the foil in towards the center and roll over to seal, then roll up the short edges.
- 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.
- 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.