Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Roasted Fish Base Recipe

Roasted Fish Base Recipe

This easy roasted fish base recipe doesn't contain measurements – you don't need them! Season the filets & roast at 400F - 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
roasted fish base recipe topped with lemon and herbs

This is one of our base recipes. This roasted fish base recipe contains very few measurements because you don’t need them! It is meant to be simple and basic. Jazz up the roasted fish to YOUR taste; that’s the point of our base recipes!

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Culinary Tips for the Best Roasted Fish

When cooking any type of fish in the oven, a good rule of thumb is to heat your oven to 400°F and cook fish for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

Should you cook fish with the skin on or off? For this recipe, it doesn’t matter. When you roast/bake fish in the oven with the skin side down, the skin doesn’t get crispy, so it’s not very appealing to eat. However, it does separate easily from the fish once cooked (and is a great treat for good dogs!). 

Remove small pin bones before cooking using fish bone tweezers; these are no fun to bite into!

A good fishmonger at your local grocery store can help you with the pin bones and skin. Don’t be shy to ask for help!

Blot the fish dry with a paper towel before rubbing on spices to remove excess moisture and to prevent steaming.

If using a spice rub, let the spices sit on the fish for ~15 minutes before cooking for better flavor development. If your spice blend contains salt, there is no need to use additional salt.

Drizzle non-fatty fish with extra virgin olive oil to help keep the fish moist.

If using dried herbs, sprinkle on the fish before cooking, as they need to re-hydrate.

Cook the fish to an internal temperature of 145ºF for food safety.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Fish: use any fish of your choice – barramundi, cod, halibut, salmon, tilapia, etc.

Base Recipe Variations

Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste! Keep it simple or spice it up!

Use these additional ingredients for even more flavor.

  • Spices or Dried Herbs: use any single spice or combination of spices and herbs – taco seasoning, curry powder, garam masala, ras el hanout, Italian seasoning, etc.
  • Garlic: substitute ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon garlic flakes, ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder. Rub on the salmon for best flavor development.
  • Pesto: use homemade or store bought. 
  • Fresh Herbs: use any fresh herbs – basil, cilantro, chives, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, or thyme. We don’t recommend fresh rosemary, as this is a heartier herb that benefits from cooking.
  • Olive Oil: substitute avocado or canola oil.
  • Lemon or Lime Wedges: substitute bottled lemon or lime juice.

Want some fish recipe inspiration?

Use these recipe variations for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors and ingredients to YOUR taste!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

Find all of our favorite kitchen tools here!

Health Benefits of Fish

Fish is a quality source of protein that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and sometimes healthy fats. The American Heart Association recommends eating two, 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 total ounces per week for the general population.

What Types of Fish are Considered Fatty?

Salmon, albacore tuna, herring, and mackerel are examples of fatty fish. Non-fatty fish examples include cod, halibut, barramundi, mahi mahi, pollock, and tilapia. Fatty fishes are especially high in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for heart and brain health. Non-fatty fish provides lean protein – a great way to reduce total fat in the diet.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions

Roasted fish is a great protein option for wraps, bowls, or salads. Serve alongside roasted vegetables and a whole grain such as brown ricequinoa, or farro to make a beautiful Whole Life Plate!

Serve leftover salmon cold on top of a green salad or reheat in the microwave.

Storage Tips for Leftover Fish

Cool leftover fish completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

You can also freeze leftover fish. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating. When ready to heat and serve, place on a pan and cover. Place in a cold oven, then preheat the oven to 350ºF. Once the oven reaches 350ºF, check the internal temperature of the fish. If it is 145ºF or above, it’s ready to serve. If it is not yet 145º, continue cooking for a few more minutes.

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Easy Roasted Fish with lemon and garlic

Roasted Fish Base Recipe

This is one of our base recipes. This roasted fish recipe contains very few measurements because you don't need them! Simply season the filets and roast at 400ºF for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings


Base Recipe

  • ~1 pound fish, whole or individual filets (with or without skin)
  • Dash salt & pepper

Additions to YOUR taste

  • 1-2 teaspoons spice(s) or dried herbs
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh herbs
  • 1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper, nonstick spray, or a light brush of oil.
  • Place fish filets skin side down (if skin on) on baking sheet. Blot the fish dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using, rub on seasonings and top with garlic. For less fatty fish, drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Roast 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. Fish should flake easily with a fork and internal temperature should reach 145ºF.
  • Top with optional pesto, garnish with fresh herbs, and/or serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!


If using a spice rub, blot the fish dry with a paper towel before rubbing on spices to remove excess moisture and prevent steaming. Then, let the spices sit on the fish for ~15 minutes before cooking for increased flavor development. 
Check out these recipes for flavor inspiration!
Baked Pesto Salmon
Moroccan Spiced Salmon
Mexican Fish with Cumin and Lime
Moroccan Fish with Cilantro and Lemon
Keyword Roasted Fish

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Helen Lossett

    Wow! very very informative article. learned so many things. keep the things up.

    1. Lexi Cole, RD, CCMS

      Thanks for taking the time to read it; we hope it helps you cook delicious fish! Be sure to leave the recipe a review once you do. 🙂

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