This easy Citrus Seared Swordfish is coated in citrus zest, seared to perfection, and finished with fresh herbs and freshly squeezed citrus juice.

Citrus Seared Swordfish

This easy Citrus Seared Swordfish is coated in citrus zest, seared to perfection, and finished with fresh herbs and freshly squeezed citrus juice.

Citrus Seared Swordfish

This easy Citrus Seared Swordfish is coated in citrus zest, seared to perfection, and finished with diced green onions and freshly squeezed citrus juice.

Are you trying to add more seafood into your diet?  Have you been eating loads of salmon and white fish, and want to shake things up?  Try swordfish.*  It’s meaty, has a texture similar to ahi tuna, and is incredibly flavorful.  Plus– it’s EASY.  This Citrus Seared Swordfish is marinated in citrus juices, coated in zest, and quickly seared.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

This easy Citrus Seared Swordfish is coated in citrus zest, seared to perfection, and finished with fresh herbs and freshly squeezed citrus juice.

Citrus Seared Swordfish

Recently, I’ve been working extra hard to make sure I get more protein than normal.  Why?  The husband and I are planning another ‘National Park Extravaganza!’  (Exciting, right?!)  If you followed along last summer, you (might) know that we hiked part of the Grand Canyon… and it was the most incredible, gorgeous beast of a hike EVER.  Hiking half of the canyon just wasn’t enough– I want to see the whole thing!

What does the Grand Canyon have to do with protein?  Well, to hike the Grand Canyon successfully– you have to train.  That means lots of extra time at the gym, and while I was eating my normal, ‘mostly vegetarian with a bit of seafood’ diet, I just wasn’t getting enough protein for my muscles to heal.  (Or at least that’s what my personal trainer friend tells me.)  Some of you might be thinking, “You can TOTALLY get enough protein without fish!” and I definitely respect that– but I’m not organized enough to make it happen.  It just wasn’t working for me!  So, I’ve been eating more seafood than normal, and have been on the hunt for new seafood recipes.  Meaty fish like swordfish and ahi tuna have been fantastically filling dinner options.**

Making Citrus Seared Swordfish

To make this Citrus Seared Swordfish, start by zesting and juicing a lemon and an orange.  Reserve the zest, and pour the juice over the swordfish steaks.  Let the steaks marinate for about 10 minutes.  Next, heat oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat until it’s shimmering.  Take the fish out of the marinade, and sprinkle both sides of the steaks with salt.  Then, rub the reserved citrus zest on both sides of your swordfish.  Sear the swordfish for about 3 minutes per side, and then serve it with a squeeze of fresh citrus juice and some diced green onion.  Serve it immediately, while it’s still piping hot, and enjoy!

*A Note on Seafood Sustainability: If you’re scratching your head, thinking, “Isn’t swordfish an ‘unsustainable’ fish that we aren’t supposed to eat?”  The answer is– it depends.  Some areas of the world practice sustainable swordfish fishing, and some don’t.  How do you know which you’re getting?  Try looking for the blue “MSC sustainability” stamp, and buy from reputable suppliers.  I get my swordfish at Trader Joe’s.

**A Note on Seafood Safety and Mercury: Swordfish is delicious, but keep it mind that since it’s at the higher end of the ocean’s food chain, it’s likely to have higher mercury levels than some other fish.  This is a fish to enjoy on special occasions, not on a daily basis.  Also Note: I’m not a doctor, and I’m not giving medical advice here.  If your doctor says you shouldn’t eat certain fish because you’re at a higher risk for getting sick (i.e.– if you’re pregnant or have a different medical condition that makes it unsafe), talk to them, not me, before chowing down on this lovely fish.


This easy Citrus Seared Swordfish is coated in citrus zest, seared to perfection, and finished with fresh herbs and freshly squeezed citrus juice.
5 from 5 votes

Citrus Seared Swordfish

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 257 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 2 swordfish steaks (about 4oz per steak)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 orange (or blood orange), zested and juiced
  • 1 orange or lemon, cut into wedges or slices, for serving
  • diced green onion, to serve


  1. Marinate swordfish steaks in the lemon and orange juice for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until oil begins to shimmer. 
  3. Remove steaks from marinade, and salt both sides of the steaks.  Next, rub the lemon and orange zest onto both sides of the steaks.  (If any zest falls off, just sprinkle it onto the steaks while they cook.) 
  4. Set swordfish onto the sauté pan, set a timer for 3 minutes, and don't touch the fish until the 3 minutes have passed.
  5. Using a thin metal spatula, flip the steaks and sear them for about 3 more minutes.  The steaks should be cooked through, but still juicy.
  6. Finish the fish by squeezing a little fresh orange or lemon juice over the fish, and topping with fresh diced green onion.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.

This recipe was inspired by the Trader Joe’s ‘Lemon Pepper Butter Grilled Swordfish’ recipe on their swordfish packaging.


44 thoughts on “Citrus Seared Swordfish

  1. Noel Lizotte says:

    What a great way to up your protein intake! When the meal is this pretty, I’d have to eat seconds! It’s tough getting good fresh fish in Ohio (other than Lake Erie Perch) so I’m super jealous of great recipes like this. I’ll have to take up traveling! I’ll go where the good food is and then just cook the whole vacation!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      I live next to Ohio! (Wv).. we’re totally landlocked! I get my fish frozen 🙂 This was from Trader Joe’s!

  2. Jolina says:

    Oh man I have not eaten swordfish in years. My mom used to work at this seafood company so she would have access to all these amazing…well…seafood haha. And she would bring home swordfish. If you want to load up on protein, this would be it! It’s very meaty if I remember correctly. Love the citrus! (PS: looking forward to your extravaganza!)

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Rim to rim wow! Maybe on our 3rd trip haha. This time we’re planning on going down the South Kaibab and up Bright Angel. Last time we did half of the South Kaibab and then came back up! And yes half was hard but so amazing!

  3. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    Great recipe and the ideas behind the packages are usually great springboards. We do love citrus with our seafood, usually lemon, but I bet the sweetness of the orange is fantastic. Also the color really makes the dish pop!! I’m trying this with our flounder.

  4. Byron Thomas says:

    I’ve been trying to incorporate more fish into my diet, so this recipe is popping up on my radar at just the right time. I’ve never had swordfish before, but I’m certainly willing to expand my seafood horizons. I’ve heard that it’s a ‘meatier’ fish, so I can’t wait to try it.

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Yes and it’s delicious- as long as you don’t overcook it. You’d probably like ahi tuna too if you want some more meaty fish!

  5. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ says:

    I’m loving the sound of this marinade with the blood orange. I bet it would be good with other things as well. Hiking the Grand Canyon sounds like fun. That is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t made it yet. I remember seeing your pictures from before and they were gorgeous 🙂

  6. Jennifer A Stewart says:

    With everyone wanting to eat fish for their New Year’s resolution I am seeing way too many salmon recipes. I am not a fan of salmon as it’s a little too strong for me. I wish I liked it as it has so many great qualities and health benefits, but I love me some swordfish! And since I don’t have a fresh fish market near me that is worth a toot, I love that swordfish holds up to being frozen. Can’t wait to try this as I just bought a bag of blood oranges!!

  7. Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery says:

    I always love swordfish – it’s one of the things I missed the most while pregnant and breastfeeding. Even now, it’s a very, very rare occasion fish for us, because the little guy eats everything we eat. I usually have mine in the form of swordfish meatballs, but I love the idea of a simple citrus glaze!

  8. Molly Kumar says:

    This is such a coincidence that I bought swordfish to try for another recipe and here I’m reading all about your citrus seared swordfish ! You literally had me on the Citrus note. I LOVE fishes with citrus flavor, it just adds that umami factor to them.

    • champagne-tastes says:

      You can make it with regular oranges too if you need to! (But I hope you find blood oranges because.. yum. Lol)

  9. Sandhya Ramakrishnan says:

    We are vegetarians, so can’t say about the fish, but the citrus flavors are amazing. We are a big National Park freaks as well and last summer we did 6 National parks on a 12 day road trip. Can’t wait for weather to get better, so we can start this year.

  10. Lizzie says:

    Wow, I love blood orange, not seen any in ages! I may have to try this, even if I use a different fish. We had a lot of citrus in our Christmas dinner, and I’d love to use it more.

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