Mediterranean Baked Cod

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We sometimes get into a cycle of rotating chicken and beef recipes for dinner. I like to switch it up every once in a while and make a tasty fish recipe. 

baked cod on plate

This Mediterranean baked cod uses fresh, flavorful ingredients and is also keto-friendly and low carb. I love that the prep takes almost no time at all and the clean-up is a breeze. Keep reading to learn how to make this baked cod recipe.

Ingredients

ingredients for mediterranean cod
  • 4-6 cod fillets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

How To Know When Fish is Cooked

If fish is not a protein that you cook and serve often, it may take some practice to know when baked cod is cooked thoroughly. There are two ways to check fish for doneness.

First, you could take a fork and insert it into the fish fillet at the thickest section. Twist the fork gently and if the fish flakes easily and is opaque, it is done.

You could also use a digital thermometer. Digital thermometers are a safe and accurate way to check for doneness. Insert the thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the fish and when it hits 145°F (63°C) then it’s ready.

Instructions

Here are all the steps to make this delicious baked cod recipe.

Step 1 – Thaw and Dry the Fillets and Make the Lemon Butter Sauce

cod fillets on plate ready for seasoning

If using frozen cod fillets, thaw them and pat them dry with a paper towel. Drying them will allow the olive oil and seasonings to stick to the fish. See below for tips on thawing frozen fish.

In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter and then add 4 cloves of minced garlic and the zest and juice from one large lemon. Set aside.

Now is also a great time to preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).

Step 2 – Season the Fillets

Cod seasoned cod fillets on baking trade

In a shallow dish, combine paprika, salt, pepper, and dried parsley.

Brush both sides of the cod fillets with olive oil and then coat the fish in the seasoning mixture on both sides.

Place seasoned fish in a large oven-safe baking dish. I use a 9×13 baking dish.

Step 3 – Add the Butter Sauce and Cook

Seasoned cod fillets with sauce

To the baking dish with the seasoned fish, gently pour the lemon butter sauce around the filets. 

I don’t like to pour it directly onto the filets because I like for them to keep their seasoning as best as possible. 

Place the baking dish in a 400°F (204°C) oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check for doneness at 12 minutes and cook just until it reaches 145°F (63°C) or flakes easily with a fork.

Step 4 – Serve Hot

Cod fillet with sauce and chopped parsley in a baking tray

I like to serve this fish right out of the oven. Garnish with about 2-3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley. For some ideas on what to serve as a side to this baked cod, keep reading.

Cookware Used

Here are the tools I found helpful when making this baked cod recipe. 

Lemon Zester: Use a lemon zester to remove all the zest from the lemon. You can also use the zester to grate your garlic into the lemon butter sauce.

Large Baking Dish: I use a 9×13 baking dish, but you can also use a large cast iron skillet or even a large cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. 

Digital Thermometer: A digital thermometer is a great way to tell if the baked cod is cooked thoroughly. 

Should You Use Fresh or Frozen Cod?

I prefer to use frozen fish in my recipes. I find that where I live it is hard to find fresh fish that actually tastes fresh and so using frozen is the best option for me.

If you live somewhere where fresh fish is easy to find, affordable, and tastes wonderful, by all means, use fresh! Just be sure to pat it dry just as you would with thawed fish.

How to Thaw Frozen Fish

An easy and quick way to thaw frozen fish, if they are individually wrapped fillets, is by placing them in a large bowl of cold water. This will bring them to room temperature in under 30 minutes. Just be sure the water is cold and not warm, you don’t want to start cooking the fish.

If you have more time, simply placing the frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight will thaw the fillets as well. 

Parmesan Keto Cod Recipe

A delicious variation to this baked cod recipe is a parmesan keto cod version. Use the same recipe as above, but add ½ cup grated parmesan to your seasoning mixture when you coat the fish before baking.

Other Substitutions for Baked Cod

If you are missing ingredients from the recipe above, here are some easy substitutions for this baked cod recipe.

  • Instead of cod, you could use haddock, tilapia, or pollock.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic for the butter sauce, use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder in your seasoning mix.
  • Bottled lemon juice is a fine substitution for the lemon zest and juice, use 3 tablespoons.
  • Use a little extra dried parsley, up to a teaspoon more, if you can’t find fresh parsley.
  • If you don’t have paprika, try a pinch of cumin or a dash of cayenne pepper. You could also leave this out completely.

What to Serve with Baked Cod

To keep this meal healthy and stick with the Mediterranean theme, I recommend serving it with any of the following sides.

  • Spinach and brown rice 
  • Oven-roasted mixed vegetables
  • Grilled zucchini with feta cheese
  • A quick and easy Greek salad
  • Lemon and garlic roasted potatoes

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Mediterranean cod fillets initial presentation

This baked cod recipe is as delicious as it is easy to make. There are only a handful of ingredients and a few steps to this quick and flavorful Mediterranean dinner.

Be sure to season your baked cod well, check for the proper doneness, and choose a tasty side to pair with this simple dinner recipe.

Print

Mediterranean Baked Cod

Fish is one of the most important ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine but, sometimes it is very challenge to do a tasty recipe that even children will enjoy. This recipe might just tick all those boxes. Try it!

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

Scale
  • 46 cod fillets

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 large lemon, zested

  • 2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoon pepper

  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley

  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

Step 1 – Thaw and Dry the Fillets and Make the Lemon Butter Sauce

If using frozen cod fillets, thaw them and pat them dry with a paper towel.

In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter and then add 4 cloves of minced garlic and the zest and juice from one large lemon. Set aside.

 Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).

Step 2 – Season the Fillets

In a shallow dish, combine paprika, salt, pepper, and dried parsley.

Brush both sides of the cod fillets with olive oil and then coat the fish in the seasoning mixture on both sides.

Place seasoned fish in a large oven-safe baking dish. I use a 9×13 baking dish.

Step 3 – Add the Butter Sauce and Cook

To the baking dish with the seasoned fish, gently pour the lemon butter sauce around the fillets.

Place the baking dish in a 400°F (204°C) oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check for doneness at 12 minutes and cook just until it reaches 145°F (63°C) or flakes easily with a fork.

Step 4 – Serve Hot

 Garnish with about 2-3 tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley. For some ideas on what to serve as a side to this baked cod, keep reading.

Tried this Recipe?

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