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Home » Main Dish » Seafood » Pan Fried Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Pan Fried Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

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This pan fried Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce is an easy recipe that is both delicious and Omega-3 heart-healthy. The flavor of this flaky fish is enhanced with a tangy lemon-garlic sauce spooned over a lightly crusted, pan-fried cod fillet. The savory lemon-garlic sauce adds a rich elegance to this easy entrée.

close up view of cod fillet, lemon-garlic sauce, wild rice

This is a great dinner idea with minimum fuss and maximum flavor! Cod is a mild-flavored, low-calorie fish that cooks quickly by pan roasting, baking or broiling. This flaky fish is also a favorite choice when making fish and chips. 

Wild-Caught or Farm-Raised?

Whether you use wild-caught or farm-raised cod is really a personal choice. We prefer wild-caught cod because we feel it is healthier and tastes better.

Wild-caught fish are:

  • less likely to be affected by pollution, contaminates, or disease
  • not fed antibiotics and they have a more natural and varied diet
  • not constrained to a small area, which makes them more lean with a better ratio of healthy fats
Overhead view of plated cod fillet with lemon-garlic sauce, wild rice and asparagus

What you need to make this recipe:

This simple recipe takes but 30-minutes and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand. I promise you will love this easy and incredibly flavorful entrée!

Overhead view of recipe ingredients
  • Cod fillets
  • Flour
  • Salt/pepper
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon slices
  • White wine
  • Chicken broth
  • Lemon juice 
  • Butter
  • Cornstarch
  • Fresh thyme

How to make this cod dinner:

This is a brief ‘how-to’ of the recipe.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe and the tips in the note section:

Collage of two cod fillets in skillet/small skillet with lemon-garlic sauce
  1. With a paper towel, pat the fish fillets to remove surface moisture.   
  2. Add flour, salt and pepper to a shallow dish or plate and dredge the fish fillets lightly on both sides.  
  3. Cook in a hot skillet for about 3 or 4 minutes. Do not move the fish, as the crust forms it will release from the pan. Give the fillet a nudge with a turner, if it moves flip it and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.  Transfer the fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  

To Make the Lemon-Garlic Sauce:

  1. Cook the garlic and lemon slices in a skillet.  Pour in the wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the lemon slices and taste to adjust seasoning.  
  2. In a small dish, combine the soft butter and cornstarch to make a paste then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the hot sauce.  Whisk the mixture into the sauce until slightly thickened, then stir in the thyme leaves.
close up view a bite on a fork of pan roasted cod with lemon-garlic sauce

Ideas to serve with this Pan Fried Cod with Lemon Garlic Sauce:

A side of rice is always a great choice to serve with cod. Try some sprouted brown rice for a change from the ordinary. Or you could serve it with some wild rice like we did with our spicy tilapia.

Toss in some roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts with balsamic for a complete meal. Another idea for a great side dish is this Colcannon recipe. It is an Irish recipe that combines potatoes, cabbage, and green onions.

If you want a quick dessert, whip up some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. For a more elaborate and decadent dessert, try a triple chocolate brownie cheesecake.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Broiled Pacific Cod with Lemon Tarragon Butter: A moist and flaky cod fillet topped with a slice of lemon tarragon butter at serving. The butter melts and self-bastes the fillet as a finishing touch adding a delicious flavor to the cod.  This is a great dinner idea with minimum fuss and maximum flavor.
  • Broiled Copper River King Salmon: This vibrant, red-fleshed Broiled Copper River King salmon! A rich, succulent, melt-in your mouth delicious entrée. A simple briny soak keeps the flesh firm, moist and beautiful. 
  • Sake-Red Miso Glazed Sablefish with Wasabi Emulsion: Sablefish….a delicate, fatty fish and the sweetness of the saki-miso marinade. The wasabi emulsion is a perfect balance for this rich sablefish.

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close up view of cod fillet, lemon-garlic sauce, wild rice

Pan Fried Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Pan Roasted Cod with Lemon-Garlic Sauce is an easy recipe that is both delicious and Omega-3 heart-healthy. The flavor of this flaky fish is enhanced with a tangy lemon-garlic sauce spooned over a lightly crusted, pan roasted cod fillet. The savory lemon-garlic sauce adds a rich elegance to this easy entrée.

Ingredients

For the Cod:

  • 2 6-ounce wild Pacific Cod fillets (1/2-inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (divided)

For the Lemon-Garlic Sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

For the Cod:

  1. Pat the cod fillets with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  
  2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper together and dredge the cod fillets.  
  3. Heat a cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high. When it is hot, swirl 3 tablespoons of the oil over the bottom of the pan and add the flour-dusted fillets.  Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Do not move the fish. As the crust forms it will release from the pan. Give the fillet a nudge with a turner, after 3 minutes, if it moves flip it and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes.  Transfer the fish to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.  

For the Lemon-Garlic Sauce:

  1. In a small skillet or saucepan set over medium-low heat, heat the remaining olive oil and add the garlic and lemon slices and cook until the garlic is fragrant.  Pour in the wine, chicken broth and the lemon juice. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove and discard the lemon slices and taste to adjust seasoning.  
  2. In a small dish, combine the soft butter and cornstarch to make a paste then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of the hot sauce.  Whisk the mixture into the sauce and cook until slightly thickened, then stir in the thyme leaves. Transfer the sauce to a dish or pitcher.  Plate the reserved fish and spoon the hot sauce over the fish.

Notes

  • Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cod fillets.
  • Pat the fish dry and shake off excess flour to get a good crust. Moisture will cause a steaming effect and a soggy crust.
  • Using a heavy-bottomed or a non-stick skillet will keep the fish from sticking and give a crisp crust.
  • Let the fish cook without moving, it will release when the crust has formed. Give it a little nudge after 3 minutes and if it moves it is ready to flip.
  • Fresh thyme can be substituted with your favorite fresh herb.
  • You will have about half of the sauce left over, store it in a covered container in the fridge and use it to make Chicken Francese.
  • Nutrition values are based on 1/2 of the lemon-garlic sauce.


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 392Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 964mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 15th of May 2020

I too prefer wild caught. This looks so succulent and delicious with that simple lemon garlic sauce. Have a wonderful weekend, Pat!

Pat Nyswonger

Friday 15th of May 2020

Thank you, Angie.....you have a great weekend also!

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