This oven baked cod with lemon and capers is a simple yet delicious healthy entree. It’s easy enough to make on a weeknight and comes together in 30 minutes or less.

As a Registered Dietitian, I try to include fish in my diet once or twice a week to reap the health benefits of fish. The two fish I cook at home most frequently are salmon and cod! So it will be surprising to hear this is my first cod recipe on the blog.

My favorite fish recipes are usually the simplest ones that really let the fresh fish flavor shine. This baked cod fish recipe with lemon and capers is super simple but so fresh and delicious! The cod is baked with lemon juice, olive oil, fresh thyme, capers, and garlic. It’s super moist and pairs well with a wide variety of side dishes.

What does cod taste like?

Cod is a white, flaky fish that has a very mild flavor when fresh. Even though it is flaky, it is firm enough to hold up to baking. Since cod has such a mild flavor, it pairs well with all kinds of seasonings like citrus, fresh herbs, and spices.

Ingredients in baked cod with lemon and capers

Here is everything you need to make this recipe:

  • Fresh cod fish
  • Lemons
  • Capers
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Kitchen tools needed

You’ll want a glass or ceramic baking dish for this recipe (size 7.5″ x 10.5″ or larger), a good knife, and cutting board. A handheld lemon squeezer is a bonus but not required!

Fish similar to cod

If you can’t find cod at your local store, you can use another mild flavored white fish for this recipe, such as haddock, pollack, halibut, or black cod.

lemon caper baked cod ingredients measured out on a wooden cutting board

How to make baked cod with lemon and capers

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. While the oven preheats, marinate the fish in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Transfer the fish to a ceramic baking dish and add fresh thyme leaves, minced garlic, capers, and lemon slices.
  4. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over everything.
  5. Bake in the oven until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Internal temperature for cooking fish

To prevent bacterial infection, it’s important to cook fish to the proper internal temperature. Cook your fish until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can check the doneness of your fish by its appearance. Properly cooked fish will be opaque in the middle and flake easily with a fork.

Close up of cod topped with lemon slices, capers, and herbs in a white baking dish

What to eat with cod

This baked cod recipe pairs well with so many different side dishes! Some of my favorites to pair with cod include:

How to reheat fish

Fish really does taste best when it is freshly prepared, but I know that sometimes we have leftovers or want to meal prep! You can reheat fish in a few ways:

Microwave: Put cod fish in a microwave safe shallow bowl or on a plate with a little bit of the liquid from cooking. Microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on the amount you are heating.

Oven: Heat up the oven to 300 degrees F. Add the fish in a baking dish and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.

Cod nutrition benefits

Cod is a nutritious lean protein source to include in your diet. A 3 ounce portion of cod provides 15 grams of high quality protein! In addition, cod provides micronutrients. The same 3 ounce serving has:

  • 0.77 mcg Vitamin B12 (32 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.754 mg niacin (11 percent of your daily needs)
  • 172.55 mg phosphorus (25 percent of your daily needs)
  • 28.14 mcg selenium (day 51 percent of your daily needs)

Cod has very little fat (less than 1 gram in a 3 ounce serving), and a majority of the fat is from heart healthy unsaturated fatty acids, including essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Is cod fish high in mercury?

Some types of fish have a high concentration of mercury, and should be eaten sparingly. Cod is considered a low mercury fish. Of the different cod varieties, Atlantic cod has the least amount of mercury. That means cod is safe to eat a few times a week!

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Baked cod fish topped with lemon slices, capers, and herbs in a white baking dish

Baked Cod with Lemon and Capers


Description

This oven baked cod with lemon and capers is a simple yet delicious healthy entree. It’s easy enough to make on a weeknight and comes together in 30 minutes or less.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds fresh cod fish, cut into 4 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 whole lemons
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tbsp capers drained from their liquid
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the cod fillets on a plate and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, and a generous shake of salt and pepper. Let the cod marinate in this while the oven is heating up.
  3. Transfer the cod to a 7.5 ” x 10.5″ or 9″ x 13″ ceramic baking dish (it is fine if the pieces overlap a bit).
  4. Top the cod with capers, fresh thyme, and minced garlic.
  5. Slice the remaining lemon into rounds and arrange the slices on top of the cod. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme if you have them.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes, until fish is an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, and is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Cook time will depend on the amount and thickness of fish.
  7. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two before serving.

Notes

How to reheat fish

Fish really does taste best when it is freshly prepared, but I know that sometimes we have leftovers or want to meal prep! You can reheat fish in a few ways:

Microwave: Put cod fish in a microwave safe shallow bowl or on a plate with a little bit of the liquid from cooking. Microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on the amount you are heating.

Oven: Heat up the oven to 300 degrees F. Add the fish in a baking dish and pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.