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Baked Fish with Lemon & Caper Crust

This makes an impressive dish for a dinner party. If you’re nervous about filleting a whole fish in front of guests, this is just as delicious made with fish fillets.


  • 1.5–2 kg firm-flesh fish, whole or 8 fillets (such as snapper)

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • oil spray

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 4 potatoes, peeled, cut into even chunks

  • 12 cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup black olives, pitted

  • chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 1 cup coarse sourdough breadcrumbs

  • 3 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 2 tbs capers

  • 1 lemon, zested


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 180°C. Scale, gut and clean the fish if necessary.

  • 2.

    Rinse and wipe dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season inside and out.

  • 3.

    Make 2–3 slashes through the fish to ensure it cooks evenly (when using whole fish only).

  • 4.

    Spray a large ovenproof dish with oil, lay the fish inside then set aside.

  • 5.

    Heat a frying pan sprayed with oil over low–medium heat.

  • 6.

    Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until softened.

  • 7.

    Remove onion and garlic from pan and set aside.

  • 8.

    Place potatoes in same pan, spray with oil and cook over medium–high heat for 5 minutes or until well browned.

  • 9.

    Return onion and garlic to pan and mix well to combine. Transfer potato mixture to the ovenproof dish and place around the fish.

  • 10.

    Scatter with cherry tomatoes and olives.

  • 11.

    Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

  • 12.

    Meanwhile, to make the topping, spray a frying pan lightly with oil and cook the breadcrumbs, tossing often to prevent burning.

  • 13.

    Transfer to a bowl. Add parsley, capers and zest and stir to combine.

  • 14.

    Once the fish has cooked, remove foil to sprinkle with crust topping and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 5–10 minutes or until topping is golden and crunchy and the fish is just cooked. (The fish should flake easily when tested with a fork in the thickest part.)

  • 15.

    Serve straight from dish, sprinkled with parsley.


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