This simple pan-seared cod gets a decadent dose of flavor with simple compound cilantro-lime butter. It makes an easy weeknight meal that you can even prep in advance! This easy cod recipe is low carb, keto, paleo, whole30, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
Hi! I'm Sarah, I'm excited to be back at Joy Filled Eats with another recipe. I’m a mama of four-year-old twins and a one-year-old. When I’m not chasing them around, I write about food, faith, creativity, and motherhood at sarahjhauser.com. I love sharing wholesome recipes for everyday life that fit a variety of lifestyles. In addition to my blog, you can also find me on Instagram (@sarah.j.hauser) and Facebook (/sarahjhauser).
I love cooking simple meals that have a twist of a little something special. When it comes to getting dinner on the table, I usually need whatever's quick and easy—or a meal that can be entirely or at least partially made in advance. With three kiddos running around at my feet, I don't always have time for recipes with long ingredient lists or active prep times.
Sometimes I find this means I end up repeating the same meals over and over. That's not the worst thing in the world, I suppose, but I do love variety. Variety and simplicity often seem at odds with each other in the kitchen, but I don't think it has to be that way.
What is Compound Butter?
Enter compound butter. Basically, compound butter is a butter with more good stuff added to it. And who doesn't love butter in the first place? Creating compound butter is so simple and can be done in advance, so you always have a burst of flavor ready to add to your meal.
Compound butter works great on steaks and seafood, roasted vegetables, or on top of cauliflower rice. You can easily mix and match the flavors to suit your tastes (and use what you have left in the refrigerator). It's simple, but there's also a ton of variety you can create with different add-ins.
Ingredients for Pan-Seared Cod with Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter
- Cod fillets (or other white fish
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Freshly squeezed lime juice
- Lime zest
- Fresh cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Pan-Seared Cod
For this recipe, I seared a few cod fillets in a pan and topped them with a dab of Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter. The cilantro adds the perfect bit of freshness and the lime adds a bright, citrus flavor. I threw in a little minced jalapeno for the slightest bit of heat. For other variations, you could always try parsley and lemon with minced red bell pepper, or basil with orange. There are so many possibilities, so feel free to get creative!
Another great topping for cod is a homemade tartar sauce.
- 4 oz unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeño (remove any seeds for less heat)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Pinch salt
- 4 6-8 ounce cod fillets
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped fresh cilantro for serving (optional)
- Lime wedges (optional)
- For the compound butter, cut the butter into large chunks and add it to a bowl. Add in the jalapeno, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir together well using a spatula until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Taste and adjust the salt or other mix-ins to your preference.
- Transfer the butter mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log.
- Roll the plastic wrap around it, and twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until hardened.
- For the cod, season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet set over medium heat.
- Add the cod, and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the cod).
- Transfer to a serving platter or plates and top with fresh cilantro and Cilantro-Lime Compound Butter. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!