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 1533 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. Sue Clements says:

    5 stars
    This has been a favorite since the first time I prepared it!
    The seasoning is wonderful,
    I did use Whole Foods Harrisa dry seasoning (also a fav).
    I prepared the breaded fish hours ahead for a dinner party and it was a hit.

    I am now on a diet so I have modified the recipe (all baked), dust with seasoned flour, using less olive oil , spraying the pan with ghee oil and using ghee oil to achieve the same wonderful taste and aroma.

    love love love this

    it is what is for dinner tonight.

    I am loading this into myfitnesspal food diary recipes now.

    I will have to check out more of your recommendations.
    I love to use fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil to keep my cooking flavorful and healthy.

    1. Suzy says:

      Wonderful, Sue! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Tasha says:

    5 stars
    Best fish recipe ever! I’m not a huge fish fan, so the fact that this was super flavorful and delicious was great. I did make tzakiki and it went well together.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Tasha!

  3. Sue Carlson says:

    Absolutely wonderful dish! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Sue!

  4. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    So I’m trying to stay away from flour. I used garlic lemon, oregano, and butter. Still outstanding. And the smell in the kitchen oh my goodness!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Jacqueline!

  5. Nancy says:

    5 stars
    Hands down this is the best recipe for fish I have ever cooked! The seasonings are perfection! I doubled the coating amounts and the lemon sauce amounts - next time I will triple because they are so delish! I used Whole Foods frozen cod (365 WF brand) and the portions were perfect!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you so much, Nancy!

    2. Bonnie McCullough says:

      Did you change the cooking time much using frozen fillet?

  6. Lilly says:

    5 stars
    I made this with Whiting since my monger was out of cod. Great recipe, super simple. My family loved it. I didn’t have rice so I used some angel hair with garlic and oil and pepper flakes. Also I chopped up some asparagus I had and threw it in with the pasta. It was awesome. Thanks so much. I have a picture of the fish but I can’t paste it here for some reason.

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds wonderful, Lilly!

  7. Amy says:

    5 stars
    This was so easy and delicious! Hard to find fish recipes that my husband and son like, but everyone scarfed down this one. It will definitely be part of the rotation. Thanks!

  8. Nicole says:

    5 stars
    This was sooo good. The flavor was amazing and the fish looked great in the cast iron. I made this with the Lebanese rice and your Greek salad recipe. You are making our switch to the Mediterranean diet very tasty and easy. Thank you Suzy.

    1. Suzy says:

      I love hearing that! Thanks so much, Nicole!

  9. Abigail S says:

    5 stars
    I really loved this recipe. My husband said his fish tasted like mustard, and I have no idea why...I may try omitting the coriander and seeing if that changes his mind next time.

    One thing: I thought the breading was a little soggy. Does this mean I used too much flour, or too much lemon sauce on top while baking?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hmmm... it's hard to say, as it could have been either.

  10. Cameron Wright says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe! Made it tonight for the family and even my young children enjoyed it. My daughter's plate was as clean as I've ever seen. Much appreciated.

    -Cameron

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! I love hearing that! Thanks, Cameron!

  11. Bonnie says:

    5 stars
    Made the cod recipe and it was really delicious. Cod is so mild that the lemon and spices really gave it such good flavor. My husband enjoyed it and he said several time, "this is really good'" I'll be using it often and even for entertaining.

  12. Justine says:

    5 stars
    This cod recipe was amazing!!!! Our 12 year old son had seconds! We are trying to incorporate more fish in our diets and this one will definitely be in our dinner rotation. I also made the Lebanese rice along side the fish and it was incredible! I definitely have a few of your recipes saved and can’t wait to try.

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay!! Thanks, Justine! Can't wait to hear what you think of the others!!

  13. Gena C says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for terrific recipes Suzy. We made the Greek Style baked cod, with the Mediterranean chickpea salad with eggplant, homemade pita chips, hummus and lemony orzo for our New Years Eve meal. Everyone thought it was a wonderful meal ... so glad I found you The Mediterranean Dish!!!

    1. Suzy says:

      That's great to hear! Thanks, Gena!

      1. gena c. says:

        I've actually recommended to to a bunch of people and two made it and also thought it was delicious. a friend's husband turned up his nose when he heard what was for dinner and now he's asked for her to make it again! you've got great recipes. making the harira (lentil & chickpea) soup next!

      2. Suzy says:

        Thank you so much, Gena! That's awesome! I can't wait to hear what you think about the Harira!

  14. Elizabeth Kusturiss says:

    4 stars
    Loved everything about this recipe except for the cumin. I love cumin but my husband and I thought it was really overpowering for cod. Will definitely make this again but will like use half of the recommended cumin.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth!

  15. Barbara says:

    5 stars
    Excellent! No leftovers

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay!!! So glad this was a hit for you, Barbara!

  16. phxcooks says:

    5 stars
    Looks yummy. I've tried to make this for my family, and my family really love it. I will introduce your recipe for my friends. Thank you so much. I love it.

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome!! Thank you so much!