This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.

This garlic butter cod recipe is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook my favorite white, flaky fish! An incredibly rich, crowd-pleasing garlic butter is melted and draped around seared cod for a moist, never dry dinner the whole family will love. Naturally keto and gluten free.

Overhead view of garlic butter cod filets in a silver skillet with garlic butter sauce and lemon coins.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • This is maybe my most favorite way to cook cod. An easy pan-sear, a rich garlicky butter sauce, flaky fish fillets, and a hearty helping of protein and body-benefitting nutrients. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s good for you, and it’s a dish that everyone around the table will enjoy.
  • Cod is a wonderfully mild-tasting fish, so if you’re someone that typically steers clear of anything that might be remotely fishy, you’re all good here. In fact, the flavors in the garlic butter sauce are the true stars in this dish.
  • It’s a really versatile dish that pairs well with almost anything. Air Fryer Green Beans? Yup. Fondant Potatoes? You bet. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic Aioli? I can’t believe you even have to ask.

Chef’s Tips

  • The oil will heat up super quickly, so be careful not to let it get too hot or you’ll burn the fish. Watch closely and as soon as you see wisps of smoke rising up from the surface of the oil, and the cod to the pan.
  • Cod fillets should only take about 4 minutes to cook, but go by the visual clues instead of the timer. The bottom of the fillets should caramelize and turn a rich brown color. Also, if they’re fully ready, they’ll lift out of the pan really easily. If they stick too much or you have to really work to get a spatula under them, let them cook a minute or two more and try again.
Overhead view of a skillet of cod fillets in a garlic butter sauce with lemon coins on a table.

Everything’s Better with Garlic Butter

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 2 votes

Garlic Butter Cod

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 25 minutes
Tender, flaky white fish draped in a rich garlic-butter sauce for a crowd-pleasing entrée that goes well with almost anything.
4 servings


  • Cutting board
  • Small bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • Large skillet
  • Paper towels
  • thin metal spatula fish spatula preferred
  • Plate


For the Garlic Butter Sauce

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch salt more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley optional

For the Cod

  • 4 6-ounce cod fillets approximately 1-inch thick
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil avocado, olive, vegetable, etc.
  • ½ cup white wine see Notes
  • lemon wedges optional, for serving


  • Place cod fillets on cutting board. Sprinkle salt liberally over both sides of fillets, then set aside.
  • Add all ingredients for garlic butter to small bowl. Mix well until ingredients are thoroughly combined, then set aside.
  • Heat large skillet over medium-high heat for approximately 2 minutes. While skillet warms, pat cod fillets completely dry with paper towels.
  • When skillet is hot, add neutral oil and swirl pan to spread oil around. Heat oil over medium-high heat just until wisps of smoke begin to rise.
  • Immediately place cod fillets in skillet, spaced apart and skin-side down (or side of fillets where skin used to be). Lower heat to medium and cook fillets undisturbed for 4 minutes or until bottoms of fillets begin to caramelize.
  • When fish is ready, carefully try to lift fillets from skillet with thin metal spatula. Fillets should lift easily, or only stick in 1 or 2 spots. If fish does not, continue cooking until fillets release easily, then transfer fillets to plate and set aside.
  • Pour white wine into skillet and scrape up any browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet with spatula. Bring wine to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is reduced by 50%.
  • Add garlic butter to reduced wine and gently stir until butter is completely melted. Return fillets to skillet with browned-sides up. Tilt skillet and spoon garlic butter sauce over cod fillets until fillets turn opaque and can be easily flaked with fork. Add salt to taste.
  • Transfer fish to serving plates, seared-side up. Squeeze lemon wedge over fillets if desired, and serve immediately with additional lemon wedges and desired sides.
  • White Wine: Chicken stock, vegetable stock, or seafood stock can be used instead.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1garlic butter cod filletCalories: 402calProtein: 31gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 287mgPotassium: 745mgTotal Carbs: 1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.3gNet Carbs: 1gVitamin A: 861IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @40aprons on Instagram and be sure to leave a review on the blog post!

Leave A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Recipe calls for lime (optional). Instructions & Photos indicate lemon. Interchangeable or typo? Either way, trying it tonight with lemon.

Where To Next?