Bacon smothered keto tilapia with a lemon garlic butter sauce is gluten-free, low carb, and delish! Plus, it's an easy family-friendly dish to get on the table on a weeknight.
Are you a fan of fish? I don't mean do you like to watch them in a tank or go scuba-diving with them. But do you like to eat fish?
I grew up in Colorado with gorgeous mountain streams. Consequently, all sorts of friends and family were mad about fishing for trout.
"Throw some corn meal on it and fry it up!"
Hmmm. This is amazing for some, but, and I know this may sound like heresy, but I don't like trout. There. I said it. The taste is too fishy for me, and I'd much rather see them living free and in the wild stream than on my plate.
However, I do like the mild taste of tilapia and salmon. With tilapia, it basically takes on the flavor of whatever you put on it. In fact, I have a friend who just tells her kids it's chicken so they'll eat it.
Tilapia is a great fish to cook with. Moreover, it's fun to experiment with new marinades and flavors. So, bacon smothered keto tilapia?
Why not indeed! You'll really want to try this one because it's pretty delicious. Go on.
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IN A HURRY?
While I think you’ll love my super helpful tips and fun stories, I also realize we are sometimes pressed for time and just need a good recipe!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the printable recipe to make it NOW or PIN it here for later! Add keto tilapia to your meal plan for the week!
Tilapia have often been represented as the aquatic chicken, and it's perfectly justified.
– Daniel Pauly
What is tilapia?
Tilapia is a flaky white fish, and as I mentioned it's popular for its mild taste. It's a plant-eating freshwater fish.
It's popular in American homes, and I actually eat it pretty often. What about you? Have you eaten tilapia in the last year?
Most likely the answer to that is yes. Also, if you're anything like me, I know I tend to get into a rut with its preparation. So, today let's mix it up a bit and flavor it with that wonderful meat I always have on hand...bacon!
What are the different ways to cook fish?
Okay, keto tilapia. We get the why. It's palatable, affordable, healthy, high-protein, and you can get a good-quality fish. But what are the ways people cook fish?
Let's go through a few, and then I'll tell you how I prefer to cook it.
Have you seen recipes or even restaurant menus that list "poached" fish? Well, poached simply means the fish is cooked as it's submerged in a liquid.
To poach means to cook the fish in a liquid on a low heat. This method keeps the fish moist without adding in extra fat. It's popular for fish like cod, tilapia, halibut, salmon, and others.
It's quick and can flavor the fish. Of course, you can always use water, but bone broth, fish stock, wine, court bouillon, and more add different flavors. Also, often poached fish is served with a sauce.
Next, we have the obvious easy choice. A fish fry! Fish are often breaded or given a crust with egg and corn meal or other bread crumbs.
If you'd like a keto batter to fry the fish in, I like to use powdered pork rinds or parmesan cheese. Either will work well and give the fish a different flavor. Add some herbs to the mix and take it up another notch!
First coat the fish with the egg and batter mixture you've chosen. Then you can fry it on the stove on medium to medium-high heat. Use olive or avocado oil for for the frying, several minutes on each side of the fish.
Of course, the time will depend on the thickness. If you have an airfryer, that's a good method as well!
Last but not least, baked fish. I've found myself baking fish more and more often, because I hate to clean up the grease from frying!
Yes, my laziness, or I mean obsession with a clean stovetop, has pushed me to baking fish more often than not. This happens especially in winter when I don't to go outside to grill. Or, sometimes it's just quick and easy.
Season the fish, use a marinade, and bake! It's as simple as that.
Summer's coming, and I love the smell and celebration of the grill season! Grilling fish can be more of a challenge depending on the size and thickness. But I'm up for it!
For one, thin fish (especially tilapia) cook fast! Two, they can fall apart or flake easily, making them difficult to flip. Be sure to have your grill preheated to the appropriate temperature before putting the fish on to prevent sticking.
As an alternative, you can always cook fish on a grill in a foil packet. Or go back to my childhood and throw that seasoned fish in a foil packet and into the calmer embers of the campfire.
So what's my favorite way to cook fish? As I said, lately I've been into baking it, but grill time is coming. Experiment for yourself and find out what you like.
TO MAKE BACON SMOTHERED KETO TILAPIA YOU’LL NEED:
- a baking sheet with cooling rack
- a spatula
- medium to large bowls
- whisk or fork
- measuring cups and spoons
- pastry brush (optional)
Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.
- Mark Twain
HOW TO MAKE BACON SMOTHERED KETO TILAPIA
I love this recipe. It has several of my favorite flavors, garlic, lemon, bacon! Also, it's actually really easy to prepare and get on the table.
First of all, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
While that's heating get out all the ingredients, pans, utensils, etc.
We're going to start by cooking the bacon and trapping all that lovely bacon fat. Place a bakeable cooling rack in a baking pan. Quite often they will come together as a set, and I highly recommend getting them together. I use mine all the time.
How to bake bacon
Next, spread out the four slices of bacon on the rack and stick the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes. A couple minutes more or less depends on the thickness of the bacon and the oven, so keep an eye on it.
Then, remove it from the oven and let the bacon cool while you prepare the tilapia.
Prepare the keto tilapia
Now, wash the tilapia fillets and pat them dry with paper towels or a tea towel. Set them to the side.
Next, take the bacon from the rack and chop it into small pieces. Put it in a small bowl and set aside as well.
What you have left in the baking sheet it all the bacon fat that's dripped down from the rack. So, remove the rack and take a pastry brush or spoon and spread the melted bacon fat evenly around the baking pan.
Then, cover the tilapia fillets on all sides with bacon fat by dipping them top and bottom in the baking pan or with the pastry brush. After that, evenly space them around the pan.
How to make the marinade
Take out a small to medium-sized bowl and mix together the lemon juice, butter, garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper, and chopped bacon. Just use a spatula or even a fork and combine them all well.
Now, turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the entire marinade mixture evenly over the fish and arrange the lemon slices under and around the fillets.
Lastly, bake the tilapia for 15-20 minutes or until done. Again, this will depend on the thickness of the fish and the oven.
If you like, garnish the fish with chopped Italian parsley or green onions. Also, drizzle more lemon juice over the top to taste.
Serve with a salad or other green vegeatable and enjoy!
Keto Fish and Seafood Recipes
What are your favorite keto fish and seafood recipes? I personally like tilapia and love a good salmon. Also, we eat a lot of shrimp around our house.
Have you tried my Keto Jambalaya recipe? If not, I highly recommend it! I adore it's mixture of spices and meats. It includes shrimp of course!
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Want more keto dinner recipes?
- Keto French Onion Soup
- Keto Sausage Stuffed Peppers
- Best Low Carb Keto Turkey Meatloaf
- Creamy Garlic Keto Pork Chops
Keto Tilapia Printable Recipe:
- 4-6 tilapia fillets
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 lemon, cut in thin slices
- chopped fresh parsley to garnish (opt.)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a bakeable cooling rack in a baking pan. Spread out the four slices of bacon on the rack and bake for 10 minutes.
- Take it out of the oven and let cool while you prepare the tilapia.
- Wash the tilapia fillets and pat dry.
- Remove the bacon and rack from the baking pan. Chop the bacon into small pieces and set aside in a small bowl.
- Take a pastry brush or spoon and spread the melted bacon fat evenly around the baking pan. Cover the tilapia fillets on all sides with bacon fat by dipping them top and bottom in the baking pan. Then place them evenly spaced around the pan.
- Mix the lemon juice, butter, garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper, and chopped bacon in a bowl.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the marinade mixture over the fish and arrange the lemon slices under and around the fillets.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley or green onions and serve.
Servings 4.0Amount Per Serving Calories 255 Total Fat 17 g Saturated Fat 9 g Monounsaturated Fat 5 g Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 93 mg Sodium 222 mg Potassium 54 mg Total Carbohydrate 1 g Dietary Fiber 0 g Sugars 1 g Protein 26 g
*Nutrition Facts per MyFitnessPal.com. For most accurate facts, calculate your own with the exact ingredients you use in the recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Unsaturated Fat: 0g