by Dina Polyashov

Lemon Butter Baked Cod

Dina Polyashov

This Lemon Butter Baked Cod is made with simple and flavorful ingredients. You’ll love the fresh taste of parsley and lemon on top of buttery flaky cod fillets.

It has the flaky texture of grilled salmon and scrumptious flavors of garlic butter baked salmon. You just can’t go wrong!

close up image of baked cod with a slice of lemon and chopped parsley on top

Lemon Butter Baked Cod Recipe

Hi, I am Dina and I run the blog SimplyHomeCooked.com. I absolutely love easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious!

This lemon butter baked cod is seasoned perfectly and has that wonderful flakiness while not being dry. The butter sauce has garlic and basil in it, along with other seasonings that just absorb into the fish while it bakes. And like with lime ginger salmon, the lemon cooks right in, too.

It is great paired with Instant Pot brown rice and arugula salad.

Ingredients

This oven baked cod is the perfect example of how fresh, tasty ingredients can make a truly delectable dish. If you are in a mood for sweet and sticky, check out honey garlic salmon or Thai salmon.

  • Cod: Try to get fresh cod fillets if you can. Fresh always tastes but if you use frozen cod, make sure to fully thaw it out before cooking.
  • Butter: You want the butter to be at room temperature so you can make a paste out of it before adding it on top of the fish.
  • Garlic: Adding fresh garlic as opposed to garlic powder will give an intense and delicious flavor to the cod.
  • Spices: Salt and pepper is a must for basic flavor, but adding paprika and dried basil gives it an herb-y flavor as well.
  • Lemon and parsley: The lemon is placed on the cod before going into the oven so that it infuses into the fish as it cooks. Chopped parsley is a great way to add fresh flavor and overall completed the cod dish.

An overhead image of baked cod ingredients on a white background

Is Cod Healthy?

Yes! Cod is considered to be a very healthy fish. Here is why:

  • Low calorie: Like tuna, cod has less fat than salmon since it’s a higher protein fish therefore it has fewer calories.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Besides the benefits of the low calories, cod is also a good source of vitamin E, A, and C. It is also known to be full of minerals like phosphorus, and potassium.

How To Make Lemon Butter Baked Cod

  • Make the butter mixture. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, mix the softened butter, pressed garlic cloves, salt, paprika, black pepper, and dried basil together in a small bowl. Set aside.overhead image of steps to make butter paste for baked cod
  • Prepare the cod fillets. Take out the cod fillets and pat them with a paper towel to get off any extra moisture. If they are frozen, make sure to thaw them first.overhead image of seasoned cod fillets in a white baking dish
  • Season the cod. Generously season the top and bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper, then place them in a small, deep baking dish. Evenly distribute the butter mixture on top of them.overhead image of buttered cod fillets in a white baking dish
  • Bake. Place a slice of lemon on top of each cod fillet and bake them for about 14-15 minutes, or until the cod has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.overhead image of baked lemon butter cod in a white baking dish
  • Garnish and serve. Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley on top, serve and enjoy.

Tips And FAQs

  • Can I use frozen cod? Yes, you can use frozen cod in this recipe. When you do, be sure to allow the fillets to completely thaw before you pat off moisture and prepare them for cooking.
  • How to make it healthier: To lighten this recipe up, you can use less butter, or you could switch the butter for a healthy oil, such as olive or avocado oil.
  • How long does cod bake in the oven? This oven baked cod will take about 14-15 minutes to fully cook if you are using 6 oz. fillets as I did. Anything smaller would take less time, and larger fillets would take a little longer.
  • How to tell if cod is done? The most accurate way to tell if your cod is done is with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also tell by how it looks. If it is opaque and easily flaked with a fork.
  • Can I make this in advance? Unfortunately, you cannot make the entire dish ahead of time, but you can prepare the butter mixture beforehand. Just store it in the refrigerator in a tightly-lidded container until you are ready to bake the cod.

What To Serve With Baked Cod?

This Lemon Butter Baked Cod can be served with a number of different side dishes. It’s so versatile so it pairs well with vegetables, salads, and almost any carb side dish.

How To Make Ahead, Store and Reheat

  • Make ahead: The garlic butter paste can be made ahead of time. I wouldn’t recommend seasoning this fish too early since the salt and lemon juice will pull out too much moisture from the fish.
  • Storing: To store baked cod, place it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating:  When you are ready to reheat it, place the Lemon Butter Baked Cod in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. If it seems a little dry, you can use a bit of butter to help thin the sauce.

More Seafood Recipes

close up image of oven baked cod with lemon and parsley on top

lemon butter baked cod

Lemon Butter Baked Cod {The Best!}

This Lemon Butter Baked Cod is made with simple and flavorful ingredients. You'll love the fresh taste of parsley and lemon on top of buttery flaky cod fillets.
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4 fillets
Calories: 243kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 4 6 oz cod fillets
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 fresh lemon sliced
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped

Instructions

  • First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Then, in a small bowl, mix butter, garlic, paprika, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
    overhead image of steps to make butter paste fro baked cod
  • Take out 4 (6 ounce) fresh cod fillets and pat the extra moisture off of them using a paper towel. If they are frozen, make sure to thaw them out completely.
  • Then generously season the top and bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper.
    overhead image of seasoned cod fillets in a white baking dish
  • Place the seasoned cod fillets into a small deep baking dish then evenly distribute the butter mixture on top.
    overhead image of cod fillets in a white baking dish with sliced lemons on top
  • Place a slice of lemon on top of each cod fillet and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 14-15 minutes or until the cod is at least 145 degrees F in the center of the fish. A good way to tell your cod is fully cooked is when it is opaque and easily flaked with a fork.
    overhead image of baked lemon butter cod in a white baking dish
  • Garnish the baked cod with 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley. Serve with a side of vegetables, pasta, or rice.

Storing: To store baked cod, place it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

    Reheating:  When you are ready to reheat it, place the Lemon Butter Baked Cod in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. If it seems a little dry, you can use a bit of butter to help thin the sauce.

      Notes

      • Make ahead: The garlic butter paste can be made ahead of time. I wouldn't recommend seasoning this fish too early since the salt and lemon juice will pull out too much moisture from the fish.
      • Can I use frozen cod? Yes, you can use frozen cod in this recipe. When you do, be sure to allow the fillets to completely thaw before you pat off moisture and prepare them for cooking.
      • How to make it healthier: To lighten this recipe up, you can use less butter, or you could switch the butter for a healthy oil, such as olive or avocado oil.
      • How long does cod bake in the oven? This Lemon Butter Baked Cod will take about 14-15 minutes to fully cook if you are using 6 oz. fillets as I did. Anything smaller would take less time, and larger fillets would take a little longer.
      • How to tell if cod is done? The most accurate way to tell if your cod is done is with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also tell by how it looks. If it is opaque and easily flaked with a fork, it's done. 
      • Can I make this in advance? Unfortunately, you cannot make the entire dish ahead of time, but you can prepare the butter mixture beforehand. Just store it in the refrigerator in a tightly-lidded container until you are ready to bake the cod.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1fillet | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 675mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 439IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
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      dina polyashov

      About Dina Polyashov

      Dina is a self-taught cook and photographer based in Washington. She spends most of her time keeping up with her three little girls along with developing wholesome and easy recipes for her food blog Simply Home Cooked.

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