How to Microwave Frozen Tilapia

//cookanyday.com/cdn/shop/files/TilapiaFrozen_360x.webp?v=1720716099 Perfectly cooked frozen tilapia made and served in the glass Anyday dish, providing tender and flaky fish fillets. This method ensures evenly cooked tilapia with no thawing needed, ideal for a quick and healthy main dish.
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Prep Time

1 min

Cook Time

3-5 mins

Free Time

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Cooking frozen tilapia in the Anyday dish is ideal for busy weeknights. Tilapia's wide availability, affordable price ranges, and lean protein make it a great go-to protein option. By steaming your tilapia on low power in the microwave, you can achieve a smooth defrost-to-cook transition, ensuring the tilapia remains juicy and tender.

Plus you can cook, serve, and store the fish in the same dish, reducing the need for multiple utensils and minimizing cleanup time.

All of Anyday’s recipes are tested (and retested!) in many different microwaves and home kitchens to make sure they work — and work well. Unless specified otherwise, all recipes should be cooked at full power.

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What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Shallow Dish

Look no further for making poached eggs, desserts, dips, and small portions of meat or fish.

The Anyhand Mitts

Handle hot Anyday dishes with care with these microwave mitts that double as trivets!
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Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.

One 4-6oz filet

Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.

[[video-wattage]]

To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w
700w

Recommended 

Dish

The Medium Shallow Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 4-6 oz (115-170g) tilapia filet, keep frozen
  • salt or seasoning to taste

Preparation

  1. Place the frozen tilapia in an Anyday dish and season to taste with salt or any spices of your choosing. Cover with lid (knob lifted).
  2. Cook in the microwave at Power Level 8tooltip for 3-5 minutes, or until the fish turns pale white and is flaky when gently torn with a fork.
  3. If the fish needs more cooking time, cook in 30-second increments until the tilapia is cooked through to your liking.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Lemon herb: Sprinkle the tilapia with a mixture of lemon juice, lemon zest, dried or fresh dill, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper before or after cooking.
  • Garlic butter: Combine melted butter with minced garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of parsley. Pour over the cooked tilapia for a rich, savory taste.
  • Chipotle lime: Drizzle the cook fish with a mixture of chipotle powder or chipotle in adobo sauce with lime juice, garlic powder, and a touch of honey.
  • Miso ginger: Coat the fish with a mixture of white miso paste with grated ginger, soy sauce, and a bit of rice vinegar before cooking.

Recipe notes

  • Lowering the power level helps keep the fish tender and juicy and avoids a rubbery texture.
  • Select the wattage on your microwave in our recipe for the most accurate cook time, or use the instructions on the back of the package as guidelines.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Microwave Match Up: Frozen Tilapia

See for yourself— microwaving frozen tilapia is simply faster, start to finish.

Appliance Cook Time
Microwave in an Anyday dish 3-5 mins
Oven* 15-20 mins
Stovetop* 15 mins
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)* 20 mins
*Includes defrosting time

All You Need to Know About Microwaving Frozen Tilapia

Can I cook frozen tilapia in the microwave?

Ingredient Power Level Cooking Time
One 4-6oz frozen tilapia fillet 8 3-5 mins
Two 4-6 oz frozen tilapia fillets 8 4-6 mins
Cook time calculated for 700w microwave

Yes, you can cook frozen tilapia directly in the microwave without the need to thaw it beforehand. Simply increase the cooking time slightly to ensure the fish cooks through evenly.

How long does it take to cook frozen tilapia in the microwave?

Frozen tilapia takes about 3-5 minutes for a 4-6 oz tilapia fillet when using an Anyday dish. Begin with the lower end of the time range and adjust as needed based on your microwave's power and the desired level of doneness.

Do I need to thaw frozen tilapia before cooking in the microwave?

No, there is no need to thaw frozen tilapia before cooking it in the microwave. Cooking directly from frozen is convenient and saves time. Adjust the power level and cooking time to ensure the tilapia cooks evenly and thoroughly according to the above recipe instructions.

How do I know when tilapia is properly cooked in the microwave?

Tilapia is properly cooked when it turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork. If the fillets are still translucent or feel rubbery, continue cooking in short 30-second intervals until done. Remember to let the fish rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the residual heat to finish the cooking process.

How do I store leftover microwaved tilapia?

To store leftover microwaved tilapia, place it in an airtight container or an Anyday dish with the lid on and refrigerate. Leftovers can typically be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When reheating, microwave the tilapia 30 seconds to 1 minute until heated through, checking periodically for the desired temperature. Enjoy reheated tilapia as part of a quick and convenient meal option.

What are the benefits of cooking tilapia in the microwave compared to other methods?

Cooking tilapia in the microwave is a quick and healthy option. Microwaving requires less oil or not at all!, reducing calorie intake, and preserves more nutrients compared to another cooking methods such as grilling, searing, or frying. Additionally, it saves time and reduces the need for extensive cleanup.

Is tilapia a good source of protein?

Yes, tilapia is an excellent source of protein, making it a popular choice for those looking to increase their protein intake. A 4-ounce serving of tilapia provides approximately 21 grams of protein, along with essential nutrients like vitamins B12 and D, and selenium.

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