Quick Pan-Fried Dover Sole

As an Amazon Affilate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.

This pan-fried Dover sole recipe is fast and easy to make. Made with capers and lemon juice, the delicious fish dish comes together in less than 20 minutes – perfect for a busy weeknight! This recipe is also adaptable for low-carb, Whole30, gluten-free, and Paleo diets.

Dover Sole on a white plate with mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Cooking Dover Sole is Quick and Easy

I made fried Dover sole the other day and was pleased to hear my 17 year old say that she loved it so much, she wished we’d have it more often. Thankfully, this fish cooks up quickly in either a frying pan or in the oven, so I can easily grant her wish!

Paired with rice, mashed potatoes, broccoli, or any healthy side dish, it’s the kind of meal that you can throw together in a half hour or less on a busy night. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound Dover sole filets (4 filets around 4 ounces each)
  • 4 Tablespoons flour for dredging 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup capers plus some juice
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

To make this recipe low-carb, Paleo or Whole30, you can omit the flour and simply cook the Dover sole pan fried in ghee or clarified butter. To make it gluten free, substitute the regular flour with gluten-free flour or rice flour.

Dover Sole with capers and lemon slices on a platter.

Can You Cook Dover Sole With the Skin On?

Absolutely! Dover sole, rainbow trout and even salmon filets can be cooked with the skin on. Just remember to remove the skin before eating. 

After I remove the skin from the fish, I give it a quick rinse to remove any sauce or salt, and crisp it up in a fry pan. I store it in the fridge and a small piece makes a nice treat for my pups.

How to Cook Dover Sole

First, pat the sole dry with a paper towel. Then season with salt and pepper and dredge lightly with flour, or omit the flour and sauté without it. Fish, and especially Dover sole, is thin and cooks quickly. Just 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. 

Sole cooking in a cast iron skillet with capers and lemon slices.

Remove the fish from the pan and cover it to keep warm. 

To make the sauce, melt 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter in the same pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the lemon juice and capers and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

You can use this cooking method and sauce with any fish, such as calamari steaks, tilapia or sand dabs, but I think it’s the best Dover sole recipe!

This post was originally published on January 28th, 2013. The post has been updated to include gluten free, Paleo and Whole30 cooking preparations and nutritional information. 

Pan-Fried Dover Sole with Capers and Lemon is a fast and easy-to-make fish dish for a busy weeknight. This meal comes together in less than 30 minutes! | What a Girl Eats

Fast and Easy Pan Fried Dover Sole

Pan-Fried Dover Sole with Lemon and Capers. For gluten free option, coat fish with rice flour. For Whole30 or Paleo options, omit flour and saute fish in clarified butter or ghee. 
5 from 76 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine Fish, French
Servings 4 people
Calories 268 kcal


  • 1 pound Sole filets 4 filets around 4 ounces each
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour for dredging (use rice flour for a Gluten-free version)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup capers plus some juice
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • Parsley chopped for garnish
  • Salt and pepper


  • Dredge filets in flour, season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, until melted. Quickly fry filets, 2 or 3 at a time for 3 or 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness, until golden brown on both sides. Remove fish, cover and keep warm.
  • Melt 2 or 3 more tablespoons of butter, swirl in pan, scraping up bits, add the lemon juice, capers and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve over fish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.



Serving: 1servingCalories: 268kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 16gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 642mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 577IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts


      1. This is my favorite dish because it very easily adapts with avocado oil to fry in, chickpea flour to dredge, and coconut oil for the lemon caper sauce. It’s delicious and allows for all my diet restrictions.

  1. 5 stars
    Such a great simple meal, you really cannot beat stuff like this, I love it… And as for the capers, yes please, I use them all the time in all sorts of meals, a perfect addition for fish.

  2. Thank you for posting such a quick, simple, and effective recipe. I can’t tell you how many times I come across blog posts where the author feels compelled to provide a three page backstory before actually giving us the recipe.

  3. I cooked this dish last night and followed the recipe with no tweaks; I was not disappointed, it was delicious. Thank you for posting.

  4. 5 stars
    I tend to be a griller of all things, and I’ve been looking for a recipe to do something with delicate fish that doesn’t really grill well. This was great – simple, easy clean up, and tasty!

  5. 5 stars
    This looks amazing and so delicious! My daughter and I are going to love this! I’m excited to make this!

5 from 76 votes (55 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating