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How long does Tilapia last in the Fridge?

Tilapia is a very common freshwater fish in Asia and the United States. If you love this fish, then this article was made for you. How long does Tilapia last in the fridge and freezer? How should we keep it? What is the best way to thaw frozen fish? 

Undoubtedly, it was an essential food for people who lived in these places for several centuries, as it was one of the primary protein sources. However, even today, with the excellent food supply that exists, Tilapia is part of the food of several families.

For that reason, we have here a complete guide with all the information you need to have this fish always in great condition. 


How long does Tilapia last in the Fridge and Freezer?

Tilapia has a different shelf life, depending on whether it is raw or cooked and where we store it (at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer). Here you will find detailed information. Check! 

Room temperatureFridgeFreezer
Fresh, Raw TilapiaFor up to 2 hours1-2 days6-8 months
Cooked TilapiaFor up to 2 hours3-4 daysFor up to 4 months
Thawed TilapiaFor up to 2 hours1-2 daysWe don’t recommend refreezing thawed Tilapia

Tilapia (raw, thawed, or cooked) lasts only 2 hours at room temperature. This is the time limit that we can leave some food out of the fridge, such as fish or cooked foods. However, if we are in a warm place, we should not keep tilapia more than 60 minutes out of the fridge. 

Temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F favor the growth of bacteria. So, it would help if you were careful when you leave any food at room temperature. 

Raw and thawed tilapia can be stored in the refrigerator for two days. The temperature of the fridge should be constant and cold 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooked tilapia lasts longer. You can keep it in the refrigerator for four days. 

If you want your fish to last longer, it’s best to freeze it. For example, raw tilapia can last between 6 to 8 months in the freezer, and cooked tilapia can last four months. 

Once thawed, tilapia does not last more than two days in the refrigerator, and we do not advise you to refreeze the fish. However, if it has been thawed in the microwave or cold water, you should cook it immediately.

How long does Cooked Tilapia last in the Fridge?

As we said, cooked tilapia can last up to 4 days in the fridge. If you store cooked tilapia, you must keep it in the refrigerator in its original container. Instead, you can put it into an airtight container. 

If you have cooked tilapia, you must ensure it is not at room temperature for more than 2 hours. The best way to preserve it is by storing it in the refrigerator just before serving. You can put it in an airtight container to keep its best quality and prevent cross-contamination. 

How long does Tilapia Last in the Freezer?

It will keep its best quality for 6 to 8 months if you freeze raw tilapia. If you want to keep your cooked tilapia for longer, you can put it in the freezer for four months. 

Freezing foods is the best way to preserve them long-term. However, you must ensure you store it right. Never put the foods directly in the freezer because it will cause a frozen burn. Always use freezer bags or a high-quality container. 

To keep your tilapia’s quality, ensure the freezer’s temperature is at 0° F.

How to Store Tilapia long term in the Fridge?

To keep the raw tilapia long-term, you must follow the following steps: 

  1. Wash your hands before touching fish to prevent contamination with bacteria
  2. When you hold the fish, don’t touch its eyes, fins, and gills
  3. Remove the head from the tilapia and the tail 
  4. Wash tilapia thoroughly with cold water and then dry it with a paper towel
  5. On a clean cutting board, place the tilapia and remove the fins
  6. Cut tilapia through the backbone and open the fish into fillets (parting it into two halves)
  7. Remove the bones and clean the fillets using a damp cloth
  8. Wrap fillets in plastic wrap
  9. Put them inside an open zipper storage
  10. Then you can store it in the refrigerator, making sure the temperature is below 40°F

How to Store Cooked Tilapia?

Cooked Tilapia

There are many issues related to the storage of fish already cooked. The duration of the fish is not the same. Some are fat, while others are thin (as is the case with tilapia), which will influence their shelf life and how we should store it. 

In the case of cooked tilapia, we should store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or the freezer. In the fridge, tilapia remains quality for 3 to 4 days. Tilapia in the freezer maintains its quality for up to 4 months. 

Let’s see the best way to freeze this fish. 

How to Freeze Tilapia?

To freeze raw tilapia, you must follow all the steps we gave you earlier in the “How to store tilapia long term in the fridge” section and store it in the freezer. It will remain good for 6 to 8 months. 

To freeze cooked tilapia, place it in an airtight container to ensure its best quality. You should consume the cooked fish within four months. 

How to Thaw Tilapia?

To thaw frozen the tilapia, simply remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours. This is the best way to thaw food as it maintains its highest quality. 

Leaving food at room temperature to defrost faster is not a good alternative, especially when talking about fish, because it spoils with great ease. 

You can also thaw the fish in the microwave or cold water (never use hot water to thaw frozen food). However, if you choose to thaw the tilapia this way, you must cook it immediately. 

We must also say that you should not freeze the fish again. Once the fish is thawed, it must be used and cannot be frozen again. 

This is a rule that should also be followed for cooked food. For example, if you cooked a plate with tilapia and froze the leftover food, then as soon as you defrost, you’ll have to consume it, and you shouldn’t freeze it again. 

How do you know when Tilapia goes Bad?

One of the significant concerns, when we refer to food, is whether the food is spoiled or not. As we know, eating spoiled food can lead to food poisoning and can even take us to the hospital. 

So, before we eat anything, we should always see if the food is quality. When tilapia is spoiled, it shows some of these signs: 

  1. A strange and sour smell
  2. Viscous texture
  3. Different color
  4. Spleen eyes (fresh fish always have very bright eyes)

If your fish shows these signs, throw away tilapia and do not use it for cooking. 

How long does Tilapia last in the Fridge

How long does Tilapia last

Tilapia is a very common freshwater fish in Asia and the United States. If you love this fish, then this article was made for you. How long does Tilapia last in the fridge and freezer? How should we keep it? What is the best way to thaw frozen fish? 


  • Fresh, Raw Tilapia
  • Cooked Tilapia
  • Thawed Tilapia


  • See the table at the beginning of the article.
  • Eating fish after the deadline can be bad for your health.
  • If the fish has a bad smell, don't eat it, even if it matches the table.

Grilled Tilapia in 15 minutes


Tilapia is part of many people’s food, especially in the United States and Asia. It is an excellent source of protein and with nutrients essential to our health. However, to have all the advantages of consuming this fish, we must ensure that tilapia is fresh and not spoiled. 

Proper storage is essential to have high-quality tilapia. So, in our article: “How long does tilapia last in the fridge”, we pass on all the information you need to know to maintain the quality of your fish for longer. We hope you enjoyed this post, and we are waiting for you on our following content. 


How long does Vacuum-Sealed Tilapia last in the Fridge?

Lean vacuum-sealed fish, such as tilapia, last approximately five days in the refrigerator. However, the safest is to consume the fish between 3 to 4 days. If you miss the 3 or 4 days, always check if the tilapia shows no sign that it is damaged. 

Does Tilapia smell when cooked?

Cooked tilapia releases a specific smell, but it is not unpleasant. It is a smell of sweet fish and has the advantage of not having an odor as strong as other fish, such as Salmon.

How to extend the shelf life of Tilapia?

If you want your tilapia to last a long time, the best option is to store it in the freezer, as we taught you in this post. However, suppose you are thinking about cooking it in the following days. In that case, you can store it in the fridge, following all the steps we gave you in this article. 

Can I use Tilapia instead of Salmon in my Sushi Rolls?

Tilapia is a possible substitute for Salmon in sushi. However, it would be best to buy tilapia marinated in soy sauce and mirin for the best results. This way, you get a taste closer to the Salmon. However, we must tell you that this fish is not the best to use in sushi. 

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