Dinner made real easy: on the table in 15 minutes, this Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce is all 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!
Two seconds before I hit “publish” on this post, I realised that it’s supposed to be Meat Free Wednesday today….?
Does fish count as meat free?
I’m just thanking my lucky stars that I didn’t write up the other recipe that I may have posted today – a big hunk of crispy skin pork belly. Oi. That would’ve been a shocker!!
I have a friend who declares herself a vegetarian but eats seafood. So hopefully this baked fish counts! 😉
You might think the title of this recipe is a bit odd and you would be right because I guess this recipe doesn’t really exist as such. I mean, I’m sure there are other people in this big wide world who make something like this. But it’s not a known recipe, if you know what I mean?
Because yes, this Baked Fish in Lemon Cream Sauce made in one baking dish is another one of my “hmm, I wonder if I….” recipes. 🙂
It took a handful of goes to get it right. As expected, getting the right sauce consistency was the main thing. Not just about adding a thickener – mustard in this case – but also heating up the sauce in the microwave before pouring it all over the fish. The reason this makes a difference is that cold cream and mustard mixed into melted butter = thicker sauce, much of which stayed on top of the fish while baking. This results in less pooling of the sauce in the baking dish which = watery sauce (i.e. ratio of sauce mixing with fish juice was lower).
Fish leeches an amazing amount of liquid when it bakes. You will be surprised.
Just for clarity, this sauce isn’t thick, like gravy thick. But it’s not watery. See? 🙂
I’m actually sharing this recipe after running a poll on Instagram Stories! Did you know that Instagram has live stories now, like SnapChat? They only last 24 hours, so they are very real and very live. I love it, I get to share the real me. Very unglamorous, very ordinary life, lots of cooking bloopers. Today you’ll see a sneak preview of an epic crispy pork belly coming up soon and snaps of giant Dozer squeezed into a teeny tiny convertible car!!
Anyway, I shared a sneak preview of both this and a pan seared crispy fish with lemon butter sauce and asked people which one they wanted me to share this week. And this Baked Fish with Lemon Cream Sauce won by a small margin.
It takes longer to heat up the oven than it does to prepare this recipe. Watch the video and see! (It’s below the recipe).
Dinner on the table in just 15 minutes. Tender, juicy fish with a creamy lemon sauce. A really fantastic way to make baked fish. YUM!!!! – Nagi x
PS Just to describe this sauce: The recipe implies that it’s rich but actually, it is not because the fish juices thins it out. I describe it as kind of light and fresh, yet a bit creamy. The mustard and cream are the thickener, so it isn’t watery. See Note 4 for tips if your sauce doesn’t come out as thick as you want. It really is so delicious, 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!
- 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 shallots / scallions , 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 below recipe 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. Any fillets about 1.5cm / 1/2" thick will work great with this. I have only tested this with thinnish fillets, like the Silver Dory (I think!) pictured that are quick to cook in the oven. I haven't tested it with thicker fillets like salmon - query whether the longer cook time and more space around the fish in the baking dish means more liquid required for the sauce.
If you use thawed frozen fish, 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. Or use a larger roasting pan - a metal one: heats up faster, and more exposed space between fish = faster sauce evaporation.
2. If you want to go healthier, the cream can be substituted with evaporated milk. If swapping with light cream, increase mustard by 2 tsp.
3. A little sprinkle of finely chopped scallions / shallots (or eschallots or even onions) really adds a little something-something to the sauce. But this can be omitted.
4. This sauce is not intended to be thick and gravy-like. It is a light lemon cream sauce, suited to fish. However, it should not be watery. The actual sauce consistency will differ depending on the fish that you use - different fish drop 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. Without the fish, the sauce 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.
Love how putting these videos together in fast forward not only means fast efficient cooking tutorials, it also means you can barely – just barely – see my Baby Hands. ???
**NOTE: Video says bake at 350F/180C, this is a typo, it works better at a higher temp of 390F/200C per recipe above.**
Yes, here on RecipeTin Eats, it’s Meat Free Wednesday, not Meat Free Monday. Because I do my major grocery shop on the weekends (never mind that I work from home and can do it any day of the week, I can’t shake old habits), I like to have fresh-meat meals early in the week, so I typically go meat-free in the latter half.
Hence Meat Free Wednesday, not Monday. And certainly not Friday because Friday is treat day.
I started Meat Free Wednesday because partway through this year, it dawned on me that I’d completely failed on my New Years’ Resolution to share more “green” things and vegetarian dishes. So I undertook to share one Meat Free Meal For Carnivores every fortnight. 2 weeks ago today, it was this Mushroom Pasta. Before that, it was Cauliflower Chickpea Curry. You can browse my entire Meat Free Collection here.
LIFE OF DOZER
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!!