This Sheet Pan Roast Fish recipe has a bit of Middle Eastern flare thanks to a homemade lemon tahini sauce and tender, roasted vegetables tossed with fragrant, fruity, Aleppo pepper (truly one of our favorite spices!).
Here’s why we love this recipe so much:
- Sea bass can seem intimidating, but this method of sheet pan roasting is quick, hands off, and largely foolproof. It doesn’t get much easier!
- Flavor! The combination of nutty tahini (ground sesame paste), bright citrusy lemon, and ever-so-slightly spicy Aleppo pepper give this dish a ton of flavor.
- Let the oven do the work! The beauty of a sheet pan dinner is that once it’s in the oven, you can sit back and relax. Or more likely, pour yourself a glass of wine…
We hope you give this easy weeknight fish recipe a try! The tender, flaky sea bass is definitely the star of the show and worthy of any dinner at home.
- Sea bass fillets: You can also use black cod for this recipe!
- Sweet onions: Peeled and thinly sliced. These will soften and become sweet during roasting.
- Bell peppers: These soften and become sweet, just like the onions!
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: While any tomato will work, these smaller tomatoes tend to hold their shape better during roasting.
- Garlic: Thinly sliced — no replacement for that garlicky flavor!
- Extra virgin olive oil: To coat all the veggies.
- Aleppo pepper: We LOVE aleppo pepper. It’s tangy, fruity, and a little bit spicy.
- Lemon: The roast fish and veggies will cook with the zest, while the wedges are reserved for serving.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: To season everything!
- Fresh dill and sesame seeds: For serving!
You’ll also need a large rimmed sheet pan, as well as a medium bowl and whisk (or a small food processor, to make the lemon tahini sauce).
Make The Lemon Tahini Sauce
There’s two ways you can do this: either whisk everything together by hand or process in a blender. We prefer the blender, but it does result in a thinner sauce.
If you prefer a thicker sauce, just note that the tahini will initially seize when you pour water into it. This is totally normal! See expert tips below.
- Cook the veggies a bit first! If you add the fish fillets at the beginning, the fish will cook through before the vegetables become tender.
- Keep whisking water into the tahini until it’s smooth! Yes, when you add water to tahini, it’ll seize up. You’ll have to keep adding water a little at a time while continuously whisking until the tahini emulsifies. This is completely normal. But if you want to avoid this altogether, we recommend making the tahini sauce in a blender.
- If using frozen fish, make sure to defrost and thaw completely before cooking. Frozen fish tends to hold onto water more. I recommend letting it sit defrosting on some paper towels to absorb excess water and moisture.
We enjoy this with flaky white fish. You could substitute the sea bass with black cod for a similar flavor. Pacific or Atlantic cod is a great option as well.
Sea bass is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 140F. We recommend using a thermometer to check for doneness.
Yes! Our homemade lemon tahini sauce is thinner (and easier for drizzling), but if you simply want to cook and serve this with tahini, that’s fine.
When you add a small amount of water to tahini, it sort of acts like glue. You’ll need to continue adding water a little at a time, and whisking vigorously, until the tahini emulsifies. Don’t worry, this is completely to be expected. If you make this Lemon Tahini dressing in a food processor, you’ll avoid this altogether.
It’s best enjoyed the day it’s made (or within 2-3 days of cooking). Seafood has a shorter shelf life than other proteins.
How To Serve
This roast fish needs nothing more than a squeeze of lemon as far as we’re concerned! If you want to bulk it up a bit, add some basmati rice or try our Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe. It’s got a bright, citrusy flavor that will work well with the Middle Eastern vibes happening here.
In the fall or winter months, this would be fantastic with a roasted Beet Salad, don’t you think?!
If you make this Sheet Pan Roast Fish with Tahini Sauce, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Sheet Pan Roast Fish with Tahini Sauce
For the fish
- 1½ – 2 lb (4 fillets) sea bass or black cod
- 2 medium sweet onions cut into slices about ¾" thick
- 2 bell peppers seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 pints grape tomatoes halved
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 medium lemon zested, then cut into wedges for serving
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh dill or oregano, for serving
- Sesame seeds for serving
For the tahini sauce
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ½ cup water
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Generous pinch of Kosher salt
- Season the fish. Preheat an oven to 425F. Pat sea bass fillets dry lightly with a paper towel, then season liberally with 1 tsp Kosher salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to come up to room temperature.
- Make the tahini sauce. Combine all tahini sauce ingredients in a bowl, then whisk well or process in a food processor until very smooth.
- Roast the vegetables. Place sliced onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, and 3 cloves sliced garlic on a sheet pan, then drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Season with 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, ½ tsp cumin, and fresh lemon zest. Toss to coat, then roast for 20 minutes.
- Add the fish. Give the veggies a good toss, then nestle the seasoned fish fillets onto the sheet pan. Drizzle everything with the tahini sauce, reserving about 2 Tbsp of the sauce, then return to the oven and roast until the fish is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 140F, about 15-20 minutes longer.
- Garnish, then serve. Serve the fish with sesame seeds, lemon wedges, and fresh dill. Drizzle with remaining tahini sauce, if wanted.
- If using frozen fish, be sure to thaw and defrost fully before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels for at least 10-15 minutes before seasoning to absorb excess water and moisture.
- Enjoy within 2-3 days of cooking. Seafood has a shorter shelf life than other proteins.