Delicious Pan Fried Fish Recipe With Lemon Butter Sauce

Step right up, folks! It’s time to go on a culinary adventure with me. We’re going to be whipping up a delicious and flavorful dish today – pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce recipe. This dish is perfect for those who love seafood and want to savor every single bite.

Now, I know what you must be thinking – “Am I really capable of making such an elaborate dish?” The answer is yes, my friend! I’m here to guide you through the process step-by-step. Trust me, the end result will be worth all the effort.

The secret to this dish lies in its combination of flavors. The fresh parsley, garlic, shallot, lemon juice, and dry white wine come together to create a zesty and tangy flavor profile that will make your taste buds dance with delight. And let’s not forget about the rich butter sauce – it’ll take the dish up a notch and get you addicted for sure.

So what are you waiting for? Tie on your apron, grab your ingredients, and let’s get cooking! With this pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce recipe under your belt, you’ll impress all of your dinner guests and have a new go-to dish for any occasion.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pan Fried Fish With a Rich Lemon Butter Sauce
Pan Fried Fish With a Rich Lemon Butter Sauce

As a culinary explorer, I always look for recipes that bring out the best of the ingredients while keeping it simple yet flavorful. And this pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce recipe checks all the boxes. Trust me, you’ll love it too!

Firstly, the combination of the crispy texture of pan-fried fish and the creamy richness of lemon butter sauce is simply blissful. The tangy flavor of lemon balances out the savory notes, making it a perfect match for most kinds of white fish out there. It’s a wonderful dish to choose for dinner parties or even for quick weeknight meals.

Plus, this recipe uses pantry staples such as flour, olive oil, dried herbs, and spices that are budget-friendly and readily available in your kitchen cabinets. Not to mention, the sauce is easy to make and adds an extra dimension to your dish without requiring many added steps.

Another benefit is that this recipe provides numerous opportunities for substitutions and variations. You can choose any variety of fish like flounder, cod, trout or snapper etc., which makes it easy to fit into any diet. You can also add different herbs and aromatics to customize it as per your personal preference.

Lastly, this recipe packs a nutrient punch with its fresh parsley garnish that not only elevates the visual appeal but also adds its own distinct flavor. Plus, as someone who prefers less mess in the kitchen while making delicious food, I can attest that this recipe is easy to make with very little Clean-up required.

All in all, this pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce recipe is an ideal choice for anyone who’s looking for ease, flavor, and nutrition all wrapped up in one wonderful flavorful dish. Try it once and I promise you’ll be recommending it to your friends!

Ingredient List

 A perfectly cooked and flaky fish fillet topped with a luxurious lemon butter sauce.
A perfectly cooked and flaky fish fillet topped with a luxurious lemon butter sauce.

To make this Pan Fried Fish with a Rich Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of white fish fillets such as flounder, cod, trout, snapper, swai fish or halibut
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the lemon butter sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Note: The amounts listed are adjustable based on your specific taste preferences.

The Recipe How-To

Coat the Fish

First and foremost, get your fresh fish fillets of your preference, be it flounder, cod, trout, snapper, swai or salmon. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Rinse and pat dry the fillets before seasoning them with a mix of flour, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Make sure both sides are completely coated.

Pan-Fry the Fish

Increase the heat to high, place the seasoned fillets in the skillet and cook them for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. The cooking time is fully dependent on how thick your fish fillets are. Once done, set aside on a plate.

Prepare the Lemon Butter Sauce

Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to low-medium heat this time. Add one tablespoon of butter and minced shallots into your skillet. Stir until fragrant, which should take about a minute or so. Then add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic into the skillet.

Later on, it’s time to add in ingredients from your keyword list: dry white wine, lemon juice, and heavy cream. To avoid any clumps from forming in the sauce, take care not to let it boil or simmer too much.

Plate it Up!

After you’ve achieved that creamy texture in your sauce after stirring continuously for around two minutes or so, pour it over your already cooked pan-fried fish fillets. A generous sprinkle of fresh parsley onto top will result in an added boost of color as well as flavor.

There you have it – a wonderful flavorful dish packed full of amazing flavors!

Substitutions and Variations

 The golden brown crust on this pan-fried fish is a game-changer.
The golden brown crust on this pan-fried fish is a game-changer.

Variation is the spice of life, and when it comes to this pan-fried fish recipe, there are many ways to mix it up. You can choose a variety of fish fillets to use, such as flounder, cod, trout, snapper or any other white fish that you fancy. This recipe works well with both firm and flaky white fish. The key is to select fresh, good quality fish that isn’t too thin or fragile for frying.

If you prefer a healthier option, try pan-searing the fish instead of frying it. Heat up some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and then add the fillets. Cook the fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until it’s golden brown and cooked through.

Another way to make this dish your own is by experimenting with different herbs and spices. You can add a teaspoon of dried basil or rosemary for extra Mediterranean flavor. A bit of cilantro or dill could also be great. Just make sure not to go wild with too many flavors as you don’t want them to overpower the dish.

If you’re allergic to or don’t like any of the ingredients used in this recipe’s rich lemon butter sauce, you can easily tweak it to your liking. For instance, those who aren’t fans of shallots can swap them out for finely chopped onions. The heavy cream in the sauce can be replaced by half-and-half, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt if you want to make it lighter.

The lemon butter sauce can also be made spicy by adding cayenne pepper along with other seasonings. A touch of honey or maple syrup could transform the sauce into a perfect sweet-savory combo that elevates your seafood experience.

Overall, this recipe is highly adaptable making it easy for you to customize it based on your personal preference or needs. So gather your favorite herbs and spices and take your taste buds on a culinary adventure!

Serving and Pairing

 This fish dish is both elegant and easy to make.
This fish dish is both elegant and easy to make.

This pan fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce is a wonderful and flavorful dish that can be served as a main course for lunch or dinner. You can choose any variety of white fish such as flounder, cod, trout, snapper, swai fish, halibut or salmon fillets to make this dish. The pan seared fish fillets are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and are perfectly complemented by the tangy lemon butter sauce.

You can serve this dish with a side of roasted vegetables like asparagus, green beans, carrots or Brussels sprouts. You can also serve it with a simple salad made with fresh greens and cherry tomatoes dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.

If you want to pair this dish with wine, a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would be perfect. The acidity in the wine will cut through the richness of the sauce and enhance the flavors of the dish.

As for dessert, you can serve something light like fresh fruit or sorbet to balance out the rich flavors of the fish and sauce. A glass of sparkling water or lemonade would also be refreshing to complement this meal.

Overall, this pan fried fish with rich lemon butter sauce is versatile enough to be served in any number of ways and will definitely impress your guests at any dinner party.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A bright and tangy lemon butter sauce adds a burst of flavor to this already delicious fish.
A bright and tangy lemon butter sauce adds a burst of flavor to this already delicious fish.

Making this pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce ahead of time is not the best option as it will result in the loss of texture and flavor. However, if you find yourself with leftovers, storing and reheating them properly can help retain the taste and consistency.

To store cooked fish in the fridge, place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Make sure to remove any remaining sauce before storing. Properly stored, cooked fish can keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

To reheat your leftover pan-fried fish, you can use a microwave or an oven. The best way to retain its texture and flavor is by reheating it in the oven. First, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, place the leftover fish in an oven-safe dish and add some water (or broth) to rehydrate it. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s heated through.

If you prefer using a microwave, place the leftover fish on a microwave-safe dish and sprinkle some water over it. Cover with a damp paper towel and heat for one minute at a time until it’s hot.

Overall, reheating leftovers requires extra care as overcooking them might result in dry or rubbery fish which might not be appealing.

Tips for Perfect Results

Cooking pan-fried fish can be a little intimidating for some people, but with these tips, you will be sure to achieve perfect results every time.

One important factor to keep in mind is the type of fish you choose. You can choose from a variety of white fish such as flounder, cod, trout, or snapper, etc. When purchasing your fish fillets, make sure they are fresh and not frozen.

To achieve a crispy texture on your pan-fried fish, it’s essential to pat the fillets dry with paper towels before seasoning and dredging. Adding too much flour to the fillets can result in a heavy coating that may give you an unappetizing texture. Instead, use a light dusting of flour combined with dried thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika for a wonderfully flavorful dish.

It’s also essential to use olive oil instead of butter when pan-frying the fish. Olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter and will brown the fillets without burning them. Additionally, pan-fry your fillets over high heat in a large skillet with a little bit of neutral oil until they are golden brown on each side.

Another crucial element of this recipe is the rich lemon butter sauce that complements the fried fish perfectly. Remember to add the lemon juice and white wine gradually to avoid breaking the sauce while it’s cooking over medium-low heat. You must stir the sauce continuously until it’s reduced by half to get a creamy consistency.

Fresh parsley adds color and flavor to this dish; garnish your plate with chopped parsley right before serving for an eye-pleasing touch.

Lastly, taste-test and adjust seasoning (salt and pepper) levels as needed before serving.

With these tips in mind, enjoy your exquisite homemade pan-fried fish with rich lemon butter sauce!


Now that you have all the details for making this delectable pan-fried fish with a rich lemon butter sauce, it’s time to address any lingering concerns or uncertainties. In this section, I will provide answers to some frequently asked questions so that you can achieve perfect results every time you whip up this dish.

What is lemon butter sauce made of?

Looking for a savory and richly flavorful sauce to pair with your protein? Lemon butter sauce might be the perfect option for you. Made from fresh lemon juice mixed with minced garlic or garlic paste, white wine, butter, salt, pepper, and heavy cream, this recipe is easy to follow and can complement any dish. If you’re wondering if it’s suitable for those on a keto diet, read on.

How do you keep lemon butter sauce from breaking?

Maintaining the correct temperature is key to making sure your sauce doesn’t split. It’s advisable to avoid cooking sauces over high heat and instead aim for a gentle simmer. Lower temperatures provide greater opportunities for adjustment and ensure that the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Do you pan fry fish in butter or oil?

When it comes to frying fish, the combination of oil and butter is the way to go. This blend of fats makes the frying process more effective and heat resistant. To get started, begin with the oil and allow it to heat up before adding the butter. Once the butter stops spluttering, it’s time to start frying your fish. Make sure to baste the fish with the oil and butter mixture as it cooks to ensure an even cook. And, as a bonus, the butter will create a delicious sauce that will elevate the dish to the next level.

Why did my lemon butter sauce separate?

Making a rich and creamy sauce involves the gradual addition of cold butter, one tablespoon at a time, into a heated liquid base while constantly stirring over low heat. It’s important to be mindful of the temperature as overheating can cause the butter to separate from the liquid and ruin the desired creamy texture.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you love tasty, succulent pan-fried fish drenched in a rich, tangy lemon butter sauce, then this recipe is guaranteed to blow your taste buds away. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can create an effortlessly impressive dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

Remember to experiment with different types of white fish such as flounder, cod, trout or snapper, depending on what’s available and your personal preferences. And don’t forget to add a sprinkling of fresh parsley or your favorite herbs to elevate the flavors even further.

By following my tips and recommendations for substitutions and variations, you can easily tailor this recipe to suit your needs while still keeping its wonderful and flavorful essence. You can also store it for later use or serve it with some crispy roasted veggies or mashed potatoes.

So why not give this pan-fried fish with rich lemon butter sauce recipe a try? You won’t be disappointed!

Pan Fried Fish With a Rich Lemon Butter Sauce

Pan Fried Fish With a Rich Lemon Butter Sauce Recipe

A wonderful and flavorful dish that you can choose a variety of fish such as flounder, cod, trout, snapper, etc. Great served with fresh steamed veggies and steamed rice.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Calories 573.2 kcal


Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)

Fish Spice Blend

  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 tablespoon dried thyme


  • 2 lbs flounder fillets (or cod)
  • 1/2 cup flour (or 1/2 cup panko mixed with 2 tablespoons finely chopped almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh parsley, for garnish


  • LEMON BUTTER SAUCE: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the wine, lemon juice, garlic, and shallots. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and hot sauce and simmer until the mixture is somewhat syrupy, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Over low heat, whisk in the butter a few pats at a time. Continue whisking until all of the butter is incorporated into the sauce. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to use.
  • FISH: Mix fish spice blend ingredients together. Season both the fish and flour with spices and dredge the fish in the seasoned flour or panko/almond mixture, coating completely.
  • In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the fish to the saute pan, pan-frying for about 4 minutes on each side.
  • SERVE: Drizzle some lemon butter sauce on each plate. Top with fish and drizzle more sauce over top of fish. Top with fresh parsley.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 294gCalories: 573.2kcalCarbohydrates: 13.8gProtein: 21.3gFat: 45.8gSaturated Fat: 25.4gCholesterol: 176.7mgSodium: 1701.2mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1.1g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy
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