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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. Seared Halibut and Lemon Butter Cod 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.

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

  1. Start off with high quality 1-inch thick swordfish fillets.
  2. 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.
  3. Swordfish is a steaky white fish that is firm, with great flavor potential. It stands up really well to pan-roasting with a large oven-proof pan, 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lastly, you’ll slather on the amazing butter-garlic-lemon mixture. The flavor combination is stunning and perfect over swordfish.
  6. It’ll taste like you spent way more time on it than you actually did. Enjoy 🙂

Watch Us Make This Swordfish Recipe

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lemon butter swordfish recipe

Lemon Garlic Swordfish Recipe

4.69 from 248 ratings
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 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Amy Dong


For the Lemon Garlic Mixture:

For the Fish:

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 1-inch thick each swordfish fillets, about 6-7 oz each
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18.5g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 71.4mg | Sodium: 696.4mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g
Course: fish, Main, seafood
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Method: Oven, pan fry, roast, Stovetop

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Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Theresa
    • 5 stars

    I have never rated a recipe. Too busy, have to sign up, never know what to say. .. but I had to comment on this recipe because it was SO easy and SO good and I am not even very fond of swordfish! I made it for my husband, exactly to the recipe, minus the chives, and it was like butter. Thank you for a fabulous go to recipe that will have me enjoy eating swordfish with my husband!

    • Daryl Camarillo
    • 5 stars

    This recipe has become my “go to” recipe when I want a fantastic meal! It’s SOOO good and SOOO easy!

    • Michael D. McMullen
    • 5 stars

    Terrific recipe. I suggest following the directions exactly; don’t change a thing. Let the fish be the star.

    • Lois

    Where is the garlic in this recipe?

      • Cindy

      It’s part of the Lemon Garlic Mixture that you cook in a small pan and pour over the cooked fish.

    • Donna Stuart
    • 5 stars

    Wonderful. Followed directions exactly and they were perfect!

    • Carl
    • 5 stars

    “Stunningly delicious”? Come on! When I read hyperbole like that, my first thought is “prepare yourself to be let down.” But I had two swordfish steaks in the fridge, all I would have to do pick up some fresh chives…what’s to lose? I had a cast iron frying pan, and prep seemed minimal…
    Verdict: Yes. Lemon Garlic Swordfish is, indeed, stunningly delicious. Follow the directions exactly, and you will not be let down.

    • fred
    • 5 stars

    Simply perfect!

    • Monte
    • 5 stars

    Easy and so tasty.

    • Rob K
    • 5 stars

    This dish turned out beautifully. The swordfish was tender and the lemon butter topping added the perfect accent. I served it with a side of pan roasted red peppers and caramelized red onions along with brown rice. It was a big hit.

    • Deb
    • 5 stars

    I used this recipe to make my swordfish and it came out absolutely delicious. I changed it up a little by adding a thin layer of crushed red pepper sauce on the top side of the swordfish just before transferring it to the oven. My husband loved it!

    • r. fraley
    • 5 stars

    i followed the cook time exactly and it came out perfect. my husband absolutely love it. this is the way to cook swordfish.

    • Amanda G Lewis
    • 5 stars

    Surprisingly tender and delicious! I will be making this again.

    • Jhanie
    • 5 stars

    This recipe is easy and delicious. It is the only way I will prepare swordfish now. It comes out perfectly every time. Sometimes I just do the sauce with butter, lemon and garlic. The only problem I have is the garlic turns color even if I just came from the grocery store.

    • janet d sarant
    • 5 stars

    Perfect recipe

    • Rachael
    • 5 stars

    This was sublime and melt-in-your mouth delicious as written. Fabulous!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, thank you!

    • Travis Coletti
    • 5 stars

    Jazz this dish up! After you remove the fish, sauté garlic a minute or two, then deglaze pan with white wine. Scrape up any bits and reduce. Add butter, lemon juice, zest. Reduce a bit more, then add chives. Boom!

    • Maggie
    • 5 stars

    This is absolutely delicious. I finished mine off in my air fryer instead of my oven. Oh my what can I say . We have had this two weeks running . Really love it. Thankyou

    • Erik Bakken
    • 5 stars

    My wife had never had swordfish. This was a wonderful meal to introduce this great protien to her. We did a roasted garlic mash and Brussel sprouts alongside the steaks.

    • Kristen
    • 5 stars

    I love swordfish. I’ve been making it the same way, Mom’s recipe, for many many years. Not anymore. This is now my go to. Absolutely delicious, fool-proof! Thank you!

    • Shelli Corcoran
    • 5 stars

    Very easy and the swordfish was outstanding! I might reduce the olive oil to 1T in the frying pan, but I will make this again for sure!

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