This baked cod with a lemon butter herb sauce is so easy to make. A simple seafood weeknight dinner that seems much fancier than it is, but is extremely delicious. An easy dinner for two!
Cod is such an easy, delicious fish to make. Every time it turns out flaky and delicious. And the taste of cod is mild, so it easily takes on flavors from other foods! In this recipe, I paired it with a lemon butter shallot sauce that brings bright flavors. The parsley adds a beautiful touch of green.
It's a delicious seafood pescatarian meal for any time of the year. Have it in summer with a nice glass of white wine and a side salad or grilled veggie, or have it in winter to bring in some bright flavors.
- Cod filets
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Lemon (zest and juice)
- Thyme sprigs
- Get your timing right! Know that the herb butter sauce takes about 8-10 minutes to make, so try to time it to be ready for a few minutes after the fish comes out of the oven. That way your fish has a chance to rest for a couple of minutes, but doesn't get cold.
- Watch your shallots carefully when you add them to the sauce. The first time I made this, I started to burn the shallots. Oops. Don't be like me.
- Serve with lemons at the end! I liked a little more lemony flavor with mine, so it was nice to have a lemon half to squeeze over the fish. Josh thought it was perfect the way it was, so he didn't bother with the extra lemon. It's nice to give your dining guests an option!
- Don't forget to remove the thyme sprigs from the sauce before plating!
Can you use frozen cod?
Yes! Just let it thaw ahead of time, so it's all thawed and there are not any frozen parts prior to cooking. The recommended way is usually to thaw in the refrigerator.
Can you use other fish, like salmon or trout?
Absolutely. I like to try out different fish. I think the flavors would pair well with salmon and trout, and also any flaky white fish. I also think the sauce would go well served over shrimp, if you want to go that route.
I don't have fresh thyme, can I use dried?
You CAN, but dried thyme sometimes has that harder texture which can be weird with a flaky fish. If you don't have fresh thyme, honestly, I'd just leave it out. It adds a bit of flavor, but not enough to worry about.
Other seafood recipes to try:
- Pan fried salmon with roasted veggies
- Garlic butter shrimp scampi
- Panko crusted cod
- Salmon cooked in parchment
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine magazine.
Baked Cod with a Lemon Herb Butter Sauce
- 2 6-8 oz cod filets
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup unsalted butter 4 oz
- 2 tablespoon shallots minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 lemon halves
- Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F. In an ovenproof dish, coat the bottom with olive oil so the fish doesn't stick. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish. Once oven is preheated, add the fish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- While fish is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not let shallot burn.
- Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, and thyme sprigs. Stir to combine, then let sit for 5 minutes. Remove thyme leaves.
- Once fish is done, let rest for 2-3 minutes, then spoon the herb butter sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Serve with lemon halves, if desired.