Garlic Herb Baked Cod


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This baked cod is an easy and foolproof recipe for perfectly flaky fish, every time. A simple buttery garlic herb topping transforms cod fillets into a delicious, light, and healthy weeknight dinner – in under 30 minutes!

Baked cod with lemon slices in a baking dish.

While baked salmon tends to get a lot of attention, a cod fillet is not one to be overlooked. It’s just as meaty, holds up well in a variety of recipes like today’s garlic herb baked cod and this Mediterranean cod en papillote, and you simply can’t beat that flaky texture.

But what I love most about baked cod is how darn easy it is to make. All you have to do is stir together the garlic herb butter mixture, slather it on top of the cod, and then bake it in the oven. You’ll have one unbelievably flavorful and healthy dinner in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients for baked cod on a counter.

Baked Cod Ingredients

Garlic and butter will always be a dynamic duo when it comes to flavoring seafood. But here are a few other things you’ll need. 

  • Cod: I’m using wild-caught Alaskan cod in this recipe. But if that’s not readily available, you could also use halibut, mahi mahi, or another flaky white fish.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter so I can add then season with salt to my preference.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is preferred for the most robust flavor, but you can also use garlic powder in a pinch.  
  • Parsley: Chopped parsley in the garlic butter adds a lovely pop of green. Not a fan of parsley? Try chives, thyme or another tender herbs. 
  • Lemon: Fish and lemon are best friends!
  • Paprika: Add just a touch of paprika to elevate the flavor profile.

Fresh versus Frozen Cod

If you can’t find fresh cod at the market, don’t fret. Frozen Alaskan cod might be the better option. Why? It’s hard to tell how long the “fresh” cod on ice has been sitting out. Plus, fresh catches of the day can be a bit pricey and hard to come by.

Topping cod fillets with garlic herb butter mixture.

How To Bake Cod Perfectly

Pan searing is one way to achieve a beautiful crust. But I find that baking cod in the oven is hands down the most foolproof method. Here’s how to make it. 

  1. Make the garlic herb butter. Stir the butter, garlic, herbs, and seasonings together.
  2. Coat the fish. Smear the garlic herb butter mixture on the cod fillets.
  3. Bake the fish. After 13 to 15 minutes in the oven the fish should be flaky and ready to serve!
Piece of baked cod with lemon slice in a baking dish.

Switch Up The Seasonings

Give this cod recipe a flavor twist by tweaking the seasoning in the garlic butter. Here are a few ideas:

  • French: Use fresh or dried thyme in place of the parsley, and add a tablespoon of chopped capers.
  • Cajun: Replace the paprika with your favorite Cajun seasoning blend and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Italian: Swap the parsley for fresh basil, and the paprika for Italian seasoning.
  • Spanish: Use smoked paprika instead of sweet.
  • Mexican: Substitute chopped cilantro for the parsley, ground cumin for the paprika, and lime for the lemon.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • To store in the fridge: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • To freeze for later: Yes, you can freeze cod! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • For reheating: Simply reheat in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until the fish is warmed through.
Baked cod being flaked with a fork.

More Easy Seafood Recipes To Love

If you’re a seafood lover like, I’m confident you’ll love these recipes as well:

I hope you enjoy this garlic herb baked cod! If you make it, drop a comment below on how it turned out. Your review will help other readers in the community.

Baked cod in a baking dish with lemon slices.

Garlic Herb Baked Cod

4.97 from 137 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This baked cod is an easy and foolproof recipe for perfectly buttery, garlicky, and flaky fish every time!



  • 4 (6-ounce) cod filets
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chives, thyme or other herbs, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cod in a baking dish.
    Four cod fillets in a baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.
    Mixing the garlic herb butter mixture.
  • Spread the compound butter mixture on top of each filet.
    Adding garlic herb butter to cod fillets.
  • Lay the lemon slices both on top and under the cod filets.
    Cod fillets topped with lemon slices.
  • Bake in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cod is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Before serving, spoon the juices from the baking dish over the cod.
    Baked cod in a baking dish.


Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 760mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 622IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked Cod, Baked Cod Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published September 2020, but updated to include new information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was an amazing recipe, so simple and easy to prepare, and the finish product was delicious! I will definitely share this recipe with my friends and family.5 stars

  2. I just made this tonight and it was delicious- perfect flavors, perfect cooking time, fish wash just right. So easy- a new favorite!5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah – no adjustments needed. Just make sure to thaw your cod in the fridge overnight, then pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Thanx Lisa you’re the never fail me!!!
    I trust your informative healthy organized recipes and tips5 stars

  4. I madenthe Garlic Herb Baked Cod. Followed the recipe as written, it was very good. Super easy to make. Served with asparagus. Will make again.5 stars

  5. 4th time doing this dish since I found it a month ago, we love it!
    I add tarragon to my herb mix and found a smoked paprika to make this ever more tasty to us.
    Easy to do, making fish popular again. Thanks Lisa.5 stars

  6. Brilliant! I lived in England and in Australia but this is one of the best Cods I ever had.
    And I am not even a good cook..5 stars

  7. I made this exactly as directed in the recipe using parsley and green onion for the herbs. It was absolutely delicious! Kids and adults alike loved it and were full of compliments! The fish was moist and tasty. We all dipped our bread in the sauce in the bottom of the pan-pure yum!

  8. My husband kept raving the whole time he was eating his fish, he said it was yummy and when can I make it again, BTW I also loved it :) keep up the great work!!5 stars

  9. I made this tonight and it was wonderful!
    I bought some fresh cod from my nearby grocery store yesterday and then simply searched for a recipe. I’m grateful to have found this one because it was simple and delicious.
    I will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  10. Living in New England, we are lucky to have fres seafood, and cod is a staple in my rotation. This recipe delish as is!

  11. This is my go-to recipe for cod and for haddock fillets. I prefer the Italian version, and use home-made Italian seasoning. This recipe is quick, easy and absolutely delicious. I usually serve it with a side of broccoli or asparagus, a green salad and a chickpea salad that i make. We are watching our carbs, so no rice or potatoes with this meal.5 stars

  12. I have been making this every week for the past 5 weeks (since I found this recipe).
    We love it, simple to make and delicious.

    thank you!5 stars

  13. I am on a low sodium diet and I made this recipe without any added salt. It was delicious. There is plenty of flavor without the salt.5 stars

  14. Excellent — easy recipe using ingredients I have in stock in the house. Very tasty and simple way to prepare cod. I used parsley, garlic powder, ground pepper, unsalted butter and olive oil. Eliminated salt due to diet restrictions. Will definitely make this recipe again (and again and again).

    Thank you5 stars

  15. Absolutely loved this recipe. We didn’t have lemons and substituted lime for the citrus, still really good. Fish was flavorful and flakey. We paired with mushroom risotto and the same herbs as the fish. This will be added to our meal rotation. Thank you!5 stars

  16. I have baked this before, just looking for something a bit different. I have been eating garlic all week, my daughter has 4. Something different and without garlic.4 stars

    1. Hi Alan – it sounds like your oven might not be calibrated correctly. I’d recommend buying an oven thermometer to double check. :)

    2. I found the same thing. 425 for 25 min. Maybe my pieces were thicker. I also added minced onion and mushroom to the topping, so that could have taken longer also.

    3. I made the garlic herb and loved it! My toddler wolfed it down as long as there weren’t any pieces of garlic on his bite of fish. We get frozen cod on our Costco runs and are looking forward to making all the other variations of this recipe!5 stars

  17. Wow! You did it again Lisa!! This recipe is amazing. The fish was so tender, flaky and flavorful. I will be making this dish again at my next dinner party. They are going to love it!!! I have made a lot of your recipes and all have been great! Thanks Lisa!!5 stars

  18. I think I needed to add more seasoning and less lemon, but this is a great and easy recipe to cook for the whole family. I have used so many recipes from your site. Thanks :)5 stars

  19. Restaurant quality.  Quick, delightful perfection!  Could easily make this for a dinner party.  Served over a bed of blistered cherry tomatoes and sautéed spinach.  Chive/thyme combo is yummy.  Thank you for a delicious dinner!5 stars

      1. This was quick,easy and delicious. We had it with your sautéed garlic swiss chard which is almost the same as the way I’ve been cooking it. It was a delicious healthy dinner. Thank you for sharing5 stars

  20. Made the herb garlic cod, really simple and quick. The flavours were amazing, perfect for a quick dinner party 🥳
    If there was a facility to post a photo I would 🤗5 stars

  21. So good and really easy! I grabbed a little fresh parsley, chives AND thyme from our garden to mix into the butter (because, why not?). Even my not-fishing-loving teen ate it without a disparaging comment (which I consider a compliment) 😂 We will put this recipe into our regular fish rotation. 5 stars

  22. I made this meal today and it was amazing! I only made two large pieces of cod as I live alone. I had leftover compound butter so I rolled it in plastic to look like a log and will freeze it until next time! You have got to make this. It was so juicy and tasty. Thanks Liza! You’ve done it again!!!5 stars

  23. I made this meal last week and it turned out fantastic. I know its good when my husband asks me where did I buy it from? This turned boring cod into a beautiful meal. Thank you !