Pan Seared Cod Fish with White Wine Sauce

by Eat Well with Lex

Pan seared cod is a tender fish fillet with a golden brown caramelized crust that is simmered in a delicious homemade white wine sauce. This healthy, satisfying meal comes together in just 20 minutes, making it an easy weeknight dinner option.

For more delicious fish recipes try my Blackened Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Thai Salmon Curry next.

Pan seared cod is deliciously tender and flaky with a mouthwatering crust. Add a velvet-smooth white wine sauce enhanced with lemon, butter, garlic, and cherry tomatoes and you have an irresistible entree.

Why This is the Best Pan Seared Cod Recipe

  • Quick and Easy. The cod fillet is one of the easiest fish to cook. It’s versatile so it tastes however you season it and it cooks in less than 10 minutes.
  • Delicious. Served with a homemade white wine sauce, a mild-flavored fish gets a tasty twist. Adding this sauce upgrades this standard meal to a fancy dish and makes it suitable for when you have guests or are hosting a dinner party.
  • Healthy. Need a nutritious meal? Codfish is a lean protein that’s packed with omega 3 fatty acids. Serve it with some steamed veggies for a filling, low-carb lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • Cod Fillet: Use thick slices of cod. You can use frozen (then defrosted) cod, but fresh is preferred. If the fish is too thin, it will burn before it has the chance to sear.
  • Seasoning: Season the fish simply with salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • Olive Oil: Although this oil does not have as high of a smoke point as avocado oil or canola oil, it gets the job done and provides excellent flavor.

White Wine Sauce

  • White Wine: Use a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be a wine that you like to drink.
  • Cherry Tomato: Bright and slightly sweet, these add a pop of color and fresh flavor to the dish.
  • Fresh Parsley: Finely chopped.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use unsalted to control the amount of sodium.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Citrus complements the fish and enhances the other flavors.
  • Fresh Thyme: For s fresh, herby taste.
  • Garlic cloves: Minced.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For a little kick of spice.
  • Seasoning: Use salt and ground black pepper.

How to Thaw Frozen Cod

You can defrost cod fish fillets overnight in the fridge. But if you are pressed for time, place the fish in a resealable bad and set it under cold running water for about 15 minutes. Never thaw cod fish in the microwave because it will affect the texture and possibly cook.

How to Make Pan Seared Cod with White Wine Sauce

White Wine Sauce

To make the white wine sauce, heat the unsalted butter until melted in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are soft and blistered.

Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes then add the white wine. Stir well and allow it to come to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Lastly, add the lemon juice, fresh thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir well and let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.

white wine sauce with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs

Pan Seared Cod Fish

Pat dry the cod then season on both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat then cook the cod for at least 3 minutes. Carefully flip the cod and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes or until the cod is fully cooked. Make sure to flip the cod carefully as it’s easy to break apart.

Pour the white wine sauce over the cod and continue to cook over low heat for about 3-4 minutes. Make sure to baste the cod with the sauce as it simmers.

Remove from heat and serve with your favorite side. Enjoy!

pan seared cod fish in white wine sauce

Pro Tips

  • Whether you are using fresh cod or frozen cod, ensure it is completely dry before you season and pan sear it.
  • Codfish cooks very quickly so keep an eye on the stove as it cooks. Overcooked cod is chewy, tough, and rubbery.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan or the fish will not properly sear. You may need to cook in batches.

Recipe Variations & Substitutions

  • Fish: This recipe works for any mild-flavored white fish. Try flounder, tilapia, or sea bass.
  • Pan Seared Cod Finished in Oven: After the fish has been seared and flipped, and the sauce has been added, transfer the pan to an oven preheated to 400F for about 3 minutes.
  • Pan Seared Cod with Lemon Butter: If you’d prefer a sauce without wine, use a lemon butter sauce instead.

Can Pan Seared Cod Be Made Ahead?

This recipe is best enjoyed the day you make it. It takes just minutes to cook so there’s no real advantage to cooking cod in advance.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover pan fried cod in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat it in a pan on the stove over medium heat until warmed through or in the oven at 300F for about 8-10 minutes.

pan seared cod fish  in a white wine sauce with fresh herbs

Common Questions

What is the best way to pan sear?

Preheat a nonstick skillet before adding oil. The oil should be hot before the fish is placed on the surface.

How long do you cook a 6 oz piece of cod?

The cod needs about 3 minutes per side to fully cook. However, cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the fish fillet. The fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork.

How do you pan fry cod without it falling apart?

Use a nonstick pan so when you flip it, it doesn’t stick to the pan and break apart. This fish is very delicate so it may still fall apart. If that happens, it won’t be as pretty but it will still taste amazing.

More Dinner Recipes:

Sweet Chili Jerk Wings

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Chicken

Mongolian Meatballs

DID YOU MAKE THIS EASY PAN SEARED COD RECIPE?

Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know your thoughts. You can also share the recipe on Instagram and tag @eatwell.withlex.

pan seared cod fish in a white wine sauce with fresh herbs

Pan Seared Cod Fish with White Wine Sauce

Pan seared cod is a tender fish fillet with a golden brown caramelized crust that is simmered in a delicious homemade white wine sauce. This healthy, satisfying meal comes together in just 20 minutes, making it an easy weeknight dinner option.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pcs 6 oz Cod Fillet
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

White Wine Sauce

  • cup White Wine dry
  • ½ cup Cherry Tomato halved
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper

Instructions
 

White Wine Sauce

  • To make the white wine sauce, heat the unsalted butter until melted in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are soft and blistered.
  • Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the pan and sautee for 1-2 minutes then add the white wine. Stir well and allow it to come to a simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Lastly, add the lemon juice, fresh thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir well and let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.

Pan Seared Cod Fish

  • Pat dry the cod then season on both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat then cook the cod for at least 3 minutes on one side . Carefully flip the cod and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes or until the cod is fully cooked. Make sure to flip the cod carefully as it's easy to break apart.
  • Pour the white wine sauce over the cod and continue to cook over low heat for about 3-4 minutes. Make sure to baste the cod with the sauce as it simmers.
  • Remove from heat and serve with your favorite side. Enjoy!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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Recipe Rating




2 comments

Drena August 25, 2023 - 2:04 pm

5 stars
I made the pan seared cod last night for dinner & it was SOOOO good I loved the sauce so much & it was my first time cooking cod so that was fun! I made it with sautéed broccolini & couscous 💗

Reply
Eat Well with Lex August 25, 2023 - 3:27 pm

I am happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe!

Reply

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