You will be glad you tried this delicious and easy, baked swordfish recipe with garlic butter. Make perfectly tender swordfish steaks in under 30 minutes. Then top with a flavorful garlic butter sauce that will have your taste buds dancing. This recipe is perfect for a fancy dinner party or a simple weeknight dinners.
This easy swordfish recipe is delicious enough that you don't need much to complement it. You can serve it with some of my favorite side dishes like these sauteed green beans. Or this oven-roasted asparagus can be cooked on a baking sheet pan at the same as the swordfish. A refreshing green salad with cherry tomatoes is always a favorite side dish for fish.
Why This Recipe Works
Moist. Swordfish is a delicious and meaty white fish that retains it's moisture. When you bake Swordfish it gets a nice crisp exterior and a delicate, moist interior.
Classic flavors. Garlic butter complements fish well. The garlic adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the butter. The butter itself helps to keep the fish moist and tender. The addition of herbs such as thyme or rosemary adds another layer of flavor and aroma.
Easy. This recipe is easy to make and requires minimal preparation time. The total time is less than 30 minutes. This makes it a great option for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a special occasion meal.
Healthy. Swordfish is a great source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is a nutritious and flavorful choice for any meal.
- Swordfish - cut into steaks about 6 to 8 ounces each and 1-inch thick. Swordfish is a meaty fish and is always sold as steaks. You won't find swordfish fillets. As a mild white fleshed fish, it is great for those who don't want a fishy taste.
- Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and lemon peel for the marinade. The 3:1 ratio of oil to acid is ideal as a base for marinades.
- Herbs & Spices -
- Garlic adds a pungent taste to the marinade and then turns buttery and sweet when it is cooked.
- Rosemary is pungent, aromatic and a classic with fish.
- Red pepper flakes add a little spiciness which elevates all the flavors.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Compound butter is a combination of unsalted butter, citrus and herbs that enhances the flavor of the swordfish. I like to use unsalted butter so I can adjust the amount of salt to taste. The dollop of compound butter on the top of the swordfish steaks is a beautiful presentation and is a great way to add more buttery flavors to this "steak of the sea".
- Fresh lemon juice can be replaced with the bottled type. Fresh lemon zest can be replace with dehydrated lemon zest.
- White wine or red wine vinegar can be used in place of the lemon juice in the marinade.
- Fresh rosemary sprigs can be replaced with dried crushed rosemary. Use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary to every 4 sprigs of fresh.
- Garlic cloves can be replaced with jarred minced garlic. 1 clove garlic equals about ½ teaspoon of minced. You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh cloves. ¼ teaspoon of ground garlic powder equals 1 clove fresh.
- Salted butter can be used in place of the unsalted butter. Reduce the amount of kosher salt you use.
- Fresh thyme can be substituted for rosemary. It has a similar earthy flavor, but with a slightly sweeter and more delicate taste. Substitute 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary.
How to Make Baked Swordfish
- Make Compound Butter. Mash the softened butter, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until the butter is creamy and smooth.
- Make the marinade. Combine the oil, citrus, herbs, and spices in a shallow baking dish.
- Prep the swordfish. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place the steaks in the dish with the marinade and turn to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of the compound butter in the pan. Add a tablespoon or more of the marinade to the grill pan. (If you don't have a grill pan, a cast iron skillet works well too.)
- Sear the swordfish on the grill pan for about 3 minutes or until you see grill marks. Using tongs, turn the swordfish over and place the rosemary sprigs from the marinade on top of each steak.
- Bake the swordfish at 400°F in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. The swordfish should be opaque and flake easily when tested with a fork.
- Place swordfish on a serving plate. Remove the rosemary sprigs. Add a dollop of the compound butter on top of each steak.
- Serve hot, garnished with lemon wedges.
- If you want coin-shaped slices of butter, make the butter ahead of time and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- When you are ready to turn the swordfish in the skillet, wait until the steak releases itself easily from the pan.
- Test the temperature of the swordfish steaks. A safe internal temperature is 145°F according to the USDA.
- The remaining compound butter can be rolled into a sheet of parchment paper. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate.
- Fresh swordfish should refrigerated in an airtight container and be eaten withing 2 days of purchase.
- Frozen swordfish should be used within 3 months of purchase. The fish should be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. Or, you can defrost it under cold running water or in the microwave.
If you enjoyed this easy baked swordfish recipe, please give it a 5 star rating. Any comments you have are also welcome - I love to hear from you.
Baked Swordfish With Garlic Butter
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter softened
- 1 clove garlic, minced or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped about 1 tablespoon
- ¼ lemon, zest and juice from
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from ½ lemon
- 2 teaspoons lemon lemon juice from ½ lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon minced
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 swordfish steaks about 6 ounces each and 1-inch thick
- 5 tablespoons compound butter divided
- In a medium bowl and, using a fork mash together the softened butter, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Continue mashing until the butter is creamy and smooth.
- Combine the olive oil, zest and juice from half of a lemon, minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, and red pepper flakes in a shallow dish. Pat the swordfish dry with paper towels. Season the swordfish with kosher salt and black pepper Add them to the shallow dish and flip, completely coating them in the marinade. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Heat a large cast iron grill pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the compound butter and heat until melted. Add 1 tablespoon of the marinade to the grill pan.
- Arrange the swordfish on the grill pan. Cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Using tongs, turn the swordfish over and place the rosemary sprigs from the marinade on top of each steak.
- Bake the swordfish for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. The swordfish steaks should register 145°F when tested with instant-read thermometer.
- Transfer the swordfish steaks to serving plates and remove the rosemary sprigs. Add a dollop of the compound butter on the top of each.
- Transfer the remaining compound butter to a tightly sealed container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Serve the swordfish hot, garnished with lemon wedges along side.
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