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Lemon Garlic Mahi Mahi

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Today we have a tender, flaky Mahi Mahi recipe that is pan seared to perfection and topped with a simple Lemon Garlic sauce. This meal could not be easier to prepare and will be on the table in under 30 minutes. Talk about the perfect one skillet, weeknight meal!

Lemon Garlic topped Mahi Mahi served on a bed of zucchini noodles

I served my Lemon Garlic Mahi Mahi over zucchini noodles, but asparagus or rice would be delicious as well.

What is Mahi Mahi?

Mahi-Mahi or common dolphin fish is a surface dwelling fish that is found in tropical and sub-tropical off-shore waters worldwide. Also known as dorado or dolphin, no not those dolphins, they are found most commonly found in the waters around Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mahi-Mahi means “very strong” in Hawaiian. Dorado is the Spanish translation for “golden” which is their color when out of the water. Though referred to as “dolphin fish”, they are not related to dolphins at all.

What does Mahi Mahi taste like?

Mahi Mahi has a moderately firm texture with large, moist flakes. It has a mild flavor with lean flesh, almost no fat. The skin is on the thick side, so it should be removed before cooking.

You can bake, broil, deep-fry, grill, or saute mahi mahi.

Looking down on a mahi mahi fillet on a bed of zucchini noodles topped with lemon garlic sauce

How to cook Mahi Mahi with Lemon Garlic Sauce:

Dry the mahi mahi fillets and season with salt and pepper.

Two Mahi-Mahi fillets on a paper towel seasoned with salt and pepper

Melt one Tablespoon of butter and one Tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the fillets and cook until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Two pan seared mahi mahi fillets in a cast iron skillet

Transfer the cooked fillets to a plate.

Add the remaining one Tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for about 2 minutes, or to your desired doneness.

Zucchini noodles in a cast iron skillet

Season with salt and pepper then transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining two Tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the garlic and pepper flakes/cayenne and cook for one minute.

Butter, oil and minced garlic sizzling in a cast iron skillet

Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley.

Butter, oil, lemon zest, garlic and parsley in a cast iron skillet

Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the zucchini noodles on two dinner plates and top with a mahi fillet. Pour the lemon garlic sauce over the fillets, garnish with additional parsley and serve.

A flaky bite of mahi mahi on a fork with the remaining fillet in the background on a bed of zucchini noodles

Firmer than cod, less fishy tasting than swordfish with just the right amount of garlic and lemon to get your taste buds singing!

What can I substitute for mahi mahi?

If you cannot find mahi mahi, I would substitute black sea bass or halibut. Cod is a lighter fish that is also delicious, though a bit more delicate. Salmon is always an option, almost everyone loves salmon!

Health benefits of eating Mahi Mahi:

Mahi mahi is low in fat and sodium and high in protein.

It is rich in iron and omega-3 fatty acids.

Mahi is a great source of B6, B3, B12, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • You can substitute asparagus for the zucchini noodles if you prefer. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until tender.
  • I used cayenne pepper but red pepper flakes would also work. Adjust according to your own tastes.

More delicious seafood recipes:

Enjoy!!

Lemon Garlic topped Mahi Mahi served on a bed of zucchini noodles

Lemon Garlic Mahi Mahi

Lemon Garlic Mahi-Mahi is super easy to prepare and loaded with flavor for a healthy and delicious meal any night of the week!
4.80 from 10 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: recipe, fish, sauce, fillet, skillet
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings
Calories: 401.52kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Equipment

  • Skillet

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 8 ounces mahi mahi fillets 2) 4 ounce fillets
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 8 ounces zucchini noodles or substitute asparagus
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley plus more to garnish

Instructions

  • Dry the mahi mahi fillets and season with salt and pepper.
  • Melt one Tablespoon of butter and one Tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the fillets and cook until golden, about 4 to 5 minutes per side depending on thickness. Transfer the cooked fillets to a plate.
  • Add the remaining one Tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the zucchini noodles and cook for about 2 minutes, or to your desired doneness.
  • Season with salt and pepper then transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the remaining two Tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the garlic and pepper flakes/cayenne and cook for one minute.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the zucchini noodles on two dinner plates and top with a mahi fillet. Pour the lemon garlic sauce over the fillets, garnish with additional parsley and serve.

Notes

  • You can substitute asparagus for the zucchini noodles if you prefer. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until tender.
  • I used cayenne pepper but red pepper flakes would also work. Adjust according to your own tastes.

Nutrition

Calories: 401.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.33g | Protein: 22.96g | Fat: 32.31g | Saturated Fat: 13.06g | Cholesterol: 127.93mg | Sodium: 113.56mg | Potassium: 785.75mg | Fiber: 1.14g | Sugar: 3.31g | Vitamin A: 1228.2IU | Vitamin C: 30.17mg | Calcium: 48.34mg | Iron: 1.82mg

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