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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 mins
    COOK: 15 mins
    TOTAL: 20 mins
    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

    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!


    1. 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. 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. 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?

    2. 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

    3. 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!

    4. 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!

    5. 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. 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. :))

    6. 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. 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!

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