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Lemon Butter Sole with Spinach

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

This is one of the easiest but most delicious ways to cook a filet of white fish (specifically sole). Look for Pacific sole, as Atlantic can be overfished; a great substitute would be snapper or catfish. In general, you can look up any fish’s impact, sustainability, and safety at


  • 34 pound Rotelli Pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt (divided, plus more for pasta water)
  • 1 15-ounce can Garbanzo Beans
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 1 pound Baby Spinach
  • 14 cup Flour (all purpose)
  • 114 pounds Sole Filet (between 4 - 8 filets)
  • 212 teaspoons Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking fish, more or less as needed)
  • 2 Lemons (zest and juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Capers (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PASTA + BEANS

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it with about 1 Tablespoon or more salt (so it tastes salty like the sea) and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and transfer back to the pot.

    Drain the garbanzo beans and toss them in with the pasta. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter and toss to coat. Let this wait for you to be ready.

  • 2. SPINACH

    Wash the spinach. Add it into a large pot and sauté with a pinch of salt until it’s wilted. Or to make it even easier - just toss the spinach in with the hot pasta and garbanzo beans and it will wilt.


    Place flour on pie plate or wide, flat dish. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of fish with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Dredge fish on both sides with flour; shake off excess. Place on baking sheet or clean, dry plate.

  • 4. SEAR FISH

    Heat a drizzle of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot and shimmery (if you’re nervous cooking fish, use a non-stick pan for a little extra insurance).

    Add a teaspoon or so of the butter; quickly turn skillet to coat. Add some of fish filets without over crowding them. Do 2 or 3 batches if needed. Cook until golden on bottom, 2 - 3 minutes then carefully flip. Cook until opaque in center and golden on bottom, 1 - 2 minutes longer. Remove to a plate or baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the fish.

  • 5. SAUCE

    Pour off drippings from the skillet; wipe the bottom out a little with paper towels. Place skillet back over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the butter and cook until golden, 1 - 2 minutes. Meanwhile, zest in one of the lemons and add its juice to the butter. It might sputter and pop. Slice the other lemon into wedges.

    Add capers to the sauce.

  • 6. SERVING

    Plate the pasta and spinach, top with fish and generously spoon the sauce over top.

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    use GF pasta or roast some potatoes, boil some rice, quinoa or lentils instead
    butter is really important to this dish but recently I’ve had some vegan butters that are amazing, try one of those!
  • SOLE:
    snapper, catfish, black cod, halibut. Even salmon will taste great but look different. Cook thicker fish for longer and possibly sear, then transfer to the oven to finish while you make the next batch
  • FISH:
    thin chicken or pork cutlets work well, adjust cooking time as needed
    they aren’t traditional in a Meuniere which this is based on but I love them, just omit
    any easy green veggie of choice or try with a simple salad
    omit or try white beans
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