This sautéed mahi mahi in a mouthwatering garlic mascarpone sauce is the easiest fancy dinner you'll make this year! The flaky white fish pairs perfectly with rich and creamy lemon garlic sauce, and the whole thing is a one-pot affair. Miracles never cease!
If you're looking for a great fish dish to serve for a weeknight dinner or a weekend dinner party with friends, this mahi mahi masterpiece is your ticket! The rich and creamy sauce full of garlic, shallots, lemon and basil is such a treat. Be sure to serve a baguette so you can soak up every last drop of that magic.
Ingredients you'll need to make sauteed mahi mahi in creamy garlic sauce:
Mahi mahi fillets: also known as dorado or dolphinfish, mahi mahi is commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters. It is known for its firm, white flesh and mild flavor. If you need a substitute, choose any mild white fish such as cod, haddock, halibut or hake. Fresh fish is always delicious, but your local grocery store probably carries frozen fillets at a reasonable price. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight to keep the texture and flavor of this sweet-tasting fish at the top of it's game.
Salt, pepper, paprika: we're keeping our spice rub simple with just a sprinkle of salt, pepper and paprika for smokiness and a little color. The creamy sauce adds a metric ton of flavor to this simple dish, so feel free to add more seasoning to the fish, but keep it simple and complimentary to the sauce.
Wondra flour: a miracle of mid-century culinary technology, this fine flour is available in most US grocery stores. When I'm looking for a fine dusting of flour to help with browning or crisping or thickening a sauce, Wondra flour is the answer. If you can't find this magic-in-a-canister, grab a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. And if you're looking for a gluten free dish, skip the flour altogether or use GF flour.
Shallot + garlic: these fresh alliums add huge flavor to our flaky mahi mahi dish. Substitute yellow onion, leeks or a touch of onion powder and garlic powder, if needed.
Lemon juice + zest: every plate of delicious seafood deserves bright citrus, and our mahi mahi is no exception. Substitute white wine for lemon juice, if needed.
Mascarpone cheese: this rich and creamy fresh cheese is similar to cream cheese, but without any of the tanginess. It's slightly sweet (similar to unsweetened heavy cream) but it's a great ingredient to build a shortcut cream sauce. Melting the mascarpone into our lemony shallots and garlic gives us a dreamy sauce in about 3 minutes, no roux-building required!
Fresh basil: the rich sauce, the lemony undertones and the shallots and garlic are all heightened and complemented by fresh basil. It is the perfect herb to add to this pan-seared mahi mahi recipe. If you're desperate for this fish and you're fresh out of basil, substitute fresh parsley, chives or even tarragon.
Full measurements and ingredients included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions:
Dry mahi fillets well with paper towels. Season your pieces of fish on both sides with salt, pepper and paprika. Dredge lightly in Wondra fine flour, or regular AP flour, dusting off any excess.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Add fish fillets to hot pan and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove fish to a plate and cover lightly.
Return the pan to the stove and add finely diced shallots and grated or minced garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until tender and fragrant, but not browned.
Add lemon juice and bring the sauce up to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium low and add the mascarpone and lemon zest, stirring to melt the cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add half the basil to the sauce, along with the fish fillets. Cover the fish with the creamy sauce.
Serve mahi mahi fillets with lemon slices and remaining basil.
FAQ's and serving suggestions for easy mahi mahi:
When selecting fresh mahi mahi, look for firm, glossy skin with a vibrant color. The flesh should be firm and not feel mushy. It should also have a mild, slightly sweet smell. Avoid fish with any signs of discoloration, strong odor, or sliminess. Frozen mahi mahi is also a great choice for this recipe. For best results, thaw your frozen fish in the refrigerator overnight. If you're out of time, soak wrapped fillets in a bowl of cold water for 30-60 minutes until thawed.
Sautéed mahi mahi pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include Roasted Green Cauliflower, mashed potatoes, Garlic Brown Rice and Quinoa, or a fresh Mediterranean tossed salad. You can also serve it with a side of Garlic Bread Baguette to soak up every last drop of sauce!.
To store leftovers, let the sautéed mahi mahi cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate within two hours of cooking. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm in a skillet over low heat until just heated through. For best flavor and texture, be sure not to overcook your piece of fish.Print