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Lemon Caper Fish Recipe (21 Day Fix Approved)

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Leah is a follower of the 21 Day Fix. She works in mental health.

The finished product with a side of steamed broccoli.

The finished product with a side of steamed broccoli.

Cooking With Fish

I'm an avid meat eater. While I love the taste, I don't love the health risks that come along with too much red meat. I've been incorporating more variety into my weekly meal plans, and plant-based proteins and fish have been in rotation every week for a while.

Fish tacos and their endless variants are incredible, but it gets tiring after a while. So I've been playing around in the kitchen. I already know that I love eating white fish with lemon, but the first time around, it needed more salt. Rather than adding a ton of salt to my recipe, I thought about using capers. If you don't know what capers are, they're an edible flower bud that is usually pickled, and they add a nice salty flavor to foods. I always use them in tuna, but I wanted to give them a shot with a cooked dinner.

Fish is an ideal dinner choice for me because it's quick. I work during the day—and after I come home, I need to take care of my family and household stuff, in addition to devoting some time to my blog. Once the fish has been defrosted, a nice dinner can come together in as little as 10 minutes, which is always a plus.

Cooking the fish with some butter.

Cooking the fish with some butter.

Once the filets have been flipped.

Once the filets have been flipped.

What Type of Fish Should Be Used?

I'm super fussy when it comes to fish. I prefer the mild flavor and flaky texture of white fish that aren't too meaty. Plus, they're so versatile. I usually lean towards cod, flounder, or on the rare occasion, halibut. My local store had a sale on barramundi, and I picked up a big bag. It worked out perfectly since I had enough to test and perfect this recipe. But many kinds of fish would work, such as:

  • Flounder
  • Cod
  • Halibut
  • Barramundi
  • Tilapia (just be aware of where your fish is coming from)
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Trout
  • Chilean sea bass

Cook Time

Cook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon capers
  • 4 fillets white fish, (I used barramundi)
  • 1 teaspoon butter


  1. Put the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and capers into a large skillet over low heat.
  2. Add the fish fillets. Divide the butter into quarters and place one piece on the filet. Turn the heat up to medium. Flip the fish after 5 minutes (if your fish is thinner than the one pictured, you should flip it earlier).
  3. Cook the other side for another 5 minutes (less if it's thin). You'll know it's finished when the inside is white with a flaky (not slimy) texture. Plate it with some sides and serve!

Side Dish Ideas

One of my favorite things about a fish dinner is the huge array of side dishes to choose from. Here are some ideas I like to pair with my fish:

  • Broccoli. The bright green hue of broccoli is a great way to make the meal aesthetically pleasing as well as full of important nutrients.
  • Green beans. These are another great match for the light flavor of fish. I usually cook them by steaming them with chicken broth, then top with some sea salt and slivered almonds.
  • Spinach. Leafy greens are an incredible source of nutrients, plus they taste pretty good. Sauté these lightly with some EVOO, salt, and lemon juice for a nice flavor.
  • Cauliflower. I'm a huge fan of cauliflower in all forms. The florets are so filling, or you could serve the fish over a bed of cauliflower rice. It would soak up some of the juice, lending a nice tart-salty flavor to the rice.
  • Zucchini. Diced zucchini sautéed with some olive oil and topped with parmesan is an awesome idea. Zucchini noodles are also a nice touch.
  • Microgreens. I always used to watch cooking shows, and the chefs that used microgreens always had the prettiest dishes. I came across some recently and bought some sunflower microgreens. They add a bright flavor to the meal and make it look more appealing. Also, I recently read that microgreens have more nutrients than full-grown products since they need more to grow (think of them as baby plants).
  • Salad. Any kind of salad is a good one in my book. The light flavor of fish would work well with salad, especially for nights when you may not want a heavier meal.
  • Rice. Fish and rice go together like peanut butter and jelly. It's one of my favorite combinations, especially when the leftover juice runs into the rice; yum! If you're on 21 Day Fix, make sure you use brown rice.
  • Potatoes. When I grew up, fish was always served with potatoes. I always knew it tasted good together, but it was also a chance to have our potatoes with butter or sour cream since in a kosher kitchen, fish is pareve (neither meat nor dairy). Baked or roasted potatoes would be a nice compliment to the fish.
  • Sweet potatoes. Another nice pairing. Baked sweet potatoes with some cinnamon and a tiny drizzle of honey could add some sweetness to your dish and cut some of the tart, lemony flavor.
  • Pasta. This fish could also work great over some pasta. Once again, if you're doing 21 Day Fix, make sure it's whole wheat pasta. Top with a little bit of parmesan too.

Variations for Special Diets

I know how confusing it is to have to adapt a recipe for one diet, let alone 3. Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Low-carb. This is already a low-carb recipe, but to keep it that way, skip the starchy sides and pair it with a vegetable or two.
  • Gluten-free. No changes are needed! It's already gluten-free.
  • Dairy-free. Swap out the butter for the substitute of your choice. There are a lot of different options out there.
  • Keto. This recipe adheres to keto already; just make sure you add some approved sides.
  • Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). This recipe is a perfect fit for you as long as you swap out the butter for an approved substitute and don't react to lemons. If you're not sure about the lemons, try a little bit and see how you feel.
  • Whole30. This recipe works well for this diet as long as you swap out the butter for ghee or another approved substitute.

21 Day Fix Container Counts

One serving of the recipe as listed above would count as:

  • 1 red container
  • 1 teaspoon (for the oil/butter)

Don't forget to account for the sides served with the fish.

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© 2018 Leah