Oval shaped dish with 2 baked white fish fillets in a tomato sauce, basil leaves on top

Baked Fish with Tomato and Olives

Baked Fish with Tomato and Olives is one of our favourite ways to cook white fish. This is a typical Mediterranean dish, with the tender sweetness of white fish in a rich tomato and basil sauce. The olives and capers add  salty, tangy pops of flavour.

Selecting Ingredients to Make  Baked Fish with Tomato and Olives

We like to use rockling for this recipe. It’s quite a firm fish,  and the fillets are large enough to cut into two even pieces. If you’re cooking this dish for two people, you’ll probably have some rockling left over, as the fillets tend to be huge. Cut the leftovers up and freeze them to use in a curry or fish cakes later.

Fresh tomatoes and basil leaves to make baked fish with tomato and olives

We used fresh tomatoes for this recipe, because we had some that were ripe and needed to be used. We used a mix of cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes.

Fresh tomatoes require a little extra effort, because you have to blanch and peel them. But trust us – it’s worth the extra few minutes. Nothing beats the flavour of fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. When they’re are not in season, it’s perfectly fine to use canned tomatoes.

Blanching tomatoes to make baked fish with tomato and olives

We chose pitted kalamata olives for this dish, but you could use any kind of olives you like. Make sure the stones are removed before you add them to the dish!

And finally, for the capers we chose salted capers over the kind that are preserved in vinegar. If you’re using salted capers, soak them in cold water, rinse and repeat before adding them to the dish.

Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives Goes with …

Serve this Mediterranean delight with a crisp, dry riesling or rosé. If you’d like to turn this into a three-course menu, you could serve our Best Hummus Recipe with drinks while you and your guest wait for the sauce to thicken. Try our Negroni Spritz for something a little different.

Because this is a tomato-based dish, it’s not heavy or overly filling. You can easily finish with a creamy dessert such as Coffee Ice Cream, or  Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Coulis.

Baked Fish with Tomato and Olives

Firm white fish fillets in a rich Mediterranean tomato sauce with flavour pops of kalamata olives, capers and fresh basil.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: date night, dinner party, easy, fish, Mediterranean, one pan dinner, one pan dish, one pan recipe, seafood, summer, tomatoes, weeknight dinner
Servings: 2 people


  • 500 g fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves and stalks
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar
  • 10 kalamata olives
  • 2x 150g white fish fillets eg. rockling, whiting
  • ½ TBS baby capers


  • Cut a shallow slit or criss-cross on the top of each tomato and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Drain, allow to cool slightly, peel the skins off and roughly chop the tomatoes.
    Blanching tomatoes to make baked fish with tomato and olives
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium-low heat. Pierce the chilli once or twice with the tip of a knife and add it to the oil.
  • Separate basil leaves from stalks and finely chop the stalks. Add minced garlic and basil stalks to the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant. Do not allow garlic to colour, as it will become bitter.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, breaking up tomato with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.
    tomato sauce cooking to make baked fish with tomato and olives
  • Heat oven to 220°c. Lightly oil a shallow baking dish that is large enough to accommodate your fish fillets snugly.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to the boil. Slice the potato into very thin rounds using a sharp knife or mandolin. Put potato slices in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, allow to cool slightly, then place in the bottom of the oiled baking dish, overlapping slightly if necessary.
  • When tomato sauce has reduced, add a splash of red wine vinegar and cook for a further minute or two. Check and adjust seasoning. Spoon the tomato sauce over the potato slices and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove baking dish from the oven. Scatter olives and half the basil leaves over the sauce. Season fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place fish on top of the sauce and scatter capers over the fish.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your fish. If you are using thinner fillets, check them after 10 minutes by making a small cut in the thickest part of the fillet.
  • Scatter the remaining basil leaves over the top, and serve with a crisp salad and a glass of riesling or dry rosé.

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