This simple pan-fried cod with lemon and white wine is easy and elegant. Perfect date night dinner at home!
We love white fish but unfortunately we just don’t cook it that often at home. Yet every time we do, I keep wondering why we don’t cook white fish like cod, halibut, turbo more often.
It’s SO delicious! And, cooking fish at home is so much easier than you think.
I got a great deal on some cod earlier in the week and was eager to make a simple, light dinner. This recipe is one that I have made a few different times over the years. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s most definitely delicious.
I love cooking cod at home because it’s a fairly mild, tender, flaky white fish. It tends to absorb whatever flavors it is cooked with, so it’s easy to transform from simple to elegant to WOW in just a few steps and with just a few ingredients.
Cod also tends to be less expensive than other types of fish, such as halibut.
Cooking with white wine
There’s an old wives’ tale that if you don’t like a wine, use it up in your cooking. The problem with following this advice is that the flavors of the wine you use in cooking will permeate the flavors of the final dish.
And as I mentioned earlier, cod, in particular, tends to take on the full flavors of whatever it is cooked with.
Therefore, you should cook with a wine that you truly enjoy drinking. Your dinner will taste so much better!
What wine pairs well with cod?
White flaky fish like this pan-fried cod dish pairs well with a dry white wine. Think a crisp Pinot Gris or an unoaked Chardonnay. If you like bit buttery Chardonnays then go ahead and try one of your faves with this dish. Otherwise, a lively, bright, crisp white wine would be best for this recipe.
How to make pan-fried cod with lemon wine sauce
This recipe calls for two filets, which will feed two adults. You can easily double the recipe or even triple it to feed the whole family, or if you’re serving this at a dinner party.
You start by simply brushing each cod filet with olive oil, then gently patting it around all sides with a breadcrumb mixture.
Lightly pan fry the fish in a skillet with additional olive oil, white wine, and sauteed garlic for a few minutes.
Then, finish it off in the oven for a nice, slightly crisp outer coating.
So easy, right? And VERY delicious. I remember the first time I made this, as soon as I took a bite, the words “OH MY GAWD THIS IS GOOD!” came tumbling out without warning.
Yes, it’s that good.
What temperature should cod be cooked?
Just like with meat, to ensure your fish is cooked properly, you’ll want to use a thermometer. Cod is cooked with the internal temperature reaches 130°F (54°C).
How else do you know when cod is cooked?
You can also tell that your fish is fully cooked by color and texture. Cooked properly, white fish will be opaque in color. And, the fish will easily flake apart when you dive into it with a fork.
What to serve with pan-fried cod?
This pan-fried cod dish goes well with so many side dishes.
- a side of wild rice
- garlicky green beans
- roasted asparagus
- corn with basil lime butter
- roasted brussels sprouts
- scalloped potatoes
- a simple green salad
More easy 20-minute dinner recipes
- Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles
- Shrimp Roll Recipe
- Easy, Unfussy Homemade Ramen
- Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Easy Shrimp Lo Mein
Pan-Fried Cod with White Wine & Lemon
- 2 small 4-6 ounce filets of cod or other white fish
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 minced garlic cloves separated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Prep a baking pan with either a Silpat/silicone mat, or tinfoil with cooking spray.
- In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parsley, 1 teaspoon garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and saute about 1 minute. Add lemon juice.
- Using a paper towel, pat each fish filet dry, then carefully coat in the bread crumb mixture.
- Slowly add wine to the skillet and let wine cook off for one minute.
- Gently add each filet onto the skillet and saute for about 3 minutes. Do not flip the fish!
- Turn off the heat. Transfer fish to prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. The outside crust will be slightly golden.
Do you cook fish often? If so, what is your favorite kind of fish to cook at home?
This post was originally published May 21, 2014. It was updated with new content and photos on April 24, 2020.