This Baked Mahi Mahi has lemon tomato-caper sauce in every bite. It's light, healthy, loaded with fresh flavors, and lovely for both busy nights and casual entertaining.
In just 30-minutes, start to finish, with a handful of simple ingredients, you can be serving this beautiful oven Baked Mahi Mahi dish. The sauce, made mostly from lemons, capers and tomatoes, is baked with the fish. It'll make you want to savor every bite, and also creates a colorful presentation.
While I love sautéing certain types of fish to get a nice seared skin, baking fresh Mahi Mahi is easy and it's a fantastic method that will preserve its natural subtly sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture.
(I often suggest brands I love and use — these are only suggestions and this is not a sponsored post.)
- Mahi Mahi fillets - Always buy the freshest fish possible. If you have a specialty fish market near you, that's probably your best bet. The flesh should be firm and pinkish-beige in color. Mahi Mahi fillets often have some darker spots, which is perfectly okay, though that part might have a slightly stronger flavor. Don't hesitate to ask the fish monger to skin and/or portion your fish for you. They will almost always be happy to do this.
- fresh tomatoes - Ripe tomatoes should be slightly firm, but have a little give when gently squeezed, and they should have a deep red color (or whatever the color is intended to be).
- extra virgin olive oil - I like this one.
- shallots - Shallots are slightly more mild and delicate than red onions. Try to choose those that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- capers - Capers are unripened pickled green flower buds of the Caper Bush. Capers taste tart, tangy and salty, and they're delicious paired with lemon and fish.
- garlic - Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which are an indication it's old. (Pro tip: if there are green shoots in garlic you already have, just cut the cloves in half and remove them with the tip of a paring knife. The rest of the clove should still be good.)
- lemon zest
- lemon juice - I always use Meyer lemons over regular lemons when given the option. Meyer lemons are a touch less tart and a bit sweeter. And with a thinner skin and fewer seeds, they are incredibly juicy.
- salt - I cook with Kosher salt. I prefer it because of its larger flake size, it doesn't typically contain additives, and it does a great job enhancing the flavor of foods without making them taste salty.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground black pepper.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
Substitutions and Variations
- Garlic. If you want to skip the garlic, use an extra tablespoon of the shallots.
- Shallots. 3 tablespoons of red onion can substitute the shallots.
- Capers. You can use roughly chopped green olives instead of capers, or Kalamatas for a stronger flavor.
- Okay, so this is a Baked Mahi Mahi dish -- however, Black Cod, Sole, Tilapia or Sea Bass would also go well with the Lemon Tomato-Caper Sauce. (Cooking times will vary, depending of the fish.)
- The thinner you slice the tomatoes the better, so they'll lie perfectly on top of the fish fillets.
- As with most fish, it should be removed from the oven when it's almost cooked all the way through. The center of the fillets should be ever so slightly translucent -- just about opaque, but not 100%. If you're not sure, check by using a sharp knife to cut through the thickest part of one of the fillets.
How to Make it
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and adjust a rack to the center.
- To make the sauce, combine capers, finely chopped shallots, minced garlic, lemon zest lemon juice and olive oil in a small mixing bowl.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch, or slightly smaller baking dish. Season both sides of the Mahi Mahi fillets with salt and pepper. And add them to the pan, being sure some of the sauce is beneath each one.
- Place 2 to 3 tomato slices on top of each fillet.
- Then evenly distribute the remaining sauce on top of the tomatoes.
- Place the pan in the preheated 425°F oven and bake just until the fish is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Let it cool for just a couple of minutes, spoon some of the sauce from the pan over each fillet and then serve.
What to Serve with Mahi Mahi
- This baked Mahi Mahi is especially lovely over rice, as it deliciously soaks up the sauce. It's fantastic served on top of Roasted Garlic Basil Brown Rice or Saffron Rice with Fresh Dill, which would make for an even more stunning presentation.
- You can see in my photos that I love it over broccolini. I love the way it adds a punch of color to the plate, just as broccoli or asparagus would. It would also be incredibly tasty with grilled green onions.
- And Italian Herb Bread would also be a lovely accompaniment.
More Delicious Fresh Fish Recipes
Mahi Mahi FAQs
Mahi Mahi is also known as Dolphin Fish.
Typically from tropical and subtropical regions of the world, Mahi Mahi is a firm, lean saltwater fish that's quite healthy -- it's high in protein, low in fat, and rich in nutrients.
While baking it is my preference, Mahi Mahi can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, broiling, and sautéing.
Mahi Mahi is a mild fish with a slightly sweet flavor.
There are a few methods for thawing frozen fish.
1. The day before you want to use the frozen fish, put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. This is the best method.
2. If you don't have time to do it that way, you can thaw it by placing it in a zip-lock bag, in a bowl under a very light stream of running tepid (not warm or hot!) water. Depending on the amount and thickness of the fish, this should only take about 30 minutes.
3. You can also place frozen Mahi Mahi in a zip-lock bag and submerge it in a bowl of cold water for about an hour. Again, timing will depend on the amount and thickness of the fish.
I hope you love this beautiful easy baked Mahi Mahi dish as much as my family and I do.
Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe
- ⅓ cup capers, drained
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 generous teaspoon lemon zest (from one medium-sized lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from one medium-sized lemon)
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ pound tomatoes, washed, dried, thinly sliced
- 4 (approximately 5-ounce) Mahi Mahi fillets (preferably wild caught)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and adjust a rack to the center.
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the capers, shallots, garlic, lemon zest lemon juice and olive oil.
- Assemble. Add a couple of tablespoons of the sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch or slightly smaller, baking dish. Season both sides of the Mahi Mahi fillets with salt and pepper. Then add them to the pan, being sure a bit of the sauce is beneath each one. Place 2 to 3 tomato slices on top of each fillet. Then evenly distribute the remaining sauce on top of the tomatoes.
- Bake and Serve. Place the pan in the preheated 425°F oven and bake just until the fish is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool for just a couple of minutes, spoon some of the sauce over each fillet and then serve.
What a perfect meal! I have never cooked mahi-mahi - gonna get myself down to Whole Foods because I think this will be Christmas dinner!
Harrumph. Mark said "no" for Christmas (he wants beef) but said "yes" for Boxing Dau!! Yay!
What time shall I show up? 😉
Wow this was so tasty! I have to admit that, since I cannot eat garlic and Mark has a little trouble with raw or undercooked onions, I sautéed the shallots a bit before making the marinade and I also added chopped kalamata olives to make up for the missing garlic. Hope you don't mind! 🙂 Also, I did photograph it and would love to post on it in the spring, as long as a.) you don't mind my changes, and b.) I link back to your post/blog? xo
Yes to holiday busy! And an even bigger yes to taking time to make a healthy and delicious dinner! A very appealing and flavorful mahi-mahi recipe!
Thanks, Deb. Hope you can take time out to enjoy! XO
Yum! Fish definitely says comfort food, to me. This recipe is right up my alley 🙂
Thanks so much, Alanna. Enjoy and happy holiday's!
Can this recipe work with other fish?
Hi Anissa, yes it would also be great with Tilapia, Flounder, Cod, Sea Bass... Hope you try it. 🙂
I like sautéing the lemon tomato caper goodies (with a splash of white wine) in a pan and serving it on top of/or next to our grilled fish. That way all the flavors have a chance to meld and the fish isn't sitting in liquid. This is our go-to recipe! I imagine it would be just as fantastic with chicken or steak.
Adding fresh basil during the summer is always an option 🙂
Thank you for this awesome recipe!!
Thakns, Jessica -- yes would be delicious with chicken and meat. YUM! 🙂
You made this mahi-mahi look so pretty! Love the recipe.
Hi Mimi! Thank you. 🙂 Enjoy. ~Valentina
Have eaten mahi-mahi in Hawaii but never sighted it at fish markets here. Looked iit up . . . yes, it can be caught in our northern climes but is usually only caught by sports fishermen! Lord knows why!!! Do like your recipe and shall find another beastie from the local waters !
Hi Eha! So happy you'll likely be able to get it. I love "bestie from the local waters!" Thanks for visiting! 🙂 ~Valentina
this sounds like my kind of recipe except for the tomatoes 🙂 I do love a baked fish dish. I like to make a tray bake with salmon or barramundi.
Thanks so much, Sherry. If you skip the tomatoes it'll still be delicious, and it would also be great with Salmon or Barramundi! 🙂 ~Valentina
Velva-Evening With A Sandwich
Valentina, this is beautiful way to eat healthy and delicious. Thanks for for sharing it with us.
Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!
Gorgeous! I need more meals like this in my life!