Cod En Papillote with Tomatoes + Olives

December 28, 2019

My favorite way to cook fish! Not only does it maximize flavor, it’s also the best way to cook fish without your house smelling like your delicious dinner for days to come. This particular cod recipe takes the best of mediterranean ingredients making a delicious (and fool proof!) way to cook fish.

Cooking en papillote—meaning, in a paper envelope—is as classic as cooking techniques get. Essentially, this simple method steams your ingredients in a small sealed packet and infuses them with the flavors of fresh herbs, broths, or other seasonings. This technique cooks quickly but gently so it’s particularly great for delicate proteins like fish, especially white flaky fish like cod, halibut, or tilapia.

I particularly like how these varieties act as a blank canvas for building flavor—this is a fantastic method for variations as you can play with just about any flavor profile. Plus, no special tools other than parchment paper are needed. And of course who can question the satisfaction of breaking open the packet after baking and being overtaken by the myriad of gorgeous smells steaming out the top—it makes your easy-to-assemble meal a bona fide experience. 

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Cod En Papillote with Tomatoes + Olives

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


My favorite way to cook fish! Not only does it maximize flavor, it’s also the best way to cook fish without your house smelling like your delicious dinner for days to come. 


  • Parchment paper
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup mixed olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets, about 1 ½ inches thick
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Olive oil, for brushing packets
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Fold 4 (16 by-12-inch) parchment paper rectangles in half crosswise. Unfold and arrange the pieces of parchment on 2 baking sheets. 
  2. Combine the lemon zest and juice, garlic, white wine, and vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Evenly divide the tomatoes, olives, shallot, and oregano sprigs on one side of each of the 4 parchment packets, making a bed for the fish. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice mixture. Place one cod fillet on top of the vegetables and season with the salt and pepper; add an additional tablespoon of the marinade on top. 
  4. Re-fold the top half of the parchment over the fish, closing the paper packet like a book. Then, holding the top and bottom pieces together, starting at one corner by the packet’s spine, make a series of small overlapping folds along the open edge to seal the packet, folding the final fold underneath the packet so that it does not unfurl. Brush the outside of each packet with olive oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the parchment paper puffs up. 
  5. Transfer the parchment packets to plates. Carefully cut the packets open avoiding the hot steam and remove the oregano sprigs before serving. Garnish with parsley.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes

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