Lemon Butter Baked Cod


Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a simple yet elegant dish that combines the delicate flavor of cod with the rich, tangy taste of lemon butter. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a special occasion, offering a healthy and delicious option that is easy to prepare. The tender, flaky cod fillets are baked to perfection in a luscious lemon butter sauce, making this dish a favorite among seafood lovers. In this article, we will explore the ingredients, detailed preparation steps, cooking notes, serving suggestions, tips, nutritional information, and frequently asked questions for this delightful Lemon Butter Baked Cod.


  • 4 cod fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Lemon slices, for garnish (optional)


Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper or lightly grease it with cooking spray.

Step 2: Season the Cod
Pat the cod fillets dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Prepare the Lemon Butter Sauce
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried thyme, and dried parsley. Mix well to combine.

Step 4: Arrange the Cod in the Baking Dish
Place the seasoned cod fillets in the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

Step 5: Pour the Sauce Over the Cod
Pour the lemon butter sauce evenly over the cod fillets, ensuring they are well coated.

Step 6: Bake the Cod
Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the cod is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The exact baking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets.

Step 7: Garnish and Serve
Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the cod rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and lemon slices if desired. Serve the cod hot.

Cooking Note

To ensure even cooking, choose cod fillets that are similar in size and thickness. If using frozen cod, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before baking to remove any excess moisture.

Serving Suggestions

Lemon Butter Baked Cod pairs beautifully with:

  • Steamed or roasted vegetables such as asparagus, green beans, or broccoli.
  • A side of rice, quinoa, or couscous to soak up the delicious lemon butter sauce.
  • A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette to add a refreshing contrast.
  • Crusty bread or garlic bread for a satisfying accompaniment.


  • For a more intense lemon flavor, add extra lemon zest or a splash of white wine to the lemon butter sauce.
  • Use fresh herbs such as thyme or dill instead of dried herbs for a more vibrant flavor.
  • To add a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the cod before baking.
  • This recipe can also be made with other white fish such as haddock, halibut, or tilapia. Adjust the cooking time as needed.

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cooking Time:

15 minutes

Total Time:

25 minutes

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 250 per serving
  • Protein: 22g per serving
  • Sodium: 300mg per serving


Q1: Can I use other types of fish for this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute cod with other white fish such as haddock, halibut, or tilapia. Adjust the cooking time as needed based on the thickness of the fillets.

Q2: Is it necessary to use fresh lemon juice?
Fresh lemon juice provides the best flavor, but you can use bottled lemon juice if fresh lemons are not available.

Q3: Can I make this dish ahead of time?
While it is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the lemon butter sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Pour the sauce over the cod and bake just before serving.

Q4: How do I know when the cod is done?
The cod is done when it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).

Q5: What can I use instead of butter for a dairy-free version?
For a dairy-free version, substitute the butter with a non-dairy alternative such as margarine or olive oil.


Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a delightful and easy-to-make dish that brings the flavors of the sea to your kitchen. The combination of tender cod fillets and a rich, tangy lemon butter sauce creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is sure to impress. Whether you’re preparing a quick weeknight dinner or a special meal for guests, this recipe is a fantastic choice. Enjoy the simplicity and elegance of this dish, and savor the fresh, bright flavors that make it a standout.

This dish not only tastes great but also offers a nutritious meal option. Cod is a lean source of protein and provides essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. The lemon butter sauce adds a burst of flavor without overwhelming the delicate taste of the fish, making it a hit for both adults and children.

Preparing Lemon Butter Baked Cod is straightforward and requires minimal ingredients, making it accessible even for beginner cooks. The ingredients are likely to be found in your pantry or easily sourced from your local grocery store. This simplicity, combined with the elegant presentation and delightful taste, makes it an ideal recipe for any occasion.

The versatility of this dish allows it to be paired with a variety of sides, making it adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs. Whether served with a hearty grain, a fresh salad, or steamed vegetables, Lemon Butter Baked Cod provides a balanced and delicious meal that can be enjoyed year-round.

In summary, Lemon Butter Baked Cod is a versatile, delicious, and sophisticated dish that is perfect for any occasion. Its quick preparation time and impressive flavor make it a valuable addition to your cooking repertoire. Enjoy the process of making it, delight in the flavors, and share this wonderful dish with your loved ones. The combination of the delicate, flaky cod and the tangy, buttery sauce will leave a lasting impression and elevate your dining experience.

This recipe is more than just a meal; it is an opportunity to explore new flavors and techniques in your cooking. By mastering this dish, you can gain confidence in preparing seafood and discover the joy of creating a restaurant-quality meal at home. So gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and enjoy the delicious and satisfying experience of making Lemon Butter Baked Cod.

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