If you're looking for an easy fish dinner, you'll love this healthy Mediterranean pan grilled cod recipe! A simple Mediterranean spice rub and an amazing lemon basil sauce take this perfectly crispy, flaky fish to a new level of delicious!
You can serve it with your favorite sides like Greek lemon rice and salad. But, I highly recommend you try it gyro-style, wrapped in warm pita and loaded with bright Mediterranean favorites. I show you exactly how we do this below, be sure to get all my tips!
I'd put "how to grill fish in a pan" up there among what I consider essential cooking skills like how to make a pot of rice, or how to turn a can of beans into a satisfying dinner (vegan chili anyone?)
If you can learn how to make something like this pan grilled cod--and trust me, anyone can--you'll have a tasty and healthy dinner in minutes any night of the week!
How to Make this Pan Grilled Cod
This grilled cod recipe takes very little work and only about 6 minutes to cook! You don't even need to fire up the grill, a cast iron pan or non-stick skillet will work. Personally, I prefer cast iron because the fish gets more golden and crispy.
To make it, we start by giving the fish fillets a quick spice rub. Cod has a delicate texture with a very slightly sweet flavor; you can't go wrong with a quick spice rub to give it a bit of flavor. I chose oregano, coriander, cumin, and a hint of sumac (gives it some tang.) Feel free to play with other spice combinations to your liking.
Then, we grill the fish on medium-high heat in a lightly-oiled pan or skillet. It takes about 3 minutes or so on each side.
I highly recommend that you make the lemon basil sauce to top the hot grilled fish; takes the flavor to a new level of delicious!
How do you Know the Grilled Fish is Ready?
With this grilled cod, grill time will vary depending on thickness of your fish fillets. Mine was about 1.5 inches thick. You are basically looking for the fish to have a nice golden crust on the outside. The flesh should also turn fully opaque and should flake easily with a fork.
How to Serve Grilled Cod, Gyro Style?
But, if you're anything like me, you might like to serve it gyro-style. If you're familiar with what "gyro style" means, think fish tacos but with warm pita and lots of Mediterranean fixings.
- A few loaves of pita bread (or for low-carb, do large lettuce leaves to act as wraps)
- Tzatziki sauce
- 3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad
- Pitted olives
What I typically do is set everything out buffet-style, or on a large tray or board, and let everyone assemble their own gyro sandwiches.
Prep and Make-Ahead Tips:
This pan-grilled fish is quick and is meant to be prepared fresh and enjoyed immediately. You can certainly prepare the gyro items the night before. Tzatziki sauce can be made and stored in tight-lid container in the fridge.
You can also chop the Mediterranean salad ingredients and refrigerate in another container; for best results, do not mix the salad and hold off on dressing until closer to serving time.
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Mediterranean pan-grilled cod recipe with lemon basil sauce. Serve it with your favorite sides, or try it gyro-style wrapped in warm pita with Mediterranean favorites like tzatziki, olives and more!
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
- ½ tsp sumac
- Greek extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve)
- 1.5 lb/ 680.4 g cod fillet (or another white fish fillet of your choice
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
Lemon Basil Sauce
- ⅓ cup Greek extra virgin olive oil (use Private Reserve or Early Harvest)
- 1 large lemon, juice of
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 to 10 basil leaves, thinly chopped
- Salt and pepper
Fixings To Serve Gryro-Style
- In a small bowl, combine the spices to make the spice rub
- Pat fish fillets dry and season well on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then rub all over with the spice rub. Set aside for now.
- Prepare the lemon basil sauce. Simply combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or mason jar. Whisk well together. Set aside.
- If serving this grilled fish gyro-style, prepare the pita etc. Prepare Tzatziki sauce according to this recipe, and prepare the Mediterranean salad according to this recipe. Set aside for now.
- Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet (or a non-stick skillet) with extra virgin olive oil. Warm skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is just shimmering but not smoking.
- Add fish fillets and grill on one side for about 3 minutes or so without moving it (the underside should look golden and crispy). Then, using a fish spatula, turn it over to the other side (it should release easily from the pan). Grill for another 3 minutes or until this side turns nice and crispy as well. (You'll know your fish is ready when it turns opaque all the way through and flake apart easily.)
- Serve fish hot. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice on top and a generous drizzle of the lemon basil sauce.
- To assemble grilled fish gyros, use 1 pita wrap (or large lettuce leaf) per person. Swipe a bit of tzatziki sauce over the pita, add the grilled fish and lemon basil sauce, then add a bit of the Mediterranean salad and olives to your liking. Wrap or fold pita and enjoy!
- Cook's Note: Grill time will vary depending on thickness of your fish fillets. Mine was about 1.5 inches thick. You are basically looking for the fish to have a nice crust on the outside. The flesh should also turn fully opaque and should flake easily.
- Cook's Note: You can use other lean white fish fillets here. Sea bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, and snapper would work.
- Prep and Make-Ahead Tips: this pan-grilled fish is quick and is meant to be prepared fresh and enjoyed immediately. But, if you plan to serve it gyro-style, budget some time for prep. You can certainly prepare the gyro items the night before. Tzatziki sauce can be made and stored in tight-lid container in the fridge. You can also chop the Mediterranean salad ingredients and refrigerate in another container; for best results, do not mix the salad and hold off on dressing until closer to serving time.
- Other Serving Suggestions: this grilled fish can also be great served in bowls with Greek lemon rice, Greek salad, and some classic hummus.
- Visit The Mediterranan Dish store for our Greek extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spice collection.
- Nutrition information is for grilled fish only. Visit the other recipes listed for their respective nutrition information.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 6 mins
- Category: Fish and Seafood
- Method: Pan Grilled
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Grilled Cod, Grilled Fish, Mediterranean Fish