Best Oven Baked Lemon Cod

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This super easy Best Oven Baked Lemon Cod is sure to become your new favorite way to eat fish for dinner. It’s a simple recipe, but full of flavor thanks to the herbed butter mixture. Not to worry though there’s also a completely dairy free version listed below as well. Try this tasty dinner with my Creamy Mashed Cauliflower and my Oven Roasted Broccoli.

A large white baking dish with Oven Baked Lemon Cod with a striped linen and lemon slices around the dish.

Fresh and perfectly light for spring, but definitely not lacking in savory flavor! This simple baked cod is based on something I remember making ages ago. I have no idea where that recipe went, but it was an overly complicated baked fish in paper. I used to absolutely love it, but I lost the recipe over the years in one of the many house moves. And I never seemed to have time to make it anyways.

So this recipe is inspired by a memory, but simplified to make it easy and accessible for weeknight dinners. No fiddling around with parchment paper packages here! Just a yummy herbed butter that melts into the fish as it bakes, infusing it with flavor and keeping it perfectly moist.

There’s also a version listed below made completely with olive oil if you’re dairy free too. I’ve made it both ways and you can’t go wrong! You can also make this with different types of fish as well so the sky’s the limit with this one. It’s such a tasty and fast way to cook fish, I know you’ll love it.

A side view of Oven Baked Lemon Herb Cod in a white baking dish with parsley sprigs and a striped linen near the dish.

Let’s get started by talking about the ingredients for this Best Oven Baked Lemon Cod!

  • Cod – is easily available and affordable too. But you can use any white fleshed fish you’d like if you adjust the baking time accordingly. You’ll know the fish is done when it flakes apart with a fork. There’s no way to estimate the baking time because it would vary so much between something like tilapia vs. halibut which tends to be quite a bit thicker. Salmon is also a good choice with this herbed butter mixture.
  • Butter – ghee, or olive oil can all be used here. I do think the butter mixed with the olive oil below is the best in terms of flavor. But I have made this recipe without using butter and it’s a touch lighter, but there’s more than enough flavor to go around.
  • Olive oil – you want to use the best quality you can here because it adds a lot of flavor to this dish, especially if you’re making the dairy free version.
  • Garlic – a little bit of freshly minced garlic adds the perfect amount of savory flavor without being overwhelming when combined with the herbs below.
  • Thyme – is my favorite here because it goes so well with fish. Rosemary and sage work as well, but they tend to take over with their powerful flavors.
  • Parsley – combines well with the thyme, and adds a touch of freshness to the final dish. It also looks incredible with the bright green color.
  • Lemon zest also adds a depth of flavor and a note of lemon without too much sourness.
  • Sliced lemon – is placed right on the fish as it bakes which takes the edge off the sourness of the lemon. Any extras can be served alongside the finished fish to squeeze over the top.

Ok now we’re ready to make this recipe step by step:

All the ingredients for the Lemon Cod prepped and on a wooden cutting board.

Step 1:

Start by prepping all of your ingredients and preheating the oven.

Mashing the butter, olive oil, and herbs together for the baked cod.

Step 2:

Next mince up the herbs and garlic, and add them to a small bowl.

The herb butter mashed together and ready to be spread over the cod.

Step 3:

Mash the herbs, butter, garlic, and olive oil together until completely combined.

Pieces of cod placed in a baking dish with the herbed butter spread over the tops.

Step 4:

Spread the herb butter paste evenly over the fish fillets, and top with 4 slice of lemon.

A close view of the baked lemon cod in a white baking dish.

Step 5:

Bake until the fish is just done in the center and flakes apart easily on the edges.

Serve with:

And for some more seafood inspiration:

A straight down close view of the lemon herb baked cod in a white baking dish with parsley springs.

I really hope you enjoy this simple and and brightly flavored dinner. And if you do get a chance to make it, I hope you’ll leave me a comment/rating below. I always love hearing from you here! Also for more seafood recipe inspiration, be sure to check out the recipe index.

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A close view of the baked lemon cod in a white baking dish.

Best Oven Baked Lemon Cod

  • Author: Kari
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Easy to make and full of fresh flavor, this Baked Lemon Cod is the perfect weeknight dinner and it’s elegant enough for occasions too!



46 ounce cod fillets, fresh or thawed from frozen

2 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, see notes

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 lemon, sliced


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 

Add the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, sea salt, and pepper into a small bowl. Mash the mixture together with a fork until fully combined.

Place the fish fillets in a baking dish, (I used a 9″x13″) and evenly spread the herbed butter mixture over the top. Add 4 slices of lemon on the sides or top of the fish fillets.

Bake until the fish is just done in the center and easily flakes apart with a fork on the edges, 15-20 minutes.

Serve with the remaining lemon slices.


To chop fresh thyme, first remove the leaves from the tough stems, then roughly chop them.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Oven Baked Cod, Lemon Butter Baked Cod, Healthy Baked Cod Recipes, Best Baked Cod Recipe

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