Traditional recipes

Veracruz-style fish recipe

Veracruz-style fish recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Baked fish

Fish fillets are baked in a tomato sauce with onion, red peppers, capers and green olives to create this Mexican fish dish.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1kg plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 250ml tomato puree
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 20 pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed
  • 60g butter
  • 8 thick white fish fillets
  • 6 pickled banana peppers, sliced or pickled jalapeño pepper slices

MethodPrep:35min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onion and garlic, until softened. Add tomatoes and pepper; let them simmer for a few minutes. Stir in tomato puree; simmer for another few minutes.
  2. Add stock cube, cinnamon, salt and pepper, bay leaves and oregano. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add olives and capers and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste and remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a large rectangular baking dish.
  4. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper; cook in hot butter in the pan until browned on both sides, just one or two minutes.
  5. Arrange fish fillets in prepared baking dish, in one layer; pour the sauce over the fillets. Distribute sliced peppers on top. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(10)

Reviews in English (1)

by Soup Loving Nicole

Made as written and these were good. Next time I'd skip the whole cooking the fish in butter and trying to flip them. They fall apart way too easy and the fish got overcooked in the end. I'll just melt the butter and pour it over the fish instead. Good recipe but you really have to like tart to like this. The combo of capers, green olives, and banana peppers brings out the pucker power for sure.-15 Nov 2018

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, 6 left whole, 4 very finely chopped
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds), finely chopped, or two 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), coarsely chopped, with their juice
  • 24 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced if large
  • 4 to 6 pickled jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons small capers
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh marjoram, or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried marjoram
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground canela
  • 1 cup dry white wine

In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add whole garlic cloves, and cook, stirring, until golden on all sides. Remove garlic and discard. Add minced garlic and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Add olives, chiles, capers, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, marjoram, oregano, salt, canela, and wine. Cook until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If using fresh whole herbs, remove and discard before serving.

Tilapia Veracruz Style

This recipe for “Tilapia Fillets Cooked Veracruz Style” is a shortcut to the original recipe of “Red Snapper Veracruz Style”, where the whole fish is cooked in the sauce. When prepared this way, you will have dinner ready in less time and will still be able to enjoy the same authentic flavors of the whole fish version. You can use another type of fish fillets instead of tilapia fillets, since not every fish is available in your areas.

This is a dish that my husband loves. The combination of tomatoes, olives, capers and herbs is a very versatile mix if you check the recipe for Chicken Veracruz Style, it is very similar to this one. Have some crusty bread ready to dip into the savory sauce when it’s done.

The State of Veracruz has one of the best cuisines in Mexico its gastronomy has great influence from Spain from the time of the conquest. Some regions show very particular influence from France, and other parts of the state have a unique cuisine with an African influence due to the number of slaves brought to the country during those times.
If you are a frequent visitor to the blog, you are familiar with the step-by-step pictures with the instructions, but guess what, for this recipe, there will be no pictures of the step-by-step process. Somehow, I erased them from my camera! But, no need to worry, I know you are all great cooks and will do just fine with the instructions.

Tilapia Veracruz Style


  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until onion is slightly transparent. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cover frying pan. Cook for 8 minutes to allow the tomatoes to release their juices. (Please check the ingredients list below)
  • Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano, jalapeño peppers, olives, capers, and white wine to the frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and keep cooking for 4 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the sauce to reduce.
  • Gently add the fish fillets, spoon some of the tomato sauce over them, and cover with lid again. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until fish is cooked.

Serve drizzled with olive oil alongside white rice, or overcooked pasta. Serve with crusty bread.

Red Snapper, Veracruz Style

Place drained tomatoes in medium bowl. Using potato masher, crush tomatoes to coarse puree. Drain again, reserving juices.

Step 2

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir 30 seconds. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add tomato puree and cook 1 minute. Add bay leaves, parsley, oregano, and 1/4 cup reserved tomato juices. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Add olives, raisins, capers, and all remaining reserved tomato juices. Simmer until sauce thickens again, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread 3 tablespoons sauce in bottom of 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange fish atop sauce. Sprinkle fish lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon remaining sauce over. Bake uncovered until fish is just opaque in center, about 18 minutes. Using long spatula, transfer fish with sauce to plates. Garnish with pickled jalapeño halves.

Veracruz-Style Fish

Pair this dish with your favorite steamed, grilled, or roasted veggie. If you don’t have a grill pan, this recipe works well under the broiler or on the stovetop!

  • Author: Pam Fullenweider
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • 4 (6 ounces) Tilapia or Red Snapper fillets
  • cooking spray
  • ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • red chili pepper flakes
  • 4 lime wedges


  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 (16 ounces) can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Coat both sides of fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle fish with cumin, salt, and red pepper to taste. Heat grill pan to medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place fish on a grill pan and 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  2. Combine cilantro, olives, salsa, beans, and tomatoes.
  3. Serve fish with salsa mixture and a lime wedge


If no grill pan is available, this recipe works well under the broiler or on the stove-top as well!

Keywords: Fully Mediterranean, Mediterranean diet, fish recipes, dinner recipes

Super Easy 30-Minute Fish Veracruz Recipe

I developed this healthy baked fish Veracruz recipe after I ate halibut Veracruz at a restaurant and loved it. It's easy to make in just 30 minutes. I have been looking for a healthy fish recipe that tastes good.

I haven't seen very many recipes for tilapia in the past that I thought I could actually make and that I would want to eat. What is it that's so intimidating about cooking fish?

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 as 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 F oven until the fish flakes easily with a fork, usually between 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.

If you have fresh and/or unthawed fish, I think that it is much quicker and easier to just keep cooking it in a frying pan on the stovetop. That way, the fish gets a really nice, beautiful golden color on top. Baked 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. 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 fish, I don't eat 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."


Backyard Farms

4-6 oz whitefish fillets, (i.e. Cod, Red Snapper or Halibut)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
¼ cup olive oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 Backyard Farms Tomatoes on the Vine, diced
2 cups green manzanilla olives, halved
2 teaspoon spanish capers
2 teaspoon black raisins
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
¼ cup pickled jalapenos (jalapenos en escebeche or store bought)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Backyard Farms Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced (optional garnish)


Lightly pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel and evenly season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the fillets into a glass baking dish and cover with the fresh squeazed lime juice. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot and begins to shimmer. Stir in the onion slices and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic to the pan and continue to cook the mixture for another minute and the garlic begins to cook. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture for an additional 10 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the olives, capers, raisins, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and pickled jalapenos to the pan. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade and gently nestle on top of the sauce. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Gently flip the fish and cook the other side for an additional 4 minutes until the fish is opaque and begins to flake. Remove the bay leaves, oregano and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, taste and season with additional salt if desired and serve. Optional garnish &ndash 12 slices of grilled tomato.

Recipe by Shannon Bard, Executive Chef of Zapoteca in Portland, ME

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  • Calories 245kcal 12%
  • Fat 4.4g 7%
  • Saturated fat 0.8g 4%
  • Carbs 13.3g 4%
  • Sodium 1197mg 50%
  • 5.2g sugar
  • 5.1g fiber
  • 39.2g protein
  • 63mg cholesterol

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No Fail 30-Minute Veracruz-Style Baked Fish

I’m not big on baked fish. When I get a good piece of cod or salmon, halibut or snapper, I’d rather grill or pan fry.

But with the change in seasons and a busy fall, I find myself turning on the oven more often. It’s the first step to a simple sheet pan supper or baked potato bar.

And this is a one-pan baked fish supper you can make in 30 minutes. It takes me back to the coast of Veracruz where I ate a seafood diet for a whole week.

It is a lively, full-flavored fish dish with roasted tomatoes, olives, capers and a little heat in the diablo fashion. And because the ingredients are so bold, it’s perfect for frozen fish fillets (defrosted in the refrigerator or in cool water.)

Any white fish will work here, including cod, rockfish, tilapia, snapper, bass or pollock. Just be sure the fillet is at about one inch thick so that there’s a good 10-minute window to cook it with the sauce.

Why no-fail? With this recipe, the fish will never be dry. So you don’t have to worry so much about the timing. Once the fish flakes, it’s done. And it can hold in a low oven until everyone is ready to eat.

Scoop up servings of fish and sauce to serve over steamed rice, couscous or cauliflower rice. It’s also wonderful scooped into the best-quality corn tortillas.

This is a simple supper that’s special enough to call some friends over at the last minute this weekend. They can bring the Tecate. Buen provecho!

What simple suppers are you making in your oven? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook .