Cooking fish doesn’t have to be complicated. This easy baked flounder recipe is proof of that. There’s hardly any prep work involved. You can pull it off in less than 30 minutes. And it’s delicious! What’s not to like about that?
Flat fish fillets like flounder only take a few minutes cooking time. The only thing in this recipe that requires a bit more time is some cherry tomatoes that are there to provide a juicy and flavorful side. Some garlic and a few olives, because we’re talking about the Mediterranean Diet, right? Some herbs – fresh or dried – doesn’t matter. And a lemon, of course. Fish and lemon are just made for each other.
I think even my friend Dennis can pull off this dish! Add to that a side of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa or whatever you fancy. And a green vegetable like spinach, asparagus, broccoli, or a green salad, and you’ve got yourself a meal.
If you want to fancy up this easy baked flounder, serve it with a tablespoon or two of pesto, tapenade, tartufata (truffle and mushroom sauce), or any kind of sauce you like. But an extra squeeze of lemon juice is good enough, if you want my opinion.
This recipe works well with any kind of skinless flat fish fillets: flounder, sole, tilapia, swai… I use frozen fish since I live far from any coast, it only takes 30 minutes or so to defrost it (follow directions on package).
I generally use grape tomatoes. If you want to add some color, get a rainbow mix of cherry tomatoes. Just make sure you wash them before use!
Olives: kalamata olives are best in this recipe. But if all you have on hand are green olives, go for them!
Herbs: if you grow herbs in your garden, this is the perfect opportunity to use some. Thyme, oregano, or rosemary are great choices. If all you have is dried herbs, no problem! That’s good too!
Lemon: now here, the lemon doesn’t really matter, but we want you to have the sharpest knife possible because you want to slice your lemon quite thin (1/16 of an inch or so – 2 mm if your mind is programmed in metric). A thick lemon slice would prevent your fish from cooking properly.
Salt, pepper, olive oil: you’ve got that. I know it, because you’ve been following my blog and you know these are staples you can’t live without…
How to make easy baked flounder
First, preheat your oven. 425F for a conventional oven. If you have a true convection oven, use convection mode at 400F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I generally use parchment paper, but in this case the tomatoes and fish with release some juice and parchment paper would just get too soggy. You don’t have to use aluminum, it is just there to make clean-up easier.
Place your tomatoes on the baking sheet, add the olives, the garlic cloves cut in half, and a tablespoon or so of fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried herbs). Drizzle some olive oil. Toss with a spatula or with your hands. Place in the oven. Set the timer for 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, pat your defrosted fish dry with some paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Slice your lemon very thin (remember what I said above).
After 18 minutes, take the baking sheet out of the oven. Use a spatula to move the tomatoes, olives and garlic to the outer edges of the baking sheet, leaving room for the fish in the center. Don’t burn yourself! Lay the fillets in the center of the sheet, preferably without any overlap (or it will take longer to cook). Place your lemon slices on top of the fillets. Sprinkle more herbs and place the sheet back in the oven. Set the timer for 7 minutes.
Bam! 7 minutes later, you’re done!
Now, was that easy or what?
Other recipes you might like:
Easy baked flounder
- Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place on the sheet: tomatoes (whole), olives, garlic, and half the thyme (1 tbsp).
- Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil, a pinch of fresh ground pepper, toss with a spatula or with your hands. Place in the oven. Set a timer for 18 minutes.
- Pat fish fillets with paper towels. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
- After 18 minutes, take the sheet out of the oven. Move tomatoes to the perimeter of the sheet and lay the fish in the center. Top with lemon slices and the rest of your thyme. Drizzle with another tablespoon olive oil.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven. Bake 7 minutes.
- Serve immediately.