Instant Pot Frozen Tilapia

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Get ready for this Instant Pot Frozen Tilapia that cooks up quickly and makes an easy family dinner in no time. A pressure cooker is one of the easiest ways to cook frozen fish, resulting in a tender, flakey fillet. Serve with rice, pasta, or over salad. The addition of lemon slices adds a tasty citrus zing that compliments the tilapia.

4 tilapia fillets on a round white plate topped with sliced lemons.

Cooking Frozen Tilapia in an Instant Pot

Make life easier by utilizing kitchen equipment that’s easy to use and cooks food quickly. Using an Instant Pot is a game changer, and this tilapia recipe with affirm this!

  • Cook tilapia straight from frozen – No need to thaw the frozen fish before cooking it in the pressure cooker! You’ll have a perfectly cooked piece of tilapia without the extra time thawing requires.
  • Quick cook time – Seriously, this comes together so quickly. Set the time for 5 minutes plus the quick release of pressure, and this fish recipe takes no time.
  • Perfectly cooked – The tilapia fillets are tender and flaky and hold together well in the Instant pot. Tilapia is a firmer fish which makes it great for high-pressure cooking.
  • Scaleable – You can cook as many pieces of fish as you’d like in the pressure cooker. Layer them in, and in between each layer, add lemon slices.
  • Citrusy and fragrant – Who doesn’t love lemon and fish together? This is optional, but the addition of lemon really boosts the flavor and infuses the tilapia with a delicious lemon flavor.

Plate of tilapia with lemon slices and fork showing a piece up close.

Ingredients

Use frozen tilapia or another fish such as salmon or cod. Then all you need is water, lemon, and a blend of your favorite fish

  • Frozen tilapia – No need to thaw, cook tilapia straight from frozen. You could use this process cooking frozen fish in the instant pot for other frozen fish such as cod or salmon.
  • Seasonings – I use a blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Feel free to switch up the spices to fit your tastes.
  • Lemon – You could also use lime or orange slices.
    Water – Switch up water for seafood broth or chicken broth for extra flavor.

See the recipe card for quantities.

Hand holding a package of frozen tilapia infront of Instant pot.

How to cook frozen tilapia in Instant Pot

If you enjoy eating delicious food but short on time during the week, then this Instant Pot Tilapia recipe is exactly what you need. A busy work week deserves good food without the hassle and when you cook this tilapia from frozen in the Instant Pot you free up time to focus on other things.

Step 1: Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot.

Step 2: Layer the tilapia in the pressure cooker straight into the water. Add seasonings and slices of lemon between each layer.

Step 3: Close and turn the valve to the sealing position. Set to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Once done, use the quick release to relieve the pressure.

Step 4: Remove the lid and carefully remove the tilapia with a spatula. Enjoy!

Fish in pot with water and lemon slices.

How to serve tilapia

Serve your tender tilapia fillets with a side dish and vegetable, over a salad, or as a fish sandwich. Here are a few ideas to pair it with:

Fork flaking cooked fish garnished with lemon.

Tips for making frozen fish in a pressure cooker

You’ll love how easy it is to make fish in an Instant Pot! Here are a few tips to get a perfectly cooked tilapia every time.

  • Don’t skip using lemon slices. Using the slices between each layer of fish infuses the flavors, as mentioned earlier. But, it also creates a barrier between each layer and makes it easier to remove the fish from the  Instant Pot after cooking.
  • Adjust the seasoning. Try Cajun, Old Bay, Italian seasoning, or lemon pepper. You could add in butter, too.
  • Use a trivet or rack. Though this isn’t necessary to cook fish, you could place the tilapia fillets on a trivet instead of having a few pieces of fish submerged in the water. They will cook up deliciously either way.

Can tilapia be cooked from frozen in a pressure cooker?

Yes! Cook fish from frozen in an Instant pot or pressure cooker in just a few minutes with just a cup of water.

Do you thaw frozen fish before cooking it in an Instant pot?

No, this step is not necessary. If fish is thaw, you may need to adjust the time.

Close up of tilapia submerged in water in pot with lemon.

How long to cook frozen tilapia in an Instant pot?

The timer is set to 5 minutes, plus the time for the Instant pot to build pressure before cooking and release the pressure after cooking. You’ll have perfectly cooked tilapia ready in under 20 minutes!

Storage

Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Meal Prep – Divide the recipe into individual servings in meal prep containers.

Close up of tender tilapia on plate with lemon slices on top.

More Fish Recipes

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Instant Pot Frozen Tilapia

This Instant Pot frozen tilapia is amazing! Just put frozen tilapia fish fillets in the Instant Pot and it will cook it to perfection! So tender and delicious, you'll love it!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Quick Pressure Release6 mins
Total Time16 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frozen tilapia recipe, instant pot frozen tilapia, tilapia
Cooking Method: Instant Pot
Diet: Gluten-Free, Keto / Low-Carb
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 178kcal

Recipe Video

Ingredients

  • 4 Frozen Tilapia Fillets
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)

Instructions

  • Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  • Layer the tilapia in the pressure cooker straight into the water. Add seasonings and slices of lemon between each layer.
  • Close and turn the valve to the sealing position. Set to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Once done, use the quick release to relieve the pressure.
  • Remove the lid and carefully remove the tilapia with a spatula. Enjoy!

Notes

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Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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