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.
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 & 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.
How to Bake Cod
This baked cod recipe is simple to make.
- Prepare lemon slices for the baking dish & squeeze enough juice to equal 1 tablespoon.
- Season cod fillets with lemon pepper & place them on lemon slices.
- 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.
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
- Parmesan Crusted Tilapia – ready in 20 minutes
- Teriyaki Salmon – a one-pan recipe
- Grilled Mahi Mahi – with mango salsa
- Blackened Tilapia – so flavorful
- Honey Glazed Salmon – use fresh or frozen fillets
Did you make this Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Lemon Garlic Butter Baked Cod
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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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!!!!
Love your additions!
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.
Thank you for catching that Simone! The system had marked it as salt cod (instead of fresh cod). I have updated the nutritional information.
This was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much. I will be definitely be making this again and again.
You’re very welcome Kathleen, so glad to hear how much you love this baked cod!
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 :)
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.
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!
Glad you enjoyed this recipe, Teresa!
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!
So glad you loved it Carol!
ARE THERE ANY BONES “AT ALL” IN COD FISH? CANT EAT FISH WITH ANY BONES !!!!
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.
Parsley is a good herb substitute. The recipe made me laughing. When did fish have loins ? Fish are cut into fillets.
Hi Dennis, it is possible to purchase a cod loin. They are shorter and fatter cuts compared to a cod fillet. Hope that helps!