Dinner made real easy: this Baked Fish recipe comes with a Lemon Cream Sauce and is made in ONE baking dish! Yup, just throw it all in one pan, bake it, and you end up with a tender juicy fish in a creamy lemon sauce.
The sauce is especially delish because the juices of the fish mingles in with it while it’s baking. It’s like a sauce made with the best stock ever!
If the idea of baked fish conjures up the words pale, colourless and bland, then this one’s going to be a game changer for you!!
It’s an effortless 15 minute recipe one pan recipe where fish is baked with a creamy lemon sauce. It’s the sort of recipe you can make no matter how hectic your household is, or on a lazy Sunday night because it’s this easy:
- Mix butter, cream, garlic, mustard and lemon;
- Pour over fish; and
- Bake – no flipping required.
And out comes this – tender baked fish fillets with a beautiful lemon cream sauce that’s perfect with fish!
This recipe will work for most fish, but is especially great for white fish fillets
The Lemon Cream Sauce for Fish
This recipe really is all about that Lemon Cream Sauce for fish which is made in the same pan while the fish is baking. It’s a simple sauce which actually tastes pretty unimpressive when you first mix it up.
But once it’s baked and the fish juices mix in with it, it transforms into an incredible sauce. It’s basically like making a sauce with real homemade fish stock – just like fine dining restaurants do!
What this tastes like
The recipe name implies that the sauce is rich but actually, it is not! I describe it as kind of light and fresh, yet a bit creamy. You will be thankful there is a decent amount of sauce because it’s perfect for mopping up with bread or spooning over mashed potato!
What you need
Not very much!
- White Fish fillet – any fairly flat white fish fillet is fine here, about 2 cm/ 4/5 ” thick or less. Any thicker, and the fish will take longer to bake which will thicken the sauce too much so you’ll need to thin it with a splash of water.
- Escallot/French onion – those small onions, they’re more delicate than normal onions so they work well in a quick fish recipe like this. Use the white part of green onions as a sub, or really finely minced normal onion.
- Dijon Mustard – sauce thickener. Can sub with other non seedy mustards.
- Garlic – goes in almost everything in my world!
- Cream – use heavy / thickened cream if you can, to help with sauce consistency. Low cal sub – evaporated milk. It’s not quite the same, but I’ve been known to use it when I’m trying to be “healthier”
- Butter – there is no substitute!
- Lemon – lime would work in an emergency situation. Sub: 1/3 cup white wine simmered to reduce to 2 tbsp, use in place of lemon in recipe.
Really QUICK Baked Fish Fillets
I say this is a quick recipe – and I mean it. It takes longer to heat up the oven than it does to prepare this recipe! Watch the video and see!
Dinner on the table in just 15 minutes. Tender, juicy fish with a creamy lemon sauce. A really fantastic way to make baked fish – it’s so, so good! – Nagi x
Try these on the side:
- Everyday Cabbage Salad, big juicy Greek Salad
- Fresh Garden Salad with Balsamic Dressing, French Dressing or Italian Dressing
- Fresh Lemon Potato Salad or Greek Lemon Roasted Potatoes
- Potatoes au Gratin, Easy Creamy Potato Casserole or Mini Potato Gratin Stacks
- Mushroom Rice, Kale Garlic Butter Rice or Tomato Basil Rice
And more fish recipes:
- Crispy Pan Fried Fish – also try this Killer Lemon Butter Sauce for Fish!
- Brazilian Fish Stew
- Honey Garlic Salmon and Lemon Honey Glazed Salmon – super quick!
- Homemade Baked Filet-O-Fish Burger
- Fish Pie and Fish Chowder!
- See all Fish recipes
Watch how to make it
Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce (One Baking Dish!)
Recipe video above. A fantastic quick-fix dinner – baked fish in a lemon cream sauce, all made in ONE PAN! Don’t let the short ingredient list fool you, this tastes so good! The key to the tasty sauce is the fish juices that leeches out while baking and is essentially the broth for the sauce!
- 4 x 150- 180g / 5 – 6 oz fish fillets (, about 1.5cm / 1/2″ thick, skinless and boneless (Note 1))
- 50 g / 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy / thickened cream ((See Note 2 for sub options))
- 1 – 2 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped eschallots (, white part only (Note 3))
- Fresh parsley and lemon slices (, to serve)
Preheat oven to 200C / 390F (all ovens).
Place fish in a baking dish – ensure the fish isn’t crammed in too snugly. See video or photos in post. Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper.
- Place butter, cream, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a microwave proof jug or bowl. Microwave in 2 x 30 sec bursts, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
- Sprinkle fish with shallots, then pour over sauce.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Remove from oven and transfer fish to serving plates. Spoon over sauce, and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges if using.
1. Fish – Any fillets or cutlets/steaks about 1.5 – 2 cm / 1/2 / 4/5″ thick will work great with this because they cook quickly in the oven.
Great for: Ling (pictured), Tilapia, Snapper, Barramundi, Silver Dory, John Dory, Basa, Hokki, Perch, Flathead
OK for very lean fish like Swordfish, tuna (sauce adds richness!) but be VERY careful about not overcooking the fish.
Not great for:
- salmon (too fatty, sauce splits)
- very thin delicate fish like flounder, Dover Sole
- small whole fish like sardines or mackerel
If using thicker fish fillets that take longer to cook, you might need to thin the sauce out a bit at the end with a tiny bit of water.
Frozen fish – thaw completely, PAT DRY with paper towels to remove as much excess water as possible. Chances are, your sauce will be a little thin for your liking because frozen fish drops so much more liquid than fresh – see Note 4 for how to fix this.
2. Healthier options – the cream can be substituted with evaporated milk which is still quite nice. If swapping with light cream, increase mustard by 2 tsp.
3. Eschallots – the small onions, also called French Onions. Sub with the white part of green onions or really finely minced normal onions. Adds a little something-something to the sauce so don’t leave it out!
4. Sauce – not intended to be thick and gravy-like. It is a light lemon cream sauce, suited to fish. However, it should not be watery.
Sauce consistency will differ depending on the fish that you use – different fish leech different amounts of water while baking. If you really want to thicken the sauce, just take the fish out of the baking dish and return the pan to the oven for a few minutes (it will thicken quickly so keep an eye on it!)
5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 180g/6 oz white fish fillets like John Dory/Tilapia are used and that all sauce is consumed.
Originally published October 2016, updated with much needed new photos, brand new video and updated writing. No change to recipe, it’s a firm reader fave that I wouldn’t dare change!
Life of Dozer
Yesterday was a day of experimenting with slow cooked curries. So there was plenty of downtime spent doing THIS!
And from when I originally published this recipe in October 2016:
From a little camping trip last weekend – getting smashed in the waves at beautiful Jimmy’s Beach, NSW Australia. He’s a sucker for punishment, that one. I really have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t get swept away by a rip!!