Baked White Fish and Vegetables

The juiciest, most tender baked white fish with vegetables, using just about any firm white fish that you’d like – cod, tilapia, haddock, bass, catfish, grouper, etc. The fish is baked in between layers of onion, carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs. 

This is another dish from my childhood. My Mom used to make it all the time and I still love it so much and make it quite often. I love how juicy the fish is in this recipe and it’s also great that you can use so many different varieties of fish and they all work so well.

The succulent and tender white fish are baked together with a great abundance of vegetables – onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs. All the flavors meld together in one delicious dish. This will satisfy your cravings for something hearty, but still leave you feeling light and healthy.

You can do all the prep work ahead of time and you will only have to bake it. This is a perfect option for a make ahead meal for a busy day. Isn’t that a fantastic option? This also why it’s an excellent choice for a stunning company dinner.

What Kind of Fish Should You Use?

White Fish is not a type of fish, here I am referring to a mild, firm white fish. There are so many different varieties available and most of them work great in this recipe.

One of my favorites is cod, but I’ve used many different types of white fish over the years. Other white fish options: haddock, tilapia, swai, bass, grouper, catfish, snapper, whiting, etc. You can use fresh or frozen fish, just thaw it completely before using.

Preparing the Fish:

Cut the fish into smaller pieces and blot it dry with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.
Heat about 1/2 a Tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat, season the fish on both sides with salt, ground black pepper and any combination of your favorite seasonings.

Two of my favorite seasonings to use in just about everything I cook, are these two seasoning blends:

The Trader Joe’s Onion Salt is made up mostly of granulated onion, but there’s also granulated garlic, minced onion, kosher salt, green onion, and dried chives.is this combination of the Trader Joe’s onion salt. It’s not too salty either.

The Simply Organic Chicken Grilling Seasons is also perfect for most savory recipes, not just chicken. It also has some onion and garlic but also has almost every dry herb you can think of – sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, black pepper, fennel seed, coriander, peppermint and bay leaf.

Cook the fish for about 2-3 minutes per side.
It should still be partly raw in the center. Cook the fish in batches until it’s all partly cooked. Transfer the fish to a plate while you prepare the vegetables.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Preparing the Vegetables:

Oh, just look at all those colorful vegetables! I really love having an abundance of vegetables in this recipe, but if you prefer, you can add less vegetables.

Prep all the veggies. Peel and halve the onions, and then thinly slice them. Peel the garlic and then mince them or use a garlic press.

Peel and grate the carrots, thinly slice the celery and julienne the bell pepper.

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and grate the tomatoes on a box grater. This is a really neat trick to quickly “puree” the tomatoes and remove the skin at the same time. Instead of grating the tomatoes, you can put them through the food processor or blender, or even chop the tomatoes.

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, or tomato sauce.
I think the grated fresh tomatoes has the best flavor and texture. Not only are the fresh tomatoes less acidic and have a sweeter flavor, but they create a really delicious “sauce” for the vegetables.

Heat another Tablespoon of butter or oil on medium high heat and add the onions, carrots and celery to the skillet. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables soften. 

Add the bell pepper, tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper as well and more dry herbs and seasoning that you like. 

Cook for another 8-10 minutes. 
Add the fresh herbs once the vegetables are off the stove.

Why the Extra Step of Precooking the Fish and Vegetables Before Baking?

I know it may seem like a complete waste of time, but believe me, this is actually a really important step. First of all, sautéing the fish and the vegetables will add extra flavor to the overall dish and it will have a much better taste. Second, the vegetables and the fish cook at different rates and the fish would be completely overcooked LONG before the vegetables would become tender.

I only sear the fish very quickly on both sides. The fish is still raw in the center when you put it in the oven. Also, if you would put the fish in the oven raw, it will exude a lot of excess liquid, which it doesn’t when you sear it on higher heat in a skillet. Otherwise, the dish would be quite watery. Sautéing the vegetables in a skillet first creates caramelization, brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and significantly cuts down on the cooking process.

Baking the Fish and Vegetables

Spread half of the vegetables on the bottom of the baking dish that you will be using. It really doesn’t matter what kind of baking dish you use as long as it’s rimmed, deep and can be covered. You can use aluminum foil to cover it.
Place a layer of fish over the vegetables.
Spread the remaining vegetables over the fish.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt over the vegetables. This step is completely optional, but I think it adds a nice creaminess on top of the fish and vegetables, but you can completely omit it, if you prefer.

Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes.

We are basically heating it all up evenly all the way through to the center, and then only waiting for the fish to cook through, which doesn’t take long at all. The vegetables are already cooked.

You can also do all the prep work ahead of time, assemble the fish and vegetables in the baking dish and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. In that case, you will need to bake this dish longer, 40-50 minutes.

Print

Baked White Fish and Vegetables

  • Author: Olga's Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Entree

Description

The juiciest, most tender baked white fish with vegetables, using just about any firm white fish that you’d like – cod, tilapia, haddock, bass, catfish, grouper, etc. The fish is baked in between layers of onion, carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes and fresh herbs. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs of firm white fish (tilapia, swai, cod, etc)
  • 23 Tablespoons oil (grape seed, avocado, olive, sunflower, etc) or butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 34 carrots, grated
  • 23 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and grated or chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, julienned
  • 35 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 12 Tablespoon mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, optional
  • 1/21 Tablespoon fresh parsley, dill, basil, minced

Instructions

  1. Cut the fish into smaller pieces and blot it dry with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. 
  2. Heat about 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat, season the fish on both sides with salt, ground black pepper and any combination of your favorite seasonings.
  3. Cook the fish for about 2-3 minutes per side. It should still be partly raw in the center. Cook the fish in batches until it’s all partly cooked. Transfer the fish to a plate while you prepare the vegetables.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Prep all the veggies. Peel and halve the onions, and then thinly slice them. Peel the garlic and then mince them or use a garlic press.
  6. Peel and grate the carrots, thinly slice the celery and julienne the bell pepper.
  7. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and grate the tomatoes on a box grater. This is a really neat trick to quickly “puree” the tomatoes and remove the skin at the same time. Instead of grating the tomatoes, you can put them through the food processor or blender, or even chop the tomatoes.

    If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, or tomato sauce.

  8. Heat another Tablespoon of butter or oil on medium high heat and add the onions, carrots and celery to the skillet. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables soften.
  9. Add the bell pepper, tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper as well and more dry herbs and seasoning that you like. Cook for another 8-10 minutes. 
    Add the fresh herbs once the vegetables are off the stove.
  10. Spread half of the vegetables on the bottom of the baking dish that you will be using. Place a layer of fish over the vegetables. Spread the remaining vegetables over the fish.
  11. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt over the vegetables. This step is completely optional, but I think it adds a nice creaminess on top of the fish and vegetables, but you can completely omit it, if you prefer.
  12. Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes.

    We are basically heating it all up evenly all the way through to the center, and then only waiting for the fish to cook through, which doesn’t take long at all. The vegetables are already cooked.


Notes

You can do all the prep work ahead of time, assemble the fish and vegetables in the baking dish and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. In that case, you will need to bake this dish longer, 40-50 minutes.

Keywords: baked fish with vegetables, baked cod with vegetables, fish and vegetable casserole

This is an updated version of the Baked White Fish and Vegetables recipe that was published originally on January 13, 2014. The recipe is the same with updated pictures. 

109 Comments

  • elena

    This looks so yummy . My husband likes to go fishing, so we always have fish at home, i will definitely make this at sometime. I absolutely LOVE that baking dish, where did u find that? Thank u for all urge recipes 🙂

    • olgak7

      This particular one we’ve been making for years in our family, Natalya. Cooking and food are a passion of mine, and something I really enjoy, so it’s only natural for me to come up with many different combinations. I’m so glad you this recipes attracted your attention.

    • Lana

      I made this for dinner and it was delicious! My mom used to make something similar (with less veggies) but I totally forgot about this dish. The added veggies were wonderful and definately better to have more! The only thing I added was a tablespoon or two of tomatoe paste, as I like a little more tomato flavor/sauciness.
      Thanks for the great recipe, Olga!!

  • mrachka

    I’ve been making this recipe for some time, but I never used celery, I wonder if the celery gives it a different taste??

    • olgak7

      Well, it’s not going to make a mind-blowing difference in taste, but I do like the addition to this dish. It adds a great texture and nice mild, aromatic flavor. Of course, it’s a matter of presence, as all things food related are.

  • Tina

    I have the same baking dish…exactly the same and I love it! your recipe in it looks lovely :)) I will have to give it a try…looks delish!!

  • Oksana

    Oh wow. This looks amazing. I’m going to have to buy fish this week. I make similar (Love the tilapia fish), except I’ve only used onion, carrots, and tomato paste. We are trying to incorporate more veggies in our foods, and I can tell that this dish will definitely be a favorite. The picture speaks so much flavor and aroma as soon as I saw it. Thanks

  • Marjorie

    Yum! 🙂 I’m not much of a fish person myself, but this looks incredible! 🙂 Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes for us mere mortals. 🙂

  • Natalie

    Looks yummy! Definitely on my to-do list this week! Just a quick question – do you put 2 carrots sliced and then 3-4 carrots grated as stated in ingredients?

    • olgak7

      Hi Natalie,
      That was a typo. Just 3-4 shredded carrots, not 2 carrots sliced (that was supposed to be 2 onions sliced). I fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

  • Masha

    Do you serve this over something? I believe I saw a post that you made rice pilaf with something but I dont think I saw a recipe on your blog of rice pilaf ? I was wondering if you have a good recipe for a rice pilaf….

  • Lidiya

    I made this last night and it was delishes! I substituted with mushrooms, carrots, cheese, diced tomatoes and some tomato juice. I also made some pasta and placed it on the bottom, and topped it with fish and the sauce. It was soooo good! My husband even asked if there are left overs left for next day =)

  • Lorna

    Hi Olga
    My Mum is Russian, born in St Petersburg in 1916, and one of my middle names is Olga! I love your website and have copied several of your recipes onto my laptop; they remind me of the food my Mum used to cook for us.
    I’ve just copied this one and notice another typo, in No.11 in the instructions. You have ‘spread a think layer….’ Should that be thick or thin? I hope it’s thick, that’s what I’ve put in my copy.

    • olgak7

      Hi Lorna! I’m so glad that this food brings good memories to you. Food is like that isn’t it?
      It’s actually “thin”, but you can certainly make it thick:).

  • Mila L.

    I made this yesterday and I have to say, this was so delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it. When I told my husband that I am making cod, he said “oh, that fish doesn’t really taste good” but once I finished and had him try it, he couldn’t stop eating it. So, this is definitely a winner. Thanks for sharing since are trying to incorporate more fish into our diet.

  • Laura

    Hi Olga! I found your website last week when I was looking for a recipe for kasha. That was yummy and this baked fish was delicious too. I’m always looking for new ways to cook fish. And I’m excited to try more Russian recipes; I grew up near Pittsburgh and became really fond of Eastern European cuisine, but didn’t grow up cooking it in my family, so I’m never sure where to turn for a good recipe. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading through your recipes and posts this past week or so and am looking forward to cooking up more good food. Thanks!

  • Svetlana

    Hi Olga,
    I made this dish and it was absolutely delicious. I love fish and it’s just beyond words how good this dish is. Mine just didn’t look as attractive mayo on top looked cottage maybe I put more mayo or maybe cause it was covered with aluminum foil. But it was still delicious . Thank you for your recipes.

  • Masha

    I made this dish yesterday…both me and my husband liked it..and my husband is picky eater.. i served it over jasmine rice but next time i would leave the celery out.And mayo didnt spread so well so i had to mix it in.

  • Lana

    Hi, I was wondering if it would be alright if I prepare everything and leave it in the refrigerator for the night and then bake it the next day? Or would it be better to cook the vegetables and fish leave it in the refrigerator for the night and then assemble and bake it the next day?

  • Teresa in Texas

    I made this delicious recipe, in addition to several others from your blog, for a Sochi Olympic Watching Party. This recipe was by far the favorite of all our guests. I not only had a great recipe for our Russian-themed night, but now I have a new recipe to add to my monthly rotation of meals. I’m looking forward to spending time on your delightful blog and discovering more treasures!

  • Georgene Makivich Koenig

    I am not a fish eater; the only fish I can tolerate is fresh lake perch sauteed in butter. But I have to tell you, I made this recipe with cod, and Olga, you have converted me. If this is fish, then fish is for me. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I enjoy your blog, and I look forward to your posts on facebook. You are remarkable!

  • Yana P

    The minute I saw you posted this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Not sure why it took me so long but I finally gave it a shot today and . . . WOW!!! This is, no doubt, my favorite way to eat fish now. I love all the vegetables used here and how they go so well together. I cooked the veggies for much longer on the stove to soften them even more & the flavors were out of the world. Thank you for providing amazing and reliable recipes!

    • olgak7

      You’re welcome, Yana! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this fish. I love including LOTS of veggies in dishes that I cook; I’m glad to hear that you are a fellow vegetable appreciator as well:).

  • Mia

    i made this fish dish this sunday with hake loins fish and it was really good! 🙂
    everyone liked it a lot! 🙂
    thank you so much! 🙂

  • Mila

    lol i speled my name wrong its mila not mia lol
    im starting to think of menu for easter cuz this year is my bday and easter on the same day and its on sunday so i need to make good menu! and i definitely making this fish! it is so good!
    ur recipes is really good! i make like each day or week something new from ur site! 🙂
    thanks for good recipes 🙂

  • natasha

    Olga, have you ever tried adding zucchini to this dish? I LOVE zucchini, wondering if they will work out in this dish or turn into total mush? please let me know what you think. This will be my third time making this fish 🙂

    • olgak7

      I love zucchini too, but I think it would get mushy in this dish. However, maybe if you added it raw, it would be ok, but it will exude a lot of liquid as it cook and it would make the whole dish more watery.

    • olgak7

      You can, but you will have to cook it longer and the finished dish will be much more watery, since the fish will exude some liquid while it’s cooking.

  • Elizaveta

    Made this the other night and loved it! We used cod and paired it with mashed potatoes! Thank you for another amazing recipe! ))))

  • Alina

    This looks so delicious 🙂
    I have been on Natasha’s kitchen and loved it but dunno why but your looks so warming and I quite like it more? 🙂
    We live in Australia 🙂 so I’ll have to share your site with my friends 🙂
    My hubby is from USA… 🙂
    But we are both russian 🙂
    I hope to be trying all your recipes they all look amazing… If only I had more time!!! 😉
    Look after yourself

    • olgak7

      Awww…. You’re so kind:). Thank you so much for visiting my website and for sharing it with others. It’s a pleasure to “meet you”, Alina.

  • Maria

    Hi Olga. Firstly, I want to compliment you on your food blog and your writing style. It’s is both informative and entertaining. Secondly, I wanted to share that this recipe reminds me of a method of cooking white fish which my Sicilian American family makes. It sort of a Mediterranean version of your dish. It uses fennel, onion, calamatta olives and Roma tomatoes and is baked over a bed of thinly sliced potatoes and bell peppers which have been partially per cooked. Everything goes in the oven and comes bubbly and delicious.
    I will definitely try your recipe. Thanks again for your hard work. Your blog is my new favorite.

  • suzanne

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I have subscribed to your website and im sure I will not be disappointed. We, my family, eat healthy, vegetable dishes. We do not eat red meat so you can understand how nice it is to find new, delicious recipes with a variety.
    On a more personal note, I too am a nurse mom and wife and must admit the days are full. Dont know how you manage to offer such a good website, but happy I discovered it

    • olgak7

      Welcome, Suzanne! I’m so glad that you found my website and are finding it helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. It means a lot to me.

  • olga

    Hi Olga,
    Is this fish recipe for the bigger clear rectangular deep dish, I think it’s 9×13 or the smaller one?

  • Daniel

    Thank you for post. I love the pictures, they help a lot when cooking but i love the most the one where you are cooking 🙂

  • Lisa Sawyer

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was yummy. My dinner guest thought so too, and it actually smelled wonderful cooking, not fishy. Halved the recipe and used pollock, garlic, red onion, celery, grated carrot, grated sweet potato, and fresh green beans – basically for the veggies, I used what was on hand. You could get very creative with this one.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    Lisa

  • Katya

    Olga – thank you very much for the recipe. Does the cooking time need to be adjusted if I am using small individual pots, ramekins-size type (gorshchiki)? Thank you

    • olgak7

      Most likely, since it will take less time to cook through, Katya. It really doesn’t need too much time to cook, since basically the fish and the vegetables are both mostly cooked before they even go in the oven.

  • Larisa

    Question. Made this a couple of times and follow the recipe exactly. It’s delish every time but for some reason has a ton of water after its done cooking. Your pic looks like there is no water. Any idea why? Thank you!

    • olgak7

      Sure you can Shannon. However, salmon has a tendency to dry out very easily, so I would definitely try not to over cook it. As soon as you put it in the oven and the whole thing becomes hot and you can see some bubbles around the edges and I would turn it off right after.

  • Pamela Thompson

    Just made this dish, and it was DELICIOUS. I followed the directions to the letter until I got to the LAST step and made a huge “mistake.” Without double-checking the amount of yogurt to spread on top, I just plopped about three quarters of a cup on top (following my cooking instincts) and spread it out thinly as directions stated. When it came out of oven, it didn’t look like the picture in that the yogurt covering was still layered on top. That’s when I realized my “mistake, ” and I was so disappointed until I tasted it. It was STILL wonderful. This is going to be a staple dish in our household. My husband, who is usually skeptical of my new recipes, really liked it as well.
    Thanks so much!!!!

  • Lynda Reid

    I would love to make your baked white fish and vegetable recipe today but I would need to freeze it first for a dinner party I’m having in a few weeks. I have fresh cod in the fridge and would like your opinion on how to proceed.
    Would you prepare the whole meal and not cook it right away but freeze it with the yogourt topping on top? Or would you cook it first and then freeze it and I’ll have to put it in the fridge for 24 hours before the party to reheat?
    Which way would it be best?
    Thanks for your help!
    Lynda

  • Zummi

    I was looking up a recipe for leftover carrots and celery and this page came up – I was not disappointed. It was soooo good. My husband thinks that cod is a really bland fish but after eating this dish he said “This is the best thing you’ve ever made!”! I added a little bit of chili to give it some spice and a small can of tomato puree. The rest I follwed your recipe exactly. The leftovers were out of this world! Thank you so much!

  • Nelya

    Just made this, it was excellent! Just made a few changes. Didn’t sauté the fish, also spread the fish with kale pesto (I was trying to use up kale and basil – recipe at Epicurious. (For the top layer, I mixed pesto with plain yogurt.) Baked at 400 for 22 minutes covered, then broiled for a few minutes uncovered after sprinkling Parmesan cheese on top.

    • olgak7

      I used a 13 x 9 inch baking dish in the picture, but I’ve used many different sizes over the years. If you use a smaller baking dish, just arrange the fish and vegetables in the baking dish in layers.

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