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!
More seafood recipes: Greek Baked Cod; Sicilian Fish Stew; Easy Mediterranean Shrimp
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?
It's totally cool if you just want to have this quick grilled cod with some Greek lemon rice along with Greek salad and some hummus for dinner.
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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Grilled Cod Recipe, Gyro-Style
- Total Time: 11 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 or more 1x
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
- Lemon Wedges
- Greek pita bread (or lettuce wraps for low-carb option)
- Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 3-Ingredient Mediterranean Salad Recipe
- pitted marinated olives
- 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
Not surprising, another winner!!! My family loved it!!! ! Your recipes are the best Suzy! Thank you!
Yay! Thanks, Karen!
I made this together with your tzatziki recipe. Fantastic! I will have to improve my pita making skills, as they don't turn out fluffy as I hoped. Still edible and tasty (thankfully!). Baking is my Achilles heel, no matter how simple it is! This will be a recipe in the weekend rotation for us especially now that we are eating more fish in our meals. Thank you.
I tried this recipe today and absolutely loved it! This is going to be my go to fish recipe from now on. Thankyou so much!
Suzy--this was delicious--I used Mahi mahi. Thanks--great rub!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it, Patty!
I made this tonight, along with the 3 ingredient salad and the tzatziki sauce. Everything was wonderful! I loved the lemon basil sauce drizzled on top of the fish. If I had ordered this meal at a restaurant, I would have been completely satisfied. Fantastic recipe... or I should say recipes!! thank you!!
Just wanted to say that I've just made this and it was super delicious. Me and my wife both loved it, the spices make the cod really special. I did only one thing differently - I am dairy intolerant so I used soy yogurt for the tzatziki but it worked out great. I didn't even taste hints of soy when I ate it. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Loved this dish! Wasn't able to find sumac in time to include, and I must admit that I purchased the tzadziki sauce already made, but it was still wonderful. Will definitely make it again.
So glad you enjoyed it, Leslie!
Great recipe! Came together very easily and everyone loved it. Served with homemade flat breads, feta, chopped cukes and tomatoes. The fish came out perfectly! Everything I've tried from your collection has just been wonderful. Thank you for being my go-to source for healthy Mediterranean meals.
My pleasure, Theresa! Sounds like a wonderful meal!!
What is your favorite brand of pita?
I wish I had a specific one at this point in time. I just try and select whichever feels fresh (soft).
This is one of my favorite recipes! If you sprinkle a little cardamon on too it will be more like shawarma. I love it with baba ganoush.
Oooh, i like the addition of cardamom here! Thanks for sharing!
I tried this recipe with COD and it was FAB! Can I make it with salmon also?