Baked Bluefish

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

baked bluefish
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
Elise Bauer

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!. Elise Bauer

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 blue fish on a plate
Elise Bauer

Baked Bluefish

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 2 to 4 servings

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


  • 1 (1/2- to 1-pound) bluefish fillet

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 to 5 very thin slices fresh lemon

  • 3 pats butter (about 1 teaspoon each)

  • Several sprigs fresh herbs such as tarragon, thyme, fennel fronds, and/or parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried herbs such as Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence)

  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.


Smoked Bluefish Paté from Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

baked bluefish
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
229 Calories
18g Fat
2g Carbs
13g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 229
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 394mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 385mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.