Mahi Mahi in Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce (easy, 30 MINUTE MEAL!)

Best way to cook mahi mahi recipes

Video Best way to cook mahi mahi recipes

This Mahi mahi recipe is delicious yet amazingly easy, on your table in 30 minutes!

Mahi mahi, also known as dorado, is an abundant, tender and scaly fish waiting to adorn your dining table with this sensational recipe. Mahi mahi is rubbed with spices and then scorched in a pan until golden brown and then bathed in an intoxicating creamy lemon and garlic sauce. It looks and tastes stylish, but it’s super fast and easy to make! Serve this mahi mahi recipe from a pot with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice with a great green salad and garlic bread and you will have one of the most tempting dinners of all time! I have included step-by-step, detailed instructions on how to cook mahi mahi so you can master this recipe, even if you have never made fish before!

If your chicken dinners are getting drab, turn to fish! You’ll love pan fajita salmon, chipotle salmon with mango sauce, salmon in lemon piccata sauce, blackened salmon in creamy Cajun sauce, lemon Parmesan salmon, BBQ Asian salmon, and mahi mahi fish tacos!




RECIPE This mahi

mahi recipe is your answer for quick and easy dinners that taste extraordinarily delicious. In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be sinking your teeth into a tender, juicy, superbly seasoned mahi mahi wrapped in a dreamy sauce. And while mahi mahi fish is more expensive than chicken, it allows you to serve the whole family in the comfort of your own home at a fraction of the price of dining out.

This mahi

mahi recipe is so tempting because it is full of flavor. First the spice massage. Often, mahi mahi is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, but that’s a huge missed opportunity for taste. I love dredging the mahi mahi lightly in flour combined with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and paprika to create a tasty crust that isolates the fish and transforms it into delicious and independent and then absolutely hypnotic with the delicious and bright sauce.

The sauce is

prepared by sautéing shallots and garlic quickly and then whipping in salted chicken broth, thyme, parsley and a splash of bright lemon juice and delicious heavy cream to create a fascinating sauce that is silky, creamy, fresh and sour. The sauce is proud and forceful, but not overwhelmingly sour, as the flavor of the lemon is balanced by the decadence of the cream.

Add mahi mahi fish to the pan to wrap it in sauce and serve however you want: with potatoes, rice or pasta or go low carb with zoodles or cauliflower rice. Now all you need is a green salad or vegetable, and maybe some crusty bread to clean the sauce to complete your sensational dinner.


  • What is it? Mahi mahi is a soft, firm and lean white fish that cooks wonderfully tender with a mild taste. Mahi mahi is perfect for those new or seafood neutral because it doesn’t taste too “fishy”.
  • What does mahi mahi mean

  • ?: The word mahi-mahi comes from the Hawaiian name for fish, which means “strong strong” in reference to the power and speed of mahi mahi. It is also known as dorado in some countries, which means “golden” in Spanish, although it can come in a variety of colors: bright blues, greens and yellows.
  • Is mahi

  • mahi dolphin? There is some confusion about mahi mahi fish being dolphin (like Flipper) because it is also known as dolphinfish, but it is exactly that, a fish and not anything like the mammalian dolphin.
  • How big is mahi mahi? Mahi mahi fish grow to almost 7 feet and 88 pounds!
  • Where does mahi mahi come from? Mahi mahi is a surface-dwelling radiate-finned fish found in tropical/subtropical ocean waters, primarily the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean with smaller populations also in the Pacific, primarily Hawaii.
  • What does mahi mahi taste like? Mahi mahi is a firm-fleshed fish that falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to “how fishy” it tastes. It is a fish with a milder flavor than salmon but stronger than cod. The texture of the meat is similar to swordfish; It is lean, sweet, filling, firm and tender and absorbs flavor easily, making it a chameleon of flavor.
  • Why choose mahi mahi? Mahi mahi is a smart choice because not only is it healthy and less expensive than halibut, but it’s considered a sustainable seafood on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood watch list. Scientists assume that populations are abundant because they are highly productive and widely distributed in warm waters.
  • What is the best way to cook mahi mahi? Mahi mahi can be roasted, singed, roasted or even fried.
  • Is mahi

  • mahi high in mercury? Many large fish contain high levels of mercury, but not mahi mahi. Mahi mahi fish are considered to have moderate low to limit mercury levels due to their short lifespan of only 4 to 5 years.
  • Do you cook mahi mahi with your skin? No, you should remove the skin from the mahi mahi unless you are grilling it because it is quite thick, sturdy and not tasty.

Is mahi

mahi fish healthy?

Mahi mahi is not only delicious, but also good for you! It’s a lean protein and an excellent source of vitamins, amino acids, and fish oil that can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, fight inflammation, and maintain healthy functions. Here are just a few of the health benefits

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  • Lean protein: A 3.5-ounce serving of mahi-mahi contains about 85 calories, with less than one gram of fat and 18.5 grams of protein.
  • Low Mercury: Mahi mahi is

  • also a smart fish choice because it is lower in mercury than many other fish due to its short shelf life. Vitamin B: Mahi mahi fish is
  • an excellent source of vitamins B-3, B-5, B-6, and B-12. B-3 helps in heart health by controlling cholesterol levels. It also keeps skin healthy, supports brain function, and can prevent junction problems like arthritis. B-5 helps produce blood cells and converts food into energy. B-6 helps your brain and nerves in operations like mood control and hormone regulation. It has also been shown to aid in liver function. B-12 helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy, and even helps produce DNA. (Pucci Foods)
  • Potassium: helps lower blood pressure and fight heart disease. It also supports heart and muscle function and may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help slow bone loss.
  • Selenium: A single serving of mahi mahi contains more than 100% of your recommended daily amount of selenium. Selenium is an important mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions. It’s critical for healthy heart function, metabolism, and thyroid function. It also helps boost your immune system, fight inflammation, slow cognitive decline, and even reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

  • : There aren’t many sources of omega-3 fatty acids other than fish and flaxseed, making mahi mahi a key supplier. This lipid is a healthy fat that provides essential nutrients that help lower blood pressure and lower triglycerides, which is key to preventing and controlling heart disease.


Mahi mahi is widely available either fresh or frozen at your grocery store. Here’s what to look for



  • MAHI’S FRESH SKIN: Mahi mahi is sold as steaks at the seafood counter of your grocery store. Try selecting skinless if you have the option, otherwise ask the butcher to remove the skin. You can also remove it yourself, which is easy to do, just work delicately and try not to remove the fish along with the skin! If you have to select mahi with skin, look for moist, glowing skin instead of dry.
  • Smell: Mahi mahi fish should have a fresh and clean neutral aroma. If it smells too fishy, stay away, as it is a sign that the fish is not fresh.
  • Color: It should be pink with some faint red stripes. Avoid mahi mahi that is dull, has brown spots or blue edges, as these are signs that the fish is no longer fresh and possibly spoiling.
  • Size: Look for fillets that weigh about 4-6 oz. and are about 1 inch thick. Thicker fillets remain juicier. If you end up with thinner steaks, just be very careful not to overcook.
  • Sustainability: Look for fish caught with trolls and caught with rod and reel instead of longline-caught fish.

How long can you keep mahi mahi fresh in the fridge?

Fresh mahi

mahi can be kept for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking if you just bought it or if you just thawed it in the refrigerator. If thawed mahi mahi in cold water, it should be cooked immediately.



Frozen mahi is a fabulous alternative to fresh because it is less expensive, freezer friendly (literally), also known as convenient and super fresh, just frozen. Frozen fish freezes shortly after being caught, which means it freezes with maximum freshness. So, unless you live coastal (and even then), it can be even cooler than the seafood counter at the time it’s purchased and actually used.

Frozen mahi

mahi usually comes in frozen steak packages that should be easy to find. I know Costco sells a 3-pound pack of frozen steaks and even my Sprouts sells them. Just make sure your package specifies “wild-caught” for the best flavor.

How to Defrost


Mahi Mahi Easy

  • Defrosting: The easiest way to thaw your mahi mahi fish is in the refrigerator overnight
  • . Quick thaw

  • : If you forget to thaw your mahi mahi, you can still thaw it the same day you want to cook it. Keep the mahi mahi fish in its packaging (or else it may become waterlogged) and place the frozen mahi mahi in a strainer and then place the strainer in a large bowl. Fill the container with cold tap water and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, replace the water with cold water from the new tap and dip the fish again. Let the mahi mahi sit for another 10 to 20 minutes. If the fish is not completely thawed, repeat.


The lemon and garlic cream sauce for this mahi mahi recipe is divine. It’s made with just a few ingredients, but offers a delicious touch of sour, bright, and delicious flavors. You’ll need


  • Lemon juice: It’s the star of the sauce, so use it freshly squeezed for the best flavor. I use two tablespoons but you can start with less and add more to taste.
  • Shallots: you will need three tablespoons of shallots. Please do not substitute with any other onions, as shallots are softer and sweeter in flavor with a hint of garlic and will not overwhelm the sauce, but will simply enhance it.
  • Garlic: Use 3-4 cloves of garlic depending on your love of garlic.
  • Chicken broth: low sodium please so we can control the salt.
  • Heavy Cream

  • : It’s labeled “Thick Whipped Cream” and is what makes our sauce deliciously creamy. It also balances acidity.
  • Cornstarch: thicken the sauce without making it too thick or making a roux.
  • Condiments: salt, pepper, dried thyme and parsley awaken the flavors of the sauce.
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This mahi mahi recipe

swaps the butter used in many lemon sauces for heavy cream so that we get flavor and a richer consistency to wrap the mahi mahi. If you’re looking to cut calories, you can replace cream with evaporated cream or skip it and add butter to taste. You can also skip the heavy cream and butter and squeeze the fresh lemon juice directly over your spiced rubbed and singed mahi mahi.

Can I make a gluten-free mahi mahi recipe?

Yes! Simply swap the flour for gluten-free flour and you’re good to go.

Recipe variations

  • Season: add a touch to the sauce with red pepper flakes to taste or add red pepper to individual servings
  • .

  • Add vegetables: tomatoes, corn, zucchini, peas, etc. would be tasty added to the sauce. I would sauté most vegetables (other than peas, spinach, etc.) with the shallots. Spinach should be added to the sauce at the end of cooking; Let wither 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the Parmesan: beat 3-4 tablespoons in the sauce at the end of cooking. Use grated freshly grated Parmesan cheese in the finer holes of your grater for superior meltability and flavor.
  • Add capers

  • : Add 2-3 tablespoons of capers for an acidic and brackish explosion. Capers are flower buds imported from Italy that have been brined to soften their bitterness. The resulting brine capers are spicy, salty and lemony doses of flavOR. They add acid and salt that intensify the flavor of the sauce. They should be easy to find by the olives in your grocery store.
  • Add

  • sun-dried tomatoes: Buy sun-dried tomatoes in a jar packed in oil, not water. They are usually found near olives or pickles in your grocery store. Rinse, cut and sauté with the shallots.
  • Add artichokes: they are tender, slightly sweet and nutty and divine in creamy sauces. Buy artichoke hearts in NOT marinated water. Marinades often have a pungent taste. Chop and sauté with the shallots.


You’ll want to use a heavy-bottomed pan that’s large enough to comfortably fit mahi mahi fish fillets without touching them. A large stainless steel skillet is ideal because it provides enough surface area and retains constant heat. It also doesn’t leach into food when cooked with citrus fruits (like lemon juice in this recipe), tomatoes, and vinegars like cast iron and aluminum pans do. I love my stainless steel saucepan, as it is virtually indestructible, distributes heat evenly, and does not leach into food. This cheaper pan also has great reviews.

If you don’t have a stainless steel skillet, you can also use a sturdy nonstick skillet.



Whether you have experience cooking mahi mahi or not, here are some useful tips for cooking mahi mahi perfectly every time with a golden exterior and a tender interior:

Remove mahi

  • mahi from the fridge. Never cook mahi mahi or any cold protein straight from the refrigerator, otherwise it will cook unevenly. Instead, remove the mahi mahi from the refrigerator about 15 to 20 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.
  • Dry fillets. Dry it with paper towels before applying the spice massage. Wet or wet fish are more likely to stick to the pan and develop mediocre bark.
  • Mahi Mahi season. Beat the seasonings along with the flour. The addition of flour creates a crust that insulates the mahi mahi and helps prevent it from overcooking and also has flavor.
  • Wait for a hot skillet. A hot pan does not mean much heat, otherwise your mahi mahi will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside. Instead, a hot pan means waiting until your pan is hot before something touches the pan. A hot pan creates a golden and tasty crust that seals the juices and keeps your mahi mahi tender and juicy.
  • Adjust the heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil and wait until it shines before adding the mahi mahi. You want the oil to be hot, but you don’t want it so hot that it’s smoking. Be prepared to adjust the heat as needed so that your fish cooks evenly.
  • Mahi Mahi cuisine. Add fish to the pan and cook about 4 minutes, flip and then cook an addition of 2-4 minutes (depending on the thickness) to your liking.
  • Don’t touch fish. Let your mahi mahi fish cook undisturbed so it can be properly sealed and develop the charred and caramelized crust. After the maillard reaction occurs, caramelization will allow the fish to automatically detach from the pan. Do not disturb the mahi mahi before this reaction or it may fall apart.
  • Don’t overcook. Be careful not to overcook your mahi mahi because it will only remain buttery, juicy and tender as long as it is not overcooked. In my opinion, it is better for fish to be undercooked than overcooked.
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A general rule of thumb is 3-4 minutes per side, but the telltale way is to observe the color on the sides of the fish. Starting with the bottom, it will change from raw to opaque white along the sides of the fish as it cooks. Once the color has moved toward the center, it’s usually time to flip and cook an additional 2-4 minutes.

You can accurately check the temperature of your mahi mahi with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the fish and when it reaches 137 degrees F, you’re done.

If you like your mahi mahi more well-done (which is flirting with dried fish), then you’ll want to lower the heat and cover the fish once you flip. This will help the mahi mahi to cook evenly without drying out. Alternatively, you can transfer it to the oven to finish cooking.


and garlic cream sauce

is a tempting sauce that drips with spicy lemon flavor seasoned with shallots, garlic and those buttery brown pieces left over from the fish. Here’s how to make the sauce EASY:

  1. Heat the drops. Heat the leftover drops over medium heat. If there is more than a tablespoon or so of drips, you may want to drain a little before you start.
  2. Sauté the aromatics. Add the shallot and sauté while scraping the drops for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add liquids. Beat the chicken broth with cornstarch and add to the pan along with heavy cream, lemon juice, dried thyme, dried parsley, salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce the sauce. Simmer the sauce until halved and thicken, about 4-5 minutes. Reducing the sauce not only makes it creamy but concentrates the flavors. Season with fresh parsley and/or chives. Try and add extra lemon juice if desired.
  5. Add mahi mahi. Add the fish back to the pan and place the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.


  • Storage: Mahi mahi fish should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three to four days
  • .

  • Microwave: Transfer a portion to a microwave- and microwave-safe dish for 1 minute followed by 20-second intervals until heated, being careful not to overcook the mahi mahi.
  • Stove: Add Mahi Mahi to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-low heat until heated, being careful not to overcook the Mahi Mahi.

Can I freeze the Mahi Mahi recipe?

You can freeze the spice mahi mahi rubbed and cooked for up to three months without the sauce. The sauce should not be frozen because it will break and become a fun texture.



mahi recipe is an easy weekday dinner that doesn’t need any fancy side. You can keep it simple with a side of rice, a green salad and some crusty bread to mop the sauce or here are some additional ideas


  • STARCHES: This mahi mahi recipe is so tasty that it pairs well with simple rice or quinoa to absorb the delicious lemon sauce. It’s also fabulous with mashed potatoes and buttery pasta like orzo, or if you’re feeling a little fancier, it’s also fantastic with Cacio e Pepe.
  • LOW CARB: You can also go low carb and serve the mahi mahi recipe with cauliflower rice, cauliflower puree “potatoes”, zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
  • VEGGIES: As for vegetables, mahi mahi pairs well with any amount of vegetables, but particularly well with roasted parmesan broccoli, roasted parmesan asparagus, roasted carrots or glazed carrots, sautéed Brussels sprouts or roasted root vegetables with Parmesan.
  • SALAD: Mahi mahi fish is delicious with a great green salad, Caesar salad, apple salad, fall salad, beet salad, roasted pumpkin salad, shaved Brussels sprouts salad with apple and blueberry or green bean salad.
  • BREAD: Of course, every spicy main course (or possibly any starter) needs a side of bread to ensure no sauce is left. You can serve mahi mahi with one side of crusty bread or we are obsessed with my recipe for garlic bread, rolls or garlic and parmesan butter bread sticks.
  • FRUIT: Each main course is enhanced by the sweets of Mother Nature. Go simple with a side of grapes, melon or apples or enjoy the fruit salad with honey and lime vinaigrette, winter fruit salad with honey and lime poppy seed vinaigrette or berry salad in honey mascarpone.

Want to try this Mahi Mahi RECIPE?

Put it on your dinner, One Pot Wonder or fish board to SAVE

for later!

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