White Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce

This is one of the most delicious yet simple ways to enjoy fish for dinner. The flavors of garlic, butter, and lemon fuse together to create a healthy and mouthwatering meal the whole family will devour.

Hubby and I both grew up on a variety of deliciously fresh fish. We both happened to grow up near the ocean, so fresh fish was aplenty. I now realize how sea-spoiled we were. Boo hoo.
Now that we call the Midwest our home, fresh seafood is hard to come by. When our local supermarkets do showcase beautiful fish fillets, we jump all over it.
By the way, I’m still a bit confused when people tell me they don’t eat fish in this Land of 10,000 Lakes. I secretly suspect they just haven’t had their fish done right… I can hear it… I’m starting to sound like my mama 😉
Whether you adore fish or think you can’t go near it, how about let’s start with this
…garlic…butter…and lemon. Yum, yum, and yum. You can’t go wrong with that trio. It’s a winning trifecta that’s destined to become awesome sauce.
And awesome is this sauce. It goes superbly on this white fish recipe, of course, but it’s also fantastic over rice or veggies or whatever you’re serving this fish with.
This garlicky buttery lemony sauce is light, yet bursting with flavor. Savory, succulent, rewarding.

  • 4 fillets of firm white fish, at least 1 inch thickness, approx 6-8 oz each
  • 3 TB salted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TB fresh parsley, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

This White Fish with Lemon butter Sauce is succulent, refreshing, and easy to make. Use a firm white fish (halibut, mahi-mahi, or cod) that’s at least 1 inch thick throughout. To avoid fishy-ness, go for the freshest fish you can find. High quality flash frozen is a great option, too.


  1. Let fish sit in a colander at room temp for at least 30 minutes to drain any liquids and reach a moderate room temp.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat butter, shallots, and garlic in a large frying pan and cook on medium heat, stirring often, 2 min. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, 2-3 min. Stir in parsley and lemon zest. Season with pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Using paper towels, pat dry the fillets to remove as much moisture as you can. Sprinkle a light layer of kosher salt and black pepper over both sides of each fillet. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, add 3 TB olive oil. Arrange 2 fillets in the pan and cook with lid ajar to allow steam to escape. Cook about 3-4 min or until bottoms of fillets are browned. Flip carefully and brown other side 3-4 min (keep in mind that if your fish is less than 1 inch thick, you’ll need to adjust for less cook time.) You want the fish just cooked, but not over-cooked. Repeat with other 2 fillets (unless your frying pan is large enough to cook all 4 fillets without crowding, it’s best to cook in batches; otherwise, the fish will be more steamed than browned.)
  4. Plate the fish fillets and pour warm sauce over them. Serve immediately.

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