This delicious, light and flakey, Pan Seared Mahi Mahi Recipe with Tomato-Cucumber Salad is super easy to prepare and is bursting with robust flavor from a savory lemon garlic sauce. With just a few simple steps, you’re less than 25 minutes away from a healthy, mouthwatering meal the whole family will love!
Easy Mahi Mahi Recipe
There is nothing better than coming home after a hectic day knowing that you can have a delicious and elegant dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. This Pan-Seared Mahi, in lemon garlic sauce, is topped with a simple and refreshing tomato and cucumber salad that all comes together to create the most wonderful combination of flavors.
You going to love the simple preparation and how it only takes minutes to cook. It’s the ideal no-fuss meal for a busy weeknight, yet it’s an elegant enough dish to serve for weekend dinner party.
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Why We Love This Recipe
- Pan searing creates a gorgeous light golden crust that adds so much extra flavor.
- This easy mahi mahi recipe is a healthy meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes.
- With the fresh cucumber and tomato salad this a meal in one, or you can serve it with your choice of a healthy side for something a little heartier.
- Cast-iron or large nonstick skillet
- Large mixing bowl
- Sharp knife
- Metal spatula
Mahi with Tomato and Cucumber Salad Ingredients
For the Mahi Filets:
- Extra-virgin olive oil (or other healthy high point cooking oil)
- Garlic, finely chopped
- Mahi-mahi fillets
- Sea salt (or kosher salt) and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
For the Tomato-Cucumber Salad:
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Medium red onion, finely diced
- Kalamata olives
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Fresh lime juice
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Variations and Substitutions:
Sauce: Add a little heat to the pan sauce with a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Soy sauce with a little chili pepper oil will give this mahi sauce a nice hint of Asian flavors.
Mahi seasoning: If you want to add even more flavor to this recipe, you can use any of favorite spice rub flavors to the fish fillets before cooking. A homemade Cajun seasoning is a great option, or you can easily make this blackened mahi mahi with your favorite blackening seasoning.
Salad: Feel free to add other veggies to the tomato and cucumber salad. Diced asparagus tips and bell pepper both work great with all the other flavors.
How to Make this Easy Pan-Seared Mahi Recipe:
- Prepare the salad: Prepare the tomato-cucumber salad by combining the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, and lime juice in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Make the lemon garlic pan sauce: Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon and capers and sauté until the lemon softens and develops a bit of color, approximately 2 minutes.
- Cook the fish: If the fillets have excess moisture, blot them dry with paper towels. Next, add the fresh mahi mahi fillets to the hot pan with the lemon garlic mixture and generously season the first side with salt and black pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip and season the second side. Continue to cook until the fillets are cooked through, and they flake easily with a fork.
- Finishing the dish: Remove from heat and add the tomato-cucumber mixture to the hot skillet. Cover for 1-2 minutes, or just until the cheese is softened, and the other ingredients are warmed through. To serve, top each piece of fish with fresh thyme sprigs, fresh lemon zest and offer the lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!
What are the Health Benefits of Mahi Mahi?
Mahi is an excellent source of protein, iron, phosphorus, selenium, as well as b vitamins, like riboflavin, thiamin b12 and b6.
These vitamins and nutrients are associated with the promotion of healthy bones and tissues as well as several heart health benefits. To learn more about the nutritional values of mahi, check out the article on Mahimahi – Hawaii-Seafood.org.
Tips for Buying Mahi-Mahi
- Mahi should be pink with red stripes or spots. You may occasionally see some with a brownish or light blue streak.
- The fillets should not feel mushy. The texture should feel fairly firm, and the fish should appear moist.
- Always take a quick smell when you’re buying fresh fish. It should not smell super fishy. If it does, those fillets are probably best avoided. Fresh fish should have almost a neutral smell when they are at optimum freshness.
- Always wrap your fish well with plastic wrap or butcher paper when you get it home from the store. Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge until you are ready to cook it or up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can You Freeze Mahi?
Did you end up buying more Mahi than you needed? The good news is mahi that is properly wrapped can last 6-8 months in the freezer. Just remember than air is the enemy of all frozen foods, so you’ll want to double wrap the fillets making sure to squeeze out any extra air pockets. Once you have them wrapped; you will then need to slip them down into a freezer bag for extra precaution before placing in the freezer.
To thaw, place them in the fridge overnight. Do not thaw on the countertop.
You can also freeze leftover cooked mahi by wrapping it using the same method, though it should be eaten within 3 months.
Do You Leave the Skin on Mahi?
Because you are cooking these filets stove top, the skin will need to be removed. If you want to leave the skin on, the best way to cook them is to pan sear them flesh side down for about 3-4 minutes, then flip them skin side down and finish them off in the oven on 400 degrees for about 6-8 minutes.
What Does Mahi Mahi Taste Like?
Mahi is a white flakey fish with a firm texture. Fresh mahi is best described as a mild fish with a slightly sweet flavor. It easily adapts to any seasoning you use to cook it with.
What Sides Work Well with Pan Seared Mahi?
Though the salad included with this recipe can serve as a entire meal, you can also serve it with a number of side dishes.
- For a low carb diets, green beans, this Oven Roasted Asparagus, these Mediterranean Roasted Veggies or any other green vegetable of your choice are great options. You can also serve it over a bed of cauliflower rice or these Butternut Squash Noodles.
- Other sides to consider, for those that are not as concerned with carb intake, could be these tasty Mashed Potatoes, Instant Pot Rice or this Corn on the Cob are all great choices. Of course, you can never go wrong serving it with a big slice of crusty bread to help soak up all that wonder garlic lemon sauce.
Want More Healthy Dinner Recipes?
- Skillet Chicken Fajitas
- Carne Asada
- Tri-tip Steak
- Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps
- Shrimp Scampi
- Maple Balsamic Pork Chops
Pan Seared Mahi Mahi Recipe with Tomato-Cucumber Salad
- Cast-iron or large nonstick skillet
- 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 lg lemon sliced thin
- 4 6oz mahi mahi filets or other mild white fish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T capers drained
- 2 c cherry tomatoes
- ½ med red onion finely diced
- 1 lg cucumber chopped
- ⅓ c kalamata olives drained and chopped
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 3 T fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lg lemon cut into 8 pieces
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- Prepare the tomato-cucumber salad by combining the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, and lime juice in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Set aside.
Lemon Garlic Pan Sauce
- Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon and capers and sauté until the lemon softens and develops a bit of color, approximately 2 minutes.
- If the fillets have excess moisture, blot them dry with paper towels. Next, add the fresh mahi mahi fillets to the hot pan with the lemon garlic mixture and generously season the first side with salt and black pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, flip and season the second side. Continue to cook until the fillets are cooked through, and they flake easily with a fork.
Putting it all together
- Remove from heat and add the tomato-cucumber mixture to the hot skillet. Cover for 1-2 minutes, or just until the cheese is softened, and the other ingredients are warmed through. To serve, top each piece of fish with fresh thyme sprigs, fresh lemon zest and offer the lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!