Baked Cod Recipe With Herbed-Lemon Butter
Dinner made easy! This Baked Cod Recipe comes with a herbed-lemon butter sauce and is made in ONE baking dish! Tender, perfectly flaky cod fillets with zucchini and carrots in a creamy herby lemon sauce. Guarantee flavorful, easy, and healthy dinner in 30 minutes!
Baked Cod with Lemon Herb Butter – Why this dish is so good!
This oven baked cod recipe is an effortless one pan meal with 15 minutes of prep time and so good! The cod fillets are baked with zucchini and carrots in the oven until perfectly flaky tender. It’s the sort of dish that you can make on busy weeknights or weekend family meals because it’s that easy!
Here’s why I love this dish so much:
- One baking dish – easy to prepare and clean-up!
- Balanced meal with lean protein and vegetables – all in one pot!
- 15 minutes of hands-on time
And the results are buttery and juicy oven baked cod fillets with a super aromatic lemon herb sauce that’s perfect with fish!
The herbed-lemon butter sauce
The star of this dish is really all about that herbed-lemon butter. Once the cod fillets are out of the oven, add a generous amount of the herb butter on top of each fillet and watch it melt and transform into an incredible sauce.
The butter adds extra moist and creaminess to the delicate cod fish and the fresh herbs and lemon instantly brighten up the flavor – just like fine dining restaurants’ but totally homemade!
- Cod fillets – I use Atlantic cod. You can use either fresh or previously frozen.
- Salt, olive oil, ground black pepper – the seasonings for the fish.
- Zucchini and Carrots – add nutrition, color, and texture to the dish.
- Ghee butter – use unsalted butter at room temperature (not melted).
- Tahini (Sesame paste) – adds a nutty flavor to the sauce. Use cashew butter if you can’t have seeds.
- Lemon, parsley, cilantro, and chive – fresh herbs to brighten the dish.
Quick Overview On How To Make Baked Cod Fillets with Herb Butter:
- Quick preparation – season the fillets and dice the vegetables
- Bake – place them in an oven safe baking dish, skillet, or casserole pan
- Make herb butter – mash and combine the butter with herbs
- Combine & Cover – Add the butter on top of each fillet. Cover the pan and wait for 5 minutes to allow the butter to melt.
- Serve! Tender flaky juicy oven baked cod fillets in creamy herb lemon sauce…so good!
Common Questions Related To This Dish:
Can I use frozen cod fillets?
Yes you can. I use Atlantic cod fillets that are previously frozen. Defrost them overnight in the fridge. The fresh wild caught fish is always better, however it’s more pricey and harder to find.
What temperature should cod be cooked at in the oven?
400°F (204 °C). For how long? It depends on the thickness of your cod fillet, it could take about 15-20 minutes in the oven.
How do you know when baked cod is done?
A white fish like cod is cooked when the center internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C), or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. If the fish is undercooked, its flesh will resist flaking.
How do I store and reheat leftovers?
While I recommend finishing the dish in one setting if, however, you have leftovers here are my recommendations:
- To store: Place leftover baked cod and butter sauce in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- To freeze: Use a freezer-safe container and store for up to 1 month.
- To reheat: Reheat in the microwave 1 minute at a time until the fish is warmed through. The texture will be more firm after reheated.
Can I use other types of fish?
Yes. You can also use halibut, seabass, grouper, or another flaky white fish. Select ones that are fairly thick (about ¾ to 1-inch thick).
General questions about baked cod
What is the best way to cook a cod?
- Pan sear – pan fried cod fillets have a beautiful golden sear, especially if you dust them with (almond) flour like my fish lemon piccata.
- Parchment paper – fish wrapped in paper (fish en papillote) is a very gentle way to cook delicate fish as it retains the moisture and juice well like my Chinese steamed cod and Thai fish in parchment paper.
- Bake – An easy way to make one pot meal. You need to add fat (often butter or a cream sauce) so that the lean fish remains moist and juicy.
Is it better to cook fish covered or uncovered?
You can cook fish either way, depending on the recipe and the ingredients. Cooking fish covered in a paper pouch (fish en papillote) is a fail-proof way to retain moisture and juice and therefore the fillets are tender. On the other hand, if baking in the oven uncovered, you will need a layer of fat (often butter or a cream sauce) added to the fish so they won’t dry out in the oven.
How do you keep fish moist while baking?
- Add fat to the fish – often a layer of butter or cream sauce. This works particularly well with lean white fish like my baked cod with lemon herb butter dish.
- Parchment paper – wrap the fish in a sealed parchment paper pouch. The moisture retains in the pouch while baking in the oven. For example: my Chinese cod recipe in ginger scallion sauce is made in an oven or air fryer.
🙋🏻♀️ Umami Cooking Tips:
- Type of bakeware – Use an oven safe casserole dish or casserole skillet that’s big enough for the fish fillets and the vegetables. Mine is a 12-inch round casserole skillet.
- Leave some space between each fillet and add the vegetables between and around the fish to ensure even baking
- I do not recommend using a sheet pan for this recipe as the juice from the fillets will evaporate too quickly.
- Do cover the dish as soon as it’s out of the oven, after you add the herb butter on top of the fish so it can melt, using residue heat.
Try these on the side
- Asian cucumber salad (Din Tai Fung-Inspired!)
- Chinese garlic green beans
- Chinese broccoli recipe in garlic sauce
- Taiwanese sauteed cabbage
- Napa cabbage stir-fry (vegetarian)
- Air fryer Brussels Sprouts with maple lemon sauce
- Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings
- Roasted cauliflower with lemon tahini cream sauce
- More healthy side dishes
More Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes
- Air fryer teriyaki salmon (keto friendly!)
- Baked cod with panko! (gluten-free, sheetpan meal!)
- Air fryer Chinese Cod in Ginger Scallion Sauce
- Paleo fish tacos
- Thai fish in parchment paper
- Vietnamese turmeric fish fillets
- More healthy pescatarian dishes
Baked Cod With Herb Lemon Butter Sauce
- 4 pieces cod fillets, about 6 oz. (170g) per fillet, pat dry
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½+ ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
- A few rounds freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz. zucchini, dice to rounds, about 2 medium zucchini
- 6 oz. carrots, diced to small cubes
- 4 tbsp unsalted ghee or butter, softened at room temperature but not melted
- 3 tbsp tahini, or pure sesame paste
- 2 tsp lemon zest, about 1 whole lemon, save the lemon for serving
- 3 tbsp finely minced parsley leaves, leaves only no stems
- 3 tbsp finely minced cilantro leaves, leaves only no stems
- 3 tbsp finely chopped chive
- ¼ tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
- A small pinch ground black pepper, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204 °C).
- Pat dry the cod and place them in a 12-inch round casserole skillet (or dish) that’s oven safe. Season the fish with 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and a few rounds of black pepper.
- Place the sliced zucchini around and between the fillets. Don’t cover the fillets so the fish can cook evenly. Add the diced carrots. Sprinkle ¼ tsp salt and 1 tbsp oil over the vegetables.
- Send it to the oven, uncovered, in the middle rack for 20 minutes. The fish is cooked when the center internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C), or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
- In the meantime, make the herb butter. Combine all the ingredients from butter to pepper in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash and combine well.
- As soon as the fish is out of the oven, while it’s still hot, drizzle with 1 more tbsp of olive oil. Add about 1 tbsp of the herb butter on top of each cod fillet. Cover the pan for 5 minutes to allow the butter to melt.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and serve with sliced lemon wedges on the side. Serve immediately.
- Season the fish with a small pinch of chili powder or paprika powder to make it a little spicy.
- Substitute finely minced dill for cilantro.
- Substitute cashew butter for tahini (sesame paste).