This mahi mahi recipe creates the most tender, flakey white fish with a flavorful pan sauce in about 20 minutes! Mahi Mahi with Lemon Butter Sauce is restaurant quality and surprisingly quick and easy to prepare.
If you love mahi mahi, you should also try my Blackened Mahi Mahi – a reader favorite for years!
Easy Mahi Mahi Recipe
When I say easy, I really mean it! This mahi mahi recipe requires super minimal prep. Chop a little garlic and parsley and you are ready to start.
Simply seasoned mahi mahi cooks quickly in a hot cast iron skillet and a super flavorful lemon butter pan sauce is quickly whisked together in the same pan with all those good flavors left behind from the seared fish.
We are big mahi mahi fans in this house and this Mahi Mahi with Lemon Butter Sauce is one of our favorites.
- Mahi mahi fillets– Skinless fillets are my preference for this recipe. However, you can use any type of mahi mahi fillets you can find. Fresh or frozen skin-on fillets will also work. If using frozen fillets, thaw them safely in the refrigerator overnight.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- White wine – A dry white wine like pinot gris or sauvignon blanc is the best choice. It’s also a fabulous choice for serving along with this meal.
- Minced garlic
- Lemon – If you can get your hands on a Meyer lemon, do it! They’re slightly sweeter and so good in sauces. A regular lemon will work great too. You might want to pick up a second lemon to slice for a pretty garnish.
- Parsley – An inexpensive way to add a fresh, bright element to this recipe.
How to Make Mahi Mahi with Lemon Butter Sauce
This is a quick overview of how to make this recipe. You’ll find detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Prep the mahi mahi fillets by patting them dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and a little pepper, to taste.
- Cook the Mahi Mahi – Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in a heavy skillet (cast iron works great!) over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the seasoned mahi mahi and sear until it’s nicely browned on the bottom. Flip and cook until the internal temperature has reached 135 degrees F. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mahi mahi to a plate and set aside.
- Deglaze the Skillet – Return the skillet to the heat and add the wine. Cook, stirring to deglaze the pan and scrape up browned bits, until the wine has reduced by about one-third.
- Make the Lemon Butter Sauce – Add the garlic and the remaining butter. Cook for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant and the butter has melted. Add the lemon juice and fresh parsley and stir to combine.
- Finish the Mahi Mahi – Reduce the heat to low and add the mahi mahi back to the pan, spooning the sauce over the top. Allow it to simmer for a minute or two then remove from the skillet from the heat.
Spoon the lemon butter sauce over the mahi mahi. Pretty it up by garnishing with lemon slices and a little additional parsley, if you’d like.
This mahi mahi is so good served with the Easy Parmesan Noodles pictured in this post. For a super comforting meal, serve it with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes to soak up the lemon butter sauce. Any type of rice, but especially my Almond Rice Pilaf, is perfect with this yummy fish.
Add a vegetable side dish like Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Lemon, Pesto Green Beans, or a Simple Italian Salad to complete the meal.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
Mahi mahi is a white fish with dense, firm texture similar to halibut. It comes from the dolphin fish and despite the name, is not at all related to marine mammal dolphins.
The flavor of mahi mahi is mild with a slightly sweet undertone that isn’t at all “fishy”. It’s delicious simply seasoned and cooked in a skillet, served with a variety of sauces, and blackened or grilled for fish tacos.
For some recipes, like fish tacos, it is best to use skinless mahi mahi fillets. When preparing mahi mahi on the stovetop or grill to serve whole as an entrée, it’s fine to use skin-on fillets. I prefer skinless fillets, but either can be used for this recipe.
Mahi mahi is excellent with a lemon butter sauce, like in this recipe. It’s also one of the best types of fish to prepared blackened with Cajun seasoning like my Blackened Mahi Mahi recipe.
Cook mahi mahi to an internal temperature of 145 degrees when measured with an instant read thermometer. To test doneness without a meat thermometer, insert the tip of a fork into the thickest portion of the fish at an angle and gently twist. If the fish flakes easily, without resistance, it’s ready to serve.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate promptly. Leftover mahi mahi should be used within 3 to 4 days.
Drizzle the leftover mahi mahi with some of the lemon butter sauce, cover, and microwave gently just until warmed through. Cooked fish can also be rewarmed in a conventional oven, covered, at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes. Avoid warming the fish for too long or it will continue to cook and the texture can become tough.
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Mahi Mahi with Lemon Butter Sauce
- 4 mahi mahi fillets, approximately 6 ounces each (completely thawed if frozen)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pats, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine, like pinot gris or sauvignon blanc
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Pat the mahi mahi fillets dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and a little pepper, to taste.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil to a large, heavy skillet (cast iron or enameled cast iron works great) and place over MEDIUM heat. When the butter is melted, add the seasoned mahi mahi and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until it’s seared and nicely browned on the bottom. Flip and cook for an additional 3 or 4 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 135 degrees F. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mahi mahi to a plate and set aside.
- Return the skillet to MEDIUM heat and add the wine. Cook, stirring to deglaze the pan and scrape up browned bits, until the wine has reduced by about one-third (this can take several minutes). Add the garlic and the remaining butter and cook for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant and the butter has melted. Add the lemon juice and fresh parsley and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to LOW and add the mahi mahi back to the pan, spooning the sauce over the top. Allow it to simmer for a minute or two until the internal temperature of the mahi mahi has reached 145 degrees F. Remove from the skillet from the heat and garnish with additional parsley, if desired.
- Serve the mahi mahi with a drizzle of lemon butter sauce over the top.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.