I always have a bunch of frozen, individually-wrapped fish fillets in my fridge from Costco because my husband and son like to eat it plain with just some olive oil and lemon and baked in the oven but sorry – there’s no way I’m eating plain, frozen fish with just lemon squeezed over the top. Just not going to happen…
But I like to order fish when we go out so I thought of my favorite restaurant fish dish and tried to copy it. It’s Halibut Veracruz from Los Hermanos restaurant in Provo and Orem, Utah. My husband and I have been going to that restaurant since we first started dating 20 years ago (has it really been that long?). All but one of my children loves this, which is a success in my opinion. It’s become a staple in our house and I hope it will be popular in your house too.
If you want to use frozen fish like I sometimes do, then I recommend you put this in the oven. It will take longer to cook, but you can just ignore it while it’s baking, so that may be a good option for you. Just put it in a 350 oven until the fish flakes easy with a fork, usually between 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.
But if you have fresh and/or unthawed fish, I think that it is much quicker and easier to just keep cook it in a frying pan on the stove top. That way, the fish gets a really nice, beautiful golden color on top. Tilapia cooks so quickly that this dish can really be made in about 15 minutes, if you use Italian-style crushed tomatoes. I really like to use Italian style crushed tomatoes (San Marzano) for this dish because they are much more concentrated and rich in flavor. They are not watery at all so you do not need to cook them as long because you don’t need to reduce any liquid.
And then if you want to make it a complete meal and get some more veggies in the dish, I love to add zucchini or summer squash in the dish. When I do that and want to eat Paleo, I don’t eat miss rice with the dish. If you can eat rice, then it goes well with this. Use white or brown rice, or even quinoa or cauliflower “rice.”
This easy roasted vegetables recipe is my #1 way to cook vegetables. I’m obsessed and you will be too. Try it with any recipe.
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I'm finally not afraid of cooking fish! Basically all I do is put my favorite frozen fish in a pan, like tilapia, halibut, mahi, etc. and cover it with the tomatoes, etc. (I leave out the green olives usually) and bake it in the oven. Or I follow the directions on this recipe and cook fresh fish in the pan and it tastes better, but it's a little more work so I usually only do that for guests. The fish turns out moist and the sauce hides the fishy flavor and tastes good on roasted vegetables.
- 2 Tbl Olive Oil
- 6 Tilapia Fillets or other white fish
- Real Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 small Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Anaheim Chili, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 Leaves Bay
- 1/2 tsp Oregano, chopped
- 2 Cups crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup Green Olives
- 2 Tbl Capers
- Lime wedges for serving
Heat the oil in an large skillet to medium/high.
Salt and pepper both sides of the fish, pressing it in lightly with your fingertips.
Add the fish to the hot pan and let cook until slightly golden brown on the bottom, 3-4 minutes.
Turn the fish carefully and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side.
Remove the fish and place carefully on a plate.
Add the onion and chili to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften.
Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Add in the bay leaves, oregano, crushed tomatoes, green olives, and capers.
Bring to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add the fish back in to the pan and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, until fish is fully cooked. Remove bay leaves.
Serve with lime wedges for squeezing on top of the fish.
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