This 15-minute baked white fish dinner recipe is easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Ideal for any mild white fish!
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.
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.
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.
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.
More lemon is always a good idea when it comes to seafood, am I right?
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
- Baked Tilapia with Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce
- Parmesan Crusted Baked White Fish
Your fork is waiting.
Lemon Butter Baked White Fish
- 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.
Made this tonight and my hubby and I loved it. I only had freeze dried dill, and that was delicious. Thanks for sharing!
I have this! On my TBR since September 2017
I hope you love it!
EASY, great tastIng fish recipe. I will be using this recipe over and over again. I used purchased lemon-pepper seasoning, powered garlic and onion, dehydrated dill from my garden. 3 tablespoons of butter total. Baked at 350 for 25 minutes with sliced lemons. I used locally fresh caught crappie. Sheer LUSCIOUSNESS!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this Jackie! Love that you have homemade dehydrated dill!!
Do you remove the skin or leave it on when using white fish.
Either works to be honest!! We usually buy skinless filets though.
I’ve never cooked fish and don’t like smell or taste of it. My husband likes fish and wants me to try cooking it for him. Could I soak the fish in milk to stop the fish from smelling, if I use your recipe? I’m not looking forward to touching raw fish, and will make sure it’s head is off and is fileted already. Ugh…20 years of marriage without this, now he’s begging for fish. I truly don’t want my house stinking and don’t want to be nauseous from it. Help!
Hi Katherine! The trick to fish that doesn’t smell is to buy fresh fish. Fresh fish shouldn’t have a “fishy” smell and should be fresh like the ocean. Rinse it with water to remove any excess odor. Maybe try scallops or shrimp too?
Just wondering if I could use this recipe with pickerel?
Can you use frozen white fish? If so, cook from frozen or thaw?
You can cook from frozen without thawing but it will end up a bit watery so if possible thaw and pat dry with paper towel. :)
Made a gluten-free version of this recipe. Superb.
Oooo so glad you loved it!
Please do share how you made this gluten-free…Thanks!
The recipe is listed to show you how! :) There’s no gluten anywhere. Enjoy!
Wow! This lemon herb butter is amazing. So delicious on simple flounder with ????. I thought I’d want Parmesan Cheese but no need for it. I have made herb lemon butter for other things. Thank you Liz
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
So quick question, how important is it to use unsalted butter? I don’t usually keep any on hand (not much of a baker)-and will add to my grocery list as this recipe sounds amazing (if it’s a must). Thanks!
Oh it’s not that important!!!! Any butter is fine!
2 tablespoons each of all 3 herbs or in total?
two tablespoons total!!
Takes more than just 20 mins to cook on 350.
It took about 45 mins before my daughters ate theirs.
It might vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Ours are always done in 20!
Hi Ernie! I used all 3 (parsley, oregano & basil) because I had all 3 handy, but this meal would be delicious either way! Even fresh rosemary, dill and/or thyme would make this a hit… Can’t go wrong with any fresh herbs you have on-hand!
While whitefish can be a generic term used for many fish, it is certainly a specific species and most commonly refers to Lake Whitefish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_whitefish
So this recipe is for ANY type of white fish. :) Tilapia, snapper, haddock, you name it!
Completely unnecessary comment, just like this one.
Super easy, fast and a hit with the kids. This will be going into our rotation because it is so easy. I made some extra butter sauce and added it to the rice. Served with roasted broccoli and roasted green beans. It also looked pretty serving it on the table. Thank you for the recipe.
So glad you loved it!!!
I use dill and thin sliced onions I make a garlic butter lemon sauce. So good. I use cod
OMG yes!! Yum!
I just made this and we both loved it! Amazing recipe, we followed exactly and turned out great
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Adina!!! Let me know if you try any other recipes of mine!
What internal temperature should the fish be when it is done? I made this recipient and it was great, but a little overdone, even though I only baked it for 14 min. An internal temp would help for the next time I make this. :))
You want to cook fish until it flakes with a fork!
Excellent, Excellent, Excellent! Make no changes to this recipe- it’s perfect as is, and the whole family loved it! My favorite part: So quick & easy to make! A side of wild rice made this a dinnertime hit! It’s perfect for busy, mid-week dinners when you need something quick, but want something homemade!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Do you do all 3 herbs? Or Only 1 of the 3 of parsley, oregano, basil?
The more herbs the better – just use what you have!!
To clarify, ANY of them work!
1 gram of protein for 1 fillet??
Sorry about that Liz – glitch in the system but it’s been fixed! Good catch!
Another one of your meals is a hit! I used whitefish and squeezed lemon juice rather than lemon slices and seasonings you recommended—kids (7,4,4) gobbled it up-thank God I had Decided to add an extra fillet So that me and hubby could have some to eat! Thanks again Liz!
I’m so glad you and the kiddos loved it!!!! Let me know what recipe you make next Rita!
This looks amazing! I love how easy this is to make!
This needs to happen soon for dinner! Looks so delicious!
Such a simple and delicious fish recipe perfect for dinner!
I could eat a meal like this every single day! I love the fresh and simple ingredients.