Sheet Pan Flounder with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Arugula

Overhead shot of flounder with tomatoes, olives, and arugula on a sheet pan.
Overhead shot of flounder with tomatoes, olives, and arugula on a sheet pan.

The sheet pan meal is revolutionary in theory. Like the Communist Party or leggings that look like jeans, the idea has the potential to disrupt our daily lives but hasn’t really worked in practice.

A complete dinner cooked in one pan, subjected to one heat source, for probably too long results in uneven cooking and lackluster flavor.

Or so they said.

This recipe contains all of its ingredients in one pan, but adds them at different times and in different layers to really show off the best that each element has to offer. Sometimes it’s better that we aren’t all treated equal.

Overhead shot of flounder with tomatoes, olives, and arugula on a sheet pan.

The tomatoes? They get roasted first, for the longest, to draw out their sweetness and concentrate their juices into a savory liquor.

Garlic, olives, and lemon are added to the pan at the same time and threaten to outshine the glistening tomatoes, but end up complementing them instead.

Roasting the olives mellows their flavor and dries them out slightly, creating a subtle chew that adds nice texture. 

Finally, thin filets of flounder get draped over everything and spend just enough time in the oven to turn shockingly white and flaky. Piles of fresh arugula top the fish after it comes out of the oven. The greens stay bright and crisp but heat through slightly.

It all finishes with a drizzle of golden olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of flaky salt. Dinner comes to life in a colorful, flavorful revolution.

Overhead shot of flounder with tomatoes, olives, and arugula on a sheet pan.

You can make this with any kind of thin fish filet, such as tilapia, flounder, or sea bass. You could try it with a meatier fish like cod, but might need to cook it a bit longer. 

You absolutely could serve this with toasted, crusty bread such as ciabatta or a hearty country loaf. You’ll have plenty of succulent, roasted tomatoes to mop up once the flounder is finished, and a tear of bread works better than a spoon.

Piles of olive oil-slicked, roasted tomatoes scented with garlic, olive, and lemon, seeping into a hot piece of bread is one of the best variations on bruschetta you will ever have. 

It’s like getting an extra dinner out of one sturdy pan- a revolutionary idea that tastes as good as it sounds.

Sheet Pan Flounder with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Arugula

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Serves: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

A fast, flavorful, healthy weeknight dinner, all in one pan. It's a revolution.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup olives (any kind you like!), smashed and pitted
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced, plus juice from the other half
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 lbs flounder, tilapia, sea bass or other thin white fish (4-6 filets)
  • 10 oz arugula
  • Flaky sea salt optional, for serving

Instructions

1

Heat the oven to 425. Scatter the garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, olives, and lemon slices on a large sheet pan (reserve the lemon juice). Drizzle on olive oil (about ¼ cup) and season with salt (about ¾ teaspoon) and black pepper. Roast until the tomatoes start to pop and krinkle and give off some of their juice, about 15-20 minutes.

2

Take the sheet pan out of the oven and lay the fish on top of the tomatoes. Season it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast 8-10 minutes and check for doneness, it’s ready when the fish is opaque and flakes easily. It may need 5 minutes more depending on the thickness of your fish.

3

Take the sheet pan out of the oven and scatter the fresh arugula over everything, drizzle with more olive oil, then season with salt and the reserved lemon juice.

4

Serve with crusty bread and additional lemon slices if desired.

Nutrition

  • 370 Calories

Notes

I love a bright, acidic Pinot Gris with this dish; it allows the subtle flavor of the fish to really come forward and doesn't compete with the succulent tomatoes or salty olives.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Rick
    December 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    OMG! This looks so delicious~ I can’t wait to make this recipe!

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