What’s the best way to cook orange roughy? I made three orange roughy recipes: a pan fried orange roughy recipe, baked orange roughy, and broiled, and will tell you my favorite. We'll also talk about other methods of cooking orange roughy, including grilled and using the air fryer. Let my recipe for orange roughy fish become your new favorite healthy dinner idea!
Orange roughy (AKA the slimehead or deep sea perch) is a low fat whitefish that can be prepared in a variety of ways. In this recipe for orange roughy, we’re seasoning our orange roughy fillet and cooking with a little garlic butter. Sometimes simple is best.
You can make your orange roughy recipes baked, broiled, or in a skillet on the stove top. Oh, and you can even air fry orange roughy if your stove is out of commission. I love all the options, since I’m not so keen on making baked fish in the oven when it’s hot out.
If you haven’t tried orange roughy yet, now might be the time. There are a lot of fish options out there that are much milder than tuna and salmon. You might enjoy the subtle flavor of roughy even if you typically dislike seafood.
- 🐟 Is orange roughy good eating?
- ⭐ What are the benefits of orange roughy?
- ❓ Why should orange roughy be avoided?
- 🥘 Orange Roughy Ingredients
- 🧂 How to Season Orange Roughy
- 🔪 How to Cook Orange Roughy
- 🍳 Orange Roughy Recipe (Pan Fried)
- ⏲️ Orange Roughy Baked
- 🔥 Broiled Orange Roughy
- 🤔 What is the safe temperature for orange roughy?
- 🌡️ How to Reheat Orange Roughy
- 🥗 What to cook with orange roughy?
- 📋Orange Roughy Nutrition Information and Calories
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Other Fish Recipes
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
🐟 Is orange roughy good eating?
What does orange roughy taste like? IMVHO, orange roughy is a good tasting fish, mild tasting with a delicate texture. I feel that orange roughy is somewhat similar to tilapia in taste.
⭐ What are the benefits of orange roughy?
Here are a few reasons to try this recipe for orange roughy:
- Easy fish recipe: Just season and cook. No messing with foil, parchment, etc. You can cook orange roughy directly in a skillet or baking dish.
- Low calorie and low fat: Orange roughy is a low calorie fish, and a great lean protein choice if you have a weight loss goal. (However, since it’s not a fatty fish, it’s not as high in omega 3s as some other fish options.)
- Low carb: Orange roughy is naturally low carb, keto, gluten free, and pescatarian. It fits many of the special diets.
- Delicious: When it’s seasoned up right, I really enjoy the flavor and versatility of orange roughy fish filets. They are a tasty entrée for a variety of family dinners (but be sure to read the next section).
❓ Why should orange roughy be avoided?
Here’s the downside: orange roughy is not considered a sustainable seafood choice according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List. They recommend avoiding this fish is you are looking for sustainable seafood options.
Additionally, orange roughy is one of the fish with the highest mercury levels (FDA). Due to the high mercury, orange roughy should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children. (Bummer!)
🥘 Orange Roughy Ingredients
Here’s your shopping list for this recipe for orange roughy:
- Orange roughy fillet
- Lemon pepper
- Salt (optional)
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Fresh parsley (for optional garnish)
Specific quantities of ingredients are located in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
Use a piece of orange roughy for this recipe that is skinless, boneless, and uniformly thick. The orange roughy fillets I use are ¼-inch thick (0.6 cm). If the fish fillets are thin on the edges, they will dry out before the middle of the fish is done cooking.
To cook orange roughy on the stove, you need a cast iron skillet. To cook roughy in the oven, you need a glass baking dish. I use a metal baking pan to broil orange roughy.
You should also have an instant read thermometer on hand to check the fish for doneness.
🧂 How to Season Orange Roughy
Orange roughy is great with a variety of seasonings. Here, I’m using a salt free lemon pepper seasoning (and I added a little salt back in). Here are some other ideas for seasoning orange roughy:
- Blackened orange roughy with Cajun seasoning
- Make Parmesan crusted orange roughy
- Italian seasoning
- Red pepper flakes (for spicy orange roughy)
- Garlic butter
- Onion powder
If you change up the recipe, keep in mind that can impact the cooking time. Some other ideas include making panko-crusted orange roughy or orange roughy almondine. You could also top it with lemon cream sauce, keto pesto, or sweet and sour sauce.
🔪 How to Cook Orange Roughy
IMVHO, the best way to cook orange roughy is to pan fry it. Pan frying is much faster than baking, since there’s no need to preheat the oven. Additionally, I found the results a bit moister compared to broiling roughy.
🍳 Orange Roughy Recipe (Pan Fried)
Begin by patting the fish filet dry with paper towels. Season it on both sides with lemon pepper (and salt, if desired).
Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with one minced clove of garlic. After the butter melts, add the orange roughy. Cook it for about 3 minutes per side, or 5-6 minutes total.
Check the thickest part of the fish with a meat thermometer to make sure it reached 145F (63C). Add more cooking time if needed.
Serve the fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest and parsley.
⏲️ Orange Roughy Baked
How long to bake orange roughy? What temperature for orange roughy? Oven bake orange roughy for 6-10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218C).
To begin, preheat the oven to 425F (218C). Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with lemon pepper (and optional salt). Put the fish in an oiled glass baking dish.
Melt butter and stir in one finely chopped clove of garlic. Pour the butter mixture over the fish in the baking pan. Bake the fish for 6-10 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven.
After cooking, check the fish to make sure it reached the safe temp of 145F (63C). Sprinkle with lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice before serving.
🔥 Broiled Orange Roughy
To broil orange roughy, pat the fish dry with paper towels and season on both sides. Spray a small metal baking pan with cooking oil spray.
Place the fish in the baking pan and squeeze lemon juice on top. Important! DO NOT add the melted butter just yet- your fish may catch on fire during broiling!
Broil the fish on low for 5-6 minutes. Check the temperature of the thickest part of the fish, and add broiling time as needed.
After cooking, drizzle melted butter and garlic over the fish. (The heat of the butter and fish will mellow out the fresh garlic a bit.) Sprinkle with lemon zest, and enjoy.
🤔 What is the safe temperature for orange roughy?
The minimum safe internal temp for orange roughy is 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63C). Fully cooked orange roughy should be opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
🌡️ How to Reheat Orange Roughy
This recipe makes a single serving of fish and is best enjoyed freshly made. You can keep cooked orange roughy in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1-2 days. Reheat in the air fryer or the microwave.
🥗 What to cook with orange roughy?
What goes with orange roughy? My favorite side dishes for orange roughy are roasted asparagus and wild rice. You could also make it a surf and turf meal by adding air fryer rib eye steak and mashed potatoes.
Here are some other sides for orange roughy:
- Peach Pineapple Salsa
- Kale Apple Slaw
- Costco Cauliflower Rice
- Frozen Green Beans in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
- Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables
📋Orange Roughy Nutrition Information and Calories
Here is the nutrition info for one 4-ounce serving of orange roughy (113 grams):
- Calories: 90
- Total fat: 1g
- Saturated fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 70mg
- Sodium: 80mg
- Total carbohydrate: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 18g
- Calcium: 0% DV
- Iron: 6% DV
- Potassium: 190mg
This is for plain orange roughy with no butter or seasonings. The nutrition information for the full recipe is located in the recipe card below.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). To make this low-calorie orange roughy, broil the fish but skip the butter drizzle at the end. This will save you 100 calories per serving.
Orange roughy is a white fish, which means it’s a lean protein that’s naturally low in fat. The downside of this is that you miss out on higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Ok, so we know that fish such as orange roughy is heart healthy, high protein, and low calorie. So...
Why is orange roughy bad for you?
The main nutritional reason to limit your intake of orange roughy is that it’s a high mercury fish. Unfortunately, several of my very favorite fish types are high mercury, including swordfish. I only eat these once in a great while, and I make low mercury fish my mainstays.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children should exercise more caution and completely avoid orange roughy and other high mercury fish. This includes shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel.
The other reason to avoid orange roughy is that it is not a sustainable fish choice. If you want to choose seafood with less of an environmental impact, a great resource to check out is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List.
Grilled orange roughy recipes are easy to make! You can grill orange roughy for 3-5 minutes per side, until it reaches a safe temp of 145F (63C). The grilling time depends on how hot the grill is and the thickness of the fillets.
To make an air fried orange roughy recipe, season fish and brush on oil. Air fry orange roughy for 5-6 minutes at 400F (200C), using the top rack if you have an air fryer oven. Check to make sure the fish reached an internal temp of 145F (63C) after cooking. These directions are for ¼-inch thick filets.
To cook orange roughy from frozen, put the frozen filet in the air fryer at 400F (200C) for 2-3 minutes to thaw. After it has thawed, follow the air fryer orange roughy directions above.
Some fish with mild flavor and delicate texture that are similar to orange roughy include cod, halibut, flounder, sole, and sea bass. You can often interchange these fish in recipes if the fillets are about the same weight and thickness.
👨🏾🍳 Other Fish Recipes
Looking for more recipe ideas for fish? Try these next:
- Air Fryer Halibut
- Frozen Salmon in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Tilapia
- Frozen Cod in Air Fryer
- How Long to Bake Salmon at 375
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Recipe for Orange Roughy Fish Fillet (Pan Fried, Baked, and Broiled!)
Pan Fried Orange Roughy:
- Begin by patting the fish filet dry with paper towels. Season it on both sides with lemon pepper (and salt, if desired).
- Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat with the garlic. After the butter melts, add the orange roughy. Cook it for about 3 minutes per side, or 5-6 minutes total.
- Check the thickest part of the fish with a meat thermometer to make sure it reached 145°F (63°C). Add more cooking time if needed.
- Serve the fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of lemon zest and parsley.
Baked Orange Roughy:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with lemon pepper (and optional salt). Put the fish in an oiled glass baking dish.
- Melt butter and stir in one finely chopped clove of garlic. Pour the butter mixture over the fish in the baking pan. Bake the fish for 6-10 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven.
- After cooking, check the fish to make sure it reached the safe temp of 145°F (63°C). Sprinkle with lemon zest, chopped parsley, and freshly squeezed lemon juice before serving.
Broiled Orange Roughy:
- To broil orange roughy, pat the fish dry with paper towels and season on both sides. Spray a small metal baking pan with cooking spray.
- Place the fish in the baking pan and squeeze lemon juice on top. Important! DO NOT add the melted butter just yet- your fish may catch on fire during broiling!
- Broil the fish on low for 5-6 minutes. Check the temperature of the thickest part of the fish, and add broiling time as needed.
- After cooking, drizzle melted butter and garlic over the fish. (The heat of the butter and fish will mellow out the fresh garlic a bit.) Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley, and enjoy.