Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
My Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is comfort food at its finest. Just one bite of this hearty, rich, and tender fish will have you wondering how a dish this fantastic can be made in just 30 minutes!
Looking for a unique, but simple and quick dish to spice up the weeknight dinner routine? This Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is just the thing! Crispy, seared grouper fillets are served over a creamy, tangy red pepper sauce and garnished with just a splash of fresh lemon juice.
Packed with aromatic herbs, roasted veggies, and fresh fish, this dish is sure to leave your family happy and satisfied!
If fish isn’t something you’re totally comfortable with cooking, this easy pan fried method is a great way to start! It’s almost impossible to mess things up when it comes to frying a flour-dredged fillet of fish in rosemary-infused olive oil. Trust me, the fish will come out tender and flaky every time!
The easy fish preparation along with deep, smoky flavors from the homemade red pepper sauce equals a recipe that’s sure to be a big hit.
❤ Why We Love This Recipe
- Fool-proof way to cook fish.
- Easy, 30-minute weeknight meal.
- No-fuss sauce made in the food processor.
- Packed with deep, comforting flavors.
🥘 About the Ingredients
This post contains affiliate links.
- Grouper Fillets – Seasoned with your favorite seafood seasoning and dredged in flour.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You’ll infuse this healthy oil with fragrant rosemary.
- Roasted Red Peppers – Choose plain, not marinated or flavored, roasted red peppers packed in water or oil.
- Roma Tomato – You may know these as “plum” tomatoes.
- Pine Nuts – Will add an earthy nuttiness when toasted. Hint: keep any extra pine nuts refrigerated to prevent them going rancid as quickly.
- Bread – You’ll need a couple of slices of leftover, almost stale, bread. Whatever you happen to have on hand is just great.
- Fresh Herbs – A combination of rosemary, parsley, and garlic.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Lends that slight acidic bite that balances out all the other flavors in the recipe.
- Lemon Wedges – The finishing touch for serving.
🔪 How to Make Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prepare the Sauce
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat.
- In a food processor, combine the drained roasted red peppers, tomato, bread, pine nuts, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and balsamic vinegar.
- With the processor running, stream in the olive oil to form a thick sauce.
Cook the Fish
- Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and a rosemary sprig to a shallow, non-stick pan. Heat over medium to medium-high heat while preparing the fish.
- Sprinkle the fish with your choice of seasoning salt or seafood seasoning.
- Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off the excess.
- Cook in the rosemary-infused oil for 7-8 minutes until crispy and golden brown on both sides.
Plate and Serve
- To serve, spoon a puddle of the sauce into the center of a plate. Place the fish on top of the sauce. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.
- Substitute the grouper with other types of fish. Fillets of bass, halibut, or cod all work nicely.
- Not a fan of fish? Try this sweet, smoky sauce with other dishes. It pairs especially well with chicken, pasta, steak, and potatoes!
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender to make the sauce. Simply add the ingredients to the blender and run it on high speed until a thick, smooth sauce forms.
- If you don’t have a favorite seafood seasoning blend, you can use seasoned salt instead.
- Looking for a way to make the recipe even easier? Try air frying the fish fillets! To do this, place the seasoned and floured fish into the well-greased basket of an air fryer. Spritz the fillets with a little oil and air fry at 360°F for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish is at least 145°F.
🍚 How to Store and Reheat
Any leftover fish and sauce should be stored separately. Both items may be stored in airtight containers in the fridge. The fish keeps for up to 3 days and the sauce for up to one week.
To reheat, it’s best to place the fish on a baking sheet in a low (200 degree) oven until warm, about 8-10 minutes. Bring the sauce to room temperature or warm it very briefly in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat.
🕒 How to Prepare Ahead
Although I don’t recommend pan frying the fish ahead of time (it can easily go a bit soggy in the fridge), I do suggest making the sauce in advance. Simply store the finished sauce in an airtight container in the fridge. It may be made up to 3 days ahead and will take on am even deeper flavor while chilling.
🍽 Make It a Meal
I like to serve this recipe with a side of vegetables such as my oven roasted asparagus, pan fried zucchini, or braised green beans. It also pairs quite well with pasta, rice, or potatoes.
❓ Questions About Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This roasted red pepper sauce is very similar but not exactly the same as classic Romesco sauce. This version is much quicker and easier to make with easily sourced ingredients available in most grocery stores.
Pan frying in oil or butter is one of the easiest ways to prepare fish with consistently delicious results. I like to use this cooking method on grouper, bass, and cod fillets. Any fish you’d normally bread and fry may be used.
This sweet and smoky roasted red pepper sauce will last for up to one week in the fridge.
When compared to deep-frying, yes it is a bit healthier. This method uses much less oil while creating a crispy and delicious fillet of fish.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Tilapia Veracruz
- Baked Catfish
- Fried Catfish with Cheese Grits
- Simple Grilled Fish
- Salmon Croquettes
- Seafood Stew
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I’d LOVE to know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
WE’RE ON FACEBOOK, TOO!
If you’d like to hang out with lots of other Southern Comfort Food lovers, make sure to join my FREE PRIVATE Facebook group.
Pan Fried Fish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 12 ounces roasted red peppers drained
- 1 large Roma tomato coarsely chopped
- 2 slices stale bread torn in large pieces
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary divided use
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
For the Fish:
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tblsp. additional
- 4 grouper filets (4 to 6 oz. each)
- Seasoning salt or seafood seasoning
- Flour for dredging
- Lemon wedges for serving
Make the Sauce:
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat.
- Place the pine nuts, roasted red peppers, tomato, bread, garlic, leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, parsley, and balsamic vinegar in the bowl of a food processor.
- Turn the processor on and stream in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil forming a thick sauce. Set the sauce aside until needed.
Cook the Fish:
- Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the remaining sprig of rosemary in a shallow, non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Let the rosemary heat with the oil while preparing the fish.
- Season the fish on both sides with either seasoning salt or seafood seasoning.
- Dredge the fish in flour shaking each piece to remove the excess.
- Cook in the rosemary-infused olive oil for 7 to 8 minutes until fish is crispy and golden brown on both sides. Do not crowd the pan and cook in two batches if necessary. Remove the fish to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Plate and Serve:
- To serve, place a puddle of sauce on each plate and top with fish fillets. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.
- Any leftover fish and sauce should be stored separately. Both items may be stored in airtight containers in the fridge. The fish keeps for up to 3 days and the sauce for up to one week.
- To reheat, it’s best to place the fish on a baking sheet in a low (200 degree) oven until warm, about 8-10 minutes. Bring the sauce to room temperature or warm it very briefly in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on July 2, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.
So glad you’re feeling better and what a winner you’ve found with your return to blogging; that sauce sounds absolutely divine!
I love this sauce and can see it being used on different foods.
This fish sounds delicious. I love fish and will have to try this recipe.
If you like fish, you’ll love this recipe! Enjoy!
This looks so good. Pan fried fish is hard to beat and that sauce would really be fantastic.
This looks and sounds great! I am putting it on my list
Oh Lana, you are on to something now… this sauce is a dandy – would love it with many things but I’m gonna try it with some snapper first – the boats are coming in everyday with everyone one catching their limit – two, now isn’t that just plain silly, chartering a snapper boat only to be able to keep two fish – I tell ya, the government done lost their mind, more red snapper out there this year than ever in recorded history… well, got that off my chest, now just gotta go find a capt that will part with some stow-a-way snapper on board!
A two snapper limit! You’ve got to be kidding. You’d have to have yours and a buddy’s catch to make a good meal. I do hope you’ll try this sauce – it’s soooo good!
I always tell folks who are afraid to cook fish that a pan fry is a technique they should master. Easy and versatile. GREG
That’s great advice, Greg. I agree it’s an easy technique and one that almost always produces a great end product.
I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well, Lana, but am glad to hear you’re on the mend. This dish sounds like something I’d want to make over and over again. That sauce would be great on chicken, or folded into a tortilla with some grilled steak.
Oh, absolutely Dara! That sauce would be great with any number of things.