Lemon and Garlic Baked Cod Recipe

This simple baked cod recipe takes just over 20 minutes to prepare, but there’s a reason it’s a fan favorite! Tender, flaky cod mixed in rich Mediterranean spices and baked with a delicious garlic and lemon sauce.

Because fish is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet, my family tries to eat it twice a week.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to create a wonderful fish supper. I occasionally enjoy a large baked salmon, a robust fish soup, or something unique, such as a saucy Moroccan fish.

But this quick lemon-baked cod is one of my favorite go-to dinners! And it’s the most popular fish recipe on my site for good reason!

Why this cod recipe works?

A cod fillet is a lovely fish that is quick to cook, soft, and mild in flavor, allowing you to easily add bold flavors!

With a delectable garlic and lemon sauce and a few toasty spices like coriander, paprika, and cumin, this baked fish recipe takes on some powerful Mediterranean characteristics.

The best part? From start to finish, this lemon-baked cod takes just over 20 minutes!

Can I use frozen cod fish in this recipe?

Which is better: fresh or frozen? This is one of the most often asked questions regarding cooking with fish. For high-quality wild-caught fish, freezing is usually the superior alternative.

Depending on where you reside in the United States, the “fresh” fish on ice at the fish counter was most likely frozen and thawed before being exhibited. Flash-frozen fish, on the other hand, is caught and swiftly frozen at the peak of its freshness and thus is frequently more economical.

If you can find quality frozen fish fillet (cod loin), it will work in this baked cod recipe, but make sure to thaw it thoroughly before using.

How to thaw frozen fish?

Frozen fish fillets defrost quickly in 15 to 20 minutes. Here’s how it’s done:

  • To begin, keep the fish in its vacuum packaging. If it is not packaged, place it in a zip-top bag.
  • Fill a basin halfway with cold tap water and place the vacuum-sealed fish in it. Using warm or hot water increases the risk of bacterial growth and affects the fish’s texture.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, check to see if the fish is soft and thawed through. If certain sections are hard, leave it in for a little longer.

How to bake cod and what temperature is best?

To begin, at what temperature should cod be cooked? I usually heat my oven to 400 degrees F for roasted cod. How long will it take? It could take 10 to 15 minutes in the oven, depending on the thickness of your cod fillet.

In this cod recipe, I use roughly 12 pounds of cod fillet, and a large oven-safe baking dish or cast-iron skillet comes in handy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by lightly dusting the cod fillets in well-seasoned flour. Prepare a dredging station to accomplish this.
    • Prepare the lemon sauce in a shallow basin by combining 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 2 tbsp melted butter.
    • In a separate shallow basin, combine 13 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 34 teaspoons of sweet Spanish paprika, 34 teaspoons of ground cumin, and 34 teaspoons of kosher salt.
    • Dip the fish in the lemon sauce and then in the flour mixture. Save the lemon sauce for later.
  • The fish should be seared. Sear the cod in olive oil for 2 minutes on each side to give it color and texture.
  • Pour in the lemon sauce. Add 5 minced garlic cloves to the lemon sauce (so much flavor), then pour it over the cod.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F or until the fish is cooked. When the fish turns a gorgeous white opaque and flakes easily with a fork, it is ready.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve! I enjoy adding parsley for a splash of green!

What to serve with this cod recipe?

I always serve this fish supper with a large salad and a simple side dish. I’ve got some ideas that will go great with this cod.

Try these substantial vegetarian recipes for sides: roasted broccoli, asparagus with salsa, or filled zucchini boats.

Try mustard potato salad, Greek-style oven fries, or lemon rice for starchy sides.

To stay with the Greek theme, offer some pita chips with a dip like Miletzanosalata or Tzatziki!

Can I refrigerate or freeze leftover cooked fish?

I rarely have leftovers when I make this baked cod recipe. And, like with many fish recipes, it is best eaten fresh on the day it is cooked, especially since the fish was frequently frozen before it was cooked.

However, a reader recently posed this pertinent topic because she cooks for fewer people. Depending on how fresh the fish was, to begin with, you can either refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. Cool the fish slightly before refrigerating or freezing it, but don’t leave it out for more than an hour.

Refrigerate the cod in a shallow glass jar with a tight lid for up to 2 days. If you need to warm it up, simply place it in a medium-heated oven until just warmed through (there is always the risk of overcooking the fish if you warm it up again).

Cooked fish can usually be frozen for up to a month. I prefer not to freeze it since I believe the texture of the fish changes a little.

Learn more: Homemade Vegetable Soup