Fresh cod fillets are a delicious and easy dinner!

Cod fillets or loins are oven-baked over a layer of fresh lemon slices and infused with lemon pepper and garlic butter.

Serve as a light lunch or supper along with a side of rice and some fresh vegetables or a side salad.

plated Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod

Best Lemon Cod Recipe

  • Codfish is so versatile, it can be cooked in a variety of ways. Air fryer, oven-baked, or even grilled.
  • This dish goes from prep to table in less than 20 minutes!
  • Cod is affordable, use fresh or frozen fillets, whatever is on hand. If you don’t have cod, use your favorite white fish.
  • This is the best recipe for foolproof and flavorful fish every time!

ingredients to make Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod

Ingredients & Variations

We love garlic butter on everything from roast chicken to this easy fish recipe.

FISH: Fresh or frozen cod is easy to find and affordable. We love cod loins in this recipe as they’re a bit thicker but cod filets are great too.

Other white fishes to use are tilapia, haddock, hake, or sea bass.

SEASONINGS: We prefer melted butter over olive oil in this recipe for its flavor. Garlic adds a savory flavor to baked cod and lemon pepper gives it a bright flavor along with the lemon juice.

Use fresh lemon juice, you’ll need a lemon for slices as well so one whole lemon should do it!

Use a little bit of lemon zest from the lemon to make homemade lemon pepper if you’d like! We prefer homemade as I find store-bought lemon pepper a bit too salty!

VARIATIONS: For a crispy topping, add seasonings to some homemade breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, or Panko.

PRO TIP: Always thaw frozen fish in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

pouring lemon mixture on top of cod to make Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod

How to Bake Cod

This baked cod recipe is simple to make.

  1. Prepare lemon slices for the baking dish & squeeze enough juice to equal 1 tablespoon.
  2. Season cod fillets with lemon pepper & place them on lemon slices.
  3. Drizzle with garlic butter. Bake at 400 degrees F until flesh is opaque and it flakes easily.

PRO TIP: Use a cake tester or fork to lightly test for doneness.

adding sauce on top of cod to make Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod

Tips for the Best Fish Fillets

Be sure to dab the cod dry after it thaws in the fridge as frozen filets will release a bit of water.

The key to perfectly flaky and tender fish fillets is to avoid overbaking them. Fish will continue to cook once it’s been removed from the oven.

Serve Baked Cod With…

It goes well with a light tossed salad, rice pilaf or brown rice, and either asparagus or broccoli.

This fish is great served with a glass of pinot grigio or other crisp white wines.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep leftover baked cod fillets in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Add to omelets, soups, or stews. Reheat in a saucepan with a little water and cover until steamed through.

Fave Fish Fillets

Did you make this Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

plated Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod
5 from 34 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod

Tender, flaky, and infused with lemony garlic butter, this baked cod is bursting with flavor in every bite!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 clove garlic minced, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 4 cod loins or filets, 4-5 oz each
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Slice half of the lemon. Juice the other half, you will need 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Lay lemon slices in a casserole dish.
  • Whisk together butter, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Pat cod filets or loins dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle cod with lemon pepper & dill weed and place over lemon slices.
  • Pour garlic butter mixture over the cod. Bake 15-20 minutes or just until opaque and the fish flakes easily. Do not overcook.
  • Sprinkle parsley over top and spoon butter over to serve.

Notes

Store bought lemon pepper is usually quite salty so I don't find the need to add much salt to this recipe. Taste the lemon pepper and if it isn't salty, a little bit of additional salt can be added to the recipe.  
The cooking time can vary based on the shape and thickness of the fish. Cod that is 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick will need 15-20 minutes while thinner filets will need a bit less time. Check the cod early to make sure it doesn't overcook.
If you'd like extra butter (to drizzle on rice or vegetables) the butter portion of the recipe can be increased.
Cod should reach an internal temperature of 145°F. It will be opaque and flake easily once cooked.
Once cooked, remove the cod from the baking dish as the heat from the dish will continue to cook the cod.
5 from 34 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 252 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 762mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 523IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Fish, Lunch
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. This was delicious!!! Quick and easy. I doubled the butter sauce since I had 7 loins. I also added lemon zest, capers and used fresh dill instead of parsley. I paired it with sautéed zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, and sweet onions. It made a nice low carb/ calorie dinner.
    Thanks so much for this recipe!!!! It is now my go to!!!!
    Kim L.5 stars

  2. Hi, the recipe sounds great and I hope to give it a try. My question is about the nutrition info listed, is it way off? Over 5000mg of sodium sounds really high.

    1. Thank you for catching that Simone! The system had marked it as salt cod (instead of fresh cod). I have updated the nutritional information.

  3. This was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much. I will be definitely be making this again and again.5 stars

  4. I don’t what went wrong, but the sauce was really bad, we had to rinse it off. Made as stated in recipe. Could the 1 tsp. of lemon pepper been a misprint? That’s the only thing I can think of that could’ve made it so inedible :( Disappointed that it didn’t turn out as well as it did for everyone else.

    I usew slices from the whole lemon, not just half. My parsley wasn’t the “freshest”, could that be a cause of the off taste? Thanks Holly. Always your fan in New Jersey :)

    1. Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you Ally. It is possible the parsley could have caused the off-taste as it does tend to have a bad flavor when it is old.

  5. Made this the other night. I’m not a huge fish fan, but this recipe was really good! Super easy and quick. I used a thick filet and baked it 30 minutes and finished under the broiler. Will make again. Thanks for the great recipe!5 stars

  6. Great recipe! Cod can be boring, but not this!
    I had bought fresh cod this morning from the fish vendor at the market not knowing I would be entertaining for 6 tonight. Found this recipe and -oh wow – it turned out to be awesome! Tons of flavor! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Mary, I would check with the store you are purchasing from. Cod do have bones in them but you can purchase boneless fillets. Hope that helps.

  7. Parsley is a good herb substitute. The recipe made me laughing. When did fish have loins ? Fish are cut into fillets.

    1. Hi Dennis, it is possible to purchase a cod loin. They are shorter and fatter cuts compared to a cod fillet. Hope that helps!