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 1/2 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 1/3 cup all-purpose flour with 1 tsp ground coriander, 3/4 tsp sweet Spanish paprika, 3/4 tsp ground cumin, and 3/4 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 1562 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
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Lemon Sauce

  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp 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 tbsp 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.

Share it with the world

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…
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.
4.77 from 1562 votes (870 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. chloe says:

    4 stars
    I just made this for our dinner tonight, the flavours were gorgeous! I would love to make this meal again. However I think I may have done something wrong somewhere, I found mine to be a bit soggy? maybe I soaked it in the oil a bit too much before placing it in the flour? I understand this is not a crispy fish recipie but I dont think its meant to be soggy

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Chloe. This can happen if there is too much flour left on the fish before cooking. You want to make sure to give it a good shake after dipping to get rid of any excess flour.

  2. Diena Dawood says:

    Omg seriously divine. Definitely a recipe to keep on repeat

  3. lee says:

    5 stars
    Just lovely. Easy to prep/cook and all of my usually fussy children loved it

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yes! We love it when our recipes are a win for the kiddos!!

  4. Bev says:

    I am just starting to follow the Mediterranean Method. This recipe is making my mouth water. I will have to try this one.

  5. eileen says:

    4 stars
    Not a fan of butter flavor
    Is it OK to use OO instead?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sure, Eileen! That will work!

  6. Lori says:

    5 stars
    Delicious goodness! So flavourful quick and tasty!

  7. Mary Kate Sorensen says:

    5 stars
    Lovely! Simple, easy, tasty. We served the fish over white rice and added asparagus. We’ll make this again!

  8. Caroline says:

    5 stars
    Loved this! I think it was particularly good as I used what I call proper cod direct from the port! Melted in the mouth! Loved the lemony sauce! Will be cooking again! Thank you 🤩

  9. Shelley Frank says:

    Hi Suzy,
    Is there a way to save your recipes on your site? I’ve been looking but I don’t see a place. Your recipes look so yummy, I can’t wait to try this cod recipe.
    Thank you!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Shelley. There is! A team member will reach out to you via email with some instructions.

  10. Candace says:

    5 stars
    This is one of our family staples! We love how light it is and we usually serve with Parmesan couscous and broccolini

  11. Joyce wood says:

    4 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner we loved it. I made white rice and my homemade tarts sauce. Just enough left for lunch tommorow. Thx. Easy recipe !!

  12. Laura says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe – makes cod so delicious, and it’s simple. Thank you so much.

  13. SR says:

    2 stars
    I must have done something wrong because the coating never stuck to the fish, slid off of it when I was trying to sear and ended up being a wet mess in the bottom of the pan.

  14. Dawn Butler says:

    Are the 2 T olive oil used to sear the fish included in the 5 T listed or is it an additional 2 T?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Dawn. You would need an additional 2T to sear the fish.

  15. Julie says:

    This is a delicious easy to make recipe. I made a few minor changes as I didn’t have coriander so used basil, and I’m not really that crazy about cumin so I just used 1/2 tsp. instead of 3/4. I’m Cajun so when I see garlic I take it seriously and used 5 very large cloves. Oh, also I use avocado oil instead of olive. I love that it’s one pan, and so delicious. The cod was moist and flaky. The true test for me when I make a dish for the first time is I ask my husband if he would eat it again and the response was an emphatic yes. We love fish and I’m cooking more Mediterranean dishes and I’m loving your recipes.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Julie!

  16. Marta says:

    5 stars
    This is the best fish recipe ever! Made it twice this week. But made it on stovetop. Seared fish. Removed. Cooked sauce slightly the put fish back in. Delicioso!

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you loved it, Marta!