Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce

Last Monday, I had a total kitchen disaster trying to make a blood orange tilapia. Meanwhile, Cate at Sweetnicks hit the culinary jackpot with her Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Sauce. Not only did she rave on her blog about it, but she raved to me about it. So, that tilapia recipe ended up at the top of my “must try” list.

On Friday, I ended up making it. I just had to try it and it’s a darn good thing I did. This recipe is beyond amazing and the sauce is just delectable. Best of all, it’s low in calories and fat so when you are clamoring for seconds, you won’t totally kill your diet. Good news all around. This is so totally going to be a frequent repeat in my house.

Looking for more delicious tilapia recipes? Try these:

Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Caper Pan Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: serves 4
  • ¾ cup chicken stock (look for a low-calorie one like Emeril’s)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons drained capers (the original recipe used green peppercorns)
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 6 tilapia fillets (about 1½ lbs total)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  1. Whisk together chicken stock, lemon juice and capers. Lightly crush the capers.
  2. Season the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper. Then dredge them in flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt one teaspoon of butter over medium heat. Turn up the heat to medium-high and brown the butter (it should be a golden brown color). Add the fillets to the pan. Sauté for about 3 minutes on each side (they are done when the fish flakes easily with a fork). Add olive oil to the pan as needed if the pan becomes too dry. Transfer fillets to plates.
  4. Pour the broth mixture into pan, being careful of splatter — it will instantly boil, steam and hiss. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Continue heating and stirring until the mixture is reduced to about ½ cup. Remove the pan from the burner and whisk in two teaspoons of butter. Spoon two tablespoons of mixture, give or take, over each fillet.
  5. Serve with rice (or as I did, a nice rice/pea mixture with a bit of lemon juice and pepper).
Based on a recipe from Pam Anderson, Cooking Light, MARCH 2004 via Sweetnicks



  1. says

    Sally, I am sure it would work with a gluten-free alternative, but am not sure what particular flour you should use. I popped over to Gluten Free Girl to see if she might weigh in and help you out though. *fingers crossed*

  2. says

    Of course I popped over! I love being able to help. For dredging fish, I love sorghum flour. It’s the closest in texture and density to wheat, and it works like a charm. Sweet rice flour also works really well.

    But it’s always worth just playing, as well!

  3. says

    Oh – I have made this recipe before and I LOVE it! I have tilapia in the fridge for tomorrow night. May have to change how I make it as I had forgotten about this recipe.

  4. says

    Fabulous dish! I was never a fan of tilapia but this dish has converted me! Fabulous! Almost came out halibut-like. I used quite a bit more capers and followed the recipe exactly. Perfect! Served with jasmine rice and garlic/parmesan roasted asparagus. Amazing dinner!

  5. Kevalyn says

    Wonderful recipe! Made for the first time last week. It’s a light, tasty dish that’s so easy to put together. Making it again tonight. Definitely will be a staple fish dish in our house.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: