whole food ~ well made

Veracruz-style baked fish recipe at

No Fail 30-Minute Veracruz-Style Baked Fish

I’m not big on baked fish. When I get a good piece of cod or salmon, halibut or snapper, I’d rather grill or pan fry.

But with the change in seasons and a busy fall, I find myself turning on the oven more often. It’s the first step to a simple sheet pan supper or baked potato bar.

And this is a one-pan baked fish supper you can make in 30 minutes. It takes me back to the coast of Veracruz where I ate a seafood diet for a whole week.

Veracruz-style baked fish recipe at

It is a lively, full-flavored fish dish with roasted tomatoes, olives, capers and a little heat in the diablo fashion. And because the ingredients are so bold, it’s perfect for frozen fish fillets (defrosted in the refrigerator or in cool water.)

Any white fish will work here, including cod, rockfish, tilapia, snapper, bass or pollock. Just be sure the fillet is at about one inch thick so that there’s a good 10-minute window to cook it with the sauce.

Why no-fail? With this recipe, the fish will never be dry. So you don’t have to worry so much about the timing. Once the fish flakes, it’s done. And it can hold in a low oven until everyone is ready to eat.

Veracruz-style baked fish recipe at

Scoop up servings of fish and sauce to serve over steamed rice, couscous or cauliflower rice. It’s also wonderful scooped into the best-quality corn tortillas.

This is a simple supper that’s special enough to call some friends over at the last minute this weekend. They can bring the Tecate. Buen provecho!


and become a forager

What simple suppers are you making in your oven? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Veracruz-style baked fish recipe at

Veracruz-Style Baked Fish

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: baked fish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lynne Curry

This is a quick and versatile fish dinner you can make with any type of fresh or frozen white fish fillet. It's a one-pan supper to serve over steamed rice or couscous or with warmed corn tortillas. The fish stays beautifully moist in this simple but exceptionally tasty tomato, olive and caper sauce.


  • 1 1/2 pounds skinned white fish fillet, at least 1 inch thick
  • fine sea salt
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped green olives, such as calvestrano
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers


  1. Place the fish fillets in a glass baking dish and season well on both sides with the salt. Squeeze the lime juice over the fish, turn to coat and marinate for about 15 minutes while you make the tomato sauce.

  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

  3. Add the tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and taste for seasoning, then add the olives and capers and stir to distribute them. The sauce can be prepared in advance.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Nestle the fish into the sauce and bake uncovered until the fish is no longer translucent and it flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.


  1. Marcus

    5 stars
    Lynne, this is a good recipe, and quite simple to execute. If you follow the steps, it’s difficult to overcook the fish, and mine came out juicy and delicious. One caveat: all the sauce ingredients wouldn’t fit in my 14″ skillet, so I had to use a wide saucepan; consequently, in retrospect, I would simmer the sauce longer to thicken it before baking the fish in it in order to avoid it becoming too watery. Somehow I made it work!

    1. Marcus

      Also, I would avoid salting the fish too much at the start. There are already plenty of salty ingredients in the sauce. I balanced the saltiness with every-so-slightly sweet lime-infused rice.

    2. Thanks for the review and the tips, Marcus!

share your thoughts

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *