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.
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 to 20 minutes in a high-heated oven!
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?
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 recipes to try
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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.