Whenever I am asked for cooking advice, be it for someone who’s just learning to cook or someone who’s cooked for years but has hit a recipe rut, one of my biggest tips is to start with something simple and healthy—like Baked Cod—master it, then use it to create different recipe spinoffs so that your meals stay exciting and your recipe repertoire grows.

A baking dish with baked cod with tomatoes and onions

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It’s common sense (as good advice often is), but when you are used to cooking the same thing over and over, it can be hard to see a recipe any other way—including when your full-time job is coming up with recipes!

Case-in-point: I have long loved and frequently make baked fish for dinner. It’s easy, it’s healthy, and Ben and I both adore it.

When I think of baked fish, however, my brain gets stuck on my go-to Baked Salmon in Foil. It’s a fantastic recipe, and one that you can change up in numerous ways to keep it fresh (Spicy Baked Salmon, Grilled Salmon in Foil, and Lemon Pepper Salmon are just a few suggestions).

It’s about time I take my own advice and change up baked cod, beyond thinking of oven baked cod in foil!

While I’ve certainly covered the basics: Grilled Cod, Pan Fried Cod, and crispy cod like this Fish and Chips (a baked cod with panko topping), I had yet to come up with something that felt fresh.

Enter this baked cod with tomatoes and fennel!

While on its face, this baked cod recipe is simple, the finishes around it make it superb.

This healthy baked cod recipe is ready in less than 40 minutes, is super good for you, and it has a beautiful blend of Italian flavors and ingredients.

It will delight and surprise you in a way that you might not think a fish as humble as cod is capable of dong.

A white baking dish with healthy baked cod and tomatoes

5 Star Review

“I made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing! Even my picky kids were asking when we can have it again. Tastes like a meal from a nice restaurant with very little effort.”

— Elizabeth —

How to Make the Most Delicious Baked Cod with Vegetables

As a nod to my favorite fresh ingredients, I baked the cod with juicy tomatoes and herbs.

Since cherry tomatoes taste quite decent year-round, so you can make baked cod with tomatoes in any season.


The Ingredients

  • Cod. If you haven’t tried it before, cod is a firm, fairly mild fish. Because it doesn’t have a strong taste, it’s great for people who don’t like “fishy” fish. It also can take on the flavors of whatever you put with it.
  • Lemon. Making baked cod with lemon is classic, and for a good reason (I also used this combo in my Fish en Papillote). The lemon brightens up the cod and makes it taste its best; I can’t imagine cod without it.
  • Tomatoes. I love fresh cherry tomatoes in this recipe, and they taste great year-round.

Using Garden Tomatoes

If you are making this recipe when tomatoes are in season and you have a windfall of garden tomatoes you’re looking to use up (lucky you!), you can swap them for the cherry tomatoes. Cut them into 1-inch chunks first.

  • Yellow Onion. It caramelizes with the tomatoes and becomes jammy, crispy in places, and sweet.
  • Fennel. Raw fennel tastes like licorice (and I am not much of a fan). Sautéed and roasted fennel, however, is a completely different tale. I like the depth it gives the baked cod. If you prefer not to use fennel, you can simply leave it out.
  • White Wine. Splash in some for the cod; save the rest for dinner!

Substitution Tip!

If you prefer to make this baked cod without wine, you can swap in chicken stock.

  • Capers. Briny, salty, and a DELISH, instant way to elevate your cooking. Try adding a few tablespoons to some of your favorite Italian recipes.
  • Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes. Baked cod with salt and pepper is delicious, and the red pepper flakes add a hint of heat.

The Directions

Four pieces of fresh fish in a baking dish with salt and pepper sprinkled on top
  1. Dry and season the cod.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice over the top.
  3. Arrange the cod in a baking dish.
A large skillet filled with tomatoes, onions, and fennel
  1. Saute the vegetables with the wine and capers. Add to the baking dish with the cod.
  2. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. This cod should be cooked at 375 degrees F.

How to Tell When Cod is Done

You know the cod is done when it flakes easily with a fork at the thickest part.

You can also use an instant read thermometer like this one to check the temperature of the fish. It’s done when it reaches 145 degrees F.

Tip!

For each serving, I like to plate the cod fillet first, then spoon the vegetable mixture and any juices that collect in the pan over and around it.

A finishing shower of fresh herbs makes the cod look pretty and fresh, and it adds more flavor.

Wine Pairing

Serve the cod with a fruity, crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. I like to use the same wine to cook the fish as I do to serve with it.

Crispy baked cod and vegetables in a white baking dish

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days. I like to store the fish and veggies separately for easier reheating.
  • To Reheat. To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake the flavors back up. You can also reheat this dish very gently in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. The vegetables can be warmed in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. I have found that fish doesn’t taste as good once it’s been frozen and reheated, but if you find yourself with leftovers, you can try to freeze it. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

What to Serve with Cod

Here are some of my favorite ideas for what tastes good with cod fish:

Easy baked cod recipe with tomatoes in a white baking dish

Recommended Tools to Make Baked Cod

High-Quality Baking Dish

This beautiful and heavy-duty baking dish is ideal for everything from casseroles to baking fish. It will last you a lifetime.

I hope to take my own advice and make many versions of this baked cod in the future…as soon as I get tired of this particular iteration, which hasn’t happened yet

If you try this Italian baked cod, please leave a comment to let me know how it came out. Your comments and 5-star reviews make my day and help the site too!

A baking dish with baked cod fillets surrounded by tomatoes and onions

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

A baking dish with baked cod fillets surrounded by tomatoes and onions

Baked Cod

5 from 29 votes
A simple, healthy recipe for baked cod with tomato and lemon. Perfect for fast, easy dinners. The Italian flavors make this our favorite way to cook cod!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 6-ounce cod fillets
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel quartered, core cut away, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup dry white wine or unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons capers drained
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus additional to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or thyme, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13 or similarly sized baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Pat the cod dry. Arrange in the baking dish, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Squeeze the lemon over the top.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, fennel, tomatoes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes until the onions and fennel are tender and the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the white wine. Let the wine reduce for 1 minute, then add the capers and red pepper flakes.
  • Spoon the tomato-fennel mixture around the cod. Place in the oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve hot.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I prefer to store the cod and vegetables separately for easy reheating.
  • TO REHEAT: To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake the flavors back up. You can also reheat this dish very gently in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. The vegetables can be warmed in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 33gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 1264mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 762IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2mg

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More Healthy Cod Recipes

In addition to my healthy baked cod recipes, I also have ideas for grilled cod recipes, breaded cod recipes, and pan fried cod recipes.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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79 Comments

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  1. So easy and delicious! Made this tonight with frozen wild cod from Costco. Didn’t have fennel, so added more onions and fresh garlic slices instead. The sauce was so good, I am already thinking of how to mop it up (rice, bread, noodles?!).

    Super flavorful, and will be making again.

    Thank you!5 stars

  2. This baked cod recipe was so good and full of flavor. I make it once a month! I think the capers are a nice touch. Paired with roasted broccoli and Greek potatoes and a white wine. Love!5 stars

  3. I followed this recipe to a T and it was quite bland. It would have been better with garlic and if the onions were browned rather than simply sautéed until tender. I would say that the chili flakes helped and the fresh herbs are an absolute must.

    1. I’m sorry that this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Kathleen. I (and many other readers) really enjoyed the flavors of this dish, so I truly wish it would’ve been a hit for you too!

  4. This was so easy and packed with flavor!! Also a nice reprieve from the basic lemon and white wine fish recipes. I added chili flake in the fennel, onion, tomato mix just before adding the white wine. It gave it a great kick.

    Will make again! I would love to make this for dinner guests when C is over! You can easily cut all your veggies ahead of time making actual hands on cooking time minimal should one have guests to entertain.

    Made a side of roasted golden beets since I’m avoiding starch. Their buttery flavor was a great compliment to the fish and fennel mix.5 stars

  5. Delicious. A keeper. I made this because I had fennel and tomatoes to be used up. Will definitely be making it again. Didn’t change a thing. It was like a restaurant dinner. Thank you for this easy delicious make ahead recipe5 stars

  6. So delicious and easy! We didn’t have fennel so I omitted it (I grow fennel in the summer so look forward to making this again with fennel). We didn’t have white wine so I used chicken broth. I had some oven roasted cherry tomatoes so I used those. Otherwise made the recipe as written. Great instructions and it was a hit!5 stars

  7. Erin, this recipe ROCKS! Actually, we used fresh wild caught Rock Fish instead of Cod, added some leeks to the onion and fennel and up’d the red pepper flakes… because we always do.

    Your recipe brings together awesome fresh flavors to compliment the fish. We served it over rice with a side of steamed aspargus.

    I had been looking for more things to do with fish besides grilling and frying. You gave us the answer! Thank you!5 stars

  8. Delicious solid recipe. My mother in law doesn’t eat red meat, so when we have it, I make her a fish dish. I’m always looking for new recipes. She loved it, the only thing different I did was to put the cod in the skillet I sautéed the veggies in and threw the skillet in the oven, as I was only cooking one serving. Turned out perfect. Thumbs up from mom.5 stars

  9. I served this recipe and absolutely loved it. It was quick, easy and delicious. My only regret is that I only used two pieces of cod. My husband and I could have eaten two more! Best cod recipe I’ve made (and I’ve tried lots). Thank you Erin!5 stars

  10. The recipe looked good, so I took a look. I was disappointed that more vegetables were not included. The picture appeared to contain more. I also don’t think fennel is an easy to use and affordable ingredient. Most of us are looking for recipes that don’t take a special grocery trip. I left it out, and added zucchini and mushrooms. I also used seafood broth, which is readily available. We eat a lot of fish, and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.

  11. So delicious, thank you Erin. I did not have fennel so I just followed the rest of the recipe and added garlic. Tender, flavorful and one I will make again and again.5 stars

  12. Loved the Caesar dressing recipe! I was looking for an alternative to my heavy, oil and egg based dressing and your recipe fit the bill. All of the flavor of a traditional Caesar but great for a lighter, healthier option.5 stars

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