Mahi Mahi with Tomato Lemon Sauce
This Mahi Mahi with Tomato Lemon Sauce is an easy to make one pan dish that takes just 20-minutes to prepare with simple ingredients. The mahi mahi is pan seared until golden in colour and then smothered in a garlic, onion, tomato and lemon sauce. This Mahi Mahi recipe is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
I have to confess that I have always been a one trick pony when it comes to cooking mahi mahi, blackened mahi mahi was my dish of choice and the only way I ever tried making it. A few months ago I saw a Mahi Mahi Tomato dish on the menu at a restaurant and hesitantly decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, it was ridiculously good and I immediately set to work recreating it the following day. This easy mahi mahi recipe is light and fresh and incredibly delicious, the mild flavor of the fish pairs incredibly well with the tangy lemon flavor and this is now my absolute favorite way to prepare it.
Why You Will Love This Mahi Mahi With Tomato Lemon Sauce
- It’s a low fuss one pan meal that comes together in under 20 minutes start to finish.
- When paired with a tomato lemon sauce, the tanginess and acidity of the tomatoes and lemon complement and balance out the richness of the mahi mahi. The sauce also adds a fresh, zesty flavor that enhances the overall taste of the dish.
- It tastes and looks like a restaurant quality dish, but is incredibly easy to make
- All you have to do is buy the mahi mahi, and you will likely have all of the other simple ingredients on hand.
What To Serve With This Mahi Mahi
One of my favorite sides to serve with this Mahi Mahi with Tomato Lemon Sauce is cauliflower mash (or potato mash!), cauliflower rice (or rice pilaf) or spaghetti squash to soak up all of the delicious sauce. The fish is also fantastic served with grilled asparagus, zucchini or grilled eggplant. A simple salad would also make a wonderful accompaniment to this mahi mahi.
What Is Mahi Mahi
Mahi-mahi (also known as dorado or dolphin fish) is a fish found in the warm waters of Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico and the Indian Ocean.
Mahi Mahi is a mild white fish that has a firm texture and a mildly sweet flavor that sets it apart from other white fish such as cod, halibut, and tilapia. It has a slightly darker flesh that is low in fat and high in protein. I find that mahi mahi is great fish for beginner cooks to try because it doesn’t fall apart and holds its shape when cooking.
Can I Use A Different Type Of Fish For This Mahi Mahi Recipe?
If you can’t find mahi mahi, I recommend using any other type of white flaky fish. I would suggest substituting mahi mahi for a mild fish such as tilapia, cod or halibut which will result in a similar flavoured dish. Depending on the type of fish you choose and the thickness of the pieces, you may need to increase the cooking time by a minute or two to ensure they are cooked through.
Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Mahi Mahi
To be honest either works for this recipe. While I find that fresh fillets have the best texture, to be completely honest I would struggle to tell the difference between fresh mahi mahi and frozen fillets in this recipe. I like buying a bag of frozen mahi mahi fillets from Costco because not only are they economical but they are also a great fresh to have on hand in the freezer for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
How To Make This Mahi Mahi Recipe
- Start by patting the mahi mahi fillets dry with paper towels and generously seasoning them with salt and black pepper. Removing any moisture from the surface of the fish fillets will help them to form a golden crust when seared in the pan. If excess moisture is left on the surface of the fish this will cause it to steam rather than sear when it touches the hot pan.
- Sear the mahi mahi fillets in a skillet on medium-high heat for approximately 3-4 minutes before gently flipping with a fish spatula and cooking for another 3 minutes on the other side. Place the fish in the skillet and leave it untouched while it cooks, this will ensure the golden crust forms evenly across the fish. Once the fish is done set it aside.
- Time to make the sauce! Saute the tomatoes until they have softened and blistered and then add in the shallots and garlic. Next add in the chicken stock, vinegar, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest and leave to simmer for a few minutes before returning the seared fish to the pan. The Mahi Mahi should have an internal temperature of 137 degrees Fahrenheit. Garnish with basil and optional lemon slices and voila! It’s done! You can find more detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
What Type of Pan Should I Use?
When choosing a pan to cook this one pan mahi mahi recipe, I recommend using one that is large enough to fit all of the fillets without touching. I like using a stainless steel pan such as All-Clad because it works wonderfully at retaining heat evenly. I do not recommend using a cast iron skillet or grill pan as I find that the fish sticks to the bottom when searing and is hard to flip.
Ways To Modify This Mahi Mahi Recipe
- Use a different type of fish such as cod, tilapia or halibut
- Add a handful of fresh spinach to the pan while the tomatoes are cooking
- Chop up artichoke hearts and add them into the sauce. I prefer to use canned artichoke hearts in water for the best flavour.
- Make it spicy by adding a pinch (or two!) of chili flakes to the sauce
Can I Make This Mahi Mahi Recipe in Advance?
For the best flavor and texture I do not recommend cooking the mahi mahi until right before serving to ensure the fish remains moist and flakey in texture and doesn’t dry out. The sauce can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Before serving quickly pan sear the fish on medium high heat and heat the tomato lemon garlic sauce in the microwave or in a pan until warmed through.
What About Leftovers?
I have to be completely honest, I don’t find mahi mahi to be a fish that reheats well because it loses its moist and flakey texture. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and the best way to reheat is in the microwave in 20 second intervals, until just warmed through or alternatively, you can reheat the fish and sauce in a skillet on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes. Sprinkle the mahi mahi with fresh basil (or parsley) right before serving to add some freshness to the dish.
Here are a few more seafood & fish recipes that you might enjoy:
- Sheet Pan Herb Salmon with Fennel & Tomatoes
- Sole Rolls with Garlic & Parsley Sauce
- One Pan Mediterranean Cod
- Sundried Tomato Crusted Halibut
- 12-Minute Herb & Mayo Salmon
- Blackened Salmon with Green Sauce
If you make this Mahi Mahi recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Mahi Mahi with Tomato Lemon Sauce Recipe
- 4 Mahi Mahi Fillets
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter or ghee (or coconut oil for dairy free)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2/3 cup finely diced shallots
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp chopped basil
- Using a paper towel, pat the mahi mahi fillets dry on both sides before generously seasoning them with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil and butter/ghee in a large skillet on medium high heat. Once hot add in the mahi mahi fillets and leave them to cook untouched for 3 minutes until they are golden brown in colour and then flip them over and cook for an additional 3 minutes on the other side. Set the cooked mahi mahi aside on a plate.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan and leave them to cook for 4 minutes until they begin to blister and then add in the diced shallots and garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Next add the chicken stock, white wine vinegar and lemon juice to the pan, bring to a simmer and leave to cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and chopped basil. Return the mahi mahi fillets to the pan. Spoon the sauce overtop each fillet before serving.