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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


    • Misty M

    Made this tonight for dinner & all I can say is “it was bangin” thank you so much for putting this out there. Amazing & yummmm

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome to hear you all enjoyed this!

    • Makayla

    Absolutely delicious! My family loved this dish and it goes great with oven roasted tomatoes.

    • Jen

    I don’t understand the nutrition facts…how can there be so many grams of carbs when none of the ingredients are carb heavy??

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks, Jen. For some reason, the garlic cloves were calculated strangely in nutrition facts. Fixed 🙂

    • Ellen L

    Easy, flavorful, tender and really yummy! Will definitely make again. Fresh asparagus made the perfect accompaniment.

      • chewoutloud

      Sounds perfect, Ellen!

    • Blake

    This was amazing. My wife and daughter loved it. I doubled the sauce and there was none left. Thanks for sharing!

      • chewoutloud

      So great to hear it! 🙂

    • Liz

    This recipe was terrific! I did reduce the amount of butter to 1 tablespoon and the amount of oil to one and a half tablespoons. Trying to save a few calories! It came out great! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

    • Rachel

    This is excellent and so easy! And the timing in this recipe is spot on for perfect moist fish! It’s so good we’re having it again 2 days later!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome to hear that, Rachel!

    • Nan

    Fast, easy, and fabulous!!

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you, Nan!

    • Ted

    First time I made this recipe. Not trying to offend anyone, but didn’t care for it. Just didn’t seem to have much flavor. The amount of garlic is excessive. Two tbsp of garlic is about 8-10 cloves, for two pieces of fish. Otherwise cooking went fine. Needed to leave the fish in the oven slightly longer but turned out perfectly done.

    • Desi Peach

    Very easy recipe to follow. Swordfish was cooked perfectly!!! Will definitely bookmark this recipe to cook again!

    • D Casale

    After working all day and wanting something quick, flavorful, and healthy — this was the perfect recipe! Served the swordfish atop of farro and poured the butter/lemon sauce on top — awesome! Thanks so much for this keeper.

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome! 🙂

    • Ramona

    I love to bake but cooking fish is intimidating to me. How do I know it is done so I don’t overcook

      • chewoutloud

      Ramona, follow the recipe card and you should be great! So excited for you to start cooking fish 🙂

    • Donna

    Such a delicious recipe and so easy and quick to put together. We all really enjoyed it, thank you!

      • chewoutloud

      So great to hear this, Donna!

    • Beste Erel Windes

    This turned up exquisite! Even my picky 9 yo loved it. Thank you.

      • chewoutloud

      Yay, that’s a win, Beste! 🙂

    • Allison

    Delicious. I make 4x the compound butter and freeze it in the form of a log. I’m ready for swordfish anytime!

    • Chrissy

    We have swordfish once a week (not always available so we go to salmon) and we usually marinade and grill it. This cooking method made it much juicier, easier and softer and I was amazed that the timing of the cooking was spot on. This may be my new recipe for weekly swordfish!

    • Lauren

    First time ever making swordfish, and man oh man!! This was divine! The garlic lemon butter sauce was the perfect thing to accentuate the flavor and texture. Super tasty! Served alongside a Mediterranean quinoa pilaf. I’m smitten with this recipe. Quick, easy, and packed full of enormous flavor!

      • Hey ho

      Absolutely delicious, thank you for the idea

        • chewoutloud

        So glad you liked it!

    • JC

    My husband is in love with me even more now! He absolutely loved this! 🙂

      • chewoutloud


    • Jill

    As advertised the only swordfish recipe I will ever need! I’ve never made swordfish until now and each time it’s perfect.

      • chewoutloud

      Yipee, Jill!! So excited that you all loved this fish 🙂 🙂

    • Alex

    Turned out great. First time I made this type of fish and wish I had more!

      • chewoutloud

      Super awesome, Alex! 🙂

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