Commercial diets for tilapia juveniles contain high levels of plant protein sources. Soybean meal has been utilised due to its high protein content; however, soy-based diets are limited in methionine (Met) and require its supplementation to fulfil fish requirements. dl-Methinone (dl-Met) and Ca bis-methionine hydroxyl analogue (MHA-Ca) are synthetic Met sources supplemented in aquafeeds, which may differ in biological efficiency due to structural differences. The present study evaluated the effect of both methionine sources on metabolism and growth of Nile tilapia. A growth trial was performed using three isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets, containing plant ingredients as protein sources: DLM and MHA diets were supplemented on equimolar levels of Met, while REF diet was not supplemented. Hepatic free Met and one-carbon metabolites were determined in fish fed for 57 d. Metabolism of dl-Met and MHA was analysed by an in vivo time-course trial using 14C-labelled tracers. Only dl-Met supplementation significantly increased final body weight and improved feed conversion and protein efficiency ratios compared with the REF diet. Our findings indicate that Met in DLM fed fish follows the transsulphuration pathway, while in fish fed MHA and REF diets it is remethylated. The in vivo trial revealed that 14C-dl-Met is absorbed faster and more retained than 14C-MHA, resulting in a greater availability of free Met in the tissues when fish is fed with DLM diet. Our study indicates that dietary dl-Met supplementation improves growth performance and N retention, and that Met absorption and utilisation are influenced by the dietary source in tilapia juveniles.