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.

4.78 from 1304 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
Serves – 5 people (up to)


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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.


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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  1. 5 stars
    This was a quick and delicious recipe for Lent. I didn’t make the full amount if sauce, however I did use the all the ingredients. It was a hit with the family. Will definitely make again!

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I only cooked it in the oven about 7 minutes. Thanks so much for the recipe I will definitely make it again.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! An amazing, simple recipe. Restaurant quality flavor!. I served it with quinoa and a Cesear salad. Sooooo scrumptious!
    Will make this again and again,
    Thank you

  4. 3 stars
    The flavor of the fish was good but it was a little overcooked and therefore tough. I followed the recipe exactly cooking 2 minutes on top and bottom and 8 minutes in the oven which was just too long. I will try again for six minutes or so. Thanks

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Judy. Ovens do vary, so that may have been an issue here. The timing in your oven may be a bit different than mine. I do hope you give it another try.

  5. 5 stars
    This was very good and easy to prepare. My husband even liked it and he normally frowns at trying something new. Will definitely be making this again.

  6. 5 stars
    Amazing ! My baked fish always falls apart. This is surely my new staple. Neck time I will up the seasoning but that is simply a personal preference. I will also sear it a little longer. So tasty! Thank you

  7. 5 stars
    Every one of your recipes that I have tried has been great, and this one was no exception. Delicious and simple to prepare. Made the recipe as written, with Pacific ling cod. Served with a big salad and some roasted carrots with za’atar. Thank you for the great recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious! By far the best fish I’ve made. The only changes I made was to marinate the fish in the lemon dressing for about two hours before cooking. I also used 1/2 white flour and 1/2 rice flour. Paired with a Greek salad & potatoes- YUM!

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I halved the recipe and cooked it exactly as directed. My husband who is extremely picky and he loved it! The spices do not overwhelm the cod. I served this with mini penne in olive oil, , garlic, black pepper and pecorino. I had no fresh vegetables so I grabbed frozen Lima beans. The beans complemented the fish. That surprised me. I bet a salad with chick peas would have been perfect. Thank you for sharing. I am making this again!

  10. This is, by far, the best fish recipe I've made! However, I doubled the recipe and my recommendation would be not to double the garlic; 5-6 cloves grated is plenty and I made 3 pounds of haddock. Otherwise....perfect! Will definitely make again....and is dinner party worthy!

    1. I am Greek, so a big fan of lemon. Not sure that I, personally, would love the lime flavor. It is perfection as written.

  11. 5 stars
    Delicious! I’m strict clean Keto so I did make a few changes to make it keto. Instead of flour I used fine ground pork rinds. I only made half the cod called for but I made the whole sauce and spice recipe. I served the cod over cauliflower rice seasoning with a bit of olive oil and some of the spices and topped with the parsley and some pine nuts. I served the cod rice dish with a side salad and used the ratio of lemon juice and olive oil as the dressing for my salad. Hard to imagine a more tasty flavorful healthy meal. If you are keto never shy away from non keto recipes that are healthy. With just a few minor changes you can still enjoy. The seasoning in this dish where spot on. Thanks to the author for sharing it is definitely a keeper!

  12. 5 stars
    Outstanding recipe Suzy! The seasoning is spot on , very easy to make and a joy to eat . I’m a big fish fan and this recipe is a keeper. The family loved it so I’ll be making this again and again for sure. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes with us !

  13. 5 stars
    So yummy! Made a cucumber, artichoke, chickpea, parsley, lemon zest salad and quinoa for sides. Will make again!

  14. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! I'm very picky about fish and very intimidated to make fish at home, but this recipe was perfect. I did have to cook my cod for about 12 minutes instead of the 10 in the recipe but my filets were fairly thick. This paired nicely with the Greek lemon rice on this site, too. This is going on our repeat list!

  15. 4 stars
    Very good and very easy to make. The flavors are basic and not unusual which is the only reason I gave it 4 stars. It is a great seafood recipe to have on hand. To keep it from getting “gloppy” when breading it make sure there in minimal lemon sauce and flour mixture on the fish. It is quick and easy to make after guests arrive because it finishes in the oven.