This easy recipe for Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce makes a tender flaky fish topped with creamy herb goodness. This recipe can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, or grain-free diet. 


Sauteed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce-Overhead shot.


The Recipe for Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

This recipe for fish with a cream sauce tastes like a meal at a nice restaurant, but is easy to make in your own kitchen.


Any type of mild white fish will work for this recipe. I used orange roughy, but cod or haddock would work as well. While I wouldn’t consider salmon a mild white fish, it would still work very well with the flavors in this sauce. 


The sauce is a cream-based sauce. I used shallots in this recipe, but you could substitute red, yellow, or white onion. You could even substitute the white part of a scallion if that is what you have on hand. 


I used a whole grain mustard in this recipe. It provides a bit of a mustard burst when you bite into a grain of mustard, but doesn’t turn the sauce yellow and overwhelm the rest of the flavors.


Tarragon is the star of the sauce. It’s the herb that is used in Béarnaise sauce and has a mild of a licorice or anise note. If you don’t like tarragon, you could substitute dill in the same amount. 


I used fresh tarragon in this recipe. If you don’t have fresh tarragon, you may substitute 1/4 teaspoon of dried herb. 


Sauteed Fish with cream sauce

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The Inspiration for Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a recipe by Faye Levy. I fell in love with her recipe for scallops with a cream sauce long ago. I’m not sure what book it was in (I have several of her books), but I made it many times when I was fresh out of college.


I made this recipe so often, in fact, that I started making my own changes and used it as a base for other recipes. 


How do you sauté fish without it sticking

Preventing the fish from sticking begins with the preparation of the fish. It’s important to have the fish as dry as possible. I use paper towels to do this.


Do not salt the fish until you’re ready to actually sauté it. Salting the fish too soon and letting it sit will pull more moisture out, resulting in more wetness on the outside of the fish and less moisture inside. 


Once the fish is dry, you’ll need to heat the pan. I place the pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the oil.


When the oil is hot, salt the fish and gently place it in the pan. Be careful to avoid splashing the oil. 


Be sure to allow some space between the fish fillets. If they are too close, they will steam instead of sauté. 


Once the fish is in the pan, don’t move it around. When the fish develops a nice brown coating, it will release from the pan. This means it’s time to turn it over and repeat on the other side. 


The fish is done when the second side releases from the pan. At this time, you should be able to easily flake the meat with a fork, but the fillet should still hold together.  


Sauteed Fish with Cream Sauce--ready to eat.


What to look for in a non-stick pan

I like to use a non-stick pan when sauéeing fish. This makes it easier to get it right. I use this pan from Mealthy


Mealthy sent me this pan about five months ago for free and asked me to test it out and share what I thought. I’ve waited to say anything about it because, well, we all know how most non-stick pans are great for about a month and then start to fail.


How I use this pan

Over the time I’ve had the pan, I’ve grown attached. It’s the one I reach for when I need to brown meat, make a sauce, or scramble eggs. Yep, it’s my go-to pan. After using it for five months, it still works as well as it did on day one.


The things I love about it

One thing I love about this pan is that it has a nice, thick bottom. It heats evenly and has no hot spots like a thin-bottomed pan might. This pan can also go in the oven. I use this feature a lot when I want to add cheese at the end of cooking and need to melt it in the oven, like in this parmesan chicken recipe


While foods easily release from this pan, it isn’t so slick that you can’t tell when to turn the fish in this recipe. 


Another feature of this pan is that it’s safe to use metal cooking utensils without harming the coating. Since I have not yet been able to train my family to use non-metal utensils in non-stick pans, this is a big bonus. 


Best of all, perhaps is that this pan is dishwasher safe. Tossing it in the dishwasher just makes clean-up faster and easier.


This pan does not come with a lid, but one of the lids I already have fits it just fine, so this hasn’t been a problem for me. 


How to get your own

If you have a non-stick pan you love, use it for this recipe. If not, and you want to purchase one, you should check out this pan from Mealthy


If you use the code SIMPLYSOHEALTHY they will give you a $10.00 discount on any order over $59.95. Be sure to check out their 15 year warranty.


Sauteed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce-taking a bite.


What to serve with Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

I like to serve this fish with a simple salad or vegetable. If serving a salad, be sure that the dressing doesn’t overpower or fight with the flavors in the sauce. Just oil and vinegar would be perfect. 


Some veggie suggestions include raw cucumbers or celery.  Steamed or sautéed zucchini, summer squash, or spinach would be delicious with this as well. Just add butter and salt (optional). 


Final words

This recipe makes it easy to have a restaurant-quality meal at home. I’ve tried to include lots of options so you can used the foods you have on hand. Enjoy!



Tired of the same old thing for dinner? You’re going to love this fish with a mustard tarragon cream sauce. Low-carb and keto-friendly. 🐟😋🍴

Sautéed fish with a spoon pouring mustard tarragon cream sauce over it.
5 from 5 votes

Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

This easy recipe for Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce makes a tender flaky fish topped with creamy herb goodness. This recipe can be part of a low-carb, keto, Atkins, or grain-free diet. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine French, keto, low-carb
Keyword cream sauce for fish, keto fish recipe, keto seafood recipe, low carb fish recipe, low carb seafood recipe, sauteed fish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 256 kcal
Author Annissa Slusher


  • 16 ounces mild white fish (orange roughy, haddock, cod)*
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • sea salt See note below recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons shallot peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh tarragon


  1. Dry fish completely and set aside. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add avocado oil.

  2. When skillet is hot, sprinkle the fish with salt and add the fish to the pan. It should sizzle when it goes in the pan. If it doesn't sizzle, your pan isn't hot enough. Be sure the sides of the fish don't touch. Do not move the fish until it releases from the pan. When it releases, turn the fish. When second side is done. remove fish from the pan, place on a plate and keep warm.

    Cooking fish fillet on a pan.
  3. Add shallots to the pan and cook until edges start to brown.

    Making the mustard tarragon cream sauce for fish.
  4. Stir in white wine vinegar. Using a spatula, scrape up any brown bits left in the pan. When vinegar is almost completely evaporated, pour in the heavy whipping cream.

    Sauteing ingredients for mustard tarragon cream sauce.
  5. Heat the sauce, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired thickness. Next, stir in the mustard and tarragon. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste. To serve, spoon the sauce over the fish.

    Sauteing ingredients for mustard tarragon cream sauce.

Recipe Notes

Because the amount of salt will vary according to taste, I did not include salt in the nutritional information.

*If using frozen fish, completely defrost the fish according to package directions. 

Nutrition Facts
Sautéed Fish with Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving (4 ounces)
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 94mg4%
Potassium 17mg0%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 1%0%
Vitamin C 1%1%
Calcium 20%2%
Iron 0%0%
Net Carbs 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.