A simple yet incredibly flavorful Lemon Butter Cod recipe! Made with flakey cod fish, a simple seasoning, bright lemon, and ultra rich butter! It’s pan seared to achieve a light browning and flavor boost, and you can have it ready in just 25 minutes!
This post is sponsored by Danish Creamery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
How to Cook Cod
Cod is an easy fish to cook and there are several methods to choose from. You can bake cod, grill it, pan fry (sear) or even smoke it. My favorite is pan seared.
Why? The two biggest reasons are flavor and time. Pan searing adds more flavor than other options (think golden brown perfection) and it can cook in under 10 minutes on the stovetop!
Lemon Butter Cod Video
The Best Way to Make Cod!
This cod recipe is my favorite way to prepare cod! I’ve tried other options but they aren’t ever quite as delicious.
Cod can be pretty mild tasting and it’s a versatile fish that adapts well to various flavors. Here we enhance it by browning in a hot skillet and finishing with an impressive and well balanced sauce.
A classic seafood upgrade used to amplify flavor used here, is a tempting and welcomed trio of ingredients. Basic but bold – it’s lemon, butter and garlic.
And we don’t just use your typical everyday butter. We are making it top notch delicious with a special ingredient – Danish Creamery European Style Butter!
I am obsessed with this butter lately! It makes the best cookies, excellent cakes, the ultimate buttered toast, and it upgrades your favorite savory recipes too.
What’s superior about it? The extra fat and less water content. It is 85% butterfat (which is even higher than most European butters coming in at 82% to 83% butterfat, and traditional butter at only 80% butterfat).
It’s also slow churned in small batches offering a velvety texture, plus it’s preserved in foil so it maintains it’s fabulous flavor and doesn’t absorb any off flavors from the fridge.
It’s extra rich and extra creamy, just the way butter should be. And their recipe hasn’t changed since 1895, why change such a good thing?
Once you try it you’ll see what all the fuss is about!
Lemon Butter Cod Recipe Ingredients
- Cod fillets: Look for fillets that are about 1-inch thick. Thinner or thicker will work cook times will just need to be adjusted accordingly. Fresh is best but if you only have access to frozen (and thawed) that works fine too.
- Flour: This soaks up moisture and encourages browning, plus it helps the sauce stick to the fish. Only a little is needed.
- Seasonings – paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Danish Creamery European Style Butter: The salted or unsalted version will work here. If using unsalted add a few pinches of salt to the sauce.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is used in addition to the butter so it doesn’t burn at a higher heat.
- Garlic: Preferably use fresh garlic not bottled or powder for best flavor.
- Lemon juice: Only use fresh lemon. The bottled has a preserved flavor that will stand out here.
- Chicken broth: Just a little is added to thin out the sauce.
- Parsley: Used for a nice finish for a pop of color and hint of fresh herb flavor.
Scroll down for full recipe with amounts and print option.
How to Make Lemon Butter Cod
- Mix flour and seasonings: In a small mixing bowl whisk together flour, paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Spread mixture over cod: Sprinkle and spread flour mixture over both sides of the cod fillets (use up all of the mixture).
- Heat fats in skillet: Melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook cod in skillet, transfer: Add cod and sear until golden brown and cooked through on each side, about 4 minutes per side (fish should flake easily with a fork when done). Transfer to serving plates.
- Melt remaining butter in skillet: Reduce burner temperature to medium-low. Melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in same skillet.
- Saute garlic: Add garlic and saute just until fragrant and just lightly deepened in color (but not browned), about 15 seconds.
- Add liquids to butter: Remove from heat and carefully pour and stir in chicken broth and lemon juice (careful it will steam!).
- Pour sauce over cod, garnish and serve: Immediately pour sauce over cod fillets. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.
Helpful Cooking Tips for Cod
- If it is frozen be sure to thaw thoroughly before cooking. Usually it takes one day of thawing in the fridge, never defrost in the microwave or you can ruin the texture and even partially cook it.
- If cod is overly wet, dab fairly dry with paper towels. It should be barely damp so flour sticks, but dry enough it will brown nicely.
- Be careful not overcook the cod or it will be tough and bouncy.
- To know when it’s done, cod should flake easily with a fork and it should lose it’s translucent and raw appearance.
- Cod can be cooked skin-on or skinless. Per personal preference, I like to remove skin but you could leave it on if preferred.
- If you opt to leave skin, cook skin side down first. Then to keep that skin nice and crisp plate with sauce underneath and serve skin-side upright.
- Atlantic or pacific cod may be used, though many argue Atlantic is better. There are some textural and light flavor differences.
Cod Recipe Flavor Variations
- Try other seasonings or blends.
- Use a different herb to finish like dill, basil or cilantro.
- Make it spicy or mild by increasing or omitting cayenne pepper.
- Pescatarian vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken broth.
- In a pinch, lime juice will work in place of lemon.
More Seafood Recipes You’ll Love
- Baked Shrimp
- Fish Tacos
- Marinated Grilled Salmon
- Salmon with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce
- Teriyaki Salmon
Follow Cooking Classy
Lemon Butter Cod Recipe
- 4 (6 oz each) cod fillets, skinless, about 1-inch thick
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 5 Tbsp Danish Creamery Butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces, divided
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 Tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- In a small mixing bowl whisk together flour, paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle and spread flour mixture over both sides of the cod fillets (use up all of the mixture).
- Melt 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add cod and sear until golden brown and cooked through on each side, about 3 - 4 minutes per side (fish should flake easily with a fork when done). Transfer to serving plates.
- Reduce burner temperature to medium-low. Melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in same skillet.
- Add garlic and saute just until fragrant and just lightly deepened in color (but not browned), about 15 seconds.
- Remove from heat and carefully pour and stir in chicken broth and lemon juice (careful it will steam!).
- Immediately pour sauce over cod fillets. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.