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White Fish with Garlic Butter Sauce

This is one of the most delicious yet simple ways to enjoy fish for dinner. The flavors of garlic, butter, and lemon fuse together to create a healthy and mouthwatering meal the whole family will devour.

Fish Lemon Butter Sauce, white fish recipe, lemon butter fish

Hubby and I both grew up on a variety of deliciously fresh fish. We both happened to grow up near the ocean, so fresh fish was aplenty. I now realize how sea-spoiled we were. Boo hoo.

Now that we call the Midwest our home, fresh seafood is hard to come by. When our local supermarkets do showcase beautiful fish fillets, we jump all over it.

By the way, I’m still a bit confused when people tell me they don’t eat fish in this Land of 10,000 Lakes. I secretly suspect they just haven’t had their fish done right… I can hear it… I’m starting to sound like my mama 😉

Whether you adore fish or think you can’t go near it, how about let’s start with this one. Once you’ve tried you’ll be ready for more so I recommend trying this pineapple mahi mahi next.

Fish Lemon Butter Sauce, white fish recipe, lemon butter fish

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fish with lemon butter

White Fish with Garlic Butter Sauce

4.72 from 7 ratings
This White Fish with Lemon butter Sauce is succulent, refreshing, and easy to make. Use a firm white fish (halibut, mahi-mahi, or cod) that's at least 1 inch thick throughout. To avoid fishy-ness, go for the freshest fish you can find. High quality flash frozen is a great option, too.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Amy Dong


  • 4 fillets of firm white fish, at least 1 inch thickness, approx 6-8 oz each
  • 3 TB salted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • cup dry white wine
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TB fresh parsley, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Let fish sit in a colander at room temp for at least 30 minutes to drain any liquids and reach a moderate room temp.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat butter, shallots, and garlic in a large frying pan and cook on medium heat, stirring often, 2 min. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, 2-3 min. Stir in parsley and lemon zest. Season with pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  • Using paper towels, pat dry the fillets to remove as much moisture as you can. Sprinkle a light layer of kosher salt and black pepper over both sides of each fillet. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, add 3 TB olive oil. Arrange 2 fillets in the pan and cook with lid ajar to allow steam to escape. Cook about 3-4 min or until bottoms of fillets are browned. Flip carefully and brown other side 3-4 min (keep in mind that if your fish is less than 1 inch thick, you'll need to adjust for less cook time.) You want the fish just cooked, but not over-cooked. Repeat with other 2 fillets (unless your frying pan is large enough to cook all 4 fillets without crowding, it's best to cook in batches; otherwise, the fish will be more steamed than browned.)
  • Plate the fish fillets and pour warm sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 348IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: American
Method: Skillet

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Recipe Rating


    • Kim
    • 5 stars

    This recipe is SPOT-ON. Being on vacation in Northern Michigan where there is an abundance of Whitefish, I have made this twice!! the first time wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill. The second time in the fry pan. The second time I added just a smidge of thyme.

    • Sifu Edu

    Fish and chip with lemon is perfect!
    home tutor

    • shebebes


    • shebebes


    • Kristen

    Going for a bike ride

    • Sarah Cool

    I tweeted

    • sa

    I love riding my bike

    • shea balentine

    My healthy habit is eating fruits.. love em! =)

    • Nathan Kirsch

    I drink a lot of fruit juices and try to limit caffeine consumption.

    • Leah Shumack

    I really enjoy exercising. Not so much when I’m working out but the way I feel afterwords is great!

    • Rhonda R

    My favorite healthy habits include trying to walk as much as possible each day! I enjoy walking but you can get lots of steps in by choosing taking the stairs and walking a bit farther to the car.

    • AnnJ

    • denise a

    my favorite heathy thing to do is work in the garden

    • Tosha H

    I enjoy riding my bike and taking coconut oil~

    • Donna K

    I tweeted:

    • Donna K

    I like to go swimming

    • Bert Ruiz


    • Linda G

    I enjoy taking a bike ride or taking a walk

    • Bert Ruiz

    One healthy habit that I enjoy is walking

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