Kitchn Love Letters

Our Most Popular One-Pan Dinner Recipe of All Time

published Feb 29, 2024
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Pan with mahi mahi fillets cooking with slices of lemons and herbs
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If you’re looking for a dinner that’s both quick and delicious, our easy pan-seared mahi-mahi recipe is everyone’s top pick. Not only is it our most popular one-pan recipe to date, boasting rave reviews, but it’s also remarkably simple to make. It requires just a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time (just five minutes!). Plus, the lemon butter sauce elevates this dish to a whole new level — you’ll want to drizzle it on everything.

This recipe has earned its place as our #1 one-pan 30-minute dinner for good reason. Let’s dive into what makes this recipe so amazing and why it’s a must-try for busy weeknights.

What Makes This Recipe So Amazing

Our pan-seared mahi-mahi with lemon butter sauce hits all the right notes when it comes to flavor and ease of preparation. Mahi-mahi, a firm, lean white fish, is seared in a hot pan, which creates a beautiful crust while maintaining a tender, flaky interior. It’s mild in flavor, which makes it the perfect canvas for the tangy lemon butter sauce.

So what’s the secret to perfectly seared fish on the stovetop? Use a hot pan and dry fish. In order to achieve a golden-brown crust, make sure the pan is just starting to smoke and the mahi-mahi has been patted completely dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture (excess moisture will just steam the fish instead).

The lemon butter sauce, though, truly steals the show. Made with lemon juice (and lemon slices for extra lemon flavor!), garlic, butter, and parsley, this sauce adds a burst of freshness and richness to the dish. It comes together quickly in the same pan that we seared the mahi-mahi in, then gets drizzled generously over the fish.

What Everyone’s Saying

You all love this easy recipe as much as we do! Here are just a handful of our favorite reviews.

  • “I’ve made this twice now and OMGOSH IT IS DIVINE!!!! I’m so glad I found your recipe. Thanks so much!”
  • “I have made this mahi-mahi recipe several times and it never disappoints!  It is quick and easy to prepare, uses ingredients I always have on hand, and is FULL of flavor.  We really enjoy this one!”
  • “I just made this. It was amazing! The sauce mixed with my rice for an extra burst of flavor!”
  • “Sooo good. Turned our blah frozen fillets into something special! Forgot they were frozen and not fresh. Will be my new go-to mahi-mahi recipe.”
  • “Loved it. The mahi-mahi has a great flavor and the lemon really brings it out.”

With such glowing feedback, it’s clear that this dish is a winner.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

What to Serve with Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi

We love the simplicity of this recipe, and it pairs well with a whole range of side dishes. Here are a few of our favorites.