Mediterranean Cod en Papillote (Fish in Parchment Paper)

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This Mediterranean cod en papillote is the most genius way to quickly achieve a simple, healthy, and super delicious dinner. Just steam fish with veggies in a simple parchment paper packet – dinner is done!

Mediterranean cod en papillote on a baking sheet
Photo: Gayle McLeod

What is En Papillote?

Let’s just say I’m convinced that “en papillote” (or “in paper”) has become one of my favorite ways to do weeknights. It’s a French cooking technique where a combination of fish (or poultry) and veggies are folded into a parchment paper pouch, then perfectly steamed in the oven.

So if you’re looking to up the ante of my garlic herb baked cod, this Mediterranean cod en papillote recipe is a no-brainer. It hits the spot with simple and fresh coastal flavors while ensuring you have four all-in-one meals done at the same time.

Ingredients for fish en papillote on a table

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote Ingredients

Similar to my Greek sheet pan chicken, the cod is infused with bright Mediterranean flavors and surrounded by fresh vegetables. Here’s what you’ll need!

  • Fish: I typically buy fresh cod filets from my local seafood store. But frozen filets will work just fine as long as you thaw them in the fridge the night before. Just try to make sure they’re all about the same size.
  • Seasoning & Aromatics: To infuse the cod with flavor, I’m using a simple combo of salt, pepper, fresh thyme, and lemon slices.
  • Vegetable: This recipe starts with a layer of zucchini slices, then it’s topped with grape tomatoes and olives. For the olives, feel free to use Kalamata olives, green olives (I’m using Castlevetrano), or a combination of both!

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Cod en Papillote

Before we get started, I suggest grabbing a box of these parchment paper sheets. They’re 12×16 inches — perfect for folding the fish into a pouch!

Assemble the packets. Fold the parchment paper in half, then open it. Add several slices of zucchini in the center of one half, then top with a piece of cod. Season it with salt and pepper.

Initial layers for cod en papillote

Add toppings. Top the cod with 2 to 3 lemon slices, a few slices of shallot, a handful of tomatoes and olives, and a spring of thyme. Then drizzle a little olive oil on top of everything.

Helpful tip: If you’re using larger cherry tomatoes rather than grape tomatoes, feel free to cut them into quarters. You can also slice the olives in half or in quarters, it’s up to you!

Layering cod en papillote

Fold and seal the pouches. Fold the top half of the parchment paper over the bottom half, then tightly roll up the edges around the cod. Repeat this process with the other 3 pieces of cod.

Folding parchment paper for cod en papillote

Bake the cod. Place the 4 parchment paper packets on a baking sheet, place in the oven, and bake for 14 to 18 minutes at 400°F (200°C). The cook time will depend on the thickness of your fish, so keep an eye on it as cod can easily overcook.

Folded fish en papillotes on a baking sheet

Serve it up! Use a knife to pierce the center of each parchment packet, and open it up before serving.

Cods en papillote on a baking sheet

Storage Tips

  • Storing for the week: This recipe is great for meal prepping individual meals. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing for later: You can freeze this in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to three months. Just make sure to let it thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat.
  • How to reheat cod: For the fastest method, just pop a portion in the microwave for a minute or two, until warmed through
Cod en papillote wrapped on a baking sheet

Serving idea: Not only is this cod en papillote recipe super easy and healthy, but it also presents beautifully making it perfect for dinner parties! You can pre-slice all of the veggies, then just assemble and cook when guests arrive. I love to serve them up with a side of black lentils.

Mediterranean cod on a bed of lentils

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote Recipe Video

If you’re having trouble visualizing this recipe (especially the folded pouches), take a peek at the video below!

More Mediterranean Recipes

There’s a reason why I always gravitate toward these Mediterranean recipes. They’re light, fresh, healthy, and will make you feel good from the inside out.

I guarantee this Mediterranean cod en papillote will become a dinner staple. Once you make it, let me know your thoughts about this recipe in the comment box below!

Mediterranean cod en papillotes on a sheet pan

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote (Fish in Parchment Paper)

5 from 33 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This Mediterranean cod en papillote is the most genius way to quickly achieve a simple, healthy, and super delicious dinner! Watch the video above to see how this comes together.

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 4 (6-ounce) cod filets
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 olives, halved or quartered
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Assemble the packets. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Fold a 12×16-inch sheet of parchment paper in half, then open it. Add several slices of zucchini in the center of one half, then top with a piece of cod. Season with salt and pepper.
    Prepping cod for fish en papillote
  • Add toppings. Top the cod with 2 to 3 lemon slices, a few slices of shallot, a sprig of thyme, 5 olives, and 5 tomatoes (it's okay if these fall to the side). Drizzle a little olive oil on top.
    Adding fish en papillote layers on parchment paper
  • Fold and seal. Fold the top half of the parchment paper over the bottom half, then tightly roll up the edges around the cod. Repeat this process with the other 3 pieces of cod.
    Wrapping fish en papillote into a pouch
  • Bake. Place the 4 parchment paper packets on a baking sheet, place in the oven, and bake for 14 to 18 minutes (depending on thickness), or until the cod is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
    A baking sheet of fish en papillote
  • To serve. Use a knife to pierce the center of each parchment packet, and open it up before serving.
    A full baking sheet of

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 1142mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1012IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Cod en Papillote, Fish en Papillote
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




73 Comments

  1. I don’t really care for fish but I’m trying to eat in a healthier way. I came across this recipe doing a google search and decided to try it. It was very easy to prepare and it turned out so well. I made it a second time for my mom for Sunday night dinner. She loved it too so it will be part of our recipe rotation going forward. I’m even going to play around with this cooking method using an Asian ingredient substitutions.5 stars

    1. Hi Amy – What a great way to start introducing more fish into your diet! I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  2. I made this with some omissions and substitutions. First I only had rockfish. I didn’t have zucchini so omitted it. I also didn’t have a lemon but had organic lemon juice in a bottle and splashed a tiny bit on it before closing the paper. It came out very good. The fish was done and nice and moist. The olives give it a nice flavor. Next time I will cook everything as stated in the recipe and I think it will take to another level of deliciousness. I always thought getting parchment to stay closed would be hard but I did it!5 stars

  3. This is another easy, healing and comforting recipe hot right out of the oven! Thank you! Hey Lisa, I have to ask, where do you get those gorgeous olives from? :)

    1. Hi Geraldine – So glad you enjoyed this cod recipe! You can find olives I love linked in my Amazon storefront :)

  4. We had this for tea last night, super quick and easy to assemble. Had them with dauphinois potatoes. Perfect.5 stars

  5. Our grocery store was running a special on cod. I searched Google for new ideas on serving cod and found your fabulous recipe for Mediterranean Cod. It was so good that my wife, who always saves a portion of a meal for the next day’s lunch, left nothing on her plate. Outstanding recipe!5 stars

  6. I made this dish 2 days ago. I’m very impressed with how it turned out. The only modification I made was that I used Pangasius (Swai) instead of cod, since that’s what I had on hand. This will be part of our regular dinner rotation – very, very good!5 stars

  7. So yummy! I’d never made cod & loved how light yet filling it was. I will absolutely be making it again.

    Thanks, Lisa!5 stars

  8. I always get a bit nervous on timing to ensure the veggies are nicely cooked but the fish not over / under done. Any other tips regarding getting it on point?

    I am trying it tomorrow and can’t wait. It looks very tasty!

    1. I would poke a small hole to check on the fish at the 14 or 15-minute mark to see if it’s done, and you can go from there.

  9. This was so easy and delicious!! 😋 I used spinach as the base and capers instead of olives and it turned out great! Easy cleanup too! I love how versatile this can be. Thanks for yet another great recipe!!5 stars

  10. First time I have ever cooked cod and I was a little worried. I used to be a fried fish and tarter sauce girl. This fish was delicious and I will definitely be making it again. Thank you!5 stars

  11. Super easy, pretty and delicious! I made some large pearl couscous with parsley and sauteed onion, and just added to the open packet transferred the whole thing right to the plate. Made the clean up easy :)
    Thanks-we will definitely add this to our keeper list!5 stars

  12. This Mediterranean Cod dish is excellent. It was too hot to run the oven so I made it in a covered pan.
    Flavor and texture were awesome, and the sauce with the lemon juice was perfectly paired with the fish!!! I will definitely make this again.5 stars

  13. Lisa! I’m always looking forward to trying your recipes because I know by now its going to be a winner. My local whole foods grocery had some fresh cod and I gave it a try. The freshness of the ingredients and being healthy and I love olives was a must try. It was DELICIOUS. and the leftover was even better the next day. Looking forward to my new way of cooking.5 stars

  14. This is one of the BEST dishes I have ever made- hands down. The parchment cooked the cod perfectly at 19 minutes. I would love to see more recipes “en papillote”, as it adds so much flavor!5 stars

    1. Thanks for the review and glad you’re loving this cod recipe! Will definitely keep that in mind. I may just make a chicken breast version :)

  15. I’ve followed Downshiftology and have made almost every single recipe on here. This meal is delicious, fresh, and healthy and I can say that about all the other recipes as well. I love the olives and fresh herbs used, I have lemon thyme and oregano in my garden so I chose to use that as my herb. Overall this is a great summer meal that’s healthy and nutritious. Thank you for changing how I cook at home for the better Downshiftology!5 stars

    1. This truly is a summer staple or whenever you’re feeling for a light yet delicious dinner. Thanks for leaving a review, Samantha!

  16. I followed the directions exactly and it was easy, delicious and attractive! this recipe is a keeper5 stars

  17. So good!!!  Super super easy to make. The fish melts in your mouth & it’s healthy to boot. I would add more grape tomatoes for my taste / they were a great acidic balance to the dish. Love this!!5 stars

  18. I have made this twice with hake and salmon. It’s an easy way to get more veggies in the diet and my picky eater partner loves it. It’s now a regular dinner for us and it’s so easy to put together!

  19. This is so delicious. I have been making it every week!! I added black garlic this last time which was also delicious!! Thank you so much for this light, healthy and flavor packed recipe. It’s hard to find good fish recipes and this comes out perfect every time!5 stars

  20. This was absolutely fantastic! Easy and quick to make and tasted amazing! I used haddock instead of cod, but still, it worked just great!5 stars

  21. Thank you, Lisa for this delightful recipe! My husband already asked when I am making it again! This light and fun to prepare recipe is definitely in our weeknight dinner rotation. 💗5 stars

  22. Wow. This was phenomenal! My local grocer finally had some fresh cod that looked phenomenal, so my family and I picked some up for this recipe. And WOW, this recipe knocked it out of the park!! So fresh, so succulent, so filling. Absolutely phenomenal. Cannot wait to add this to my meal rotation! 5 stars

    1. Thrilled to hear you’re loving this Mediterranean cod! I’m sure the fresh cod tasted wonderful in this recipe.

  23. Another WINNER! Thanks Lisa, my husband and I really loved this cod, and mine came out just as beautiful as yours – very easy!! Great flavors, and perfectly done. Thanks for sharing!!5 stars

  24. Thank you so much for the inspiration Lisa!  As a working single parent, I meal plan and use a handful of sites like yours as inspiration to reduce decision fatigue in my life 🙂.  I added this to my rotation this week and made it last night (cold snowy night here on the east coast). It was perfect. I added red bell peppers because my 11 is not a fan of zucchini (she did eat it as well as the peppers after all).  This is a fantastic, easy and healthy dish. We will be making it again. It’s also a great easy dish to get the kid to help with. Halibut was on sale so that’s what we had.  Thanks again!  Mom and kid approved! 

  25. This was amazingly easy and delicious. Weekly meal for us! Yum. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. LisaG5 stars

  26. Love the flavour and look in the parcels, I added some precooked sliced garlic potatoes under the zucchini to bulk it up a bit so I didn’t need to take it out of the paper and spoil the look.5 stars

    1. Just make sure to thaw your frozen cod in the fridge the day before. Then, you can continue with the recipe as written.

  27. This was AWESOME. I love the fact that you stressed the point of NOT overcooking the fish! Most people do not realize that fish cooks rather quickly. Having been a commercial fisherman for over 45 years I have cooked many species of seafood and so award your recipe 5 stars!!! Carry on!5 stars

    1. I made this dish and it was super easy and it tasted so good! Super easy to prepare and to cook in the oven. So yummy!5 stars

  28. I tried this as soon as I saw the video as I was planning on having cod anyway.  It’s absolutely delicious and so simple. The only change I made was I pre-cooked the courgette a little by frying it off in some olive oil. I had it will green beans and a couple of new potatoes I had left over from yesterday. A winner for me.5 stars