Tangy and Delicious Lemon Butter Caper Fish Recipe

Fresh fish with a tangy lemon caper sauce is a timeless classic that no chef should miss out on. Not only is it a healthy and delicious meal, but it is also quick and easy to prepare, making it the perfect go-to meal for any occasion. The delicate white fish paired with the sharp and savory sauce is a combination that will have your taste buds dancing.

I am excited to share with you my personal favorite recipe for Fish with Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce. In this article, I will provide detailed instructions on how to create this mouth-watering dish. From tips on the best type of fish to use, to variations on the sauce recipe, I’ve got you covered.

Whether you are hosting a dinner party or just looking for an easy dinner option during the week, this recipe will not disappoint. So let’s get started and dive right in to learn how to create this masterful dish!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Fish With Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce
Fish With Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce

Picture this: it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you want to treat yourself to something delicious, but you’re not in the mood for anything too heavy. That’s where this fish with lemon, butter, caper sauce recipe comes in. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s also packed with flavor that will have you coming back for seconds. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, the combination of lemon and butter is simply divine. The acidity of the lemon cuts through the richness of the butter, creating a perfectly balanced sauce that compliments the delicate flavor of healthy, fresh fish as white fish fillets or red snapper.

Secondly, capers and shallots add an exquisite taste to the dish. Capers are small, pickled flower buds that bring a briny, tangy vibe to any recipe they touch. When sautéed with shallots in the saucepan, they add a savory depth which highlights the simplicity of fish.

Finally, not only does this recipe taste amazing but it also gives off a professional feel – it’s a fancy dinner party-worthy meal that’s still simple enough to make at home! Plus, you get major bonus points for serving a healthy dinner to your guests.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – your fish game will never be the same!

Ingredient List

 A zesty sauce full of flavors.
A zesty sauce full of flavors.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a delightful Fish with Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce recipe:

Basic Ingredients

  • 4 fish fillets (I recommend white fish like red snapper, sole, or grouper.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

This recipe can serve four with average appetites. However, it’s always a good idea to make more than necessary since your guests may want seconds!

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect dish for any seafood lover.
The perfect dish for any seafood lover.

Pan-Seared Fish with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Serving size: 4


  • 4 fish fillets: Choose a white fish, such as red snapper, sole, or grouper. The amount will depend on the size of your fillets, but 12 ounces is a good estimate.

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour: To dust the fish fillets before cooking.

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper: To season both sides of the fish fillets.

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter: For cooking the fish.

  • 1 shallot: Finely chop one shallot to add flavor to this dish.

  • 3 tbsp capers, rinsed: These briny little bites are essential for the caper sauce.

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil: For sautéing the shallots and garlic in the small saucepan.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced: You can either press it through a garlic press or mince it finely.

  • Juice of 1 lemon and zest of 1/2 lemon: To give your dish that refreshing lemony tang.

Step 1: Prepare The Fish Fillets

Dry each fillet of fish completely with paper towels.

Dust both sides evenly with flour, salt, and pepper (about an eighth teaspoon of each). Shake off excess flour.

Step 2: Sear The Fish Fillets

Heat two tablespoons of unsalted butter in a pan over medium heat until the foam subsides.

Place the prepared fillets skin-side up and cook for about three minutes until golden brown. Using a spatula, flip the fish over, skin side down. Cook for another three or four minutes until crispy on quarter inch side

Step 3: Make The Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil plus one chopped shallot clove garlic minced.

Cook for around two minutes until softened but not browned.

Add juice from one lemon plus half tablespoon of lemon zest followed by sixty grams unsalted butter sliced into pieces.

Stir constantly―not letting it come to boil―until all butter has melted and emulsified into sauce consistency (about three to five minutes).

Stir in three tablespoons of capers that have been rinsed in cold water.

Step 4: Plate The Dish

Place one cooked fillet on each plate side-by-side as they will be skin side-up.

Spoon some slightly warm sauce over top or place in small dish alongside if desired, then sprinkle with finely grated zest from remaining lemon.
Serve immediately while still hot.


Substitutions and Variations

 Taste the freshness of the sea with every bite.
Taste the freshness of the sea with every bite.

Are you looking to switch things up with this fish recipe? Here are some ingredient substitutions and variations to try out:

– Fish: This recipe works well with a variety of healthy white fish such as red snapper, cod, sole, grouper fillets, salmon, halibut, and sea bass. Each fish has its unique flavor profile and texture – try them all and see which one you like best! If you’re making this dish for guests who are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute the fish with baked tofu.

– Sauce: While the lemon butter caper sauce in this recipe is delicious and enhances the natural flavor of the fish, you can also try other sauces to serve with your fish. For example, a simple dill sauce made by combining plain yogurt, chopped fresh dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper can complement salmon well. A citrus sauce made from fresh orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and garlic tastes great with grilled halibut. Be creative and experiment to find your own favorite sauce!

– Herbs: Instead of using parsley to garnish your dish, you can opt for other herbs such as dill or thyme. Each herb has a unique flavor profile that complements the taste of the fish.

– Gluten-free: If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, simply substitute all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour or almond flour.

– Dairy-free: To make this recipe dairy-free, use coconut oil instead of butter in both the sauce and when cooking the fish. You can also substitute unsalted butter with vegan butter made from vegetable oils.

– Wine pairing: Pairing this dish with a white wine that complements the lemony notes will elevate your dining experience. A crispy Sauvignon Blanc will go well with any whitefish while a Chardonnay will complement salmon.

There are countless ways to switch up this recipe based on your taste preferences – get creative in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 The buttery and tangy sauce is to die for!
The buttery and tangy sauce is to die for!

This fish with lemon, butter, and caper sauce recipe is versatile and pairs well with a variety of sides. The tangy lemon and savory caper sauce complement the mild flavor of the white fish, making it an excellent match for a variety of dishes.

One classic pairing is roasted vegetables. You can roast some asparagus, cherry tomatoes, or zucchini to go alongside your fish. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for something more substantial, a serving of steamed rice or mashed potatoes will make an excellent bed for your fish fillets.

If you’re feeling fancy, consider serving your fish with a fresh salad. A side salad made with mixed greens and dressed in vinaigrette with a hint of citrus notes or a dash of Dijon mustard will provide some crunch and balance out the rich buttery flavors.

To pair with wine, try going with white wine such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio that have acidity that can enhance the citrusy taste in your dish. You may also opt for light red wines like Beaujolais Nouveau or Pinot Noir, which add depth to the flavors of the fish without overpowering them.

Overall, this recipe is incredibly versatile and allows you to experiment with different side dishes and accompaniments depending on your preferences. Just be sure whatever pairing you choose complements instead of overpowers the flavor profiles of the lemon-caper butter sauce!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 An easy recipe that's perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.
An easy recipe that’s perfect for a quick and satisfying meal.

Making this Fish with Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce Recipe ahead of time is possible! Simply prepare the dish without the sauce and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to serve, make the caper sauce by following the recipe instructions and pour it over the reheated fish.

If you have any leftovers or want to store the completed dish for future meals, it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. To reheat, place the fish and sauce in a covered baking dish and heat it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Remember that when reheating seafood, it is important to avoid overheating or cooking it for too long as it may dry out or become rubbery. A good tip is to use a low temperature setting and cover the dish with foil or a lid.

This dish also freezes quite well! Store any leftover fish with lemon sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to two months. To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as usual. The lemon butter caper sauce may separate upon reheating, but don’t worry – just stir gently and it will come back together.

With these storing and reheating tips, you can ensure that every meal featuring this delicious Fish with Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce Recipe tastes just as fresh as its first serving!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma will make you drool!
The aroma will make you drool!

As a home chef who enjoys throwing parties, I have found that there are certain tips that can help you achieve the perfect results when making fish with lemon, butter, and caper sauce recipe. Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for making this dish flawlessly.

1. Choose the right fish: In order to get the best flavor and texture from this recipe, I recommend using a healthy whitefish such as red snapper or grouper fillets. These fish are firm and will hold up well to the cooking process while still providing a mild and delicious taste.

2. Pat the fish dry: Before seasoning and coating the fish, be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel. This ensures that any excess moisture is removed which will allow the fish to cook more evenly.

3. Use flour for coating: Coating the fish in flour before cooking helps give it a crispy exterior and protects it from drying out during cooking. I recommend using all-purpose flour for this.

4. Cook at medium heat: It’s important to cook the fish over medium heat, so it doesn’t overcook or burn on the outside before cooking through on the inside.

5. Don’t overcrowd the pan: Make sure to leave enough space between each fillet so that they cook evenly and don’t become soggy.

6. Add capers last: When making the butter caper sauce, adding capers too early can cause them to break down and lose their signature briny flavor. Add them towards the end of cooking to preserve their unique taste and texture.

7. Use fresh ingredients: For best results, use fresh parsley, garlic, lemon juice, zest, and capers as they bring much-needed brightness to this dish.

8. Serve immediately: Fish tends to dry out quickly, especially if left sitting in the sauce after it’s been cooked. Serve this dish immediately after cooking for optimal taste and texture.

By following these tips, you are sure to impress your guests with perfectly cooked fish with Lemon Butter Caper sauce recipe!


Bottom Line

In conclusion, this fish with lemon, butter, caper sauce recipe is a must-try if you are a seafood lover. With its zesty lemon and tangy caper flavors perfectly complementing the delicate flavor of the fish, this dish will never fail to impress your guests.

Additionally, the beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. You can substitute any healthy white fish you like or even try it with different variations of sauces such as brown butter or dill sauce. The possibilities are endless!

With the help of the ingredients list, how-to steps, substitutions, and variations, serving and pairing ideas, make-ahead tips, frequently asked questions, and perfect result tips in this article, you will have no doubt that the final result will be nothing short of impressive.

All in all, this recipe is a sure way to satisfy your palate and impress your loved ones with your culinary skills. So why wait? Head to your local market today and get your hands on the freshest ingredients to prepare this delectable fish with lemon, butter, caper sauce recipe. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!

Fish With Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce

Fish With Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce Recipe

I've been making this "sauce" to serve over fish for years. I like it over simple pan fried fish, but you could serve it over crumbed fish too.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Seafood
Calories 323 kcal


  • 4 fish fillets, your choice (tonight I have shark)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Combine the flour, salt and pepper. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess flour. Heat half the butter to foaming over medium high heat in a heavy based pan.
  • Cook the fish to your liking and remove to serving plates.
  • Add the remaining butter, juice, zest, capers and parsley. Heat for a minute then serve over the fish sharing the capers between the plates.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 216gCalories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 42.2gFat: 13.2gSaturated Fat: 7.6gCholesterol: 129.5mgSodium: 350.9mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Australian, Easy, Sauces, Savory
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