Easy Perfect Mahi Mahi Recipe
I grew up in a family that often dished up fish for dinner. Any given weeknight, we would sit down to a meal that included freshly cooked fish. My parents served up all varieties of fish, from whole fish to fish fillets. They used all methods of cooking with their fish recipes, from braised to pan fried.
As a child, I naively thought everyone adored some fish dish. Alas, one day I discovered that was far from truth. (Pssst: I’ve been kinda secretly convinced that it must be because some haven’t found their perfect fish recipe just yet.) 😉
Though there are a myriad of ways to cook up delicious fish – hello, Sheet Pan Lemon Salmon – this easy mahi mahi fish recipe is perfect for anyone to make. It only takes about 20 minutes, it’s super tender, and incredibly tasty. People keep telling me they can’t believe they made this restaurant-quality mahi mahi dish by themselves. You can, too.
What’s the best way to cook mahi mahi?
Whether you’re a pro fish cooker-eater or you’re trying to start incorporating more fish into your diet, this recipe is a perfect way to serve it up. We use the stovetop-to-oven method of cooking here, like we do with this trusty lemon garlic swordfish, which yields a nicely browned exterior yet tender, flaky center.
Here are some of our helpful tips for cooking mahi mahi:
- Get either super fresh or quick-frozen, high quality mahi mahi… wild is best and will provide best flavor.
- Be sure your mahi portions are about 6-7oz each, with at least 1-inch thickness. If your portions are thin or too small, they’ll tend to overcook and the seasoning proportions will be off.
- Always pat dry excess moisture from the fish; this step is super important, as it affects how well your fish will brown. I use paper towels to fully pat away all extra moisture.
- Your cooking oil needs to be very hot [like, sizzling] before adding the fish. This allows for quick and even browning of exterior.
- Once fish is in pan, do not keep. moving it around. Let it sit and brown for 3 minutes. It helps to have a large splatter guard. I use mine often whenever pan-frying foods.
- Preheat oven ahead of time so that it’s nice and hot when you transfer the mahi mahi directly from stovetop to oven. After 5 minutes in the oven, it’s done.
What do I need for the lemon garlic sauce?
- Plenty of freshly minced garlic is called for. Don’t skimp on the garlic.
- Grab one fresh lemon and zest the peel; then squeeze 1 TB of tangy juice from it. Bottled lemon juice isn’t the same, so use fresh lemons.
- I prefer to use salted pure butter, but feel free to use unsalted if you like as long as it’s real butter.
- For freshly chopped herbs, choose from chives or parsley…or both.
- Tip: sauce can be prepared ahead of time, covered, and chilled until you’re ready to warm it up for serving. It’s a great sauce to have on hand.
What to serve with fish?
This fish dish is one of our favorites for everything from quick weeknight dinners to small dinner parties. If your friends enjoy restaurant-quality fish dishes, they’ll be in awe of you for serving this mahi mahi. Because the Lemon Garlic Sauce can be made in advance, all you need to do is cook your fish, which takes about 8 minutes total.
- I love this Perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice, as it goes so well with most meals and is healthy yet easy.
- For a skillet easy rice dish, this Easy Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms is fantastic.
- We really like this 20-Minute Lemon Spinach Orzo Salad for some greens and a complete meal.
- A nice serving of this Best Easy Roasted Vegetables Recipe makes an amazing dinner with your fish as well.
- If potatoes are your thing, Garlic Roasted Potatoes with Lemon is a favorite recipe that includes a section on How to roast potatoes perfectly. The flavor combo is a perfect match.
More Easy Fish to Cook and Eat:
- Mahi Mahi with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Easy Lemon Butter Fish in 20 Minutes
- Fish with Black Bean Sauce
- Crispy Baja Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Sauce
- White Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce
- Honey Lime Grilled Salmon
- Lemon Butter Cod Recipe
Watch us make this mahi mahi:
Easy Perfect Mahi Mahi Recipe
Mahi Mahi, otherwise known as Dorado, is deservedly a popular fish. When done right, mahi mahi is tender, flaky, and deliciously flavorful. This lemon garlic butter sauce is sensational.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 20 min
- For the Lemon Garlic Mixture:
- 2 TB salted butter, softened to room temp
- 1 TB freshly chopped chives or parsley
- 2 TB garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 TB juice from fresh lemon
- 1TB grated lemon peel
- For the Fish:
- 2 TB olive oil
- 4 (1-inch thick each) mahi-mahi fillets, 4oz each
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F with rack on middle position.
- Lemon Garlic Mixture (can be made ahead) – in a small pan, combine all Lemon Garlic Mixture ingredients and stir to fully combine. Set aside.
- Pat-dry all excess moisture from the fish fillets with paper towels. This step is important, so be sure to pat off as much moisture as you can. Evenly sprinkle both sides of fillets with pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large oven-proof pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Once oil is sizzling hot, add the fish fillets to pan and let cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes – do not move fish around. Carefully flip fish fillets over to the other side, turn stove burner off, and immediately transfer pan into already-hot oven.
- Roast fish at 400F about 5 minutes or just until the top is golden and center is just cooked through. Take care not to overcook. A minute before fish is done cooking in oven, heat your small pan of prepared lemon-garlic mixture over medium high heat, constantly stirring, just until melted and bubbly.
- Immediately turn heat off and pour mixture over the cooked fish. Be sure to pour on any juices from the fish pan as well. Serve with extra lemon slices for garnish.
Be sure to use coarse kosher salt, and not fine table salt. Fine salt is much saltier than kosher in recipes.
Lemon Garlic Sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated to serve.
A large splatter guard is helpful whenever pan frying. It really helps with random oil splatters.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 193
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 124.4 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.1 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 20 g
- Cholesterol: 67.4 mg
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Skillet Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: mahi mahi recipe, how to cook mahi mahi
* This recipe is part of our easy fish recipes collection *