Easy Lemon Butter Fish in 15 Minutes

lemon butter fresh fish for sale in wethersfield ctA tuna sandwich isn’t the only simple, light seafood entrée that is easy to make during the week. White fish drizzled with a lemon butter sauce may sound restaurant worthy, but you can make it in just 15 minutes. Pair it with a big summer salad and rice for a filling, healthy mid-week dinner.

Cooking tender, flaky white fish is as easy as cooking chicken. It’s even less time consuming. For this recipe, you can use the white fish of your choice. Cod, halibut, bass, and tilapia are all popular options.

The secret to perfecting this delicious dish is browning the butter before mixing it with the lemon juice. When you brown butter fist is gives it a richer, nutty flavor. (That’s why French call it beurre noisette which translates to “hazelnut butter”).

If you’ve never made a sauce with browned butter before, don’t worry! Browning butter takes no more than 3 minutes. It will stay warm for up to 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to cook the fish fillets, drizzle the buttery sauce and serve before it gets cool. If you get busy and the butter cools, you only need to put it in the microwave for 15 seconds to reheat it.

It is important to keep the heat low to prevent the butter from burning. Butter has a low burning temperature compared to other oils. It is best to heat the butter over medium low in a small, light colored pan stirring regularly until the butter is a nice amber color. You don’t want to use a dark colored pan because you won’t be able to see when the color of the butter darkens. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to make brown butter sauce like a pro.

White Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 15 mins

Servings: 4

Calories: 393


Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 8 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and finely ground pepper

Pan Fried Fish:

  • 4 white fish fillets, about 1-inch thick
  • 3 Tbsp oil

Dry Seasoning:

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp white flour


  • Freshly chopped parsley or basil, for flavor and garnish
  • Extra lemon wedges


Lemon Butter Sauce:

1. Add the butter to a small, light-colored saucepan or skillet and heat over medium low.

2. Whisk or stir the butter as it melts and browns.

3. Remove immediately once it is a rich amber or light brown.

4. Pour into a small bowl.

5. Add lemon juice along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust lemon or salt as needed.

6. Set aside.

Crispy Pan Fried Fish:

1. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towel. (This will help it to brown nicely.)

2. Mix the dry ingredients together, accept for the flour, and sprinkle over the fillets on both sides.

3. Coat both sides of the fillets with the flour. Make sure that each fillet has an even coating of flour. Shake off any excess.

4. Add the oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over high.

5. When the oil is shimmering and gently smoking, add the fish fillets. Make sure there is about ¼ inch of space between each fillet.

best fish market and seafood market in new london ct

6. Cook on each side for 2 -4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until the edges are golden and crispy.

7. Remove once both sides are golden, and the fish no longer looks opaque.

8. Drizzle the fish with the lemon butter sauce and garnish with either parsley or basil.

Let us know if you tried this recipe in our comments!

If you need to pick up fish for your dinner tonight, swing by City Fish Market. We serve fresh seafood to the heart of Connecticut.

Call Now Button