Lemon Butter Baked White Fish

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

white fish with lemon slices on top

My family loves seafood so when my husband recently requested white fish for dinner, I was happy to oblige.

What type of fish is white fish?

Whitefish is not a specific fish but more of a type of fish that is mild in flavor and low in fat and is typically inexpensive.

What kinds of white fish are out there?

There are a number of whitefishes that are available. The ones I usually recommend are Cod, Tillapia and Haddock.

Other whitefish options out there is grouper, halibut, sole, flounder, catfish, sea bass, swordfish, tuna or snapper (I’m sure I missed some). These options would all work.

white fish preparations

Is whitefish healthy?

Yes! Low and fat and full of Omega 3’s it’s very healthy for you.

How to avoid making a dry, bland fish

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.

To add moisture and even more flavor, I top each fish filet with thin slices of lemon. Not only does it serve a purpose by locking in the juices but it turns a simple dinner into a total showstopper- fancy enough for entertaining.

softened butter added to white fish

Where to buy

Normally you can source whitefish from the seafood or fish counter at your local supermarket or a local fish monger. While you could buy the whitefish whole people prefer to purchase it in filet form.

Prices on fish vary depending on what you purchase with Tilapia and Cod being the cheapest with Tuna and Halibut being more pricey.

No seafood counter at your local store? No problem. There are usually frozen options as well in your freezer section. For this recipe it’s intended to be fresh fish.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What temperature should whitefish be cooked at?

350 degrees as you want the fish to cook gradually

How long should whitefish be cooked for?

Depending on the temperature of your oven it should be cooked for 15 to 20 minutes.

Easy Baked Lemon White Fish Recipe

I love to sprinkle additional fresh herbs on top right before serving. While you can discard the baked lemon slices, I like to leave them on in case anyone wishes to squeeze on more lemon.

white fish on a plate with lemons hres

More lemon is always a good idea when it comes to seafood, am I right?

Lemon Baked White Fish Recipe

Holiday traditions

My Aunt Dolly and Uncle Vinny have a yearly Christmas Eve Italian tradition called ‘The Feast of the Seven Fishes‘ where the family gets together and has a grand meal before Christmas.

Other whitefish recipes

While this recipe is very versatile and great for whatever fresh fish you can get your hands on. You’re options are certainly not limited.

If you’re looking for other whitefish options check out these suggestions

Your fork is waiting.

Fast WhiteFish easy

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
Servings: 4


  • 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.
    Easy Baked Lemon White Fish Recipe
  • Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.
    cooked whitefish

Recipe Video


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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63 thoughts on “Lemon Butter Baked White Fish”

  1. 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

    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. 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.

  4. 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…

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

      1. 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.

    1. 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!

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