Lemon Roasted Garlic Swordfish

This Lemon Garlic Roasted Swordfish is an almost fool-proof and easy dinner that’s impressive enough to serve to guests.  I like to serve it with a Fried Goat Cheese And Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, Sauteed Garlic Broccolini, and a couple of Southern Hushpuppies on the side.

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A skillet with Lemon Garlic Roasted Swordfish, garnished with lemon slices and chopped chives in a lemon, wine sauce.


Swordfish is a mild-tasting, somewhat oily fish with white or pink flesh fish that turns beige when cooked.  It has a firm texture that’s similar to beef and makes a great option for those who dislike ‘fishy-tasting’ fish.

Because of its mild taste and firm texture, swordfish is perfect for marinating, grilling, or pan-frying.

Although it is a sustainable seafood choice, swordfish does contain high levels of methyl-mercury, therefore it should not be served to small children or pregnant / breastfeeding women.


  • Swordfish steaks should have a whirling pattern to the meat, be firm, and ivory or pink in color.  The skin should not be dull or discolored.
  • Make sure that the dark areas are red and not brown.  If it’s brown, the fish is old.  The red areas are stronger in flavor, so if you don’t want a ‘fishy’ flavor, trim the red off of your steak before cooking.
  • Fresh swordfish is best eaten the day you bought it, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


  • For this recipe, we are going to make a marinade for the steaks and allow it to absorb the flavors for 30 minutes.
  • Next, we’ll make a compound butter, which will make our sauce.
  • The fish will be seared in a hot skillet, then baked to perfection.
  • Our final step will be to deglaze the pan with the compound butter and a bit of wine.  Delicious.

A skillet with Lemon Garlic Roasted Swordfish, garnished with lemon slices and chopped chives in a lemon, wine sauce.

Now that we’re in the mood for seafood, here are a few more suggestions to try:

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A skillet with Lemon Garlic Roasted Swordfish, garnished with lemon slices and chopped chives in a lemon, wine sauce.


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 35 minutes + marinating time
  • Yield: Serves 4


This Lemon Garlic Roasted Swordfish is easy enough for a weeknight dinner and healthy enough to feel good about serving it to your family.  Lemon, garlic and white wine make this a dish that even our pickiest eaters will love.



For the fish:

  • 2 pounds Swordfish steaks (4 steaks, about 1-inch thick)
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Lemon Garlic Compound Butter:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon, very finely minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 1 bunch chives, finely minced


Sprinkle both sides of the swordfish steaks liberally with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks into a glass baking dish.  

Make the marinade.  In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, wine, garlic, and lemon juice.

Pour the mixture over the fish, turning the steaks to coat both sides.

Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Turn the steaks and allow to marinate another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and chives.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a large, oven-proof skillet and preheat over high heat for 3-4 minutes until it’s very hot.

Remove the fish from the baking dish and pat dry, on all sides, with paper towels.  Make sure that all sides of each steak are dry so the fish browns properly.

Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the skillet.

When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, place the fish into the hot skillet, being careful not to crowd them in the pan.

Cook for 3 minutes, then flip the steaks.

Sear them for another 3 minutes.

Use a spatula to gently loosen the steaks from the bottom of the skillet and place the skillet in the preheated oven.

Roast the swordfish for 8 minutes, or until the desired doneness.

Transfer the fish to a platter and cover tightly with foil.  Set aside.

Over medium-high heat, spoon the compound butter into the skillet and allow it to melt.

Pour in the 4 tablespoons of wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet.

Pour the sauce over the swordfish steaks.

Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + marinating time
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Pan fry and oven roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: lemon garlic roasted swordfish, swordfish, fish recipes, healthy recipes, healthy food, easy weeknight dinner, pan-fried fish, oven roasted fish, compound butter

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