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 1556 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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4.77 from 1556 votes (870 ratings without comment)

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  1. Deborah Rigler says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. We totally enjoyed this dish. This is now my favorite cod fish recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Deborah!

  2. Michelle says:

    Could I leave out the flour and just dredge in the spices?

    1. Suzy says:

      Sure! You could try that!

  3. Dawn says:

    3 stars
    Thank you! I cheated a little bit in the name of laziness (convenience, efficiency, reduced consumption...): skipped the flour, mixed the spices straight into the sauce, put the raw fish directly into the oven dish and poured the sauce over before baking the lot for 25 minutes. The result was quick, easy, delicious, healthy and satisfying, exactly what I want from a midweek dinner recipe. I think we will be eating this fairly often.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing your adaptions, Dawn!

  4. Suecq says:

    5 stars
    Followed recipe exactly and we thought it was delicious. The garlic mellowed in the lemon sauce and the spices were lovely. Will definitely make again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Wonderful! Thanks, Suecq.

  5. Carol Lynn McCollam says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Carol!

  6. Lisalia says:

    5 stars
    I read through the comments before making this. I used only 1 clove of garlic and very little flour mixture. The flavors were PERFECT! Thank you for this delicious cod recipe.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing!

  7. Anika says:

    I don't have a cast iron skillet, will a regular skillet work?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Anika! Sure! You can cook the fish on the stovetop in a regular skillet, and then just transfer it to an oven-safe baking dish and finish in oven as instructed.

  8. Rossi says:

    5 stars
    I will make this again. It was quite easy to make and delicious. My fillets were considerably thicker so they took longer but this is definitely a quick meal to make. I also made the traditional Greek salad, scallops with citrus ginger sauce, homemade baguette and quinoa.

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds like a wonderful dinner, Rossi.

      1. Erin says:

        5 stars
        I do not have a cast iron pan should I just pan sear then bake in a glass dish?

      2. Suzy says:

        Yep! That will work! Enjoy!

  9. Naomi says:

    1 star
    The flavours in this recipe are far too strong for cod.
    This is not Mediterranean cooking for fish. Maybe for meats but not fish.

  10. Marina says:

    The sauce was delicious but the fish wasvmushy because of the flour. I followed the directions exactly.

    1. Julie says:

      I have the same problem. I love the flavours in this recipe and find myself wondering every time I make it how to keep the batter crispy!! Would love some advice as wel!

      1. Suzy says:

        Hi, Julie... So this baked cod is not going to end up super crispy because we have the lemon sauce going on. I have a couple more fish recipes here (I believe a trout recipe and a pan seared halibut) which would be more on the crispy side.

  11. YVETTE SKALKA says:

    5 stars
    Cod was delicious! Entire family loved it. Definitely a keeper. Served with Asian slaw for a crunchy twist. Thanks for sharing. Also made homemade tartar sauce & Tz sauce.... Momma loves 2 cook!!!

    1. Suzy says:

      YUM! Thanks, Yvette!

  12. June Kelley says:

    Hello. Can you please tell me if I can use frozen cod?
    If so, shall I defrost it first?
    Thank you so much.
    June K.

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, June. You can totally use frozen cod. Yes, please defrost first. Enjoy!

  13. Hannah says:

    1 star
    I wanted to love this but sadly very disappointed. I did doubt it before I started but thought no I’ll go for it, something a bit different. This is nothing like any fish dish I have tasted in the med. There is far too many strong flavours for the delicate flavour of cod. The fish is overpowered by garlic, too much oil and the flour mix is just too much. There’s no need for a lot of these ingredients, this dish is trying too hard

  14. Julia says:

    Hi Suzy!!
    Can I substitute the cod for tilapia? And how would I alter temperature and cooking times?

    Thank you for all the amazing recipes you have provided for my family❤️

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Julia! I think that would be fine. I have never tried this one with tilapia, so it's hard for me to advise on temperature/time specifics. I would probably cook at the same temps, but check for doneness sooner, as tilapia is usually a thinner fillet. Hope that helps!

  15. Helen says:

    Made this for tea tonight, Husband & I absolutely loved it!
    Light, full of flavour & easy to make. Served with mashed potatoes, oven roasted spicy cauliflower & baby plum tomatoes. Will definitely make again, thank-you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds like a wonderful meal, Helen!! 🙂

  16. Stephen Pollard says:

    5 stars
    I'm half Greek this looks absolutely wonderful love cod 😍

    1. Suzy says:

      Hope you enjoy it, Stephen!