This easy Sauteed Flounder with butter, lemon and chives is a quick and easy way to elevate fish fillets, and cooks in only 10 minutes!JUMP TO RECIPE
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Easy Sauteed Flounder with Lemon, Butter and Chives
This easy and delicious flounder recipe is ready (including prep) in under 15 minutes, for a fast, tasty and impressive way of cooking flounder you can pull off any night of the week. With plenty of butter, lemon and herbs, and a light, golden brown crisp crust, this recipe is sure to be in your regular rotation! The mild flavor and flakey texture of the flounder makes this a fish recipe the whole family can enjoy.
You can serve the fish with as is, or with tartar sauce, or creamy dill sauce. All you need are your favorite sides and a glass of white wine, and you can make a great busy weeknight meal that feels luxurious, with minimal effort!
- Canola Oil, or another neutral oil, such as avocado oil. Avoid olive oil, as it has a low smoke point and can easily burn.
- Flounder filets. You can use fresh, or frozen. If using frozen, I recommend thawing overnight in the refrigerator and drying very well.
- Flour, for dusting fish. This ensures the fish is dry, and helps ensure a crisp exterior.
- 4 tablespoon Butter, divided. You'll top each filet with butter once flipped, then flip very briefly just before removing the filets from the pan to melt it.
- Lemon zest. This will be added with the butter just before flipping, to infuse the filets with lemon flavor.
- Salt and Pepper, to taste. I use fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Lemon wedges, for serving.
- Fresh Chives, for serving.
How to make Sauteed Flounder
This easy Pan Fried Flounder takes a few minutes to prep, and cooks from start to finish in under 10 minutes! Here's how to make it:
- Dry fish well with paper towels.
- Season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Lightly coat in flour in a shallow dish or on a plate, and shake off any excess. (You want a very light dusting).
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or stainless steel frying pan until shimmering but not smoking, 2-3 minutes.
- Add flounder, 2 fillets at a time (as to not overcrowd the pan and promote browning), and cook fish until crisp and fish releases easily from pan with a fish spatula, 2 minutes.
- Flip each filet, top each filet with 1 tablespoon butter and ¼ of lemon zest, and cook 2 minutes more. Flip for 30 seconds so butter melts, and lemon flavor is infused from the zest.
- Immediately remove to a plate and repeat with remaining filets.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges, and fresh chopped chives, as well as any accumulated pan drippings from the pan. (see recipe card below for full recipe).
Tools for the perfect Pan Fried Flounder
- A stainless steel frying pan. While you may be tempted to reach for your trusty nonstick, stainless steel will generate more even heat, resulting in a perfect crust. Just make sure to let your oil heat up for a few minutes before adding the fish, and be be patient before flipping for a crisp exterior. Don't worry if the fish seems stuck, once the crust forms, it will easily release from the pan for easy flipping.
- A fish spatula. Fish spatulas are specially designs for, you guessed it- fish! The long and flexible design make for easy flipping of delicate fish like flounder, so you don't end up with broken filets.
- A microplane or zester, for easy lemon zest grating.
- Paper towels, for thoroughly drying the fish filets.
What to serve with the fish
This simple and delicious sauteed flounder goes great with any of your favorite veggies or sides. I also love a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for serving. Here are some great pairings:
- Roasted Garlic Parmesan Asparagus
- Lemon Dill Sauce
- Roasted Stuffed Roma Tomatoes
- Caramelized Lemon Orzo Salad
- Rosemary Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Browned Butter Boursin Mashed Potatoes
Substitutions and Additions
This recipe is easily adapted to your preferences, as well as what you have on hand. Here are som swaps and additions you can use to make this recipe your own:
- Swap the flounder fillets for another delicate type of fish, such as a white fish like Branzino or halibut. I would avoid switching to thicker cuts such as cod, but if you do, be sure to adjust the cooking time, as they are thicker and will take longer to cook than flounder.
- Want to lighten up the recipe? Cut the butter in half, or use a vegan butter.
- Swap the chives for fresh parsley or dill.
More great fish recipes
- Slow Roasted Lemon Dill Salmon
- Baked Cod with Crab Topping and Red Pepper Cream Sauce
- Crispy Honey Mustard Air Fryer Salmon
Pan Fried Flounder with Butter and Lemon Recipe
- large stainless steel frying pan
- fish spatula
- microplane or citrus zester
- 2 tablespoon canola oil, or other neutral oil such as avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 4 fresh or frozen (thawed) flounder filets
- 4 tablespoon butter, divided
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
- fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving
- freshly chopped chives or parsley, for serving
- Dry fish well with paper towels. 2. Season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3. Lightly coat in flour in a shallow dish or on a plate, and shake off any excess. (You want a very light dusting). 4. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or stainless steel frying pan until shimmering but not smoking, 2-3 minutes. 5. Add flounder, 2 fillets at a time (as to not overcrowd the pan and promote browning), and cook until crisp and fish releases easily from pan with a fish spatula, 2 minutes. 6. Flip each filet, top each filet with 1 tablespoon butter and ¼ of lemon zest, and cook 2 minutes more. Flip for 30 seconds so butter melts, and lemon flavor is infused from the zest. 7. Immediately remove to a plate and repeat with remaining filets. 8. Serve hot with lemon wedges, and fresh chopped chives, as well as any accumulated pan drippings from the pan.
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