Oven Baked Fish with Caesar Topping

This quick and easy oven baked fish recipe transforms the flavors of a classic Caesar salad dressing into a savory topping for your favorite variety of fish.

Made with mayonnaise, lemon, anchovies, garlic and parmesan cheese, the topping not only adds a lot of flavor, it also ensures that lean fish fillets like sole, flounder and tilapia cook up to be deliciously moist and tender.

Oven-Baked Fish with Caesar Topping

Oven-Baked Fish with Caesar Topping

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

For this easy recipe we adapted the flavors of a classic Caesar salad dressing to make a delicious topping for oven baked fish fillets like sole, flounder and tilapia.

Ingredients

  • 4 mild white fish fillets (about 1-1/4 lbs tilapia, flounder or sole)
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and mashed (or 1-1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste - see notes)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and coat a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Arrange the fish fillets on the pan in a single layer and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.
    Tip: If your fillets are thinner on one side, overlap them slightly when arranging on the pan to ensure even cooking.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice with the mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire.
  4. Whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy, then fold in the parmesan cheese.
  5. Use a spatula to spread the topping evenly over the fish, stopping about 1/4-inch from the edges.
  6. Season the top with a little freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of paprika.
  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Notes

Anchovy Fillets vs Anchovy Paste:

Always be  cautious when adding salt to a recipe that uses anchovies. They can be quite salty by themselves which is why we recommend rinsing and patting the fillets dry before mashing.

For convenience, you can also substitute anchovy paste for the anchovy fillets in this recipe.

Anchovy paste is a practical option when you only need a small amount of anchovy flavor in a recipe. It keeps for quite a while in the refrigerator too, so it's a nice ingredient to have on hand.

Four mashed anchovy fillets equals about 2 teaspoons. When using paste we cut that back a bit and go with just 1-1/2 teaspoons. Like the anchovy fillets, the paste is a tad salty, so be careful with your seasoning.

As far as brands go, we like both Crown Prince and Giovanni's anchovy paste. One of those two brands should be readily available at your local supermarket. Check the aisle where they stock the canned tuna.