Garlic Butter Cod Fish Recipe

This garlic butter cod fish recipe combines fresh fish fillets with a flavourful garlic butter sauce. Make this easy fish recipe for a quick one-pan dinner!

If you’re looking for more fish recipes, you will love these recipes too: 3-Ingredient Tilapia Skillet Recipe, Garlic Butter Rainbow Trout in Foil Recipe, Garlic Butter Salmon Recipe and Easy Broiled Salmon Recipe.

close up of white fish fillets garnished with scallions cooking in cast iron skillet

When the day is busy or stressful, making a meal with lots of steps can be overwhelming. Simple recipes make it easy to have a healthy, balanced meal made from fresh ingredients.

This dish uses just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Even better, both the fish and the sauce are cooked in the same pan, meaning there are fewer dishes to wash later!

What to serve with fish

Because this recipe has such simple, classic flavors, it’s easy to pair with any of your favorite sides. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

pieces of garlic butter cod cooking in cast iron skillet

How to make this garlic butter cod fish recipe

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Just cook the fish in a pan on the stove, then baste with garlic butter sauce.


  • Cod fish fillets – This is an affordable white fish that takes on the flavors it’s cooked with. Haddock, Pollack, or Mahi Mahi would make great substitutes.
  • Olive oil – Or use another neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point like vegetable, avocado, or safflower oil.
  • Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Garlic Lemon zest
  • Green onions, for garnish


Season the fish

  1. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel so the seasonings adhere better to the surface. It will also help the fish crisp on the outside when seared.
  2. Season both sides of the cod fillets with the spices. It may help to mix them together in a small bowl first to get even coverage.


  1. Next, sear the fish on both sides in hot oil.
  2. Continue cooking until the fish flakes apart, flipping again halfway through.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan with garlic and lemon zest. Coat the fish in the garlic butter.

Garnish and serve

  1. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the fish to a serving dish.
  2. Then, sprinkle chopped green onions over the top and serve with your favorite sides.

making a garlic butter cod recipe by cooking cod fillets in garlic butter

Recipe notes

  • Storage – Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating – Heat in the microwave or on the stove until the fish is warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water or more butter for added moisture.
  • Meal prep – This cod fish recipe makes enough for a week’s worth of lunches. Simply add one fillet to each meal prep container along with your side of choice.
  • Special tools– While it’s possible to make this dish with a regular spatula, it’s well worth it to invest in a quality fish spatula. It’s designed to cradle delicate fillets and easily flip them without them breaking apart.

How to tell when cod is cooked

The easiest way to check for doneness is to insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish. Gently twist the fork at an angle; if it is cooked properly, the fish should flake apart easily.

Also, it will look opaque rather than shimmery and translucent once it’s cooked through. To be sure, check the internal temperature. It should be between 140 and 145 degrees F.

Other easy seafood recipes

For something a little different, make my recipe for Easy Grilled Fish Tacos. It’s another great way to add lots of flavor to cod fillets. Or try one of these other recipes for dinner:

Garlic Butter Cod Fish Recipe

This cod fish recipe combines fresh fish fillets with a flavourful garlic butter sauce. Make this easy fish recipe for a quick one-pan dinner!
4.19 from 32 votes



  • Cast iron skillet


  • In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Pat cod fish dry with paper towel and season all over with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt and pepper.
  • Place the cod fish in a large (10-inch) skillet and turn the heat to medium. Sear fish for 3-4 minutes. Flip your cod fish fillets over to cook the other side.
  • Add butter and when it melts, add garlic and lemon zest. Cook for about 1 minutes.
  • Gently remove fish from the pan and plate onto a serving dish. Garnish with green onions.


Serving: 1/4, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 544mg, Potassium: 22mg

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Garlic Butter Cod Recipe