When, for a lack of a better term, “beginner fish people” come to me for advice on which fish recipes to start with, this Baked Flounder au Gratin always comes to mind first.
You just can’t go wrong with easy, crispy, parm-y, herb-y, and salty goodness.
When I started living the pescetarian lifestyle a few years ago, I decided that I didn’t want to force the lifestyle on my husband; I’d still cook him chicken or beef on the side and everything would work out swimmingly.
Because hi. Cooking two meals every night is exhausting and what in the actual fuh… was I thinking.
So I was faced with a new challenge: how can I get him to genuinely enjoy fish? How can I not get him to confront me with a skeptical look when I tell him he’ll enjoy this dish?
A crispy coating and cheesy flavor can cajole just about anyone. Anytime in life. Always.
Flounder proved to be a fantastic fit for the au gratin style due to the fish’s mild flavor. But! If you can’t find flounder or if you’re devoted to another white fish like halibut, cod, or perch, go for it. The beautiful thing about most white fish is that they’re incredibly versatile and will adapt to most flavor profiles.
Though to be fair, I’ve whipped up a crispy salmon similar to this and it, too, is damn tasty. (That recipe can be found in my free eBook which you can download here!)
More good news: this recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes. So yeah, go ahead and chalk this up as one of your new go-o weeknight meals. It’s perfect for busy evenings when you want to fill up on something nutritious, but don’t have the time or energy to bring together a complex time-consuming feast.
If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations.
20-Minute Baked Flounder au Gratin
- 4 6 oz flounder fillets any other white fish will do
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 2/3 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Place the flounder fillets on a lightly oiled baking dish. Brush the tops of the fillets with 1 TBSP of melted butter.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, grated cheese, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and thyme. Add the rest of the melted butter to the crumb mixture and mix it until the crumb mixture becomes buttery, crumbly, and golden in color.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the fillets and lightly press the crumb mixture down into the fillets.
- Bake the fish for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque, flakes easily with a fork, and reaches an internal temperature of 145° F.
- This recipe goes great with a veg side, pasta, potatoes—pretty much anything!