Pan-fried cod has been one of our favorite ways to add a healthy protein to any plate. In just 20 minutes, you will have delicious fish on the table with little mess and all the flavor.
Have a bunch of cod fillets hanging out in your fridge or freezer? Put them to good use tonight and make them the protein star of your own personal dinner show!
Got tilapia instead? No problem! Follow our easy pan fried tilapia recipe instead.
There are so many different methods to make awesome cod. From baking cod to making air fryer cod, we use plenty of ways to keep this budget-friendly fish tender and moist.
Pan-fried cod pairs wonderfully with so many different side dishes. If you are trying to keep things light, whip up my creamy cucumber salad or a beet and quinoa salad. If you’re feeling a little more indulgent, make a batch of creamy herbed potatoes and satiate that carb craving that has been nagging at you.
How to Cook Cod
The last thing you want is dry cod. It happens to the best of us, but follow these step-by-step instructions for some absolutely moist cod:
- Heat a pan over medium-low heat (don’t cook cod on high heat, it will burn and cook unevenly!) with two generous pats of butter.
- Place cod in the pan. Season generously with garlic parsley salt. Cook for two minutes.
- Flip over and cook for another 4 minutes. Season this side with garlic parsley salt.
- Remove from heat. Immediately drizzle lemon juice all over the top. Sprinkle with freshly chopped green onion.
Can I Pan Fry Frozen Cod?
Freezing fish is one of the best dinner hacks I have in my toolbelt. Cod is a great fish to keep on hand frozen. However, I do not like to cook my fish frozen in the pan. I find that it makes the fish tough and often results in uneven cooking. Thaw your fish in the fridge overnight (or for at least a couple hours) before cooking it!
What is the Best Fish to Fry?
Cod is definitely my favorite fish for pan-frying. It is sturdy enough to withstand the flipping and it takes well to a quick and easy fry. Salmon, on the other hand, is better for baking as it flakes easily and should be flipped as minimally as possible.
How do you Know When Cod is Cooked?
Cooking white fish can feel intimidating. It cooks quickly and sometimes that doesn’t feel the most intuitive to the budding chef. Fear not, check for the following signs and you should be in the clear:
- Translucent to opaque. Raw cod will be translucent and veiny. Once the cod is fully cooked, it will turn this beautiful opaque color. Once it does, immediately remove it from the heat to prevent overcooking.
- Flaky goodness. Once cod is cooked, it will easily flake with a fork. You know it is too tough if you have a hard time separating it.
Other Fish Recipes You May Like
- Air Fryer Salmon – This is truly one of my favorite recipes. With minimal oil, the air fryer makes salmon skin super crispy. YUM!
- Baked Salmon Recipe – Baked salmon is a crowd-pleaser. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, smear them on top of a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, tomato and red onion.
- Ukha Fish Soup – This traditional Ukrainian soup is light, savory and satisfying.
- Panko Fish – If your kids are obsessed with fish sticks, switch them over to this healthier version of the classic. These fried fillets pair perfectly with french fries and make for a super simple weeknight dinner.
- 2 lb cod fillet
- 1 tbsp garlic parsley salt (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
Привіт! I am learning Ukrainian with new knowledge of my heritage. Maternal grandfather's name was Koczeko.
Usually I bake the cod, often in a glass breadpan. So easy to wash up! This time, I patted the fillet portions with fresh ground black pepper and panko flakes, then dropped the portions onto the fry pan. I covered with a large lid, making certain using low heat. Turned the portions after browning. At 15 minute mark, the portions easily separated into cod flakes; I knew they were done! I hv two pictures but will wait until I can upload them.
Hi Larry, I am so glad that you loved this recipe and that it was a success. Thank you for sharing your process and feedback with me. Enjoy!
These turned out perfect! My filets were a bit smaller so they were done in about 12 minutes, I used lemon pepper to season then squeezed a bit of lemon juice and a bit of butter once it was on my plate. Paired with blanched asparagus with Parmesan.
Hi Laura, sounds like they turned out incredible!! I can almost smell it from here, lol! Thank you for sharing your process! Enjoy!
This recipe was a great way for me to try to cook with Cod. Simple, easy to follow cooking directions….came out delicious! Paired with asparagus and wine! Thanks!
Hey there! I am so delighted to hear this recipe was a success! The added asparagus and wine sounds delicious! Thank you for the feedback, Enjoy!
Followed cooking instructions and times exactly. Product was very tough. She choked hers down and I threw the last of mine away. She commented tasted like raw tuna. I wouldn’t be that generous. Rubber would be better. Feel free to delete this as it will not help your ratings. I thought cooking times were short since I cook salmon often. Had some cod and wanted to try it. Will never buy cod again.
Cooking thermometer, 145° internal temp. 142 or so is good it will rise. Easy peasy.
Hi Dan- I'm sorry to hear that! We appreciate feedback, even if it's not what we hoped to hear. If it came out rubbery, the fillets may have been overcooked. The thing with fish is that it comes in varying thicknesses, if your fillets are on the thinner side, they need less cook time. Regardless, I am sorry your meal was not enjoyed as expected!
Made it as per your instructions, except substituted parsley, garlic salt with a bit of Cajun spice mix. Came out amazing!!
Ooh I can imagine how delicious it would be with a cajun kick, YUM!
Had pan fried .cod or ling tonight . Done in butter .with potatoes and salad ..very nice ..fish a little chewy ..did I overcook this .
Hi Graham- if the fish is chewy then yes, it may be a bit overdone. Sounds like a lovely meal otherwise!
Wow, made this tonight for dinner!! So easy and the fish was moist & very flavorful. This one’s a keeper🥰🙋🏻♀️
Hi Carol - Yay! So happy you enjoyed it. So simple and super healthy. Happy New Year!
Hi. I love cod, but my house smells like fish for days after I fry it. I tried to bake it - a little better, but still a lot of smell. Also, since the only cod available is either frozen or "previously frozen", it contains a lot of moisture and does not come out nearly like in your picture. Do you have any tips on that? Thanks.
Hi Natalia - I feel your pain and that's a tough one! I tend to open up the windows in my kitchen and light a candle when I cook cod. It's also helpful to turn a fan on. Hope this helps!
I followed your recipe as closely as possible. I didn't have garlic, parsley, salt so I used a garlic press and pressed a fresh clove of garlic on each side, sprinkled sea salt and dried parsley. My fish was pretty thick so it took a little longer to cook, but it was delicious...and so easy! It's a winner!
Debora, I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe, thank you for taking the time to comment!
can i use canola or olive oil instead of butter?
Hey Carol, yes you can, the flavor will be different but it works.
Just made this tonight. My husband loved it and said he wanted me to make Cod this way all the time. Thank you for the easy and really good recipe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe, it really is a simple and delicious way to prep cod.
Do I need to batter my cod in meal, fish batter or egg. Or do I pan fry with no batter?
Do I need to batter my cod fish in meal or fish season?? Or egg!
Hi Shirley, I shared exactly how I make it in the recipe. It comes out delicious.
I made this and had it for dinner just now. I t was VERY tasty and so simple to prepare. I will definitely make it again.
I did see the following error in your recipe below ("adjust" is misspelled.)
1 tbsp garlic parsley salt (adjsut to taste)
I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe Randy, thank you for your feedback. And good catch, that will be fixed!
This was a great recipe. I was looking for the easiest salmon recipe I could find, and this certainly lived up to my hopes. It was moist and flavorful, as well as easy to put together.
Hey Arpita, thank you for that feedback. So happy to hear that you loved it!
I'm normally not a fish fan, but this was delicious!
Hi Rachael, I am so happy to hear this feedback! Thank you!
Cooking fish intimidates me. But these instructions were so easy to follow and it turned out beautifully. The whole family loved it. Thank you!!
Hey Lisalia, thank you for sharing this awesome feedback. I am so happy to hear that you loved it.
Love this! So glad I had use for the frozen cod I had in my freezer. It was so easy and tasted amazing!
Hey Julie, I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for sharing.