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Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod (Paleo, Keto, Whole30)

Creamy Lemon Basil Garlic Cod comes together in 30 minutes or less and makes for an incredibly nutritious meal! This easy cod recipe is a marvelous weeknight staple, yet is fancy enough for date night!

Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod recipe - a low-carb, healthy dinner recipe for any night of the week

I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m not the biggest fan of cod that ever did walk the earth.

I mean…it’s alright. I certainly don’t dislike it. But neither the flavor nor the texture make my mind buds go bonkers without much doctoring. 

Enter: this Creamy Lemon Basil Garlic Cod recipe. Cod all doctored up in a creamy lemon basil garlic sauce is just what I need to take an interest in the fish.

It’s simple to make, the flavors are magnificent, and when paired with brown rice and veggies, this easy fish recipe is exactly what we need to hit our well-rounded meal goals with flying colors.

If you’re like me and you’re all about incorporating different, nutritious foods into your diet but you need to feel an emotional connection in order to ignite that flame, this recipe was made for you.

Let’s make it!

Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod recipe - a low-carb, healthy dinner recipe for any night of the week

Creamy Lemon Basil Garlic Cod Ingredients:

Cod: Procure 1 pound of cod and cut it into fillets if it isn’t already. I buy wild-caught cod from Whole Foods in the freezer section, which comes pre-portioned into 4-ounce fillets. I simply thaw the fillets a few hours before I make the dish.

Avocado Oil: Used to sear the fish, we use avocado oil for its subtle flavor and its high smoke point.

Coconut Milk: The creamy portion of the cream sauce! In keeping this recipe dairy-free, I use full-fat canned coconut milk which adds a subtle natural sweetness and lovely creaminess to the meal.

Garlic: What can I say? Garlic makes everything better! I use a whopping 5 cloves in this recipe, but you can scale up or down according to your tolerance for deliciousness 😉

Lemon Zest & Juice: Adding tang and acidity to the meal to brighten it up and offset the creaminess, lemon zest and lemon juice goes a long way in making this meal pop!

Basil: Fresh basil adds an earthy herbiness to the dish. If you aren’t into basil, use baby spinach!

Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Enhancing the flavor, a little sea salt and black pepper go a long way in bringing the whole thing together. Add both to taste!

Green Onion: A little green onion adds more flavor to really give the whole meal a well-rounded palatable experience. Because green onion doesn’t need to be sautéed the way yellow or red onion do, it adds that lovely onion flavor without also adding prep time.

Easy Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod recipe - low-carb, keto, easy healthy dinner recipe

How to Make Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod:

Pat the cod fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Put the fillets on a plate until you’re ready to cook.

Add the avocado oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat to medium-high. Carefully place the cod on the hot skillet flesh-side down (if your cod doesn’t have skin, no worries…either side will work).

Cook 3 minutes, until the cod is slightly golden brown. Carefully flip using a spatula (the cod is very tender and will likely break if you aren’t gentle) and cook another 3 minutes

Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and gently stir them around. Cover the skillet and bring to a full but gentle boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very fragrant and the cod flakes easily when poked with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Note: if you have the time, you can simmer the cod over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes for an even more flavorful sauce.

Serve with choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Easy Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod recipe - low-carb, keto, easy healthy dinner recipe

Also be sure to check out my Chili Lime Cod recipe – it’s tangy, it has just the right amount of kick, it makes you feel like you’re throwing a fiesta in your mouth!

More Healthy Fish Recipes:

May all the delicious cod recipes be with you. 😉

Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod recipe - a low-carb, healthy dinner recipe for any night of the week
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4.36 from 14 votes

Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod

Quick and easy Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod comes together in a flash for nutritious weeknight eating!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 pound cod cut into 4 fillets
  • 1 can coconut milk light or full-fat both work
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh basil or spinach
  • ½ tsp sea salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped

Instructions

  • Pat the cod fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Put the fillets on a plate until you’re ready to cook.
  • Add the avocado oil to a large non-stick skillet and heat to medium-high. Carefully place the cod on the hot skillet flesh-side down (if your cod doesn’t have skin, no worries...either side will work).
  • Cook 3 minutes, until the cod is slightly golden brown. Carefully flip using a spatula (the cod is very tender and will likely break if you aren’t gentle) and cook another 3 minutes
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and gently stir them around. Cover the skillet and bring to a full but gentle boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very fragrant and the cod flakes easily when poked with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Note: if you have the time, you can simmer the cod over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes for an even more flavorful sauce.
  • Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4 | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 15g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g
Creamy Lemon Garlic Cod - paleo, whole30, keto, easy dinner recipe that comes together in 30 minutes or less!
Recipe Rating




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Lisa A.

Friday 23rd of February 2024

Wonderful - made it as written with spinach and a little fresh basil. Served it over cauliflower rice. Family asking for it again!

Morgan

Thursday 8th of February 2024

I followed the recipe but was disappointed with the turnout. It was WAY too lemony. My husband couldn’t even eat it, while I choked it down since I made it. We used light coconut milk and spinach (didn’t have fresh basil) with dried basil. Not sure if the coconut milk type makes a difference in lemon flavor absorption? I’d like to make it again but omit the lemon until the very end - maybe just a squeeze on top after it’s all done cooking. I liked how easy it was though! And it smelled so good while cooking.

Julia

Sunday 11th of February 2024

Hi Morgan! Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm sorry the recipe didn't turn out as you had hoped. Using light coconut milk can definitely make an impact because there is less fat to offset the acidity. In this sense, rather than resulting in a creamy citrus sauce, you're left with a sauce that tastes acidic.

SarahD

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

I don’t understand the recipe calling for either basil or spinach? Those are two very different flavors, which don’t sound interchangeable…

Julia

Wednesday 9th of February 2022

Hi Sarah,

I totally get the confusion. This is just an option depending on what you're going for versus an exchange of flavors. Some may want to add spinach to the dish in order to boost their vegetable intake, as spinach is very rich in Vitamins and minerals. Others may enjoy the flavor of basil and may therefore want to add it. You can add both or neither if you'd like ;)

Laura Conter

Sunday 11th of April 2021

Absolutely delicious! I added fresh ginger.

Julia

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Wahoo!! Ginger sounds like an amazing addition! I'm happy you like it!! xoxo

Neenah

Thursday 8th of April 2021

I made this with a piece of Alaskan halibut And it was delicious!

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