Spicy Baked Fish with Lemon, Dijon and Garlic

An interesting spicy baked fish recipe with lemon, Dijon mustard and garlic you can easily make in a sheet pan. Baking fish fillet is one of the most delicious and healthiest ways to cook fish. Stop cooking lemon-herb fish with saturated fat like butter and cream!

4 spicy baked fish steaks on a white plate.

Why you’ll love this mustard fish recipe

Trying to cook fish for the first time? Find out how to make spicy baked fish in the oven with this simple low-calorie fish recipe.

In this recipe, we brush the fish steaks (or fillets) with the lemon-mustard-garlic sauce and bake them. You’ll be wondering why you require that much butter or cream to bake fish when you can make healthy lemon mustard baked fish that doesn’t require either.

Let me show you the trick to make it juicy and flavorful.

Spicy, tangy and tender, the baked lemon-herb fish can be eaten with sides like no-mayo coleslaw for a low carb and low-calorie seafood dinner.

Or save time and effort by making it a sheet pan dinner by roasting thinly sliced vegetables alongside the fish. (See instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.) It’s also the perfect baked fish recipe to make in big batches for a hungry crowd.

If you’re getting started with fish and love spicy fish recipes, another easy fish recipe to try is simple fish cakes without potato.

If you like spicy baked fish with a crunchy topping, try making the baked cod with Panko crumbs or the easy pesto crusted salmon. They are adaptations of this recipe and equally delicious!

If you are a person who wants to spend less time in the kitchen but still show off some amazing dishes that look like they’re worth a million dollars, then we are in this together.

This spicy baked fish with lemon and mustard can look like you spent hours in the kitchen. In reality, you just need 10 minutes for preparing, then leave the rest to your oven.

What fish is good for baking?

I used mackerel steaks (kingfish) here, but this recipe is versatile. Steaks or fillets of other oily fish like tuna or white fish like cod, sea bass, tilapia or halibut work great!

That being said, firm white fish steaks like mackerel, bass or cod can hold their shape better and can be marinated for up to an hour. This helps the fish absorb more of the flavor, making it juicy.

Small fish like sardines and pomfret are more suitable for curries like Kerala fish curry.

If you’re worried about bones in fish steaks, you can absolutely use fillets. Increase the baking time by 5 minutes for every additional inch of thickness of the fillet. (Go by the thickest part.)

I like steaks because they have uniform thickness and cook evenly. I don’t mind picking out the bones. That’s the compromise you make!

If you love salmon, try citrus glazed salmon or smoked paprika salmon with mango salsa.

Trending Videos

Cooking at a low temperature – the best way to bake fish

  • Baking at temperatures as low as 100°C/ 212°F with lemon, mustard and garlic makes the fish juicy and tender. (That’s the reason oven-baked salmon kabobs also turn out so delicious!)
  • The simple seasoning and the lemon mustard glaze give a ton of flavor to the fish, making you literally drool. You don’t have to bake fish that is swimming in high-calorie creamy sauce or butter to make it taste good.
  • Slow cooking preserves the omega-3 fats and other nutrients of the fish since you’re not subjecting it to high temperatures.

Spices required

  • Initial seasoning for fish: Chili powder, oil and salt.
  • Lemon-mustard sauce for fish: This easy sauce can double-up as a marinade: Dijon mustard, garlic, cumin, chili flakes, cilantro, lemon juice and zest are all you need.

How to make spicy baked fish- step by step

Season the fish steaks

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Season the fish with chili powder, salt and vegetable oil. Let it marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon mustard sauce for fish.

Mackerel fish steaks seasoned with chilli powder and salt on a white plate.

How to make lemon mustard sauce for fish

Blend together Dijon mustard, garlic, chili flakes, ground cumin, salt, lemon peel, lemon juice into a smooth paste.

A small spice blender is required here since the quantity of ingredients is quite less. If you don’t have one, it makes sense to multiply the recipe, make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.

Once you make this baked fish, you may get addicted to it and the frozen stuff will be used up in no time!

Another option is to mince garlic and zest the lemon and mix with the other ingredients. This way you can whip up the sauce without a blender.

Ingredients for lemon mustard sauce for spicy baked fish.

Slather the lemon mustard marinade on the fish steaks (or fillets) and sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top.

5 fish steaks marinated with lemon mustard  sauce for baking.

How to bake fish

Place the fish steaks on a sheet pan or baking dish in a single layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Check for doneness in the middle part of the steak. It should be opaque and flake apart easily.

Let the baked fish stand for 5 minutes. Devour!

Spicy fish, lemon, Dijon mustard and garlic – the combo is always a win-win situation!

Recipe Tips

  • The fish can be marinated longer, upto an hour.
  • When you blend the lemon mustard paste, add a few stalks of cilantro for added flavor.
  • Be patient. Bake the fish at 100°C/ 212°F for 20 to 25 minutes (for 1-inch thick fillet or steak) for the best results. Baking at higher temperatures tends to dry out the fish.

Common questions about oven baked fish

Do mustard and fish go together?

Mustard complements the flavor of a simple fish fillet very well. When you bake fish with mustard, it not only makes it more spicy, tangy and delicious, it also gives a creamy glaze to the fish.

Why is my fish chewy?

Cooking fish for too long draws out moisture and tends to dry out the fish, especially when you bake uncovered in the oven. So it is essential to follow the time specified in the recipe instructions for the fish to turn out soft and juicy.

What is the healthiest way to cook fish?

Baking is one of the healthiest ways to cook fish. In this recipe, we’re slow-baking fish at a low temperature. This ensures that the nutrients and fatty acids in the fish are preserved. You also get fish fillets that are great in texture and flavor.

Can fish be pink in the middle?

White fish has to be cooked until it is opaque throughout and flakes easily. Always check in the middle or the thickest part of the fish for doneness. Fish being pink in the middle means it is undercooked. (Salmon is an exception- white patches on the surface of cooked salmon mean it is overcooked.)

4 baked fish steaks on a white plate.

Spicy baked fish recipe with lemon, Dijon and garlic

A simple spicy baked fish recipe with lemon, mustard, and garlic you can easily make in a sheet pan! Baking fish is one of the most delicious and healthiest ways to cook fish. Stop cooking lemon-herb fish with saturated fat like butter and cream!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5 people
Calories 132 kcal


Spicy baked fish

  • 5 large 1-inch thick steaks or fillets of mackerel or any fish of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • a handful of fresh cilantro

Lemon mustard sauce for fish

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • peel or zest of 1/2 lemon


  • Preheat oven to 100°C/ 212°F.
  • Prepare the seasoning with cayenne pepper, oil and 1 teaspoon salt (reserve the other 1/2 teaspoon for mustard paste). Marinate the fish steaks for 10 minutes minimum.
    5 large 1-inch thick steaks or fillets of mackerel, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • For the lemon mustard sauce, place all the listed ingredients except cilantro in a small blender jar and blend until smooth. (see notes)
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, peel or zest of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Brush fish steaks with the mustard glaze. Sprinkle cilantro on top.
    a handful of fresh cilantro
  • Place on the sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the fish flakes apart easily.


  • Make a sheet pan dinner out of this baked fish recipe: Thinly slice mushrooms or vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower. Season with salt, pepper and cumin powder as required. (a rough estimate: for every 2 cups of sliced veggies, add 1/4 teaspoon each of pepper and cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.) Place on another sheet pan, drizzle olive oil and roast along with the fish. 
  • Though this recipe works for any fish fillet or steak, firm fish steaks like the mackerel or cod can hold their shape better and can be marinated for up to an hour. This helps the fish absorb more of the flavor, making it juicy.
  • Make-ahead option: The fish can be seasoned and refrigerated overnight. They can also be frozen and thawed overnight in the fridge before baking.
  • Leftovers: Refrigerate and use up the leftovers within a day.
  • Cooking time depends on how thick the steak or fillet is. Check if the fish flakes through easily. If not done, bake for 5 more minutes. 
  • Cilantro can be sprinkled on the fish after cooking.
  • Since the amount of mustard paste is quite small, you will need a small blender jar to get a smooth paste. Or you can make twice or thrice the amount and freeze. That gives you an excuse to eat more of this delicious lemon-mustard glazed fish.
  • Blender-less option: Use minced garlic and lemon zest, so you won’t require a blender at all! Just whip up the ingredients to make the sauce.
Spicy Baked Fish with Lemon, Dijon and Garlic

★★★★★Did you try this recipe? Please give a star rating in the comments below ★★★★★

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Join over 1000 home cooks like you who subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get all the latest recipes right in your inbox. Or follow me on your favorite social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. Thank you and happy cooking!

Author profile photo

Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!

I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2019-2023

6 thoughts on “Spicy Baked Fish with Lemon, Dijon and Garlic”

    1. Hi Dorothy,
      This is a slow-baked fish recipe. Baking at temperatures as low as 100°C/ 212°F makes the fish juicy and tender. If you can’t set your oven to 212 degrees, try to use the lowest temperature setting. Adjust the cooking time accordingly. Be sure to check for doneness after about 10 to 15 minutes.

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for Mothers Day yesterday and it was a hit! everyone, including my picky father and younger nieces enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and I will definitely be checking out other recipes here.

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.