Quick Pan-Fried Dover Sole

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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!

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  1. It looks so yummy and delicious. I just want to try it, it’s so easy to make at home easily at the dinner. It’s the best for working people. thanks for sharing this amazing article and recipe.

  2. wow, this plater looks so delicious and yummy . i thinks its the perfect meal. that everyone would love to eat this. thanks for sharing this amazing article and delicious recipe of fast and easy pan fried dover sole.

  3. You just can’t beat stuff like this, it’s such a terrific simple supper… Please include the capers as well; I frequently use them to a variety of dishes and find that they go well with fish.

  4. This is my favourite recipe, and it’s incredibly adaptable because to the use of coconut oil for the lemon caper sauce, avocado oil for frying, and chickpea flour for dredging. It’s wonderful and meets all of my dietary requirements.

  5. 5 stars
    In last few days, I was try to find a good recipe blog about pan-fried Dover sole recipe. I didn’t find any good blog post except your one. After read your blog I think it was so easy I must try this item in my home. Thank you, I hope you will continue your journey.

  6. 5 stars
    Oh this recipe is not difficult, thank you for sharing with us how to make it very detailed and easy to understand. I will take some time to cook this dish for my family, hope it will be delicious.

  7. This pan-fried Dover sole recipe looks absolutely delicious! The fact that it’s adaptable for different dietary needs makes it even better. I appreciate that you provided clear instructions on how to cook the fish and make the sauce, and the addition of capers and lemon juice sounds like it would give the dish a nice tangy flavor. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Quick and easy. It’s light but supplied sufficient protein for my active lifestyle. A nice white wine finished the dinner.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe, but since I just came from work and I didn’t have Parmesan cheese I did it with Mexican crumble cheese I then added little baking powder to the cheese part and it was super super crunchy and super delicious is a keeper next time I’ll try it the same way! You did it Only for today I did it this way since I didn’t have all ingredients! But it turn out and I really really loved it!

  10. I tried this recipe last night as it looked delicious and easy to make. I was very disappointed. I followed the instructions and when I fried the fish it did not get crispy at all. It steamed. and fell apart. I found it very difficult to flip it fell apart. I did not like the texture.

  11. I made this with panko bread crumbs and it was a huge success! Easy to prepare, light flaky fish, delish!

5 from 76 votes (55 ratings without comment)

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