Baked Bluefish

New EnglandLow CarbFish and Seafood

Bluefish fillets baked in foil with lemon, white wine, butter, and herbs.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The first time I encountered bluefish was in the Massachusetts kitchen of my friend Jill. Her famously unflappable son John was practically beside himself with anticipation of diving into one of the fillets his mom had prepared.

I had never heard of bluefish, which are indeed blue, both outside and in.

They’re an east coast fish, we don’t have them on the west coast. Their season is short and they spoil very quickly, so you have to get them fresh and eat them right away. Bluefish are considered sport fishing fish because they are so aggressive.

baked bluefish in serving dish

Oddly to me, the fish isn’t that popular to eat. Perhaps because if it’s good it’s great, and if it’s off, it’s really rank.

In any case, it can be had cheaply. I bought this big fillet for $2.79 a pound. The bill came to $1.89, which is just unheard of for good fish where I live.

The fish is an oily fish, so if you like canned tuna, sardines, mackerel, you’ll be right at home with bluefish. Otherwise, stick to cod or sole.

girl holding platter with cooked bluefish

My goddaughter Piper LOVES bluefish!

For this preparation of bluefish, we’ve baked it in foil with lemon, butter, herbs, and a little white wine. The lemon is particularly important to cut the fattiness of the fish.

Bluefish is also excellent grilled or smoked.

Do you like bluefish? How do you prepare it?

Baked Bluefish Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4

You can also add a layer of thinly sliced fennel to the fish.

Ingredients

  • One bluefish fillet (1/2 pound to 1 pound)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 5 very thin slices of fresh lemon
  • 3 pats of butter (about a teaspoon each)
  • Several sprigs of fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, fennel fronds, and/or parsley (or a teaspoon of dried herbs such as Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence)
  • 3 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Place fillet skin-side down in foil-lined-roasting pan: Cut a piece of foil large enough to enclose the bluefish fillet. (You can double layer the foil if you are working with thin foil). Place the foil in a roasting pan. Rinse the bluefish fillet and place it in the center of the foil, skin side down.

bluefish fillet bluefish fillet on foil

3 Add salt, pepper, lemon slices, butter, herbs: Sprinkle the fillet with salt and pepper. Lay a layer of thin lemon slices on top of the fillet. Arrange pats of butter along the top of the fillet. Lay several sprigs of fresh herbs on top of the butter and lemon slices.

bluefish lemon slices butter on foil bluefish ready to be cooked

4 Add white wine and lemon juice, seal foil packet: Create a boat shape with the foil around the fish so that liquid does not leak out. Pour white wine over the fish, and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Crimp the edges of the foil together so they are relatively sealed.

bluefish-5.jpg bluefish-6.jpg

5 Bake: Place in the 350°F oven (or you can put the foil packet on the grill) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or so, until the fish is cooked through and opaque.

6 Serve: Carefully lift the fillet from the foil and place on a serving dish. Pour the cooking liquid over the fish to serve.

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Smoked Bluefish Paté from Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

baked bluefish

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

54 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lauren

    I went deep sea fishing last night and caught 9 large blues. I was truly overwhelmed about how to cook all that fish knowing they don’t keep well. This recipe was perfect! Easy and delicious! I soaked the fish in milk over night to cut the oily ness I also added capers to the recipe. They came out perfectly light and fresh.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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  2. Mar

    I’m going to try this bc I don’t have a grill but my kids are out fishing for blues. My dad used to grill bluefish with grainy mustard and tarragon. Easy and you!

  3. Dana

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My 10-year old daughter caught a 10-pound bluefish and recently and I have been very wary to cook it. I can’t wait to try this! Any suggestions for side dishes? I’m thinking some asparagus and garlic potatoes.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. HELENE SPIERMAN

    This recipe is wonderful! The combination of ingredients balances the fish perfectly. I had always been unhappy when I used wine in cooking any fish; not so this time. I see that there has to be a relation between the wine, lemon juice, butter and herbs.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Rita

    Having grown up on the Jersey Shore with a father that liked to fish, I grew to despise bluefish with a hate of a thousand burning suns!!!! I found this recipe after getting tired of all the other fish and bluefish is relatively cheap, so I gave it a try.
    I took the liberty of tweaking this recipe and added minced garlic, onion and a little minced jalapeno(cuz I like it spicy). I now cannot wait for bluefish night!! Thanks for this great recipe!

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