Lemon Butter Baked White Fish

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

This 15-minute lemon butter baked white fish recipe is easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Ideal for any mild white fish!

Adding lemon juice to lemon butter baked white fish.

My family loves seafood so when my husband recently requested white fish for dinner, I was happy to oblige. Making seafood at home can be intimidating to some, but keeping it simple can create a delicious and easy dish that even beginner cooks can make. It’s hard to go wrong with baked fish in the oven. My Lemon Butter Baked White Fish uses just a few simple ingredients to make a healthy and fast dinner that’s full of fresh and natural flavors.


  • White fish: When making this dish, I’ll usually grab some cod or tilapia from the seafood counter at my local grocery store.
  • Butter: The butter mixed with other ingredients helps to lock in moisture and flavor while baking the fish.
  • Garlic: Nutty, pungent, aromatic flavor to add to the lemon butter.
  • Minced herbs: Adding some freshly minced herbs to the lemon butter adds great natural flavors. I’ll use parsley, basil, oregano, dill, rosemary, or thyme!
  • Lemon: Lemon juice, zest, and slices are all used to add bright, citrus flavor to this fish dish.

How to Make Lemon Butter Baked White Fish

Making lemon butter scaled

Start your lemon butter baked white fish by prepping your baking dish with cooking spray, and laying your fish fillets along the bottom. Sprinkle with some kosher salt and black pepper.

Zesting lemon into bowl

Then make your lemon butter. Mix your softened butter with minced garlic, minced herbs, lemon zest, and some salt and pepper.

Spreading lemon butter on fish scaled

Spread the lemon butter over the top of your white fish.

Layering lemon slices on fish scaled

Top fillets with thin slices of lemon before tossing in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until fish is nice and tender and flakes easily with a fork.

Long view of lemon butter baked white fish scaled

I love to sprinkle additional fresh herbs on top right before serving, and I’ll also leave the lemon slices on so additional lemon juice can be squeezed over the top as desired as well. Enjoy your Lemon Butter Baked White Fish!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to do keep fish from drying out while baking?

A great way to lock in the juices and avoid ending up with dry, overcooked, bland fish is by mixing herbs, ground garlic cloves, and lemon zest into softened butter and spreading it over the whitefish before baking.

What types of fish are white fish?

Tilapia, cod, halibut, grouper, flounder, snapper, haddock, and catfish are all kinds of white fish.

Is it better to cook fish in foil?

Cooking fish in foil can help it cook faster, but it isn’t required or “better” necessarily.

Lemon butter baked white fish scaled

Other Seafood Recipes

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Liz eating lemon butter baked white fish.

Finished in about 15 minutes, you’ll have dinner on the table in no time with my Lemon Butter Baked White Fish.

Your fork is waiting.

Long view of lemon butter baked white fish

Lemon Butter Baked White Fish

4.60 stars average
This 15-minute baked white fish dinner recipe is easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. Ideal for any mild white fish!
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes
TOTAL: 20 minutes

Recipe Video


  • 4 6-ounce white fish fillets (such as tilapia, cod or whitefish )
  • ¼ cup butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced herbs (such as parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 1 lemon (zested and thinly sliced)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl mix together softened butter with garlic, salt, pepper, minced herbs and lemon zest.
  • Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place fish fillets in a single layer.
  • Brush butter mixture evenly on top of fish then top with lemon slices.
  • Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.


Serving: 1filetCalories: 377kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 39gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 784mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 355IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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64 responses to “Lemon Butter Baked White Fish”

  1. Bill Kelly Avatar
    Bill Kelly

    We live in Gills Rock Wi. At the tip of the Door County on the shore of Lake Michigan, which is the port of commercial fishing for Whitefish……it IS an actual type/species of fish.

  2. Marilene Mc Candless Avatar
    Marilene Mc Candless

    I made it this way and i added fresh chopped parsley, fresh chopped garlic and slices of lemon on top. It was very, very good.

  3. Mary Slanker Avatar
    Mary Slanker

    Thanks for sharing the amazing recipe. I am not big fish fan, but loved it.

  4. Jenifer mm Avatar
    Jenifer mm

    Hey, I have become very glad reading your post. Which is very essential for us. Your post is very authentic. Thank you.

  5. Tami Avatar

    I tried this last night with a wild caught white fish from Whole Foods (cannot remember the name of white fish). It was amazing!!! I live at a higher altitude which sometimes requires cooking for a longer time. It took about 25 minutes of cooking. I will definitely make this again. I had tabouleh with it as a side.
    Did not taste ‘fishy’ and was not the least bit dry.

  6. Anamit Avatar

    Followed the instructions to the T except for the garlic which I increased the amount of because I like garlic..have to say i was NOT disappointed one bit! I used Barramundi (Bhetki in India) fillets…My 89yr old mother liked it too…Shall repeat it again by using a different fish…

  7. Beck and Bulow Avatar
    Beck and Bulow

    Good recipe. I added an extra half a chilli and garlic clove. Also blended up up 20 plum tomatoes with an extra handful of basil and drizzle of olive oil to make more of a sauce as it seemed like it might be a bit dry. It was perfect.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Sounds delicious!

  8. James Avatar

    Are you supposed to eat the lemons?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      The lemons mostly just add flavor, but they are edible and can be eaten with the fish for added bursts of flavor!

      1. Jane Avatar

        I live on Lake Superior and frequently eat Whitefish, which is a member if the salmon family. Its an actual fish species. Just wanted to share this tidbit! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. William Avatar

    What is the best recipe to cook fish in the oven 🤔

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It depends on what kind of fish you are baking, and what flavors you enjoy. This lemon butter baked white fish recipe is a great one to start with if you’re new to figuring out your tastes with fish!

    2. Michael Martin Avatar
      Michael Martin

      Put fish in a dish , turn oven on . Put dish in oven. Thats it !

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.