Recipe: Crispy Paprika-Parmesan Fish Fillets with Sautéed Chard

updated Feb 3, 2020
Smoked Paprika-Parmesan Fish with Sautéed Greens
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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Everyone needs a few go-to dinner recipes like this. Think: fresh, flavorful, and fast. Mild white fish gets a boost from smoked paprika, Parmesan, and a brown butter sauce. Shredded greens are then sautéed in the same skillet for the ultimate 10-minute meal. Mind-blowingly simple, mind-blowingly good.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

I just returned from my family’s annual vacation to our beloved Rosemary Beach, and now I can’t get seafood (or sunbathing) off of my mind. After months of hearty braises and decadent comfort food, my body is more than ready for some light warm-weather fare.

When it comes to al fresco dining, fresh fish, buttery scallops, and steamed mussels can’t be beat, and this amped-up take on a classic is one of my favorites yet. A cast iron skillet is all you need to make this dinner in a pinch. Any mild fish filets will work to suit any taste — it’s the smoked paprika and Parmesan that pack a delicious punch, while a rustic lemon-brown butter sauce perfectly cuts the spices.

To save time and boost flavor, a pile of leafy greens is finished off in the decadent golden drippings and served alongside the perfectly cooked fish. Besides less mess, can you believe this entire dinner goes from stove to table in about 10 minutes?! That leaves you more time to enjoy the lingering sun and less time drowning in dishes.

I’ll cheers a glass of crisp rosé to that!

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Smoked Paprika-Parmesan Fish with Sautéed Greens

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the fish:

  • 4

    (3- to 5-ounce) thin fish fillets, such as flounder, tilapia, or grouper

  • 1/4 cup

    freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika (regular paprika can be substituted)

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

For the greens:

  • 1 to 2

    large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 2 bunches

    chard, or other leafy greens like collards or kale, washed and sliced

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons

    red wine vinegar


  1. Turn oven on broil. Generously season tops of fish with salt and pepper. Combine Parmesan, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until gently bubbling. Place the fish in the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully turn the fillets over and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese mixture. Place skillet under the broiler and continue cooking until fish is bubbling and golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Transfer the fish to a warm plate and cover with foil. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat and whisk in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon into a small serving bowl.

  4. To cook the chard, add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the leftover butter sauce in the skillet, and cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the sliced chard, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to high and sauté until just beginning to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Serve fish and greens with brown butter sauce, lemon wedges and additional Parmesan on the side.