Easy Baked Orange Roughy Recipe

Kate Shungu, the home cook and hostess behind Gift of Hospitality, a site devoted to vintage recipes for modern cooks, has a special affinity for orange roughy, and who could really blame her? Orange roughy is, after all, a wonderfully mild, delicate, and some say pleasantly sweet-fleshed white fish whose flavor has been compared to that of lobster (it even has the nickname of "poor man's lobster," according to Find Any Answer). However, it's not just the lovely taste and texture that Shungu appreciates when it comes to orange roughy. 

As Shungu tells us, she is also a big fan of how quickly orange roughy cooks. "I like that orange roughy cooks quickly, which makes it a great weeknight meal," she explains. Of course, there's also the easy of prep and the bright flavors. So, who is ready for a wonderfully flavorful, light, and healthy but satisfying weeknight meal that comes together in about 30 minutes?

Gather your ingredients

For this easy orange roughy recipe that serves four, you'll need a pound and a half of orange roughy, which will probably be about two fillets. You will also need two pints of cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), 3 tablespoons of olive oil (divided in half), 1 teaspoon of salt (divided in half), ¼ teaspoon of pepper (divided in half), and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs. For the chopped herbs, Shungu suggests basil, parsley, oregano, and/or thyme, in any combination thereof. Also, Shungu points out that you should feel free to use frozen orange roughy fillets, but to avoid a mushy finished product, you'll want to fully defrost them first and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water.

Shungu found her orange roughy at a specialty fish store, but advises, "If you can't find orange roughy, tilapia would make a great substitute."

Preheat your oven and prep your herbs

Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. While your oven heats up, chop and otherwise prep the herbs you have selected. Shungu's handy-dandy method for chopping leafy herbs such as parsley and basil is to "roll them into a log (do the best you can — it won't be perfect)." Then run a chef's knife through the rolled herbs. This method is known as "chiffonade." 

For herbs such as thyme and oregano, with respect to which only the tiny leaves are useful in most recipes, you can strip the leaves using a box grater, or you can simply slide your thumb and forefinger lightly down the stem, which should strip most of the leaves off. In most cases the leaves will be so tiny they do not require further chopping.

Sprinkle some herbs on your tomatoes and bake for 10 minutes

Place your cherry tomatoes into a 7x11-inch baking dish, and drizzle them with half of the olive oil. Then sprinkle on half of the pepper, salt, and herbs, and toss gently to coat all of the tomatoes. When your oven has reached 400, place the baking dish into the oven, and set the timer for 10 minutes. At the end of 10 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven. The tomatoes won't look all that different from raw tomatoes, Shungu points out. However, this is an important step because for the finished product, you'll want the tomatoes bursting to release their juices, which takes slightly longer than it takes to cook the fish through. Pre-baking the tomatoes will give them the head start they need.

Assemble your orange roughy and herbs over your herbed tomatoes

After you remove the baking dish from the oven, place the fish fillets right on top of the tomatoes. Then drizzle the fillets with the remaining oil, and sprinkle with the remaining pepper, salt, and herbs. Place the baking dish back in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes. 

At the end of 15 minutes, use a fork to test the consistency of the fish. It might take longer depending on the thickness of your fillets. It's ready "if [the fish] flakes easily with a fork," explains Shungu. If it doesn't, put it back in the oven for another five minutes. Then serve immediately. Shungu suggests serving this dish with rice because by the time it's finished cooking, the tomatoes will be bursting and releasing their juices, and rice will soak up those lovely juices.

If you should end up with leftovers, they can keep in the fridge for two to three days. 

Easy Baked Orange Roughy Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
If you've never tried orange roughy before, you're in for a treat! Perfect for a weeknight meal, this dish comes together in just about 30 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
easy baked orange roughy
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, oregano, and/or thyme, divided
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1½ pounds orange roughy fillets (defrosted if frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Prep and chop the herbs.
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes in a 7x11-inch baking dish.
  4. Drizzle the tomatoes with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt, half the pepper, and half of the herbs. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake the tomatoes for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven, and place the fish on top of the tomatoes.
  7. Drizzle the fish with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle on the remaining salt, remaining pepper, and the remaining chopped herbs.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, and then check to see if the fish flakes easily with a fork. If not, bake for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately.
Calories per Serving 253
Total Fat 11.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 102.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.4 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 4.6 g
Sodium 713.0 mg
Protein 29.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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