This easy baked cod recipe comes together in just over 20 minutes, but there is a reason it is a big fan favorite! Tender, perfectly flaky cod, tossed in bold Mediterranean spices and baked with a tasty garlic and lemon sauce.

Baked cod recipe with lemon and garlic served in cast-iron skillet

Fish is one of the staples of the Mediterranean diet, so my family tries to eat fish about twice per week.

Luckily, there are so many ways to prepare a tasty fish dinner. Sometimes, I go for a big baked salmon, a hearty fish soup, or something different like a saucy Moroccan fish.

But one of my favorite go-to dinners is this easy lemon baked cod! And it is the #1 fish recipe on my site, for good reason!

Why this cod recipe works?

Cod fillet is a beautiful fish that is quick to cook, tender and mild-tasting so you can easily give it some big flavors!

This baked cod recipe takes on some bold Mediterranean flavors with a tasty garlic and lemon sauce and a few warm spices, including coriander, paprika, and cumin. 

Best part? You can make this lemon baked cod in just over 20 minutes from start-to-finish!

Can I use frozen cod fish in this recipe?

Fresh vs. frozen? This is one of the questions I get regularly about cooking with fish. More often than not, frozen is the better option for quality wild-caught fish.

Depending on where you live in the States, the "fresh" fish you may find sitting on ice at the fish counter was likely frozen and thawed before it was displayed. Whereas, flash frozen fish is caught and quickly frozen at the peak of its freshness, and it is often more affordable.

If you find quality frozen fish fillet (sometimes labeled cod loin), it will work in this baked cod recipe but be sure to thaw it properly before use.

Baked cod in lemon and garlic sauce, garnished with parsley

How to thaw frozen fish?

Frozen fish fillets thaw quickly in about 15 to 20 minutes. Here is how:

  • First, be sure to leave the fish in its vacuum-packaging. If it is not in some sort of packaging, place it in a zip-top bag (do not place it water "naked").
  • Arrange the vacuum-sealed fish in a bowl and cover it with cold tap water. Do NOT use warm or hot water; This creates more risk for bacterial growth and will also affect the texture of the fish,
  • Check after 15 to 20 minutes to see if the fish feels tender and thawed through. If it is hard in some parts, leave it in for a little big longer.

How to bake cod and what temperature is best?

First, what temperature should cod be cooked at? For baked cod, I typically set my oven to 400 degrees F. How long? Depending on the thickness of your cod fillet, it could take about 10 to 15 minutes in the oven.

In this cod recipe, I use about 1 ½ pounds of cod fillet, and it helps to use a large oven-safe baking dish or a cast-iron skillet. Here is how to make it:

  • First, start by lightly coating the cod fillets in some well-seasoned flour. To do this, prepare a dredging station.
    • In one shallow bowl prepare the lemon sauce by mixing together 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 2 tbsp melted butter.
    • In another shallow bowl, mix together ⅓ cup all-purpose flour with 1 tsp ground coriander, ¾ tsp sweet Spanish paprika, ¾ tsp ground cumin, and ¾ tsp kosher salt.
    • Dip the fish in the lemon sauce, then coat it well with the flour mixture. Keep the lemon sauce for later use.
  • Sear the fish. To give the cod some good color and texture, sear it in olive oil for about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Add the lemon sauce. Now, to the lemon sauce, add 5 minced garlic cloves (so much flavor), then pour it over the cod.
  • Bake in 400 degrees F heated oven for about 10 minutes or until the cod is cooked through. The fish is ready when it turns a beautiful white opaque and flakes easily when you take a fork to it.
  • Garnish and serve! I love adding some parsley for a pop of green!

What to serve with this cod recipe?

To complete this fish dinner, I always like to add a big salad and a simple side. I have some ideas that will go perfectly with this cod. To add more Greek flavors, try out our Greek salad. Or give this Lebanese fattoush salad a try. If you're looking for some beans in your salad, try our Mediterranean bean salad or chickpea salad.

For vegetarian sides, you might want to try out these hearty recipes: roasted broccoli, asparagus with salsa, or stuffed zucchini boats.

For starchy sides, give these a try: mustard potato salad, Greek-style oven fries, or lemon rice.

And to keep with a Greek theme, why not add a dip like Miletzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip) or Tzatziki with some pita chips to serve!

Baked cod in skillet with a side of Greek salad

Can I refrigerate or freeze leftover cooked fish?

When I make this baked cod recipe, I don't typically have leftovers. And as with all fish recipes, it is best eaten fresh on the day it is cooked, particularly because often times the fish was already frozen before it was cooked.

But, a reader recently asked this relevant question as she cooks for fewer people. Depending on how fresh the fish was to begin with, you can store the leftovers either in the fridge or even in the freezer. First, cool the fish a little, but don't leave it in room temperature for more than 1 hour before refrigerating or freezing.

Arrange the cod in a shallow glass container with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you need to warm it up, simply use a medium-heated oven until just warmed through (there is always a chance the fish will be overcooked when you warm it up again).

Generally, cooked fish can be frozen for up to 1 month. My personal preference is not to freeze it, because I feel the texture of the fish changes a little.

More recipes to try

Craving more? Check out fish recipes. You may also like our to browse top Mediterranean diet recipes.

Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients.

4.77 from 1218 votes

Baked Cod Recipe with Lemon and Garlic

The Mediterranean Dish
Baked cod in lemon and garlic sauce, garnished with parsley
Best baked cod recipe out there! Prepared Mediterranean style with a few spices and a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil and lots of garlic. Bakes in 15 mins!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 12 minutes
Total – 22 minutes
Cuisine:
Greek
Serves – 5 people (up to)
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb Cod fillet pieces, 4-6 pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Lemon Sauce

  • 5 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

For Coating

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, and melted butter in a shallow bowl (do not add the garlic yet). Set aside.
  • In another shallow bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, spices, salt and pepper. Set next to the lemon sauce.
  • Pat the fish dry. Dip the fish in the lemon sauce then dip it in the flour mixture. Shake off excess flour. Reserve the lemon sauce for later.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or an oven-safe pan) over medium-high heat (watch the oil to be sure it is shimmering but not smoking). Add the fish and sear on each side to give it some color, but do not fully cook (about 2 minutes on each side). Remove the skillet from heat.
  • To the remaining lemon sauce, add the minced garlic and mix. Drizzle all over the fish fillets.
  • Bake in the heated oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork (10 minutes should do it, but begin checking earlier). Remove from the heat and sprinkle chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Video

Notes

  • Serving suggestions: Serve immediately with Lebanese rice and this Mediterranean chickpea salad or traditional Greek salad.
  • Cook's Tip: This recipe has been edited adding step #5 to achieve more color. Be sure to use a fish spatula to carefully turn the fish in the skillet.
  • Leftover Storage: If you have any leftovers, let the fish cool a bit, then arrange in a shallow glass container with a tight lid. You can refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, or freeze for up to one month. My personal preference is not to freeze fish as, sometimes, the texture does change.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 319.3kcalCarbohydrates: 9.6gProtein: 25.8gFat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 70.6mgSodium: 466.1mgPotassium: 641.5mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 603.3IUVitamin C: 14.2mgCalcium: 45.3mgIron: 1.7mg
Tried this recipe?

 

*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2017 and has recently been updated with new information for readers' benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Made this today, had beautiful flavours,
    I don’t think I heated the pan hot enough, coating wasn’t crispy.
    Will try again.

  2. Hi Suzy - I am new to this site and am going to try this recipe for tonight's dinner. I do not each much fish as I feel it needs a lot of flavour in it so if this works I may start eating more fish.
    I will let you know how it goes

  3. 5 stars
    The flavors were great, but I had major issues with the breading. It became gummy almost immediately although I allowed the fish to drip a bit before putting it in the flour mixture. I even went back in to make sure that all three ingredients went into the lemon dip. I ended up using my fingers to smear the remaining flour mixture on the last piece. Any clue what I may have done wrong?

    1. Hmmm thanks so much for sharing, Lynn. You'll want to be sure to shake excess flour off and keep just super thin layer. Also, you can omit the breading all together, if that may work better for you:-)

  4. Can you make this without the flour? We have a celiac teen in the house that does not like things dredged in almond flour. It gives it a weird taste and I don't want to experiment with other gf flours. Thanks!

  5. Hmmm.... don’t understand all the positive reviews. I love cod, garlic and lemon. I made this recipe exactly as written and could not even eat it. The taste, texture were not my favorite.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Bob. Honestly, this is one of our favorites and we make it exactly as written. I'm sorry it didn't work as well for you. We have many fish recipes that don't involve breading that might be a better fit for you.

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I rarely cook fish because I couldn’t make it tasty. Now I will do it more often.
    Little problem that I mix up cumin and carum in spices. I do not know what is more correct to translate into Russian "cumin" 😉

  7. 5 stars
    Wow! I’m from New Mexico, love to cook and my family loves fish...I made this with the Lebanese rice and some broccoli with garlic....was a huge hit!!! My family loved it! Thank you for an amazing recipe!

  8. 2 stars
    Why so complicated? What's the point of the cast iron? Just to use it? This could have been done with an easier clean up.

    1. Hi J, In this recipe because the fish is cooked stove-top briefly, then moved to the oven for baking, cast iron is a good option because it works in the oven as well. We use it to save an extra dish actually 🙂

  9. Hi Suzy - I'm new to your site and legally blind so was pleased to find you have video - but for me, this did not work this time! Is there a reason please?

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Gabbie! The video on this particular recipe does not have voice instructions, but rather just the steps. Moving forward however, we plan to only produce videos with voice instruction. Thank you for bearing with us.

      1. Thank you Suzy for your reply. Actually, not even the picture video works. But I was using iPad. This morning I am trying my iPhone - which is more difficult but I have video!
        I really need it to work on pc and iPad. Will keep checking.

  10. I tried this, but for a large group and while it was tasty. The flour mixture went on more heavy than I would have liked and it didn’t crisp up as much as I hoped it would. I think getting the pan hotter would have crisped it more, but do you have any tips for thinning out the flour?

    1. Hey Zac. Thanks for sharing! Glad everyone enjoyed it. I would say, a couple of things with respect to the breading
      1) Shake the fish super well to get rid of excess flour and keep only a super thin dusting just enough to create the breading. 2) Yes, as you mentioned, get your pan more hot

  11. Do you have any suggestions to make this ahead in the frying pan and then heat/finish in the oven? Need an idea for Xmas eve and looking to brown the filets before mass and come back and pop them into the oven.

  12. 5 stars
    Very nice recipe. Whole family loved it (8 year olds included).

    I'm going to experiment with the spices since they overpowered the fish a bit. Cod is so mild. I do like fish, so I want to see if there is anything I can do to get a little more of the fish flavor out.

    Overall, A+. Great stuff.

  13. This fish is delicious and is a great blend of flavors. We used some Italian bread to wipe up some of the leftover sauce too. However, there is still a good amount of breading and sauce left over in the pan, do you have any recommendations for repurposing it?

    1. That's great to hear, Kathy! I'll think on your question some more, but you can maybe re purpose over some roasted veggies?

  14. 5 stars
    My first time with this recipe and I didn't heat the frying pan as hot as i should have, but that said, the flavors were delicious and we really like it. I will make again.

  15. Suzy,
    pictures aren't printing out anymore and haven't been for awhile, too bad as that is the decider sometimes when going through for meal plan - 'picture worth thousand words' they say. Need to put them back in, a little snapshot in the upper right corner worked wonderful.
    Love your recipes - no need to change things - except maybe all the ADS, lot of distractions going on when trying to focus on your videos - yikes! just saying ...

      1. This was fantastic! I added calamata olives when I put it in the oven, so good. Next time I will reduce the lemon. Will be making all the time and was thinking what a great recipe to use on scallops.

        Thank you

        Robin

  16. 5 stars
    This was so good!! I modified it a little bit to my needs and what I had on hand. I made this with Mahi mahi, subbed cassava flour to make gf and subbed vegan butter for the regular butter. I also left out parsley because I didn’t have any. It turned out amazing! We love your other recipes too, Mediterranean shrimp is my husbands absolute fave.