Pan Fried Lemon Butter Fish

  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


This 15 minute lemon butter fish is elegant enough for date night but perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner too! 



  • 8 oz. cod or other white fish
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley + more for garnish
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon + wedges for garnish
  • 48 oz. spaghetti, cooked according to package directions 
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper


  1. Heat large saute pan over medium high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons butter. 
  2. Season fish with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and a large pinch of salt and pepper. 
  3. Saute fish for 2-3 minutes in the butter. 
  4. Flip fish over to cook the other side and add remaining butter, chopped parsley and lemon zest. 
  5. Cook fish on the second side for another 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Gently remove fish from the pan and set aside. 
  7. Add in spaghetti noodles and toss to coat evenly. 
  8. Then add fish back into the pan and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the fish. 
  9. 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.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon butter cod, lemon butter pasta, healthy cod recipes