Baked White Fish with Olives and Simple Tomato Sauce

baked white fish mr low res

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Serves 4 


3 cloves of garlic

a small bunch of fresh basil

olive oil

1 fresh red chilli

2 x 400g cans tomatoes

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

red wine vinegar

4 x 150g white fish fillets such as whiting or pollock, skin off and bones removed

a handful of black olives, stone in

3 teaspoons capers, drained



Chopping board


Large saucepan

Wooden spoon

Can opener

Roasting tray (approximately 20cm x 30cm)



  • Any white fish will work well in this dish - find a fishmonger or supermarket you can rely on for the freshest fish and ask for their recommendation - they'll be able to tell you what's best to buy on the day.
  • People tend to overcook fish - gentle baking in tomato sauce will give you moist, flavourful fish every time.
  • Small bones can be removed from fillets before cooking with a sturdy pair of tweezers, or you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you.
  • Prepare twice as much of the tomato sauce as you need for this dish and refrigerate or freeze the extra for pizza or spaghetti and meatballs.

The most important thing to remember with this recipe is to buy good-quality fish from your local fishmonger or supermarket. The recipe I've given you here can be used with all sorts of dishes - I've shown you how to tweak it to go with fish, but you can try using it with anything from pasta to grilled chicken.


To make your sauce:

Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves. Pick the basil leaves and put aside, finely slice the stalks.



Add a good couple of lugs of olive oil to a large pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and basil stalks. Pierce the chilli once with a knife so it doesn't explode when frying, and add to the pan. Fry gently until the garlic is soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally.



Add the cans of tomato and season lightly with salt and pepper. Gently simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the chilli. Break and mush the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Season the sauce really carefully with a small pinch of salt and pepper if needed, and add a tiny swig of red wine vinegar to give it a little twang.  


To prepare and cook your fish:

Preheat the oven to 220degC/425degF/gas 7.



Pour your tomato sauce into a roasting tray (approximately 20cm x 30cm). Season the fish fillets on both sides with a little pepper, then place on top of the sauce. Squash the olives, using the base of a jar or something heavy, and remove the stones. Sprinkle the olives and capers over the fish. Scatter the reserved basil leaves over the fish.  


Cook in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (check by cutting into the thickest part of one or two of the fillets). Lovely served with new potatoes and a green salad.  
Baked Fish
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