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One-Skillet Tilapia with Creamy Lemon Sauce

One Skillet Tilapia with a Creamy Lemon Sauce using half & half is a healthy alternative to a classic, without sacrificing the flavor. This one skillet dinner is perfect for those busy weeknights.

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healthier version of a One-Skillet Tilapia with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Why Lemon and Tilapia?

Citrus fruits are often used in cooking tilapia or fish to “brighten” the flavors and it works well to counter many of the briny flavors in seafood. Tilapia is also budget-friendly and easy to cook.

ways to use lemons for dinner dishes

photo by Han Lahandoe

Why Use Half & half instead of Heavy Cream?

Half & half and heavy cream are interchangeable in equal amounts. Both will give you that creamy texture we all crave. Heavy cream contains more calories and fat, so I like to use half & half for a healthier route….. It’ll cut the calories and fat in your recipe, without sacrificing flavor.

One Skillet Tilapia with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Servings 2-3



  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2-3 fillets tilapia, skinless and thawed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp salted butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup homemade broth (or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • salt and pepper, to taste

TIP: Serve with pasta and pour the extra sauce over the noodles


  • Heat a skillet over medium heat; add the oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Season tilapia with salt and pepper and add to skillet; cook for 3 minutes per side.
  • Remove tilapia from skillet and set aside.
  • Add Tbsp butter to the same skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly whisk in broth and cook for 4 minutes..
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining butter. Slowly whisk in the half & half.
  • Add lemon juice and whisk until everything is well combined. Make sure to whisk continually so that the half & half doesn’t curdle.
  • Season with salt and pepper; taste the sauce and adjust accordingly. 
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour sauce over fish, or add fish back into the skillet; garnish with lemon wedges; serve alone, with pasta, greens, etc..

Do you have some Half & half you need to use before it expires? Try this Vanilla Creme Brûlée recipe using half & half, Recipe HERE

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I am a creative, self taught, home cook who loves to create yummy recipes

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