How to Cook Fish Fillets Perfectly Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Delicious fish is quick and easy—follow my simple tips and it’ll be perfect every time!


  • 1 and ½ lbs. fish fillets (with or without skin, whichever you prefer)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 12 Tbsp. olive oil (see note)


  1. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with the salt and pepper.
  2. In each of one or two large skillets (you need enough skillet surface area to hold the fillets without crowding), heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the fish and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the fish and continue cooking until golden brown on the other side and barely opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the fish to plates and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


  • If your fillets are on the thin side, say ½ inch or less, you can use half oil and half butter. (I don’t recommend butter for thicker fillets because they need a little longer in the skillet and, in that time, the butter can burn.)