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.

4.76 from 1039 votes

Baked Cod Recipe with Lemon and Garlic

Suzy Karadsheh
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 mins
Cook – 12 mins
Total – 22 mins
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. 5 stars
    Terrific. Cod was tender, juicy and flavorful. I made a few rookie errors with the pre-browning step and it was still superbl.

  2. 5 stars
    A very flavorful and super easy to prepare dish. I usually make salmon for our fish dish but this is so much cheaper that I may alternate now. The only difference I made I used almond flour because I had it on hand and it was good.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this again last night, delicious as always. My very favorite cod recipe. Such a winner. My son loves it too as he loves garlic as much as I do. Making lamb leg Sunday

  4. 5 stars
    We usually make this with cod per the directions as we LOVE the mouthpunch of flavor it gives. Tonight we made it but used chicken breast cutlets and WOW! You need to bake 20 minutes max, instead of 10. The flavor is perfect and the chicken is moist and tender.

  5. 5 stars
    Skipped the flour and just used the spices and quick sear before going in the oven with the sauce. It was perfect and so delicious 😋

  6. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I felt like I was eating a dish from a fine dining restaurant! I will make this again and again!

  7. I found this dish in search of making cod in a Mediterranean way. This dish was delicious! My whole family enjoyed it.

  8. 5 stars
    This is without question, the BEST fish recipe I have ever tried. I am a long time cook, and quite fussy with my recipe choices....this is an absolutely restaurant quality recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    I prepared your Baked Cod with Lemon and Garlic recipe tonight. Probably the most delicious dish I’ve tried in a long time! Unbelievable flavor! I love the combination of seasonings. The cod is cooked perfectly and so very tender! Thank you for this awesome recipe, it’s a keeper!

  10. 4 stars
    This is the third time I’ve made this and we just love it! The combination of flavors is perfect. I struggle with getting the fish coated with the flour/spice mixture. After the first filet it just turns into a clumpy mess. This time was better as I mixed the ingredients, placed the cod on a rack over a sheet pan and used a fine mesh colander to dust the filets with the mixture. Perhaps next time I’ll use half flour and half bread crumbs. I’m curious if others have the same problem?
    Such a delicious dish.

    1. 4 stars
      Delicious recipe, but, yes, same problem. Dipping into flour mixture did not work after 1st piece of fish. I think something more like "dusting", as you suggest, would work better. Will try next rime.

  11. Thank you for providing this amazing resource. My family and I love your recipes!
    Is there another fish I could use in this recipe? I’m not a big cod fan.
    Thanks!

  12. This is THE most delicious fish recipe ! We are in Seacoast New Hampshire.....so fresh fish is plentiful year round.

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe, as well as your chicken shawarma and 3 ingredient salad, have become staples in my house! I look forward to seeing your new cookbook. The only comment I have is that what I thought was a well-seasoned cast iron pan lost some of its seasoning because of the lemon acidity. I used enamel-coated cast iron now and it works just as well. Thanks!

    1. Amy, thanks for the heads-up on using cast iron skillet and it's reaction to the lemon juice. I'll be sure to use my enamel coated cast iron skillet for this recipe.

  14. Hi Suzy. Big fan of your recipes so far. Been eating the med diet exclusively for about a month now. Here in South Africa, cod is unfortunately not available. The staple white fish is hake. Would that work?

  15. 5 stars
    We made this last night and it was delicious! (My husband used an additional adjective in front of delicious LOL.) I am gluten and dairy free so I used an all purpose gluten free flour for the coating and cashew based margarine to mix with the olive oil and lemon juice and it worked great. YUM YUM, we will be putting this in our regular meal rotation. We served it over cauliflower rice along with steamed asparagus and everything was so tasty.

  16. 5 stars
    I made your Lemon Garlic Baked Cod for dinner tonight, along with your 3 ingredient salad. It was simple & fairly quick and had such great flavor. My very traditional meat & potatoes husband loved it! Actually, he has loved every one of your recipes I have made for him. Thank you, thank you!
    Is there a cookbook coming/ soon?

    1. You are very welcome, Rebecca. And, yes I do have a cookbook coming out in September. You can preorder here to reserve your copy.