Lemon Butter Fish


Last Updated on August 3, 2021

Delicious and flaky pan-seared lemon butter fish cooked in a simple lemon butter sauce! A 20-minute meal to serve alongside roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, and your favorite side salad!

lemon butter fish

The best flakey fish

Pan-seared fish is one of my favorite methods of preparing white fish. Most white fish are pretty mild in flavor, but after a little seasoning and searing, you’re left with some delicious, flavorful & flakey fish.

I chose halibut for this dish because it’s thick and buttery. A few other options that would work well with this recipe are grouper, snapper, cod or flounder.

lemon butter fish

Lemon butter sauce

The simple lemon butter sauce truly enhances the flavor of the fish. It’s made with only four ingredients, and gives this fish a restaurant-quality feel.

Brown the butter in the pan for a couple of minutes, and then mix it with the fresh lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.

The fish continues to cook in the sauce after it’s been pan-seared and you’re left with a melt-in-your mouth entree!

How to make lemon butter fish

This dish comes together in just a few simple steps, and within 25 minutes!

  1. Season the fish– season the halibut with paprika, garlic powder, salt & pepper
  2. Pan-sear the halibut– after heating your pan, pan-sear the fish fillets in olive oil for about 2 minutes per side
  3. Prepare the lemon butter sauce– remove the fish from the pan and add in your butter to allow it to brown. Once it browns, add in your lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley
  4. Add the fish to the sauce- continue cooking the fish in the sauce for a few more minutes before serving with your favorite sides!

I love to serve this fish with roasted baby potatoes and a simple side salad. It’s so versatile and can be served alongside your favorite grains and veggies!

lemon butter fish

You guys are going to love this simple dinner. You can add some fresh garlic and red pepper flakes into the butter sauce for a little heat. It’s so versatile and easily customizable!

What to serve with your Lemon Butter Fish:

Wild Rice Salad with Green Goddess Tahini

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Lemon Garlic Artichokes

Walnut Pesto Pasta Salad with Roasted Veggies

Lemon Butter Fish

5 from 3 votes
Course: Main


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 lb 1 white fish, about four 4-oz fillets- I used halibut

  • 1 1/2 tbsp 1 1/2 olive oil

  • 1 tsp 1 paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • Lemon Butter Sauce
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 butter

  • 2 tbsp 2 lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp 2 fresh parsley, minced

  • Salt & pepper

  • Fresh lemon slices, to garnish


  • Heat a skillet on medium heat for 1 minute
  • Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Pat your fish dry with a paper towel and rub the spice mixture over each fish fillet
  • Add the olive oil into the pan, and cook each side of the fish on medium heat for about 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove the fish from the pan and lower the heat.
  • Add in the butter and cook for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown. Add in the lemon juice, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes on low, making sure to mix together until smooth.
  • Add a few lemon slices into the pan, and layer your fish back into the pan. Continue cooking the fish over a medium/low flame for another 3 minutes while spooning the sauce over the fish fillets every 30 seconds.
  • Top with fresh parsley and serve with your favorite sides!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!

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