Baked Sole Fillets with Herbs and Bread Crumbs

Seafood is wonderful. It’s usually almost laughably easy to prepare and tastes delightfully light and fresh. For some reason, a lot of people are intimidated to try making seafood at home. Maybe because it looks and tastes so aristocratic and cultured. I’ve got great news for you! Fish is probably one of the easiest (and fastest) dinner options. The #1 thing to remember is not to overcook the fish.

As soon as I saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, I just knew that this would become one of my favorites. Sole is a very mild and delicate fish. It is very thin, so it’s perfect for rolling into cute little bundles, which gives the excellent opportunity to infuse the fish with mild, aromatic flavors, like garlic, herbs, and lemon throughout the fish.

You know how breadcrumbs become soggy and gloppy when you bake them on top of a dish? Not a problem with this recipe. The breadcrumbs are cooked separately until they are golden and crunchy and then sprinkled on the fish minutes before it’s ready. Some of the breadcrumbs are set aside and sprinkled on top of the fish when serving, for a fresh crunch. Genius!  


  • 2-3 Tablespoons parsley minced
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chives minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • salt, pepper
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 (about 6 oz each) sole fillets or you can use flounder
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the minced garlic on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Take the garlic butter off the heat. Cooking the garlic will make it milder and not so powerful and robust. Pour all but 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a small bowl and set aside.Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and put the 1 Tablespoon of butter back in the skillet.  Add the panko bread crumbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden. Add 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon of minced herbs to the breadcrumbs. Set aside. Mix the rest of the minced herbs with the lemon zest.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels. I had a hard time finding sole fillets, and the only ones I found were very small, so I just cooked them less. I used flounder one of the times, and it turned out perfectly. You can only use thin, flat fish for this recipe. The other fish will not be able to roll properly. If you use smaller fish, serve two per person, and reduce the baking time.

Season each side with salt and pepper. Lay the fish with the narrow end pointed away from you. Spread a thin layer of  mustard on each fillet. Sprinkle with the minced herbs and lemon zest.  Drizzle about a teaspoon of the garlic butter over each of the fillets. Roll up the fillets tightly, starting with the widest side. You don’t need to use toothpicks of kitchen twine to hold the fish together. It keeps it’s shape beautifully, because it’s so flat. Place seam side down on a baking dish and drizzle the rest of the butter over the fish bundles. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the center of the fish is 135 degrees. When the fish is 135 degrees in the center, (you’ll need to cook it for 15-25 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is) sprinkle half the breadcrumb mixture over the fish and cook for 5 more minutes, uncovered.

Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs right before serving.




    • olgak7

      You won’t be able to roll up the tilapia, since it’s a thick fish. However, you can spread it with mustard, sprinkle on the herbs, drizzle the butter on it and bake it without rolling it, and at the last minute add the breadcrumbs.

    • olgak7

      Hi Irina! For this recipe you need very thin, flat fish in order to roll it up properly. You can substitute flounder, but snapper is a little bit to thick. You can still make this recipe, just cook it the same way without rolling it up.

  • Lea's Cooking

    Wow!!! I like this recipe. Rolls are such a cute idea. I will make it this weekend for my guests:)))))
    I love your picture and this plate is soooooo beautiful 🙂

    • olgak7

      I wouldn’t use perch, Alla. I don’t think it will roll up really well. Sole or flounder is a very thin and delicate fish, you don’t even need any effort to roll it up. I think perch is a little too firm for this. However, I’ve never tried it. If you ever do, let me know how it turns out.

      • Alla

        I ened up using perch b/c the store didn’t have Sole or flounder and perch was only $1.99/lb. I ended up being able to roll it up fine (although its a little thick) but then I wanted to stick a toothpick in to secure it and I couldn’t b/c of the tough skin. By the time they had baked, all the “rolls” unrolled and ended up looking like pretzel stick twists… 🙂 I liked the flavor of the breadcrumbs, herbs, lemon, etc. but not the actual perch so much. It was very… bland even with all that flavoring. All in all, I will not be using perch again but I have some Salmon in the frezer and maybe I’ll do this with salmon, just left flat?

  • Madz

    I just cooked this recipe for dinner and we loved it!! (Hubby just said, I’ve been promoted to be the chef in the house! Lol!) Im Cooking it on my daughter birthday party in July! Thanks =D

  • Alexx

    Excellent recipe! I followed each step exactly as you wrote and it turned really great. We served it with some red rice, and it was so light and delicious. Will certainly write a post about it! Thank you.

  • Anne

    This recipe looks fantastic. Used sole, wondering if it should continue to cook for 5 mins after 135 uncovered, or if you should have 135 as final cook temp….

  • Kylie

    HI Olga,
    This recipe was delicious! I followed your instructions exactly and the sole was very tasty! I did omit garlic as it does not agree with me and I did not have Panko crumbs so I used salad Croutons for crumbs instead. I enjoyed the end result just the same. I am on WW and this recipe was very points friendly. Thanks again for posting this recipe.

  • Lolita

    What a great recipe, but I did put a different twist on it…I put an asparagus spear in the middle of the sole, rolled it up and cooked it a few minutes more than you suggested. My family absolutely loved it! Both the asparagus and the fish came out perfectly! With a side dish of rice, it made a great meal! Thank you!

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