Mediterranean Pan-Fried White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

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This delicious Pan-Fried White Fish dish is full of Mediterranean flavors and a perfect recipe for the summer. You can use any locally available mild, firm white fish in this dish which is topped with a sun-dried tomato tapenade. It packs a real flavor punch and is sure to become a favorite!

A fillet of white fish topped with sun-dried tomato tapenade. Text overlay says"Pan-Fried Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Mediterranean Pan-Fried White Fish

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.

Mediterranean cuisine is well known for its fresh ingredients – fruit and vegetables, fish, herbs, olive oil… and this pan-friend white fish dish makes use of many of those ingredients!

Tapenade is a Provençal name for a spread, condiment, and culinary ingredient consisting of puréed or finely chopped olives, capers, and anchovies. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas.


The tapenade made in this recipe uses green and black (Kalamata) olives, capers, anchovy paste, lemons, garlic, olive oil, and for a twist on traditional, some sun-dried tomatoes.

Once the white fish is cooked (the generic term “white fish” is used here because this recipe will work with any locally available mild, firm white fish, such as cod, haddock, or halibut) the tapenade is added to the pan to gently warm through with some salt Feta cheese than brings the whole dish together.

This fish dish would pair beautifully with some crusty bread and a green salad on the side, and is certainly dinner party worthy if you are having guests for dinner!

Mediterranean Pan-Fried White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.

It doesn’t include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Fish fillets cooking in pan
Mediterranean Pan-Fried White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

More Recipes Using Fish

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is fish, so here are some more recipes using the same:

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Mediterranean Fish with Tapenade

Recipe Tips

  • Prepare the tapenade a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to fully develop. This will also cut the prep time for this recipe to just a minute or two.
  • Use added salt very sparingly, if at all, for this recipe because the tapenade is naturally briny due to the anchovy paste, olives, and capers.

How Do I Make Pan-Fried White Fish?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

How to Make Mediterranean-style Fish with Tapenade

Mediterranean Pan-Fried White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This delicious Pan-Fried White Fish dish is full of Mediterranean flavors and a perfect recipe for the summer.


For the Tapenade

  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Remaining Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-oz/170g) firm white fish fillets (cod, halibut, haddock)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste*
  • 3 oz (85g) Feta cheese, chopped
  • 1 large lemon, cut into thin wedges


  1. Prepare the tapenade by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine, then transfer half the mixture to a food processor and quickly pulse until finely chopped, but not smooth. Return to the bowl and stir to combine with the rest of the tapenade. Cover and set aside. (If preparing in advance, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use).
  2. Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet or frying pan set over medium heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and black pepper, to taste, and add to the hot skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until golden brown, then turn and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat on each edge for 1 minute or just until golden. Do not overcook.

    Cooked Fish Fillets
  3. Add the tapenade and Feta cheese to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually, just until heated through.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the fillets to individual serving plates.
  5. Spoon some of the warm tapenade over each fillet and serve immediately with a couple lemon wedges and a crispy green salad or your choice of sides. Enjoy!

    How to Make Mediterranean-style Fish with Tapenade


*Use added salt very sparingly, if at all, for this recipe because the tapenade is naturally briny due to the anchovy paste, olives, and capers.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 868mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 45g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Full Meal!

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