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Mediterranean Baked Fish with Burst Tomatoes and Olives

When you’re craving a light but filling meal, mediterranean baked fish is the perfect option. Roasted cherry tomatoes burst and blend with fresh garlic, oregano and briny olives to make a beautiful sauce you can spoon over couscous or rice, too. It’s a healthy meal for the whole family!

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a platter of mediterranean baked fish with steamed asparagus

It’s wonderful to have a dinner that bakes in one pan, has almost no clean up (as long as you put the delicious sauce over your food!) and gives you the perfect balance of protein, carbs and fiber.

Steady on goes your blood sugar and your energy levels when you incorporate healthy fish dishes like this one into your weekly routine!

This is also a great recipe to make ahead and warm up for a fast lunch. I often make it in double amounts so I can have extra later and won’t make a worse food choice later.

Which fish is best for baking?

White, firm fleshed fish that won’t fall apart like halibut, Mahi Mahi and red snapper are all great for baking. Sometimes cod can have a stronger fish flavor that not everyone enjoys so trying a milder fish like halibut can be easier for picky palates.

When shopping for fish, always try to buy wild caught seafood that hasn’t been farm raised to reduce your risk of exposure to antibiotics. It will tell you on the front of the package if it’s wild caught (or on the back below the nutrition information) if you’re buying frozen or you can ask your fishmonger for help.

Is frozen fish as good as fresh?

Yes. In fact, unless you live in a coastal area, most of the fish in your fish case was frozen and has been thawed for sale.

Do you cover fish when baking?

Not in most cases. While some recipes may call for covering with parchment or foil, as long as you don’t over bake your fish, there’s really no need to cover it. Remember to check the fish for doneness by putting a fork in the center and twisting. If the fish breaks apart, it’s finished.

a platter of baked mediterranean fish with a fork in it

Can I bake this fish in foil?

I never recommend anyone bake anything in foil. While researchers say foil is safe, there is evidence that aluminum does leach in to food when heated to high temperatures and may contribute to serious health issues. Use unbleached parchment paper if you want to bake mediterranean fish in packets.

Is Avocado oil good for baking fish?

Yes. Avocado oil is a great heart-healthy option for baking fish. To avoid turning delicate oils toxic, you never want them to smoke. Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520 degrees making it a good option for higher heat baking.
Many people think olive oil is the right choice for high heat and baking, but the smoke point can be quite low–375-405 degrees– so save the olive oil for drizzling on after your fish is cooked and you’ll reap more health benefits.

Tips for the best mediterranean flaky baked fish

  • Use a mild flavored fish if you have picky eaters
  • Squeeze over some fresh lemon before serving for extra brightness
  • If using dried herbs, use considerably less than the recipe recommends for fresh; dial the oregano back from two tablespoons of fresh to two teaspoons max of the dried
  • Your fish can marinade in the lemon and avocado oil mixture for up to 30 minutes if you have the time and want more flavor
  • Experiment with multi colored tomatoes for extra color
  • Add chili flakes for a bit of heat
  • Don’t overbake your fish; start checking it early and pull it out when it flakes easily with a fork

What to serve with Mediterranean baked fish

Fresh or steamed vegetables go perfectly with the other fresh flavors here. Try roasted asparagus with ginger and orange, or simply salt and pepper it and throw it in to roast while the fish cooks.

Simple sauteed frozen green beans make a really fast side dish, or you can add a starch like couscous or rice. If you make a grain, cook it in good quality bone broth or chicken stock for extra flavor and nutrient rich collagen.

I make my own stock and drink it regularly straight up–but it’s also the base for soups and rice dishes. It’s the perfect way to get more nutrients in to your family (or your self!) and not really notice it.

a platter of mediterranean baked fish with steamed asparagus

Mediterranean Baked Fish with Burst Tomatoes and Olives

The perfect light and bright lunch or dinner, this baked fish has all the flavors of the Mediterranean.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 261kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets any white fish will work: See note 1
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil olive oil can substitute
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano 2 teaspoons if using dried
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced or left whole
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes measured whole; half of a pint container
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced; shallot would substitute
  • lemon slices optional, for topping fish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • Make sure your fish is thawed and patted dry of extra moisture. Place the fish in a 9×13 or equivalent baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, mix the avocado oil, lemon juice, oregano and garlic. Pour over the fish and use your hands to rub the mixture on all sides. Let the fish sit about 5 minutes to marinate slightly.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the fish.
  • Add the olives, tomatoes, and red onion on and around the fish. Layer on a few lemon slices if you have them.
  • Bake on the center rack until the fish flakes easily with a fork–20 to 25 minutes depending on type of fish and thickness. Try not to over cook it so start checking it at 18 minutes.

Notes

Note 1: You can use any white fish you prefer here; we like Mahi Mahi for its mild flavor. Cod or red snapper is also a good choice. Estimate 1 piece of fish per person.  1 1/2 pounds of halibut fillets is 3 or 4, usually. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1filet | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 725mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating




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