Fish Puttanesca is a super healthy and delectable quick and easy dinner. Loaded with fresh flavors, you can use any mild white fish, and it's ready in 30 minutes.
Fish Puttanesca is a quick and easy way to get an outstanding meal on the table with little effort. So it works well for busy weeknights -- but, it's definitely impressive enough for casual entertaining on the weekends.
Usually Italian Puttanesca sauce includes tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic. And traditionally it's served with spaghetti -- Spaghetti Puttanesca.
This Fish Puttanesca dish is not an authentic Italian dish -- the sauce is made without anchovies and garlic. It's scrumptious!
Ingredients for Fish Puttanesca
(Often I suggest brands I love and use — they're only suggestions, this is not a sponsored post.)
- Sole - I like Petrale Sole fillets for this recipe. The fillets are usually only about ½-thick so the cooking time is especially short.
- crushed canned tomatoes - Try to choose the best quality canned tomatoes. This is one of my favorites, and here's why.
- Kalamata olives - For this recipe, it's best to buy already pitted Kalamatas.
- fresh basil - Bunches with smaller (baby) leaves are typically more tender.
- red onion - Try to choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- extra virgin olive oil - I like this one.
- capers - You will find capers in a variety of sizes. I prefer the smallest (non-pareil).
- chili flakes
- salt - I bake and cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper - Freshly ground is best.
How to Make it
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- The Sole works really well in Fish Puttanesca -- it's a mild, somewhat delicate white fish that's flaky. You can substitute it with Cod, Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, Flounder or Sea Bass. All of these will have more or less the same cooking times, depending on their thickness.
- If you don't want to turn the oven on, you can follow the same instructions in a very large skillet -- for the cooking time, cover the skillet and keep the heat at low-medium.
- As I mentioned above, use the best quality canned tomatoes you can -- for any dish, starting with the most delicious ingredients will always give you the best results.
- Be sure to serve Fish Puttanesca with something to soak up the excess sauce. Crusty bread, rice, pasta or potatoes will all do this beautifully. And you can always throw in a tasty light salad for good measure. 😉
- You can make any of these suggestions during the time the fish is baking.
Can you make it ahead?
- The Fish Puttanesca sauce can be mixed up to two days ahead of time.
- Don't add the fish and bake until you're about twenty minutes away from serving, as it's best right out of the oven.
- Keep the sauce wrapped tightly in the refrigerator, and bring it to room temperature before baking the fish.
Enjoy every last bite!
More quick and easy fish dinners:
- Smoky Tomato Fish Stew
- Light Spring and Summer Fish Stew
- Broiled Cilantro Chimichurri Dover Sole Recipe
Fish Puttanesca Recipe
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- ¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
- 2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed, dried, roughly chopped
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons capers
- ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes, depending on the amount of heat you want
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ pound Sole fillets (or other mild white fish like Cod, Tilapia or Bass)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Set the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F and adjust a rack to the center.
- Make sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes to a 9 x 13 x 2 - inch baking dish. Add the olives, basil, onion, capers, chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Mix to blend all of the ingredients and remove about ⅓ of the mixture and set it aside in a bowl.
- Add fish and bake. Lightly sprinkle the fillets with black pepper and then add them to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce you set aside over the tops of the fillets. Place in the preheated 375°F oven and bake just until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Serve. Serve the fish over the pasta, rice, potatoes, or alongside a crusty bread.
Christina | Christina's Cucina
I had something similar last year in Italy (with baccala), Valentina! So delicious!
Hi Christina! Must be so delicious with Baccala. And of course, everything is better in Italy. 🙂 ~Valentina
I love puttanesca and I love so I definitely will try this recipe.
Thanks, Gerlinde. I hope you love it! 🙂 ~Valentina
Appetizing recipe I'll definitely make during a very busy week coming up. Thanks ! Well, cannot get sole, but . . . since I am living somewhat like a hermit at the moment stovetop will be easier and I am certain you will understand if anchovies ARE included . . . love them too much to omit ! Perchance the first day with just salad adding some pasta to anything left over on the next . . .
Hi Eha! I love anchovies too so yes, yes, add them. Hope all is well! 🙂 ~Valentina
Lovely. I love capers on fish, and tomatoes and capers on fish sound even better! Great recipe.
Thanks so much, Mimi! Hope you love it. 🙂 ~Valentina
Howdy Valentina, What a great idea and recipe. We love spaghetti puttanesca and have it often during the cooler months. But, baking a fine white fish in the sauce is a brilliant idea.
Our fishmonger truck comes to our square on Thursdays, so this will be made that next week. I'm hoping to find some fresh rödspätta (plaice fish) for this dish. Thanks for the inspiration and have a grand Labor Day Weekend...
Hi Ron. This might sound funny, but I love that you live where you have "a square." 😀 I hope you enjoy the recipe and that you had a great weekend. too. ~Valentina
David Scott Allen
What a perfect and beautiful recipe. Valentina — thank you so much! Of course, I love that it has no garlic - especially with such a delicate fish as sole. I plan to make this later in the week - will report back! Thanks!
Enjoy and thank you, David. It packs in a lot of flavor for a quick dish. 🙂 ~Valentina
Linger, Kristy Murray
I have never made Puttanesca before which is sad to say but I am so intrigued with your Fish Puttanesca Recipe. I'm gonna have to make it now. I have cod in my freezer along with everything else except fresh basil. My herb garden is pretty much gone now. I will gladly run to the store for it because this recipe is next on my meal list.
Thanks, Kristy. Hope you enjoy it! Happy weekend. 🙂 ~Valentina
Brilliant! Making this next time I have some mild flaky fish. Love baking fish. It's so easy, but this ramps it up to another level.
Hi Patricia! Thank you so much. I hope you love it! 😀 xoxo Valentina