This Easy Lemon Baked Cod Recipe is a delicious and flavorful fish recipe made with healthy cod fillets, cherry tomatoes, and olives cooked in a mouthwatering lemon butter and white wine sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes, learn how to bake cod with this easy, family favorite recipe and enjoy with a side of roasted asparagus and creamy mashed potatoes.
Cod is my absolute favorite fish to cook… and eat! It’s lean, healthy, versatile, and relatively forgiving if it’s left in the oven a minute or two too long (not recommended, but it happens to us all). Delicious in stews and curries, or battered and fried into your favorite fish sticks, the cod is a pretty important fish.
This easy lemon baked cod is one of my favorite ways to prepare cod. Filled with healthy, lean protein and an irresistible sauce made with garlic, butter, lemon, and white wine, it’s the perfect complement to all your favorite carbs (I highly recommend mashed potatoes, pasta, or bread).
The best part? This phenomenal meal takes just 30 minutes to prepare and make, making it easy enough to whip together during the week and fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party!
Is Cod Healthy to Eat?
Yes! Cod is a very healthy fish.
Cod is high in protein, but low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.
- 1 (3-ounce) serving of cooked Atlantic cod contains 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 19 grams of protein.
- 1 (3-ounce) serving of cooked Pacific cod contains 85 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, and 20 grams of protein.
Atlantic and Pacific cod, each found in stores, are very similar. In terms of flavor, however, some say that Atlantic cod is slightly sweeter with large flakes that fall apart easily when cooked. Pacific cod, on the other hand, is less sweet, firmer, and has chunkier flakes.
Additional health benefits of eating cod,
- High source of vitamin B-12. One (3-ounce) serving contains approximately 30% RDI for vitamin B-12 for adults.
- Rich in Phosphorus. Important for bones and teeth. It also helps ensure the proper function of some B vitamins.
- High in Selenium. Help make (and protect!) DNA.
- Cod is low in mercury when compared to other fish.
Ingredients in Lemon Baked Cod
The most important ingredients needed to make this lemon baked cod recipe include,
- Cod – I love cooking with Cod. It’s readily available – both fresh or frozen – and is mild in flavor. Cod fish not available? Try tilapia, haddock, or Mahi Mahi.
- Olive oil + butter – Remember, we’re making a lemon butter sauce, right?
- Lemons – It’s a pretty well-known fact that most fish tastes great with fresh lemon and cod is one of those fish. You will need at least 2-3 whole fresh lemons to make this recipe, but I suggest purchasing one or two extra.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is an absolute must.
- Cherry tomatoes – I love warm roasted cherry tomatoes. If you don’t, don’t add them.
- Olives – I added a mix of green and kalamata olives. The type of olives you add is up to you- just remember to drain and rinse any liquid from the olives as it tends to be super salty.
- Dry white wine – white wine with butter, garlic, and lemon is probably the very best combination ever. The best dry white wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio. If you don’t cook with wine, substitute with chicken broth.
How to Bake Cod
For this particular baked cod recipe, I chose to bake the cod fillets drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper for approximately 8-10 minutes first. This gave me enough time to prepare the lemon butter and white wine sauce. Once the cod has baked for approximately 8-10 minutes (or reaches an internal temperature of around 100-115 degrees F) I added HALF of the lemon butter sauce to the fillets and reserved the other half for anyone who likes a little extra butter sauce. Return the baking dish to the oven and continue to cook until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees F.
Here are the full step-by-step instructions on how to bake cod,
Preheat oven and prepare cod. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the cod fillets to the baking dish in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil and fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with pearl onions and cherry tomatoes (no need to be fancy here).
Bake. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Prepare the lemon butter sauce. As the fish bakes, prepare the lemon butter sauce. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and add the lemon slices and dry white wine to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the olives, cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, and fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with fresh cracked pepper and season with additional salt, to taste. Set aside.
Add the lemon butter sauce to the cod. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon approximately half of the sauce (plus the olives and tomatoes) over the cod fillets. Return the baking dish back to the oven and continue to cook, uncovered, for approximately 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F.
Serve. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the additional sauce, if desired.
How long to bake cod
The total cooking time will vary depending on two important factors: the oven temperature and the thickness of your cod fillets. Since you will be baking all your cod fillets at the same temperature, it’s important to pick fillets with an equal thickness (approximately 1-1 1/2 inches).
- how long to bake cod at 350 degrees F – 20-25 minutes
- how long to bake cod at 375 degrees F – 15-20 minutes
- how long to bake cod at 400 degrees F – 10-15 minutes
- how long to bake cod at 425 degrees F – 7-10 minutes
What to serve with Baked Cod?
For starchy sides, I like to serve this recipe with Baked Potatoes, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf, or Garlic Roasted Potatoes. Of course, any kind of pasta noodle of toasted bread would also be great sopping up all that wonderful sauce.
But what about vegetables?
Let’s just say this pairs well with all the vegetables: Roasted Carrots, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Beets, or Oven Roasted Green Beans. Basically, any and ALL vegetables love this lemon baked cod recipe.
You can also serve a simple Balsamic Tomato Salad or a side of Zucchini Noodles.
More seafood recipes,
- Jamaican Jerk Cod with Mango Avocado Salsa
- Fish Ceviche Recipe (How to Make Ceviche)
- Pineapple Coconut Thai Fish Curry
- Mediterranean Baked Fish with Artichokes and Olives
- Cioppino Recipe (Seafood Stew)
If you try making this Lemon Baked Cod Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Lemon Baked Cod Recipe
For the cod
- 4 cod fillets - (approximately 1.5 - 2 pounds)
- salt and pepper - to season
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lemon - juiced
- 1.5 cups pearl onions - peeled
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
For the Sauce
- Preheat oven and prepare cod. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the cod fillets to the baking dish in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil and fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with pearl onions and cherry tomatoes.
- Bake. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Prepare the lemon butter sauce. As the fish bakes, prepare the lemon butter sauce. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and add the lemon slices and dry white wine to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the olives, cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, and fresh thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with fresh cracked pepper and season with additional salt, to taste. Set aside.
- Add the lemon butter sauce to the cod. Remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon approximately half of the sauce (plus the olives and tomatoes) over the cod fillets. Return the baking dish back to the oven and continue to cook, uncovered, for approximately 5-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F as read with a digital meat thermometer.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the additional sauce, if desired.
- This recipe would also taste great with tilapia, haddock, or flounder (or most other white fish).
- The pearl onions are optional. Feel free to substitute with regular yellow or red onions, or omit from the recipe altogether.
- Substitute the white wine for chicken broth if you don't cook with wine.
- For extra lemon flavor, season your cod fillets with lemon pepper instead of salt and pepper.
- Add a little extra sweetness and substitute the lemon slices with orange slices instead.
- Keep in mind that total cooking times will vary depending on thickness of your fish.
- Recipe inspired by JoCooks and Delish
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
I’m on the Blood Type A diet, which means, no tomatoes or olives, or butter — and I had 1/3 lb of cod to work with. I used ghee instead of butter, and about the half the amount after cutting it in 4ths. I didn’t have fresh thyme so used dried (but recently bought) dill, and just shook a lot of it in. Used one half of a large sweet onion, instead of pearl onions…and more of the white wine, since I had a really good New Zealand sauvignon blanc and didn’t want the pan drying out (with so much less ‘sauce’ in there)…I also used a tiny amount of fresh from the garden red pepper, and instead of using black pepper on the fish, I used paprika. For 1/3 lb fish I used a whole lemon — the juice and about 1/4 of it chopped up in the sauce…and when the sauce was ready I put ALL of it on the fish, and used the empty pan to stir fry broccoli with a little water and sea salt and then a lid on it to get it steamed fast. Ate the whole meal with orzo rice pilaf, all the juice (which was more lemon and wine than oil and butter) and it was BRILLIANT. One of the best meals I’ve eaten, and I don’t think of myself as much of a cook.