This Pan Fried Cod with Creamy Lemon Pasta is an easy fish recipe that’s perfect for any weeknight or even fit for company. The pasta sauce is light and creamy with plenty of flavor that pairs perfectly with the flaky seared cod.
This cod recipe comes together quickly so as soon as you put your pasta water to boil you can get started on your cooking your cod and making the sauce.
How to cook pan fried cod:
You’ll start by patting the fish dry then seasoning it. The dryer you can get the fish, the crispier it will turn out. This is why the seasoning mix also includes flour. It helps to absorb more moisture and also helps make the sauce a little bit thicker.
What fish can you substitute for cod:
You could use a variety of fish for this recipe. A close one would be haddock or you could also use grouper, flounder or halibut. Really any white fish will be great.
I like to cook my fish in a mixture of olive oil and butter. The butter is for flavor and the olive oil doesn’t burn as easily so it’s a great combination. I had quite a mixture of fish sizes in this batch so I just kept an eye on it but the bigger pieces took roughly about 5 minutes per side over medium heat.
Fish can be really tender and tricky to flip (as you can see I broke a piece) so I would highly recommend using a fish spatula. I found this one that has a silicon edge so I can also use it on my non-stick pans.
Once your fish is cooked, you can remove it from the pan and start the sauce. I just set it on a plate nearby and loosely cover it with foil so it stays warm. The lemon juice, white wine, and garlic go in the pan first. You’ll want to let this bubble for a couple minutes to cook off the alcohol and to infuse the garlic flavor.
Next come the cream. This mellows out the sharp taste of the lemon and wine and makes the most delicious sauce for the pasta. This is also when I add in the 1/4 cup of pasta water. I just take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop some out right before I drain the pasta.
When your sauce is ready, you can add in the drained pasta and parley and toss everything to coat the noodles in the creamy lemon sauce.
Now it’s time to assemble the dish and officially turn it into Pan Fried Cod with Creamy Lemon Pasta! I like to serve the cod right on top of a bed of the pasta. I sprinkle a little extra parsley on top of everything and serve with a lemon wedge.
This fish dinner is easy enough for a week night meal but it’s also impressive enough for company!
Other recipes you’ll love:
Pan Fried Cod with Creamy Lemon Pasta
- 1 and ½ pounds cod fish (or other white fish)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more for salting pasta water)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 pound pasta (we use linguini)
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- Start a pot of salted water to boil and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. (Don't forget to save 1/4 cup of water after the pasta is boiled)
- While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, you should have enough time to complete the rest of the recipe.
- Mix together the paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and flour. Pat the fish dry with paper towels then sprinkle both sides of your fish pieces with the mixture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat then add your butter and olive oil.
- Add the seasoned fish and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until the inside is opaque and cooked through. (This will depend on the thickness of your fish so just keep an eye on it)
- Once cooked, remove the fish from the pan and set aside on a plate while you make the sauce. You do not need to clean the pan out since it's full of flavor from the fish. Just remove any large pieces of fish.
- To the pan, add in the white wine, lemon juice, and garlic and let it bubble for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cream, parsley, and reserved pasta water, and stir to combine.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve the fish over the pasta and garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and an extra lemon wedge (if you're feeling fancy!)