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Lemon Garlic Swordfish Recipe

This buttery Lemon Garlic Swordfish is stunningly delicious. This recipe results in a tender, flavor-packed fish that tastes like you spent way more time on it than you did.

lemon garlic swordfish recipe fish recipe
Tender, flavorful swordfish is way easier than you might iimagine.

The Only Swordfish Recipe you’ll need

This delicious Lemon Garlic Swordfish brought me back to our long-ago BK years (Before Kids) when Hubby and I frequently experimented with various fish, whole grains, and fresh veggies for dinner.

We would take time preparing healthy sautéed greens almost every night. We’d often grill, bake, or pan-sear some kind of fish…Mahi Mahi with Mango Avocado Salsa or Marinated Seared Ahi were among our favorites. Halibut and Swordfish made regular appearances on our little kitchen table as well.

Then came the kid-years, when just about the only things we managed to “grill” were cheese sandwiches. And the only kind of fish that made it onto our plates were covered in breading and shaped like sticks. Some of you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, rest assured that you’re not missing out on the food scene.

Thankfully, those spoon-throwing Littles took on slightly more refined palates as they grew. 

This Lemon Garlic Swordfish feels like a throwback that’s making a comeback. It’s totally back in dinner rotation. Get ready to devour this buttery, lemony, garlicky goodness…

lemon garlic swordfish recipe fish recipe
Be sure your swordfish fillets are at least 1-inch thick

How to make Lemon Garlic Swordfish:

Start off with high quality 1-inch thick swordfish fillets. It’s important to towel-dry the fish so that all excess water/moisture is removed. Give it a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

Swordfish is a steaky white fish that is firm, with great flavor potential. It stands up really well to pan-roasting, so that’s exactly what we do here. We start off with browning one side of the fish for a few minutes and then immediately flipping the fish over to its other side and transferring the pan into a hot oven. It only takes 5-ish minutes for the fish to finish cooking in the oven; as a rule of thumb, always try to have your fish just-cooked and no more. Avoid overcooking at all costs, as that is what makes fish lose its tender texture.

Lastly, you’ll slather on the amazing butter-garlic-lemon mixture. The flavor combination is stunning and perfect over swordfish.

It’ll taste like you spent way more time on it than you actually did. Enjoy 🙂

See this recipe in action:

lemon butter swordfish recipe

Lemon Garlic Swordfish Recipe

4.9 from 51 reviews

This buttery Lemon Garlic Swordfish is stunningly delicious. This recipe results in a tender, flavor-packed fish that tastes like you spent way more time on it than you did. 

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 1x



For the Lemon Garlic Mixture:

  • 2 TB salted butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 TB freshly chopped chives
  • 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
  • 2 (1-inch thick each) swordfish fillets, about 67 oz each
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400F with rack on middle position. In a small pan, combine all Lemon Garlic Mixture ingredients and stir to fully combine. Set aside.
  2. Use paper towels to pat-dry all excess moisture from the swordfish fillets. Evenly sprinkle both sides of fillets with pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large, oven-proof pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add the swordfish fillets to pan and let cook until browned on one side, about 3 minutes (do not move fish around much.) Carefully flip fish fillets over to the other side, turn stove off, and immediately transfer pan into hot oven.
  4. Let fish roast about 5-6 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, cook 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 swordfish pan as well.


This dish is amazing with Easy Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms or Farro Salad with Butternut and Avocado

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating 🙂 


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 241
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Sodium: 696.4 mg
  • Fat: 18.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Cholesterol: 71.4 mg
  • Category: main, fish, seafood
  • Method: roast
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: lemon butter swordfish recipe

Did you make this?

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Recipe rating


    • Jill

    Absolutely delicious! I added more salt but otherwise I followed the recipe. Will make again and again!

      • Amy Dong


    • Ellen

    Perfect! Fabulous! Restaurant quality!
    Can’t wait to make it again! Thank you

    • Ellen

    Perfect! Fabulous!! Restaurant quality! The swordfish was beautiful.. thank you!

    • Margaret

    I don’t usually leave feedback but had to in this case. I was very impressed with how good this was. Excellent texture and flavor! Thanks for the great recipe. I’ll have to check out your other fish recipes now 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      Hope you continue to enjoy all the fish, Margaret!

    • Chris

    This is a fantastic, quick recipe. I’ve made it at least twice and it has turned out wonderful each time. I substitute whatever herb I have on hand for the chives (today it was dill).
    I do recommend heating the garlic butter earlier than stated, such as when the fish goes in the oven.

    • Ari

    Came out nice – used cilantro instead of chives, and slow cooked/caramelized the sauce before putting it on top of the fish at the end

    • Tanya

    I followed the recipe exactly and it came out amazingly delicious, moist, and tender. Plus it was so quick and easy! I really dislike using my oven when it’s so hot outside. Can you just cook the fish on the stove from start to finish?

    • Ryan

    I don’t get it, preheat the oven at 400 and then pan-fry the swordfish on the stovetop. Am I missing something???

      • Amy Dong

      Ryan, the swordfish is first pan fried and then finished in the preheated oven. Would LOVE for you to follow the recipe and let me know what you think 🙂

    • Linda

    Delicious – this recipe is a keeper!

    • David Miller

    You’re right. This was amazing with the salad, even though we had to substitute quinoa for the farro and had no avocado. Absolutely delicious. Best online recipe I’ve tried so far. Many thanks.

    • Jacqueline Fields

    Wow, thank you, for that delicious recipe.

    • Lee

    My sauce was not creamy and turned green. What did I do wrong?

    • Erica

    Fabulous and so easy. Best swordfish I ever made. Cooked perfectly.

    • Deborah

    Delicious and easy. My fresh chives were rather bruised, so I substituted dried chives and everything turned out just fine. Definitely will make again.

    • Kay

    One of the easiest and tastiest swordfish recipes we’ve had in a long time. Thank you!

    • Christine

    Question: I have to severely limit my carbs. You list the carbs as 31.4 g, but when I calculated the individual components, I get nowhere near that number. Could it be that you meant 3.14?

      • Amy Dong

      That is wildly strange; upon refreshing the nutrition app, the carbs updated to 2g, which makes much more sense. Thanks for noticing that.

    • Rachel

    So easy and SOOOO delicious!

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