Easy Baked Chilean Sea Bass

Baked Chilean sea bass fillet on a plate drizzled with beurre blanc and garnished with lemon wedges

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 32 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
456 Calories
25g Fat
18g Carbs
43g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 456
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 1266mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 91mg 454%
Calcium 83mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 847mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chilean sea bass is a white fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids with a unique large-flake texture and a mild flavor that makes it broadly appealing. An abundance of healthy fats makes the fish a little easier to cook than less fatty varieties because it won't toughen up like other fish, even if it is a bit overcooked. 

This easy recipe calls for baking the fillets—it's a simple method that's largely hands off. While the fish cooks, make the accompanying butter sauce and your favorite veggie sides. It's an easy meal that comes together in about 30 minutes.

What Is Chilean Sea Bass?

Chilean sea bass is a deep water fish also known by the less attractive name "toothfish." It's typically caught in ocean waters around Antarctica, among other locations.

It's a mild yet rich-tasting fish that takes well to a number of preparations. The demand for this fish and regulations to protect it from overfishing mean that Chilean sea bass tends to be relatively expensive, but its mild flavor and texture make it worth the price.

Is There a Difference Between Sea Bass and Chilean Sea Bass?

If you see "sea bass" on a menu or at a fish market, it's likely referring to black sea bass, often caught in the Western Atlantic. The fish is similar to snapper and is popular served whole. Chilean sea bass is technically not a sea bass, but was labeled as such to increase marketability.

How to Shop for Tasty—and Sustainable—Chilean Sea Bass

When the popularity of Chilean sea bass led to overfishing, the fish declined precipitously. It showed up on "do not eat" lists and was removed from many restaurant menus. These days, some Chilean sea bass fishing is managed responsibly and there are regulations in place to protect the species, but there are still some areas where it is overfished. Seafood Watch recommends only buying Chilean sea bass if it's certified by the Marine Stewardship council or is sold by a store that's committed to ocean-friendly seafood.

Beyond sustainability concerns, when shopping for Chilean sea bass look for fillets that are firm and blemish-free. If possible, give the fish a sniff—it should smell like the ocean not "fishy." If buying frozen fillets—a great option, by the way!—check the package to be sure you don't see any ice crystals or freezer burn.

What Can I Substitute for Chilean Sea Bass?

The closest fish in flavor and texture to Chilean sea bass is black cod, also known as sablefish. Black cod tends to be less overfished than Chilean sea bass, making it more commonly available.

For this recipe, any thick white fillet, such as cod or haddock will also work well. You can also use thinner fillets, such as flounder or sole—just reduce the cooking time.

What's the Best Way to Cook Chilean Sea Bass?

While Chilean sea bass is delicious when pan-fried or cooked on the grill, baking it, as in this recipe, is one of the tastiest and easiest methods. Since this recipe is hands-off once the fish is in the oven, you'll have time to make sides or a salad whiles the fish cooks.

Recipe Tips

  • Don't worry about removing the skin: Chilean sea bass skin is thin and tasty, so there's no need to remove it for this recipe.
  • Use an instant-read thermometer: One of the best ways to cook any animal protein properly without undercooking or overcooking it is to use a thermometer to test it. When a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fillet registers 145 F, the fish should be perfectly cooked.
  • Mind the salt: This recipe calls for homemade Creole seasoning, but you can also use a store-bought variety. If the seasoning is very salty, omit the Kosher salt.
  • Don't overheat the sauce: Make sure to whisk in the butter over very low heat or off the heat if the pan is getting too hot; if the heat is too high, the butter will melt too quickly, and the sauce will not thicken properly. If you need to make the sauce ahead of time, keep it warm over very low heat, whisking every so often to keep the emulsion intact.

What to Serve with Chilean Sea Bass?

This recipe includes a silky lemon and shallot buerre blanc sauce, which flavors the sea bass beautifully. Feel free to serve the fish plain if you like or use another type of sauce. A simple lemon and butter sauce is another good option, or drizzle the fish with a Parmesan cream sauce.

Serve Chilean sea bass with pea puree, mashed potatoes, or buttered rice or pasta to soak up the sauce, plus a simple vegetable side like steamed green beans.


Click Play to See This Baked Chilean Sea Bass Recipe Come Together

“Both the sea bass and beurre blanc are packed with flavor! It can be an amazingly quick dinner and the sauce doesn’t overpower the fish at all. Making a beurre blanc can be tricky, but if you follow this recipe step by step, it comes out perfectly!” —Tara Omidvar

Baked Chilean sea bass fillets with beurre blanc and lemon wedges
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Fish:

  • Olive oil, for the pan

  • 4 Chilean sea bass fillets (about 6 ounces each)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • Creole seasoning (or seasoned salt), to taste

For the Lemon Buerre Blanc:

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy baked Chilean sea bass recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Oil a broiler pan and rack or baking pan with olive oil.

    Metal rack placed on broiler pan being brushed with olive oil

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Lightly sprinkle the sea bass fillets all over with Kosher salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning.

    Sea bass fillets sprinkled with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place the Chilean sea bass on the oiled broiler rack, skin-side down.

    Seasoned Chilean sea bass fillets placed on metal rack on top of broiler pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Bake the fish fillets at 425 F for about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. The fish is ready when the temperature reaches 145 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a fillet.

    Baked Chilean sea bass fillets on metal rack placed on top of broiler pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. While the fish is baking, prepare the lemon buerre blanc sauce.

    Ingredients for lemon beurre blanc sauce gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. In a saucepan, combine the dry white wine, white wine vinegar, and minced shallots.

    White wine, vinegar, and shallots added to a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

    White wine sauce reduced and stirred with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Add the lemon juice, zest, and heavy cream.

    Lemon juice, zest, and heavy cream added to saucepan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1 piece of the butter.

    Butter cube added to saucepan and stirred with a metal whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Set it back over low heat and continue whisking until the butter has almost melted.

    Sauce stirred with a metal whisk incorporating the melted butter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Continue with the remaining pieces of butter until all are incorporated.

    Remaining melted butter being incorporated into sauce with metal whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  13. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Whisk until well blended. If the sauce is too hot or too cold, it can separate, so keep it warm—at least 80 F but no hotter than about 135 F—until serving time.

    Sauce being seasoned with salt and pepper and stirred with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  14. Arrange the fish on plates with lemon wedges and drizzle with the lemon buerre blanc.

    Baked Chilean sea bass fillet with beurre blanc on a plate with lemon wedge

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Simply salt and pepper the fish and omit the Creole seasoning for a more delicate flavor.
  • Finish the sauce with chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or dill.
  • Add some capers to the beurre blanc for a salty, briny flavor.