How long can Tilapia stay in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can Tilapia stay in the fridge?”, and How to preserve Tilapia for longer?

How long can Tilapia stay in the fridge?

Raw and unthawed Tilapia stays good for only 2 days in the fridge at a steady temperature of 32℉ or 0℃. Cooked Tilapia has a better shelf-life. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge provided the temperature is steady at 32℉ and does not exceed 38℉. Vacuum-sealed Tilapia lasts 1 week in the fridge. 

Ways to Extend the shelf-life of Tilapia


Freezing is a very common and convenient way of preservation for fish. Freezing increases the shelf-life of Tilapia by 6-8 months. 

If the fish is vacuum-sealed, the fish could be kept for up to 1 year. Thaw the fish in the fridge before use. Cookin the frozen Tilapia directly is also an option.


Curing involves smoking and salting. Smoking was a widely used preservation method for fish before the advent of refrigerators. 

Fish soaked in brine is exposed to a fire source for cooking. Then this smoked fish is either refrigerated or frozen for prolonged storage. 

Salting involves massaging the Tilapia fish with a mixture of salt flakes, spices, and sugar. This dry rub removes the moisture from the fish. This salt-dried fish is dehydrated by soaking it in potable water for 24 hours before use.


Pickling fish is a very delicious way of preserving fish. It changes the flavor profile of the fish and for the good. 

The salt, vinegar, and spices in the preservation liquid of the pickled fish, all work to promote the shelf-life of fish. All of these ingredients have excellent anti-microbial properties.


Canning preserves fish including Tilapia for years. First, the fish is soaked in brine. Then filled in sterile quart jars along with spices, preservation solution, and some olive oil since Tilapia is a lean fish and lacks natural fats. The jars are boiled in a pressure canner. 

How to buy Tilapia?

To buy the freshest Tilapia, you should first pay attention to the eyes of the fish. They should be clear and bright. The fish should not feel sticky upon touching. The touch should be firm. 

Another important factor that determines the freshness of Tilapia fish is its smell. Ideally, Tilapia should give off a mild and pleasant smell of saltwater. 

If the smell is even the slightest bit musky or fishy, the fish is not fresh. A dull-colored skin and pale eyes also signal the same thing.

How to thaw Tilapia?

Never refreeze Tilapia once it’s thawed. Doing this will negatively impact the quality characteristics of the Tilapia to a significant extent. 

Besides, the chances of cross-contamination are high that raises the issue of food safety. However, cooked Tilapia can be thawed once and that too, only under refrigeration.

Never thaw it at room temperature. Defrosting the fish on the counter will render it unsafe for consumption.

Ways to cook perfect Tilapia 


Seared fish served on a bed of greens with drizzled sauce on top is probably the best way for beginners to cook fish. You may find this recipe interesting If you are planning on making pan-seared Tilapia for dinner.


Baked tilapia is delish and is a quick fix for that weekend dinner you are too lazy to make. The fish is rubbed with lots of butter, garlic, pepper flakes, parsley, and some other spices to bring about the right balance of flavors. Then It is baked in the oven. The buttery richness and the garlicky goodness are what the baked Tilapia is all about.


Grilled Tilapia served with grilled cherry tomatoes is the perfect combination of sweet and sour bursts in your mouth. It is an absolute favorite for the BBQ night. You can serve it as-is or pair it with some rice and your favorite vegetables.


Poached Tilapia is a full-proof way to make sure the fish stays moist and tender. If you are a fan of the butter-garlic combo, you can make the famous Butter Poached Lemon Garlic Tilapia in the oven. 

Another great option is to serve poached Tilapia with quinoa and cherry tomatoes with some greens on the side.


Stir-fried Tilapia sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and served with stir-fried green onions or any of your favorite veggies makes for a delicious meal. Marinate the Tilapia overnight for the best flavor.


Besides the poaching method, steaming is another method to make moist and tender Tilapia. 

Other FAQs about Fish that you may be interested in.

Can you eat a jellyfish?

Can you cook fish sticks in the microwave?

How long can cooked fish stay in the fridge?


In this article, we answered the question “How long can Tilapia stay in the fridge?”, and How to preserve Tilapia for longer?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.