This 15 minute lemon butter fish is elegant enough for date night but perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner too! With just 8 ingredients, many of which you might already have you in your kitchen, this is a simple, delicious meal that your family is going to love!
You’ll start with (what else?!) BUTTER. Melt it over medium high heat while you season the fish with my signature seasoning mixture (garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper).
Then toss that fish into the butter to give it a quick sear – about 2-3 minutes on the first side. Give the fish a flip and add MORE butter, lemon zest and fresh parsley to the butter mixture. Cook the other side of the fish for another couple minutes or until it’s tender and flaky.
Gently remove the fish from the pan and set aside. Add pasta to the pan and toss spaghetti in the lemon, butter, parsley mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add fish back into the pan on top of the pasta. Finish the fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Then garnish with lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley and serve it right there in the pan!
Fish to Use
- stripped bass
- mahi mahi
You'll Love This
- Did you see the ingredient list? It’s SUPER short. Which means you won’t have to spend hours hunting down ingredients at the grocery store. Most of these things are pantry staples so you might even have everything in your kitchen already!
- It’s SO freaking tasty! This is one of my absolute favorite dishes because the flavors are fresh and light but also rich and a little indulgent. Lemon, butter, and fish are literally a three-way marriage made in heaven.
- It’s a kid-friendly dinner. My toddler’s not super into fish, but she ate up bowl after bowl of the lemon butter spaghetti. If your kids are averse to little green flecks of delicious parsley, leave them out and just add them to your dish after.
- Also, if you think there’s no way your kids will eat this, I’d urge you to give it a try. You might find yourself very surprised by the things that they are willing to try! Especially if you get them involved in the process of making the meal!
- Don’t overcook the fish. This seems obvious but when you’re pan-frying the fish it’s going to cook very quickly! You’re looking for a nice dark golden brown sear on the outside of the fish and a tender, flaky inside. This will be achieved with just a few minutes of cooking on the first side and only a couple minutes of searing on the second side. This is not a dish you want to walk away from while it’s cooking on the stove because it’s so easy to overcook!
- Whatever you do - use fresh lemon for this recipe. Nothing is going to replace the fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe. It is the key ingredient and you are going to love every light and lemony bite!
- Feel free to use another kind of pasta in this dish. I love the long strands of sgetti in this recipe but penne, bucatini, bow ties, or even rotini would be great in this lemon butter fish dish too. The sauce is going to get into every nook and cranny of your pasta and deliver that lemon butter flavor into every single bite.
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Pan Fried Lemon Butter Fish
This 15 minute lemon butter fish is elegant enough for date night but perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner too!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- 8 oz. cod or other white fish
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley + more for garnish
- zest and juice of 1 lemon + wedges for garnish
- 4-8 oz. spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Heat large saute pan over medium high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter.
- Season fish with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
- Saute fish for 2-3 minutes in the butter.
- Flip fish over to cook the other side and add remaining butter, chopped parsley and lemon zest.
- Cook fish on the second side for another 2-3 minutes.
- Gently remove fish from the pan and set aside.
- Add in spaghetti noodles and toss to coat evenly.
- Then add fish back into the pan and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the fish.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges and enjoy!
Don't overcook the fish. This seems obvious but when you’re pan frying the fish it’s going to cook very quickly! You’re looking for a nice dark golden brown sear on the outside of the fish and a tender, flaky inside. This will be achieved with just a few minutes of cooking on the first side and only a couple minutes of searing on the second side. This is not a dish you want to walk away from while it’s cooking on the stove because it’s so easy to overcook!
Whatever you do - use fresh lemon for this recipe. Nothing is going to replace the fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe. It is the key ingredient and you are going to love every light and lemony bite!
Feel free to use another kind of pasta in this dish. I love the long strands of sgetti in this recipe but penne, bucatini, bow ties or even rotini would be great in this lemon butter fish dish too. The sauce is going to get into every nook and cranny of your pasta and deliver that lemon butter flavor into every single bite.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 611
- Sugar: 1.8 g
- Sodium: 140.4 mg
- Fat: 35.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 21.7 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 45.2 g
- Fiber: 2.6 g
- Protein: 28.5 g
- Cholesterol: 143.7 mg
Keywords: lemon butter cod, lemon butter pasta, healthy cod recipes
Just first time made this recipe and turned out super tasty. Super fresh and but tangy. I added some spinach as a twist. Will sure make it more again and again. Thank you so much to share this recipe.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, Novi! It's one of my favorites 🙂 Thanks for leaving a review!
Just made this with fresh rockfish! Very good! Thank you for sharing! The lemon was great. We'll make it again but we'll reduce the fat to 4 tablespoons, 2 butter and 2 EVOO. Also added some crushed red pepper. Thanks again!
Always looking for quick and healthy recipes! I saw the photo while searching for white fish fillet recipes and it was just like the photo! Quick and delicious, so lemony and buttery! I only added grated parmesan to the pasta! Thank you Kylie for this wonderful recipe 🤗
I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, Dania!! Parmesan would be such a delicious addition. Thanks for leaving a review 🙂
Ido this recipe quite often ànd wanted to maybe change up a few things since I recently began trying to eat full meals and not lose my house since I'm 5mo. pregnant, and not only did I proceed to do your recipe, but it tasted almost better for whatever reason.
It maybe sound silly, but when you only have what you have, you often have to get creative with the random items from a grocery list from the bottom of your purse lol.
When your recipe was on the first page of my Google search for white fish on a budget with flavor that is simple, it was quite validating to see that someone else was enjoying making the same thing.
I know its just fish, but for whatever reason I felt like I got to take myself on a date at home and thoroughly enjoyed my meal 🙂
( yep im not pregnant at all haha)
wow! Totally surprised at how simple this is to make and how tasty it is. I'll definitely be making it again 😋
Catherine B Gendron
Hi, I cooked this recipe today. I ask myself should I remove the fish skin in which step ? Before to add pasta ? While I'm eating ?
However, it was very easy, good, and different from what I'm used. I did'nt had lemon, I taked lime instead.
Perfect for a quick dinner for one as well, with ingredients on hand. I just tasted the butter/lemon on the spaghetti, delicious! Add any veggie and/or salad, and it’s very satisfying. Thank you, Kylie!
This recipe was so simple and so delicious! It was light but also flavorful! We added capers to the noodles upon serving, which made it even better. My picky boyfriend even loved it, so I definitely recommend this!
I didn't mind the dish, but my wife really disliked it. "Too much lemon!" was her critique. If I try this again, and I think I well might, I'll cut the lemon by half.
I'm glad you're thinking of trying it again but adjusting to your taste. Thanks, Dan!
I found this recipe on Pinterest and it's quickly become a favorite. I've made it several times and it's been easy and delicious every time! Highly recommend.
I love to hear that, Gracey! This is one of our family's favorites also! So simple, but so tasty 🙂 Thank you for leaving a review - I really appreciate it!
I wish I was able to post a picture because mine came out amazing! I used some flavor god lemon and garlic seasoning along with paprika. My butter sauce was a lot darker then the recipe shown. The spaghetti tasted amazing along the cod which I didn’t think it would work together.
I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, Michael! All stoves and pans cook a little different so that's totally normally to end up with a slightly darker sauce - it just means you brought out even more of the nutty browned butter flavor 🙂 I wish you could share the pic too - I'm a real sucker for a delicious food photo! I hear ya on the spaghetti, but it totally works! Thank you for leaving a review - I really appreciate it!
Needed a quick recipe for hungry stomachs without having to run out to shop.
Has everything and dug out Mahi Mahi out of the freezer.
Sauteed briefly shopped garlic w/added white wine and added capers to point .
Thank you for the inspiration.
I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, Gil! Mahi Mahi would be great in this dish. Thanks for leaving a review - I really appreciate it!
I love this kind of recipe, stuff I usually have on hand. Even Mr Picky liked it. I added some broccoli to the pasta in the last few mins and it went well with it. This one is a keeper!
Before I make this...and I will, does the spaghetti taste like fish?
It mostly just tastes like the garlic, butter, and herbs. But it is a fish dish, so it will probably also taste like the fish, yes.
Aw kylie! you're amazing. These pictures are looking so yummy mouth-watering dishes, and this Butterfish recipe is probably my most favorite pan recipe. Thank you soo much! please keep sharing your experience. By the way, you can easily Buy Fresh Guyana Butterfish at a reasonable price. visit our website for further details.
so easy and delish. I added some veggies
Great idea! I love to bulk up any dish with some extra veggies! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
I made your recipe using some wild caught cod tonight. Very delicious, very easy, very fast. Thank you for sharing!
YUM - wild caught cod!! Sounds delish. I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Lisa. Thanks for leaving a review!! 🙂