Sheet Pan Flounder with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Arugula

December 14, 2018

The sheet pan meal is revolutionary in theory. Like Communism or jeggings, the idea has the potential to disrupt our daily lives but hasn’t worked in practice.

A complete dinner cooked in one pan and subjected to one heat source 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 to show off the best that each has to offer.

Sometimes it’s better that we aren’t all treated equal.

Let’s make sheet pan fish

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.

A complete dinner- fish and veggies- comes to life in a colorful, flavorful revolution.

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

Make this with any kind of thin fish filet, such as tilapia, flounder, or sea bass. Try it with a meatier fish like cod, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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 oil-slicked, roasted tomatoes scented with garlic 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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.83 out of 5)
Serves: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

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


  • 4-6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, some halved, some whole
  • ½ cup olives (any kind you like!), smashed and pitted
  • 1 lemon, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 juiced
  • 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)
  • Baby arugula, for serving (about 4 cups)
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, optional, for serving



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 with olive oil (about ¼ cup) and season with salt and black pepper. Taste a tomato for seasoning. Roast until the tomatoes start to pop and crinkle and give off some of their juice, about 15-20 minutes.


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.


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


Serve with crusty bread for sopping up the garlic-tomato-lemon goodness and additional lemon wedges for a fresh squeeze of citrus, if you'd like.


  • 370 Calories


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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  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm

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

  • Reply
    Phil Lai
    February 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Unbelievable and I don’t even like fish. Stunning photos

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I tried this last night~ easy to put together and came out perfect!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    This was simply fabulous. Full of flavor and so so easy to throw together on one of those “I really don’t want to cook” nights. Note to self: buy more fish……we both wanted another serving…..

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 6:38 am

      So happy you liked it! That’s probably one of my favorite ways to make fish- quick and foolproof. This one is actually on my list to make next week. 🙂

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