Grilled Onion-Butter Cod

Pacific cod
Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Ratings (35)
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
308 Calories
16g Fat
1g Carbs
36g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This deliciously grilled cod has a fantastic, buttery flavor and texture. The onion and white wine combine with the butter to create a sophisticated sauce that, although simple to make, will taste as if you spent hours making it. Served with your favorite grilled potatoes or vegetable of your choice, this dish makes the perfect weeknight meal or impressive entree for a special gathering. 


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cod fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin​ olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

  2. In small skillet melt butter. Add onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine and let simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Brush fillets with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place fish on a well-oiled grill rack and cook for 8 minutes.

  4. Baste cod with butter sauce and carefully flip over fish. Cook for an additional 6 to 7 minutes, basting fish a total of 2 to 3 times, or until fish is opaque, flakes easily with a fork, and reaches an internal temperature of 145 F.

  5. Remove cod from the grill, top with lemon wedges, and serve.

Tips and Variations

It is common to be nervous about cooking fish fillets on the grill as flipping and moving the fish can be challenging. The fish can easily fall apart and slip through the grates, or it can stick to the grill making it almost impossible to turn in one piece. It is important to grease the grill grates very well before cooking a piece of fish and to have a large grilling spatula on hand. And remember—you should only flip the fish once and leave it alone to cook the rest of the time.

Alternatively, you can use a grilling fish basket—the handles make turning the fish over nearly effortless. Almost completely effortless is grilling the fish on a wooden plank as there is no need to even touch the fish while it cooks. And wrapping the fish in a foil packet is a simple and mess-free technique that will impart a smoky grill flavor, but the fish will not get any grill marks. 

Whether your fish counter is void of cod fillets, or you just aren't happy with how they look, there are other varieties of fish you can use in this recipe. Good substitutes for cod are mahi-mahi, grouper, striped bass, haddock, pollack, hake, and black cod.

Store any leftover cooked fish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days after initial cooking. Flake any leftovers and add to soups or stews.