Quick, easy, and delicious, this Greek-style dish can be made with any type of white fish you like, such as tilapia. It gets a browning on the stovetop and then goes into the oven to finish cooking, all enrobed in a simple but flavorful lemon-butter garlic sauce.
Because fish cooks so quickly and we can all agree on liking it (a rarity, obviously), it's one of my go-to dinners on the weeknight rotation. This Greek-style fish can be made with any white fish—I've made it with tilapia and with whitefish fillets, both great. If you have a skillet that can go from the stovetop to the oven, like a cast iron or carbon steel, it's also a quick dish to make, since you can brown the fish and then stick it directly into the hot oven. If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, then there's an extra step of transferring the fish from your skillet to a baking dish, which is still easy, but sometimes not easy enough for a weeknight (#amiright), so you might want to reserve this for a time when you have a little more patience.
Step 1: Make the lemon-butter garlic sauce
The lemon-butter garlic sauce doubles for dipping the fish in before coating, so it's made first. You start off by melting the butter, then whisking in the olive oil, and lemon juice—you'll add the garlic a little later, so hold of for now. You can also preheat the oven at this point, to 400F / 200C.
Step 2: coating and pan-frying Greek-style fish
After combining the flour and spices in a shallow bowl, you'll dip the fish in the sauce, then in the coating. It goes into an oven-safe skillet with a bit of hot olive oil to brown and crisp up, about 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat. The fish won't be cooked through yet, but that's okay; that's why it's going into the oven later.
Step 3: adding the sauce
Just before taking the fish off the stovetop, add the chopped garlic to the remaining sauce and pour it over the fish. That's it!
Step 3: baking the fish
Transfer the fish to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through (it'll flake easily when you poke it with a fork). Don't forget to scatter minced fresh parsley over top of the fish; it's not to be missed.
This fish is wonderful with some roasted potatoes and a Greek salad alongside—the one I made here is similar to my Greek Diner Salad: same components and dressing, but with the feta crumbled.
Looking for more fish mains?
- Teriyaki Salmon - eith a quick homemade teriyaki sauce
- Pan-Fried Trout with White Wine-Braised Leeks
- Alton Brown's Tuna Croquettes
- Maryland Fish Cakes
Greek-Style Fish with Lemon-Butter Garlic Sauce
- 4-6 white fish fillets - such as tilapia
- 2 Tbsp olive oil - for frying
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter - melted
- 3 garlic cloves - chopped
Coating for the fish:
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ¾ tsp sweet paprika
- ¾ tsp cumin
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley - minced
- Preheat oven to 400F / 200C.
Make the sauce:
- Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and melted butter, holding off on the garlic for the moment, in a measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside momentarily.
Coat and pan-fry the fish:
- In a shallow bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and spices. Dip the fish fillets into the lemon-butter mixture, then into the flour mixture, shaking off any excess coating (it should adhere easily to the fish).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a oven-safe skillet, such as cast iron, over medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the fish and brown for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden but not yet fully cooked (it will cook through in the oven).
Add the sauce:
- Add the chopped garlic to the remaining sauce, stirring to combine. pour over the fish in the skillet and remove from the heat.
Bake the fish:
- Transfer the fish to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through.
- Garnish the finished fish liberally with the chopped parsley.