Almond-Crusted Fish with Caramelized Lemons & Browned Butter

Hello! ICYMI, the blog is featuring a series of women who shared their biggest barriers to cooking. See Kelly’s Mediterranean meal-prep here.

Mega-inspiring lady number two is Wendy, a self-professed internet nerd working hard at the Library of Congress here in D.C. Wendy is comfortable in the kitchen, but has trouble scaling recipes down to a reasonable number of servings (nobody likes to waste food or dirty an unnecessary amount of dishes).

To help Wendy out, I endeavored to create a sheet pan dinner that can be shopped for and cooked with a single serving in mind. The twist? Wendy’s a great cook and true foodie, so this dinner had to be as indulgent as it is practical.

The fish recipe I came up with can easily be enjoyed alone, or scaled up for a crowd. It’s appropriate for a night curled up in front of a movie, but it’s elegant enough to serve to friends. Try this almond-crusted fish with caramelized lemon and browned butter—for one—and let me know what you think.

Yield: 1 serving

Time: 35-40 minutes

This recipe was inspired by


  • 1 medium potato (we used russet), cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets (we used frozen—if using fresh, reduce the broccoli’s time in the oven by about five minutes)

  • 1 white fish filet (tilapia, cod, or similar will work), about 6 ounces

  • 2-3 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped (we chopped up pre-sliced almonds for an extra thin and crispy effect)

  • 1 lemon

  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking)

  • 3 teaspoons mustard, divided

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon butter, divided

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • 1-2 teaspoons garlic, minced

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • Italian seasoning to taste


For the vegetables and fish

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place the potatoes and broccoli in a large glass baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss each—separately—with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

  3. Place the potatoes and broccoli in the oven for about 15 minutes, tossing gently once if they begin to stick to the pan.

  4. While the vegetables are in the oven, coat the entire fish filet very lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  5. Gently spread two teaspoons of mustard on top of the fish filet, and carefully press the almonds into the mustard to create a crust. (Pat a bit of oil off the top if necessary if the mustard isn’t sticking).

  6. When the vegetables have roasted for 15 minutes (potatoes should be just tender—give them a few extra minutes if they’re not), add the fish to the dish or sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the fish is opaque and flaky.

For the caramelized lemons

  1. Slice two thin but appreciable slices from the center of the lemon, and remove the seeds. Reserve the lemon ends.

  2. In a small skillet, melt one teaspoon of butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the lemon slices to the pan and drizzle the slices with maple syrup.

  3. Cook the lemons for about three minutes on each side, until they begin to brown, then set aside.

For the browned butter sauce

  1. In the same skillet used for the caramelized lemon slices, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it becomes golden brown and smells warm and nutty.

  2. Reduce the heat as low as you can and add the remaining teaspoon of mustard, the garlic, and the juice from the lemon ends to the pan, stirring vigorously to combine. Keep the sauce warm over lowest heat until the fish is finished.

To finish

  1. When the fish and vegetables finish roasting, serve, topping the fish with caramelized lemon slices and browned butter sauce. Enjoy.

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag us on instagram @theprotopantry and use the #protopantry hashtag. Happy cooking!

Everything on is made using our 50-ingredient minimalist pantry list. We have recipes from all over the world and for most dietary needs—explore here.