All the Ways You Can Cook Fish in the Oven for a Quick Dinner
When you need a quick weeknight dinner, fish may not be the first thing that comes to mind but it can be part of a simple and healthy meal any day of the week. Fish is incredibly nutritious, as it's packed with protein, vitamins such as D and B2, minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Another plus? Seafood cooks quickly, making weeknight meals a cinch. All a simple fish fillet really needs is a speedy turn in the oven and it's ready to pair with whatever starch or vegetables are on the menu that night.
Nearly all varieties of fish do well in oven, whether baked, roasted, or broiled. Fish's flesh is more delicate than most other proteins; their muscle fibers are short and the collagen dissolves very quickly while cooking, which is what allows fillets to bake up to tender perfection in mere minutes. A firm whitefish, like the cod or halibut used in our Crispy Oven-Baked-Fish Wraps, maintains its moist, meaty texture in a hot oven. Another recipe we love is our Baked Fish with Summer Squash, pictured above, which pairs flaky fish fillets with zucchini and tomatoes for a meal that's ready in 10 minutes. Start a pot of rice to cook before you prep the fish and dinner is on the table before you know it.
Looking for other ways to prepare fish in the oven? Wrapping your fish in a tight parchment package (known as "en papillote") ensures fillets remain moist and cook evenly. Thin fillets like flounder or sole work wonders in this quick-cook method, but we love wild-caught salmon as well, like in our Salmon and Zucchini Baked in Parchment recipe. Roasting is also a great way to make quick work of a side of fish. Our editors love to roast a whole side of salmon in a blazing oven just until the flesh is opaque and the fish begins to flake.
There's another big plus to cooking fish in the oven—in fact, some might say it's the best part: Odor elimination! Unlike when you sear fish on the stovetop, baking, roasting, or broiling in the oven traps any fishy smells, so your dinner won't linger into the next morning.
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