Loaded with bright Mediterranean flavors, this baked white fish is seasoned with oregano and garlic and a mixture of tomatoes, olives, and red onions. Ready in about 25 minutes! Be sure to check out my fish tips and the video for how to make this recipe below!
Baked white fish is one of the easiest and fastest dinners you can make on a busy weeknight.
This simple recipe is featured in my roundup of 25+ fish recipes anyone can make! Here, the fish fillet takes on a tasty mixture of tomatoes, olives, garlic and red onions, which bathes the fish with fresh and bright Mediterranean flavors. Best part, it takes only 15 minutes or so in a high-heated oven!
Serve it with lemon rice, couscous or your favorite grain + a big salad like Greek salad or even black eyed pea salad.
If you're new to cooking fish, let's cover a few basics and some tips...
What is white fish?
When a recipe calls for white fish, what kind of fish should you buy? Unlike a rich and oily fish such as salmon or tuna, white fish refers to mildly flavored fish that has a subtle hint of sweetness and colorless, flaky flesh. It is readily available wherever you travel. If you've had fish-n-chips at a local restaurant, you've had white fish.
Cod, halibut, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and haddock are all examples of white fish, and any of them will work in this recipe as long as you are working with a fillet.
A few tips for buying fish
Buying fish can be intimidating if you haven't done it often. But whether you're a beginner or an experienced chef, it is never a bad idea to ask your fishmonger for recommendations, tell them what you're making and they will guide you. And they can also typically advice you on the freshness and quality of the fish.
Generally speaking, look for white fish that is firm-fleshed and the color should be translucent to light pink. To me, one of the giveaways is how your fish smells. It should not have a terribly strong odor.
Do not discount frozen fish. Frozen wild fish that is processed fresh and flash frozen can be a great option. The fish should be frozen solid (no trace of liquid), and check the label for additives. This Washington Post Article talks about sodium tripolyphosphate, which is a chemical that is used to retain moisture of the frozen fish. It also adds weight, essentially increasing your cost and decreasing your experience.
Baked White Fish: Step-by-Step
(print-friendly recipe below)
Like I said, this is one of the easiest dinners you'll make. There really are three main steps to making this Mediterranean fish recipe: season the fish fillet, add the tomato and olives mixture, and bake! Here is how it goes, step-by-step (and you can also watch the video below in the recipe card):
- Season the fish
Pat your fish dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper on both sides. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top.
- Make the tomato and olive mixture
In a bowl, combine halved cherry tomatoes (about 8 ounces), chopped olives, and minced red onion. Add a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, and more of the thyme, oregano and garlic. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine.
- Assemble and bake
Top the white fish fillet with the tomato and olive mixture and bake in a 425 degrees F heated-oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
How can you tell if your fish is cooked?
Fish cooks quickly. Whether you're making salmon, baked cod, or halibut, it's important to pull the fish out of the oven at the right time so it does not overcook and become too dry.
In the case of baked white fish, it will take about 15 minutes or so to bake at 425 degrees F. This will somewhat depend on how thick the fish is, so you can start checking a little bit earlier. Stick a fork in the thickest part of the fish and gently twist it, it should flake easily and the flesh should look white rather than a greyish opaque (which is what it looks like raw).
More easy fish recipes to try
Mediterranean Lemon-Garlic Haddock
Greek shrimp with tomatoes and feta
Craving more? Browse our fish recipes, top Mediterranean diet recipes, or all Mediterranean Recipes
Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices!
Mediterranean Baked White Fish
- 1 ½ lb white fish fillet such as cod or halibut, (1 to 1 ½ in thickness)
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon more for later
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 ounces pitted olives, halved (I used a combination of kalamata olives and green olives)
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Brush a 9 ½ x 13-inch baking dish with a little extra virgin olive oil and put the fish in it. Squeeze ½ lemon juice all over the top of the fish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, onions, garlic and spices. Add a very small pinch of salt and ground pepper. Add a generous drizzle (about 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil) toss to combine.
- Pour the tomato and olive mixture over the fish.
- Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of your fish).
- Remove from the heat and serve.
- Remember that fish cooks quickly. You can begin to check if the fish is done before the 15-minute mark. Carefully insert a fork at the thickest part of the fish and twist gently, the fish is ready when it flakes easily.
- Serve with lemon rice, couscous, or your favorite grain. Try adding a big salad as well.
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices.
This is the best baked fish I've ever made. WOW! This will be my go to baked fish recipe from now on. So good! And I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. The only thing I changed was I combined the lemon juice with the onions and garlic and let them sit for a little while to mellow down their bite. Worked like a charm! I will be making this again soon! You are a genius at flavor combinations Suzy!
This was delicious. We made it with mahimahi from Costco. The flavors really enhance the fish. Easy, delicious, items typically in our kitchen. This is a definite do-over.
This is so yummy! I had it with tri colored quinoa and topped it with some feta.
That sounds delis, Pamela! Thanks for sharing!
Delicious! I made it last night for the family and the 17-year-old and 9-year-old both enjoyed it (as well as the adults). I used tilapia for the fish. It's a great start to the Spring season!
This was so easy and so delicious.
I used frozen haddock, and also threw in some capers with the olives and tomatoes. Served with broccoli and roasted smashed potatoes. Thank you for a keeper of a recipe!
Tried this with perch and it came out great!
I am going to try this. I have some white sea bass i think will be great for this dish.
So yummy and simple!
I'm thinking of trying this tomorrow night but made the mistake of buying wild tilapia at Costco and not Cod - do you think it could still work with that type of fish? I appreciate it and have been LOVING all of your recipes that I've been trying
Hi, April. That should be fine. Tilapia can be quite thin, though, so it will likely cook quicker. Just keep a close eye on it.
This was easy to make. It had ingredients that I almost always have on hand. It was delicious.
Made this last night for some girlfriends. Absolutely fantastic! Served it with rice and spooned the sauce over it. Thank you!
So delicious. Hubby asked that I make this again
It was delicious! My husband said “you outdid yourself tonight”! Adding to my rotation.
Yay!! Thanks, Vanessa!
It was delicious. I’ve made it twice in one week and will be forever grateful for my new fish dish!
Wonderful! Thanks, Cheryle!
We have been enjoying your recipes as seen I. The AJC a while back. Very happy for you today as we see the AJC write up on the release of your cookbook. Thank you.
Aww! Thank you so much for your support, Mark!
Thank you for this recipe, I have made this many times and it is delicious.
Wonderful! Thanks, Cyndi!
Right away noticed the liquid component in the recipe was too low; rice is just a tad under 1:2. So made 2/3 cup rice 1/3 cup Orzo with 1/4 cup lemon juice (one lemon, in this case) and 1 1/2 cups light chicken broth and it came out perfect. Thank you!
This is literally the best cod I think I’ve ever had! I love it so much. I served it alongside some lemony farro tossed with herbs and feta cheese. Perfect healthy dinner! Can’t wait to make this again 😋🤤
Yay! So glad to hear it!
Amazing weeknight dinner. Substituted olives for capers. Paired with a Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad and yellow rice. Thanks for the recipe! My teenage has only had salmon fist so this is the 1st time and she loved it!