Food / Main Dishes / Pescetarian

Cod with Beer and Mushroom Sauce

Cod with Beer and Mushroom Sauce 2


Beer never fails me. (There have been a few Sunday mornings in my life that would disagree with that sentiment, but that’s beside the point.)

If you research recipes often, you already know there’s no shortage of dishes that call for wine. So, a few years ago–likely in a state of boredom–I started swapping wine for beer and very quickly learned that the substitution is bomb. It even works in “fancier” dishes like risotto! Beer has become my go-to whenever I want to bring some excitement to a recipe. Though more often used to spruce up beef, pork, and poultry, it can work really well with fish.

Cod is a meaty and flaky white fish that is light in flavor, easy to work with and compatible with a variety of ingredients. People tend to lean more toward bright and citrusy flavors when preparing white fish, but when you live a pescetarian lifestyle, you need to think outside the box in order to give yourself some variety. I adapted this recipe from a cod recipe that called for vermouth. I’m sure the vermouth would make for a great dish, but I’m a sucker for beer and mushrooms together, so again, I tampered with a recipe to make room for beer.

Cod with Beer and Mushroom Sauce Collage

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Cod with Beer and Mushroom Sauce


  • 2 6 oz skinless cod fillets
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 5 oz cremini mushrooms wiped clean and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup beer lager or pilsner
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley + extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • In a large saucepan or skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and simmer until fragrant, approx. 30 seconds.
  • Slowly add the beer, the chopped parsley, the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half, approx. 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Lightly season the cod with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fillets into the pan.
  • Spoon some of the sauce and mushrooms on top of the fillets.
  • Place the pan back onto the stove over moderate heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cooked through (internal temp of 145 degrees F), approx. 7 to 10 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon or spatula, carefully transfer the fish to serving plates.
  • Over low heat, whisk the remaining butter into the sauce until melted.
  • Spoon the sauce and mushrooms over the fish and garnish with a bit of fresh chopped parsley.
Pan-Seared Cod With Beer and Mushroom Sauce | Killing Thyme


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  • Jared @
    November 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Dana, I have to agree with you. Beer has never failed me either! Haha I literally almost spewed coffee all over my screen! This recipe looks amazing and I want it. I love your use of beer in this recipe. Beer can totally be used like wine in dishes and you’ve inspired me to do just that! Oh, and I love your photo’s!

  • Justine
    November 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hmmm… this is so interesting! I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a beer drinker (or cooker) but this recipe is making me reconsider. I think my boyfriend would love it! Maybe THIS is the recipe I should make for our recipe nod. Haha! ;)

  • Sean
    November 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Nice work Dana! I am, admittedly, not the world’s biggest button mushroom fan, but I could toooootally see doing this with brown shimeji mushrooms (which I do like, because I have semi-random mushroom tastes). It’s funny, you talk about beer and cod together and I immediately think of beer-batter and fish and chips, but I see no reason that a good beer wouldn’t highlight and accentuate the taste of a good flaky fish like this. It’s eye-opening really. You’ve got me wondering about all the different beer flavours and varieties and how they could work with other seafoods. Thanks! :D

  • Matt @ RoughEats
    November 4, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I love the look of this dish, especially the cod. I’ve never thought about pairing mushrooms with cod before, great idea!

  • Kellie
    August 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    I had to laugh at your comment about been bored and deciding to use beer instead of wine. In my training and subsequent work as a Sommelier we always recommend cooking with the best wine you can get your hands on not the opposite that most people do (any old crap on the cupboard). My ha,ha is that I am too greedy to cook with it, I want to drink it; but it all goes to the same place anyway right? I follow a pesecarian diet too, but don’t eat fish but I find that this recipe would totally adapt to suit my cooking style, I can’t wait to give it a try.
    Kellie from Princess and the Yard Ape

  • Samantha | My Kitchen Love
    July 29, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I’ve never cooked with beer and fish (besides beer battered fish) and I feel as though that has been a complete fail – I also like that you have mushrooms in there as beer and mushrooms have to be one of my favourite flavour combos.

  • Angelika
    July 29, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Wow! Sounds delicious! My mom used to make a mushroom sauce when we were small, but I don’t recall beer in it. I’m pretty sure indeed there was never any ???? ????.

  • The FoodOlic
    July 29, 2016 at 9:00 am

    This dish looks great! Love the pictures too, thanks for sharing!

  • Natasha
    July 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Ok the photography here is just incredible!!! Also love the micro greens!!

  • […] you don’t believe me, you can check out this Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese or this recent Cod with Beer and Mushroom Sauce. Beer and mushrooms have been an amazing inspiration to me in the kitchen; or perhaps it’s […]


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