Cooking delicate white fish like Dover sole at home can seem scary (Will it break when you flip it? Did it cook through?). Though it’s tempting to just eat out and get your fish fix at a restaurant, if you equip yourself with this simple pan-seared recipe, you’ll be flipping fillets confidently in no time. Better yet, you can use the same technique to cook other lean options like tilapia and striped bass. They sear in a couple of minutes on each side and soak up the flavor of whatever you add to the pan, be it oil, butter, garlic, lemon juice, capers, and fresh herbs. When you bite into that luscious, lightly browned fillet you made all by your skilled self, you’ll never be too intimidated to cook fish at home again.

Pan-seared dover sole with buttery caper sauce RECIPE

(Serves 1)


  • 1 heaping tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 fillet of Dover sole
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary sprigs, chopped
  • chopped parsley, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Pat fish dry, then season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Add to pan. Sear until cooked through and lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness.
  4. Lower heat slightly, and add butter, capers, garlic, and lemon juice (and rosemary, if using), swirling the pan slightly.
  5. When butter has melted and begun to brown, turn off heat and spoon the pan sauce over the fish.
  6. Top with parsley, and serve immediately with lemon slices/wedges.

Need more fish in your life? Follow us on Pinterest!

(Recipe and photos via Sara Cagle / Brit + Co)