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This swordfish recipe pairs the tender fish with garlic, lemon and capers for a flavor-packed and easy meal!

Swordfish Recipe
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Got swordfish and not sure how to cook it? Try this flavor-packed easy swordfish recipe! The meaty, tender flesh shines when it’s coated in spices and simply pan-fried with garlic, butter and lemon. Top with briny capers for a salty pop, and it makes for a simple and memorable meal! Fish is always a big hit in our house, and this swordfish went over very well (even with the kids!).

Ingredients for this swordfish recipe

Swordfish is a fish with a long, sword-like bill. It can swim at up to 50 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest predators in the ocean. Swordfish has a meaty texture, and tastes rich, mild, and almost sweet: the effect is almost like a cross between tilapia and scallops. The meat is very tender and sold as steaks.

This type of fish tastes delicious with only a bit of seasoning and a quick pan sear until its tender. Here are the ingredients in this swordfish recipe:

  • Swordfish, wild caught if possible
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, and kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Capers
  • Lemon juice
Swordfish Recipe

Is swordfish healthy?

Swordfish is a nutrient-rich lean protein that is part of a healthy diet in moderation: it’s packed with health benefits like omega 3’s, Vitamin B and D, and more. It does contain higher levels of mercury than other fish, so it’s healthiest to eat it occasionally (once per week or less) or avoid it if you are pregnant. Keep in mind cooking the fish reduces mercury content by up to 30%.

Tips for cooking swordfish

This fish is quick and easy to cook: there are just a few things to note about cooking time and temperature! Here are a few tips for cooking swordfish:

  1. Allow the fish to stand at room temperature while preparing the recipe. This allows it to cook as evenly as possible.
  2. Pat the steaks dry and season. The recipe below uses a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, and salt.
  3. Pan sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Use a large skillet and medium high heat.
  4. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The exterior should become crisp with a golden brown color.
  5. If desired, make the pan sauce. Remove the fish. Add butter, minced garlic and cappers and heat for 30 seconds. Then add the fish back and spoon over the juices.
Lemon caper sauce

Variation: grill it!

Swordfish also works grilled! You can use the same basic principles as pan searing the fish. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450°F). Grill the steaks over indirect heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it releases from the grates. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is tender and just cooked through and the internal temperature is about 140°F. Allow to rest 2 minutes before serving.

Swordfish Recipe

Tips for buying swordfish

Swordfish are typically fished responsibly and are a good choice for consumers concerned about sustainability (source). When you’re buying swordfish, here are some best practices to consider:

  • Swordfish was once overfished but is now considered a success story with healthy populations in the North Pacific and North Atlantic.
  • Buy wild caught swordfish if possible. Look for US troll line caught Swordfish, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

More fish recipes

Fish makes a quick and healthy dinner idea! Here are a few more tasty fish recipes to try:

This swordfish recipe is…

Gluten-free and pescatarian. For dairy-free, use dairy-free butter.

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Swordfish Recipe

Easy Swordfish Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This swordfish recipe pairs the tender fish with garlic, lemon and capers for a flavor-packed and easy meal!


  • 1 1/2 pounds swordfish (4 steaks)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or dairy-free butter if desired)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. (Allow the swordfish to stand at room temperature while preparing the recipe.) In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, and kosher salt. Pat the swordfish dry and sprinkle all sides with the seasoning.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the fillets and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned and internal temperature reaches 145°F.
  3. Remove the swordfish steaks to a plate and reduce temperature to very low. Add the butter, garlic and capers cook until garlic is lightly browned, scraping the bottom of the pan while it cooks.
  4. Stir in lemon juice and drizzle over the fish. Serve immediately. Store leftovers up to 2 days refrigerated. 
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!