Fancy Baked Lobster Tails are served with a garlic butter sauce in the perfect dinner for special occasions. These restaurant-style lobster tails are juicy and delicious, but real EASY to make in under 20 minutes!
A Buttery & Easy Lobster Tail Recipe
One of my favorite classy meals is broiled lobster tail. The delicate, slightly sweet flavor of lobster is refreshing yet indulgent, especially when served with plenty of melted butter and lemon, as it is in this simple recipe.
Speaking of simple, I’m so excited to share this recipe in particular, because it makes serving lobster a breeze! You don’t have to pick up a live lobster, or heat up a huge boiling pot; there’s no need for bibs or claw cracking or anything like that (as fun as that can be!).
Instead, I’m using lobster tails, which are a snap to prepare and cooked with no special equipment other than a good pair of kitchen shears.
Trust me, you’re going to love this classic, easy recipe. It’s great for beginners and experienced cooks alike!
How Healthy Is Lobster Tail?
Lobster is actually a pretty healthy source of protein, although you might typically think of it as an indulgence. It also contains significant amounts of good-for-you minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus. Plus, it’s typically a low-mercury seafood, which is great for everyone, but especially children and pregnant women.
And, with only 1 gram of Net Carbs, for those following a low-carb or Keto diet, this lobster tail recipe fits right in.
This is a classic and simple way to cook lobster, using very basic, very delicious ingredients!
- Lobster Tails: For this recipe, you’ll need four fresh lobster tails, each weighing 6 to 8 ounces.
- Butter: Melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Garlic: I use fresh garlic here; about three cloves, minced or pressed.
- Paprika: This tasty spice adds a great taste and color to the dish. You’ll need about a teaspoon.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
- Lemon Juice: It’s seafood’s favorite friend! I use a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
- Parsley: Chop up a tablespoon of fresh parsley.
- Lemon Wedges: For serving.
How to Buy Lobster
It’s sometimes intimidating to buy seafood, especially things with shells! You want to make sure you’re getting a good-quality item, but unlike chicken or beef, it’s not always clear what you’re looking at and what to look for.
With lobster tails, it’s important to look for tails that are not grayish or otherwise discolored. If the shell is speckled, that can be okay—it means that the lobster was a warm-weather lobster, from Florida or maybe the Caribbean, or somewhere similar.
Warm-water lobster is typically considered poorer quality than cold-water lobster like that from Maine, but it can still be tasty and is usually more affordable.
Cold-water lobster is a better choice, if it’s available to you. The meat is firmer and cleaner-tasting, while warm-water lobster sometimes has a softer texture and unpleasant ammonia overtones.
I always go for the babes from Maine and have never been disappointed.
Can I Use Frozen Lobster Tails?
- Yes, I actually recommend using frozen lobster tails for this recipe. Next to live lobster, the surest way to make sure your lobster is fresh is to stick to frozen. Cook it just after thawing.
How to Butterfly a Lobster Tail
Butterflying a lobster tail is kind of an odd process, but it’s not difficult and the presentation is awesome. Essentially, there are three steps:
- Cut Shell: Using a sturdy pair of kitchen shears, cut through the center of the shell, from the wide end all the way to the fin. Don’t cut the fin.
- Loosen Meat: Pull the shell halves apart somewhat and use a spoon or your fingers to loosen the meat away from the shell halves. I always use a spoon.
- Pull Meat Out: Pull the shell halves apart a bit more and pull the meat out completely EXCEPT for the end attached to the fin; leave that part attached!
- Rest Meat on Top of Shell: Close the shell halves back together underneath the meat, and then arrange the meat neatly on top.
If you’d like a visual presentation of the butterflying process, this video is very helpful!
How to Cook Lobster Tail in the Oven
Broiling lobster is really great. Don’t use your broiler much? You should! Its high heat mimics the effect of a grill with all the ease of your oven.
- Prep Lobster, Oven & Baking Pan: First, thaw the lobster tails, if frozen. When they’re fully thawed, preheat your broiler and set the oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, butterfly the tails, and place them on the baking sheet.
- Make Butter Sauce: In a mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley; whisk to combine.
- Brush & Broil Lobsters: Brush the tops of the tails with the butter mixture. Place in the oven, and broil for 6 minutes, or 1 minute for every 1 ounce of lobster. Cooked through meat will be opaque and sturdy. Remove from the oven.
- Serve: Serve with garlic butter dip and enjoy!
Air Fryer Method
- Place 1 to 2 lobster tails in the basket of your Air Fryer.
- Cook at 380˚F for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the lobster meat is opaque.
How To Tell When Your Lobster is Cooked Through
Lobster, somewhat like shrimp, is fully cooked when the meat has a bright or pearly white appearance. Undercooked lobster will be translucent in places and have a gelatinous feel. Once cooked, the shells will turn bright red.
Tips for the Best Baked Lobster Tails
What else should you know about making lobster tails? Well, they’re a very easy type of seafood to cook, but I do have some extra tips for you! I hope these help you enjoy your awesome entree.
- Bigger Isn’t Better: It might be tempting to cook up a big jumbo lobster tail, but the most tender and tasty lobster meat tends to come from younger, smaller lobsters.
- Flavor Lightly: Lobster has a wonderful, sweet, delicate flavor, so I don’t recommend pulling out all the stops with spices here. Too many or too much of any seasoning will overpower the lobster.
- Serving Size: Keep in mind that lobster, even with this rich butter sauce, is a light entree and plan accordingly. Try to get a lobster tail that is about 6-ounces, which will have about 3-ounces of meat. In general, one large tail is a good serving size for two people, so stick to the smaller guys for individual portions.
There are plenty of mouth-watering dishes I like to serve with baked lobster tails. The following are some of my favorite ones!
- Steak: Surf ‘n’ Turf, anyone? I say a definite yes, especially when the steak is this super-delicious Grilled Flank Steak with Bleu Cheese Butter! Or this easy Oven Grilled Steak!
- Salad: Coleslaw, a garden salad, or even my yummy Macaroni Salad are all great, fresh choices to complement the delicate flavor of lobster.
- Baked Beans: That’s right, the New England classic is a favorite with grilled or broiled lobster. My Maple Bacon Baked Beans are an easy, delicious alternative to the canned version!
How To Store Cooked Lobster
Refrigerate the lobster meat in airtight containers, or wrap in plastic wrap and foil. Refrigerated cooked lobster will last up to 3 days. Also, cooked lobster in the shell can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just make sure it is placed in a tightly covered container.
Can You Freeze Cooked Lobster?
Yes, you can! Remove the cooked meat from the shells and place in freezer bags or airtight containers. Freeze lobster for up to 4 months.
Buttery Baked Lobster Tails
- 4 fresh lobster tails, each should weigh about 6 to 8 ounces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Thaw lobster tails if frozen.
- Preheat broiler.
- Set the oven rack 4 to 6 inches from heat.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Place lobster tails on the baking sheet.
- Using kitchen shears cut straight along the middle of the top of the lobster shell towards the fins of the tail; do not cut through the fin.
- With your fingers, gently open up the shell and pull up the meat from inside the shell; do not detach it. You can also use a spoon to separate the meat from the two sides of the shell.
- Close the empty shells together and rest the meat on top of the seam. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and parsley; whisk to combine. (Optional: Make more sauce for dipping)
- Brush the tops of the tails with the butter mixture.
- Broil for about 6 to 8 minutes, or 1 minute per 1 ounce of lobster, and until lobster meat is opaque and sturdy.
- Remove from oven.
- Serve with lemon wedges and more butter sauce, if you like.
AIR FRYER METHOD:
- Place 1 to 2 lobster tails in the basket of your Air Fryer.
- Cook at 380˚F for about 5 to 7 minutes, until lobster meat is opaque.
NET CARBS: 1 g
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
More Seafood Recipes to Try
Need some more succulent seafood recipes? Try these dishes next time!