Truth be told, fish is always low on my list of dinner choices. Somewhere just above calves liver. I love shellfish, though. I’ll wolf down fried clams, shrimp risotto, and seared scallops any day of the week. And I’ll bravely eat oysters and mussels in months without an “r” in their names. Old folk wisdom be damned.

Whenever The One suggests fish for dinner, my response is always the same: “Blech.” It takes some mighty creative mental gymnastics on his part (and some pretty hard-assed negotiation about who’ll do the dishes) to get me to the table.

The weird thing is, once I actually sit down and eat fish, I like it. I really do. So, technically, I’m not fish averse. I just have anticipatory aversion about the possibility of having aversion to fish for dinner…. God, I’ve had too much therapy.



The word "David" written in script.
Four fillets of baked fish with almonds, lemon, and bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet.
Kate Sears
1 of 12

Baked Fish with Lemon Bread Crumbs

Baked fish is boring, yes? No. Not this lovely little weeknight number with bread crumbs that proves just how spectacularly tender and tasty baked fish can be.

This baked fish is so delicious and so simple it barely qualifies as cooking! I used sourdough bread for the crumbs and lime because that’s what I had. Worked perfectly with ling cod, and I suspect most fish would be just fine.

I have lots of the crumb mixture stashed in the refrigerator; just another reason to make this again very soon. I’m looking forward to trying it with hazelnuts.

Thanks for this gem of a recipe!

A white plate topped with a pile of lemony salmon pasta, sprinkled with chives.
Sarah Flotard
2 of 12

Lemony Salmon Pasta

This lemony salmon pasta is an easy weeknight meal that combines leftover cooked salmon with pasta and a creamy lemon sauce. A quick and elegant weeknight winner.

This salmon pasta is delicious. Roasted asparagus on the side for a spring meal.

A metal sheet pan with 4 salmon fillets covered with gremolata, beside a pile of cherry tomatoes and diced red onions.
Kate Sears
3 of 12

Sheet Pan Salmon with Tomatoes and Red Onion

I love the huge flavor you get from roasting the cherry tomatoes, and how the heat of the oven mellows out the red onion, making this effortless sheet pan salmon a superb dinner.
A parchment-lined baking sheet with four roasted cod fillet on top of roasted potatoes slices and topped with lemon slices.
Daniel J. van Ackere
4 of 12

Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Lemon

This roasted cod with lemon and potatoes is an easy yet elegant dinner made simply by slicing potatoes and topping them with the fish fillets and a little butter, thyme, and lemon. The whole shebang is roasted in the oven. A cinch.

WOW! This roasted cod was FANTASTIC!!! It’s so simple and yet so tasty. Extra bonus points for a meal that finishes in the oven, so I have time to clean all of the dishes before we eat.

The potatoes are really good with the garlic, and precooking in the microwave guarantees they will be fully cooked and a bit crispy in just a matter of minutes in the oven. My four-year-old loved it too!

maria g.
A white plate white 2 pieces of fish, one sliced and one whole with crisp skin attached. Garnished with slices of lemon, lime, and parsley.
Nassima Rothacker
5 of 12

Pan-Seared Fish Fillet

Pan seared fish fillet. It’s what’s for dinner. Pronto. And so easy to make and tastes so darn delectable with its lemon butter sauce that you’re going to completely forget it’s good for you. Here’s how to make it.
A rimmed baking sheet with fish in parchment and a fish spatula resting beside it.
Jonathan Gregson
6 of 12

Fish in Parchment

This fish in parchment is a healthy method for cooking fish to delicate perfection along with summer squash, zucchini, and olives in a buttery white wine sauce. And it makes just one serving, though you can easily multiply the ingredients to make more.
A halved fancy tuna melt with tomato and cucumber on a baguette on a piece of parchment.
Kate Whitaker
7 of 12

Fancy Tuna Melt

A fancy tuna melt is definitely the best kind of tuna melt. Swiss (or Gruyere) cheese, cucumber, tomato, and a splash of lemon juice, all served on a warm baguette. This isn’t your Mama’s tuna sando.

Amazing tuna melt recipe!I I put it on a thinly sliced everything bagel-yum!

A pink plate with air fryer miso-glazed salmon
Katie Newburn
8 of 12

Air Fryer Miso-Glazed Salmon

Baking is one of the more foolproof ways to prepare salmon—it always comes out beautifully tender. Here, it’s topped with a savory-sweet miso glaze that bakes on during the last few minutes of cooking. For a light and nutritious dinner, serve this with quinoa or rice and a salad or slaw alongside.
Two ancho fish tacos in a metal dish with lime wedges and chipotle mayo on the side.
Time Inc. Food Studios
9 of 12

Ancho Fish Tacos

These easy, healthy fish tacos are loaded with spiced grilled fish, tangy coleslaw, and a chipotle lime mayonnaise.

Every bit of these tacos hits the mark — the ancho spice, the slaw, and the chipotle mayo. I made them when my best friend came down to visit from Vermont, and when she went home, she made them again! Super easy and absolutely delicious!

Fish fillets on a sheet pan with roasted tomatoes and black olives.
Gentl + Hyers
10 of 12

Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives

Baked fish with tomatoes and olives is sorta Italian, sorta Mediterranean, and completely easy and impressive. Works wonderfully on crazy weeknights as well as dinner parties.

I have made this baked fish dish easily 10 times. It’s so easy, and the outcome is delicious.

I use whatever tomatoes I have on hand and make it a point to leave them in the oven longer than the 20 initial minutes to get more flavor out of them. I also have doubled the tomato/shallot/garlic combo because we used to be left wanting more with the flounder. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

Salmon burgers in a cast-iron skillet, beside a plate with a salmon patty on a bun, topped with Sriracha mayo, avocado, and diced red onion.
Beatriz Da Costa
11 of 12

Salmon Burgers

These salmon burgers, made with salmon, scallions, salt, and pepper—no fancy fillers—and topped with pickled shallots, avocado, and Sriracha mayo are healthy, easy, and guaranteed to satisfy your burger craving.
Two pieces of breaded fish fillets sprinkled with salt on a grey plate with a portion of steamed broccoli and a fork.
Ditte Isager
12 of 12

Breaded Fish Fillets

These breaded fish fillets are coated in breadcrumbs and gently pan-fried in oil and butter until crispy, flaky, and golden. They’re as fast to make as the frozen boxed variety yet taste infinitely better.

Cooking Fish FAQs

How can I tell if fish is cooked properly?

Properly cooked fish should be opaque throughout and flake easily with a fork. If it’s still mushy or doesn’t come apart easily, it’s undercooked. If you prefer to check the temperature, the FDA recommends fish be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).

What types of fish have the mildest flavor?

If you’re trying to incorporate more fish into your diet, but haven’t acquired a taste for strongly flavored fish, start with mild, white fish. Tilapia, cod, halibut, grouper, and flounder are all good choices.

Some of our favorite mild fish recipes include baked tilapia, buttery lemon flounder, steamed halibut, and roasted cod with potatoes.

How can I tell if my fish has been sustainably caught?

Look for the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) logo on the packaging. This certification ensures that the fish was sustainably caught.

How do I avoid a fishy smell in my home when cooking fish?

The easiest way is to take the cooking outdoors if you can. We’ve got some great tips for grilling fish, if you’ve got access to a grill.

If the great outdoors isn’t an option for you, try lighting a scented candle to mask the odor. Some folks swear by a boiling pot of water and vinegar. They say it helps to clear the air, if you will.

These are a few of our favorite ways to create easy fish dinners. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our entire collection of fish and seafood recipes.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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