Easy, tender baked fish infused with garlic and basil. The secret to this juicy fish is in the quick fish marinade with a few spices, garlic, fresh basil, a little citrus and extra virgin olive oil. A few tips make all the difference, so be sure to read on.
We often forget that, just like chicken and meat, delicate foods like fish can benefit from a little time in a tasty marinade.
As long as you keep the acid low and the marinating time short, marinating a firm fish or a fish fillet like halibut or cod can do some good.
The marinade will infuse the fish with all sorts of mouthwatering flavors. It will also keep the fish juicy while protecting it from sticking or drying out during grilling or baking.
So if you're wondering, "what's the best way to bake fish without drying it out?" One way is to bake your fish in foil, which I know can be a controversial method. But another way is to simply marinate your fish!
About this recipe
Today's tender baked fish recipe could not be any easier to make.
I used halibut fillet (but another white fish of your choosing will work). The fillets sat in the fridge in a slightly lemony marinade with garlic, basil, and a few spices. I let it marinade in the fridge for only 30 minutes.
To bake, I added the fish and the marinade over a bed of colorful bell peppers and shallots and baked for about 15 minutes. Easy!
What's in the fish marinade?
You'll notice that I kept the citrus portion low using juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons of citrus) to 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Here's what is in my fish marinade:
- Spices- a trio of dry oregano, coriander, and paprika.
- Garlic- 10 fresh garlic cloves. I like to mince the garlic as finely as I can for maximum flavor.
- Fresh basil- 15 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons. The combination of fragrant fresh basil with the warm spices pack this fish marinade with great flavor. If you don't have basil, you can use parsley, cilantro, dill, or thyme to your liking.
- Citrus- juice of 1 lemon, which is about 2 tablespoons of citrus. If you like, you can switch it out for lime, white wine, or a mild-tasting vinegar.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I used 6 tablespoons of Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil. Because the fish bakes with the marinade, it's important to use a tasty oil that will enhance the fish.
How long to marinate fish?
Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes to marinating fish, it's important to keep the acid low and the marinating time short. I used juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons of citrus) to 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
As far as how long you should marinate your fish can depend a bit on the kind of fish and how firm it is. In general, it's safe to marinate a fish fillet like halibut or even a flaky fish like cod for 30 minutes or so refrigerated.
If you're marinating a fairly thick fish steak like a tuna fish steak or a swordfish steak, you may go for 1 to 2 hours of marinating.
Always keep your marinated fish in the fridge.
How to Make this Baked Fish Recipe
There really are two steps to this fish fillet recipe
1. Season and Marinate Fish
Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper.
Place the fish in a large zip-top bag and add spices, garlic, basil ribbons, olive oil and lemon juice. Seal shut. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Tip: Be sure to squeeze the air out of the zip-top bag before sealing. Place the bag flat on a plate and refrigerate. Turn the bag occasionally to keep the marinade distributed evenly.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Slice shallots and bell peppers into rounds and arrange them on the bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the fish on top. Pour all the marinade all over the fish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the halibut is fully cooked and flakes easily (start checking at 10 minutes or so).
To be sure your halibut (or fish fillet) is cooked, use an instant read thermometer to check at the thickest part of the fish. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F and your fish should be opaque and should flake easily with a fork.
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- 2 lb fish fillet like halibut
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ½ tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 15 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 bell peppers any color, sliced (I used 1 red and 1 green bell pepper)
- 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
- Pat fish fillet dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place the fish in a large zip-top bag. Add the oregano, coriander, paprika, minced garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Zip the bag shut and massage to be sure the fish is evenly coated in the marinade. Marinated for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour in the fridge (see notes).
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Arrange bell peppers and shallots in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the fish on top and pour the marinade over it.
- Bake in heated oven for 15 minutes or until fish is done and flakes easily.
- Tip for how long to marinade fish: I used halibut fillet in this recipe and I typically marinate it about 30 minutes. Thicker fish steaks like tuna or swordfish could be marinated for 1 to 2 hours, but that is not the kind of fish I would recommend for this recipe.
- How to know if your fish is cooked? To be sure your halibut (or fish fillet) is cooked, use an instant read thermometer to check at the thickest part of the fish. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F and your fish should be opaque and should flake easily with a fork.
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- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Fish and Seafood
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Baked Fish, Baked Fish Fillet, Halibut Recipe