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Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod is light, flaky and tender. This cod is made in a skillet and pan fried with garlic and butter until there is a crispy outer skin. Finish it off with fresh basil and pair with your favorite salad. You will love how easy this comes together! 

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod with fork

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PAN FRIED GARLIC BUTTER COD

You guys go crazy for seafood recipes and I am right there with you.

Some of my most popular cod fish recipes happen to be this Sheet Pan Mediterranean Cod, Baked Cod with Lemon and this Air Fryer Cod

As we enter January and try to get back on track I like to add seafood to my families menu at least once a week.

Today’s Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod is a light, flaky cod recipe that mixes basil, garlic and is finished off with a butter sauce. 

If you like cod you have to try this simple recipe. It really makes a healthy dinner the whole family will love.

It cooks in about 10 minutes in a skillet making it an easy weeknight meal! It is one of my favorite ways to make cod.

It is a similar cooking process to this Black Sea Bass Recipe – you will sear the fish on a high heat to get a nice crust on the outside. 

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod ingredients

INGREDIENTS IN THIS PAN SEARED COD

COD: I love using Alaskan wild caught cod. I find it to be very fresh and flaky when cooked.

But you can use any cod you like or have on hand. If you have frozen cod you will want to defrost it overnight before using it.

SPICES & HERBS: The spices and herbs in this recipe mix together to create a nice touch of spicy flavor.

I used fresh basil and crushed red pepper but you can also use dried basil.

PARMESAN CHEESE: The Parmesan cheese helps to create a nice crusted layer on the outside of the cooked cod.

I like to used shredded Parmesan cheese but you can also use finely grated if you like. 

GARLIC: The minced garlic in this recipe adds great flavor to the fish.

If you don’t have fresh garlic you can always use garlic powder instead. 

BUTTER: The butter adds a rich flavor to the garlic basil sauce that is drizzle over the cod.

If you are avoiding butter you can use olive oil in its place. 

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod with fork

HOW DO YOU MAKE COD IN A SKILLET?

Add olive oil to a shallow bowl.

In another shallow mixing bowl mix flour, salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons basil, and parmesan cheese.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod with spices

Dip the cod into the olive oil and then flour mixture, making sure to evenly coat both sides.

Shake off excess flour.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod in pan

Place a skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium heat. 

Add cod to the skillet and fry the fish on one side for 5 minutes, do not touch the cod while it cooks. 

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod in skillet

Flip the cod and cook for another 5 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145* degrees F.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod browned in skillet

Remove fish from the oil and place on paper towels that are lined on plates to soak any excess oil.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod in skillet

Add the 4 tablespoons of minced garlic, butter, remaining 1 tablespoon fresh basil, and chicken broth to the skillet and cook until the sauce starts to boil.

Remove from heat and let cool for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a gravy boat or ramekin.

Serve cod immediately with a drizzle of the garlic basil sauce and enjoy!

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod with green beans

TIPS FOR PAN FRYING COD

This really is an easy recipe but there are some tips that will help with the cooking process.

White fish tends to stick to the pan if you flip it too soon.

To avoid the cod breaking up in the pan there are a few things to remember:

FRESH COD: Freshness is key to a tasty dish. Look for fresh cod fillets with firm, translucent flesh and a mild, oceanic smell.

SEASONING: Make sure that you dry your cod before seasoning and then coat the fish with a nice layer of the seasoning. 

OIL: You can use vegetable oil, avocado oil in place of olive oil. If you use these oils you can sear the cod at hight heat instead of medium because they have a higher smoke point. I like to use olive oil for the health benefits but either of these others work.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAN: Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed skillet or frying pan that distributes heat evenly. A non-stick pan is also useful to prevent the fish from sticking but you can just use cooking spray or olive oil to ensure the cod doesn’t stick.

GET THE SKILLET HOT: Get your skillet or pan hot to start when pan searing. A hot skillet helps get a nice sear one side of the cod. 

LEAVE IT: Once you place the cod in the skillet do not move the fish. Leave it sit in the skillet until you are ready to flip it. This will ensure that you don’t break the cod apart. 

FLAKY FISH: You might wonder how to know when cod is done? When cod is done the fish will turn opaque and will flake easily with a fork. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish.

The safe internal temperature for cooked fish is 145°F.

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod on white platter

WAYS TO MODIFY THIS PAN FRIED COD RECIPE

CITRUS: Lemon juice or lemon zest would be a great addition alongside the garlic and butter in this recipe. You also could use lime juice.

SPICES: You can modify the spices you use. Try onion powder, cayenne red pepper, Italian seasoning, za’atar or oregano.

WINE: White wine would be a great addition to this recipe. It pairs nicely with the butter and garlic and adds a slight sweetness to the recipe. Add it in when you add the chicken broth.

WHAT TO PAIR WITH THIS PAN-FRIED COD RECIPE

SALADS: Salads are a nice pairing for cod. I love this Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad or this Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing.

VEGETABLE SIDES: Veggie sides work great with seafood. I love Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables, Za’atar Carrots or Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower.

POTATOES: I think potatoes go great with seafood and add a nice balance to your plate with the vegetable and salad. Some of my favorites are these Gouda Smashed Potatoes, Spicy Lebanese Potatoes or Lemon Cilantro Potatoes

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod on dish

OTHER SEAFOOD RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

LEMON GARLIC PASTA

EASY PAN FRIED FISH

HONEY MUSTARD SALMON

GREEK BAKED TILAPIA

MEDITERRANEAN TUNA CAKES

19 DELICIOUS COD RECIPES

PAN FRIED GREEK SALMON

EASY BLACKENED FISH

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod with fork

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Pan Fried Garlic Butter Cod is light, flaky and tender. This cod is made in a skillet and pan fried with garlic and butter until there is a crispy outer skin. You will love how easy this comes together! 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 -2 pounds Cod filets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes {optional for spice}
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil or 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Instructions

    1. Put 2 tablespoons of olive in a shallow bowl.
    2. In another shallow mixing bowl mix flour, salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons basil, and parmesan cheese.
    3. Pat the cod dry. Dip the cod into the olive oil mixture then the flour mixture, making sure to evenly coat both sides. Shake off excess flour.
    4. Place a skillet over medium-hight heat and add olive oil.
    5. Turn down the heat to medium high.
    6. Add cod to the skillet and fry the fish for 5 minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer reads 145* degrees F.
    7. Remove fish from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to soak any excess oil.
    8. Add the 4 tablespoons of minced garlic, butter, remaining 1 tablespoons fresh basil, and chicken broth to the skillet and cook until the sauce starts to boil.
    9. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a gravy boat or ramekin.
    10. Serve cod immediately with a drizzle of the garlic basil sauce and enjoy!

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