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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Eat It, LIke It, Share It!

Did you try this recipe and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.

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
Pin
Servings4

Recipe Video

Ingredients
 

  • 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)

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Nutrition

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. Victoria Mathews Avatar
    Victoria Mathews

    Made this tonight and my hubby and I loved it. I only had freeze dried dill, and that was delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brandi Brandom Avatar
    Brandi Brandom

    I have this! On my TBR since September 2017

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I hope you love it!

  3. Jackie Avatar
    Jackie

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this Jackie! Love that you have homemade dehydrated dill!!

  4. Gwen Avatar
    Gwen

    Do you remove the skin or leave it on when using white fish.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Either works to be honest!! We usually buy skinless filets though.

    2. Katherine D Avatar
      Katherine D

      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!

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        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?

  5. Amanda Avatar
    Amanda

    Just wondering if I could use this recipe with pickerel?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      YES absolutely!

  6. Alyssa Avatar
    Alyssa

    Can you use frozen white fish? If so, cook from frozen or thaw?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      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. :)

  7. Bob Avatar
    Bob

    Made a gluten-free version of this recipe. Superb.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oooo so glad you loved it!

    2. Celeste Hickman Avatar
      Celeste Hickman

      Please do share how you made this gluten-free…Thanks!

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        The recipe is listed to show you how! :) There’s no gluten anywhere. Enjoy!

  8. Bosack Mary Avatar
    Bosack Mary

    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

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

  9. Kait Avatar
    Kait

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh it’s not that important!!!! Any butter is fine!

      1. Cheryll Craig Avatar
        Cheryll Craig

        2 tablespoons each of all 3 herbs or in total?

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          two tablespoons total!!

  10. O'Connor Ronelin Avatar
    O’Connor Ronelin

    Takes more than just 20 mins to cook on 350.
    It took about 45 mins before my daughters ate theirs.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It might vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Ours are always done in 20!

  11. Amber Beltran Avatar
    Amber Beltran

    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!

  12. JASON PEET Avatar
    JASON PEET

    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

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So this recipe is for ANY type of white fish. :) Tilapia, snapper, haddock, you name it!

    2. James Avatar
      James

      Completely unnecessary comment, just like this one.

  13. Howlin' Avatar
    Howlin’

    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.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you loved it!!!

      1. Johanna Fennell Avatar
        Johanna Fennell

        I use dill and thin sliced onions I make a garlic butter lemon sauce. So good. I use cod

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          OMG yes!! Yum!

  14. Adina Avatar
    Adina

    I just made this and we both loved it! Amazing recipe, we followed exactly and turned out great

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Adina!!! Let me know if you try any other recipes of mine!

    2. Stacey Grant Avatar
      Stacey Grant

      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. :))

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        You want to cook fish until it flakes with a fork!

  15. Amber Avatar
    Amber

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    2. Ernie Avatar
      Ernie

      Do you do all 3 herbs? Or Only 1 of the 3 of parsley, oregano, basil?

      1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        The more herbs the better – just use what you have!!

      2. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
        Liz DellaCroce

        To clarify, ANY of them work!

  16. Liz Fisher Avatar
    Liz Fisher

    1 gram of protein for 1 fillet??

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Sorry about that Liz – glitch in the system but it’s been fixed! Good catch!

      1. Rita Graham Avatar
        Rita Graham

        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!

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          I’m so glad you and the kiddos loved it!!!! Let me know what recipe you make next Rita!

  17. Toni Avatar
    Toni

    This looks amazing! I love how easy this is to make!

  18. Lindsay Cotter Avatar
    Lindsay Cotter

    This needs to happen soon for dinner! Looks so delicious!

  19. Lisa Grant Avatar
    Lisa Grant

    Such a simple and delicious fish recipe perfect for dinner!

  20. Dorothy Reinhold Avatar
    Dorothy Reinhold

    I could eat a meal like this every single day! I love the fresh and simple ingredients.

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.