Mediterranean Baked Cod

5 from 24 votes
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Mediterranean Baked Cod with burst cherry tomatoes, fennel, and fresh basil. This simple, one-pan meal is light, nutritious, and ultra flavorful.

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Mediterranean Baked Cod in a baking dish topped with fresh basil.
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My love of a vibrant Mediterranean-inspired recipe runs deep.

Usually my go-to’s are Mediterranean Pasta and Mediterranean Salmon, however my recipe repertoire begged for a baked white fish recipe.

My go-to method for preparing white fish is typically pan-searing (like in these Baja Fish Tacos and Fish Taco Bowls). Baking, however, ensures less mess and just a more streamlined cooking process.

This healthy baked cod recipe comes together in one pan, and is filled with good-for-you ingredients.

It offers a beautiful blend of Mediterranean flavors, and it will delight and surprise you in a way that you might not think a fish as humble as cod could do.

It’s impressive enough for entertaining, yet simple enough for weeknights. Now that’s a winning combination.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with labels on a wooden platter.
  • Cod: While this recipe calls for cod (it’s inexpensive and mild in flavor), any firm white fish will do, such as halibut or sea bass.
  • Tomatoes: The cherry tomatoes break down and become super jammy as they bake. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Fennel: Fennel is a member of the parsley family with a mild anise flavor. One of Italy’s most popular vegetables, it has a bulb-like base, stalks like celery, and feathery fronds. (Oh, and the entire plant is edible!)
  • Garlic: Fresh is best here! If you’re a garlic lover like me, feel free to use more than 3 cloves.
  • Capers: For a salty, briny bite that will instantly elevate the dish.
  • Lemon: I love topping the fish with fresh lemon slices to really infuse it with bright flavor. This is optional, however it also makes for lovely presentation.
  • Basil: A smattering of fresh basil lends a vibrant finish.
  • Vinegar: I prefer using red wine vinegar, however white wine or rice wine vinegar will also work!
  • Honey: A touch of honey helps amplify the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • EVOO: Heart-healthy and packed with powerful polyphenols, olive oil is the MVP of Mediterranean cooking.

For a complete list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Substitutions and Additions:

  • Omit Fennel: If cooking with fennel feels too foreign, swap it for shallots or yellow onion.
  • Use Salmon: Instead of white fish, salmon fillets also work beautifully in this recipe.
  • Make Spicy: I love adding a pinch of chili flakes for a kick of heat.
  • Use Whole Tomatoes: During summer when tomatoes are at their peak, feel free to use beefsteak or Heirloom tomatoes cut into 1-inch chunks.
A red baking dish filled with baked Mediterranean cod.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Roast Tomatoes and Fennel. In a large baking dish, combine tomatoes, fennel, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, honey, and capers; roast until the tomatoes are broken down and jammy.

Tomatoes, capers, fennel, garlic, and olive oil in a ceramic dish.

Step 2: Bake Fish. Rub the cod with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place it on top of the tomato mixture, and bake until firm and flaky. Garnish with basil, and serve!

Fish and lemon slices being added to ceramic dish on top of tomato mixture.

Serving Suggestions:

I love serving this Mediterranean Baked Cod with a vibrant side salad and fresh bread or focaccia. Here are a few salad suggestions:

Recipe FAQs:

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 and check that it registers 145 degrees F.

How Long Does Cod Take in the Cven at 400?

Cod cooks relatively quickly and should reach a safe internal temperature within 10 to 15 minutes. Check for doneness by flaking the thickest part of the fish fillet with a fork.

Do you Need to Cover Cod when Baking?

There is no need to cover cod when baking since it cooks so quickly. If you choose to cover it with foil, however, it can help retain moisture and lock in flavor.

How to Store and Reheat:

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
Reheat: To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish, covered with foil, in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake up the flavors. You can also reheat individual portions gently in the microwave.

Mediterranean baked cod in a red baking dish topped with fresh basil and lemon slices.

More Delicious Baked Fish Recipes:

If you try this Mediterranean Baked Cod, tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 24 votes

Mediterranean Baked Cod

Mediterranean Baked Cod with burst cherry tomatoes, fennel, and fresh basil. This simple, one-pan meal is light, nutritious, and ultra flavorful.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small fennel bulb, stocks and fronds removed (sub 1 large shallot or 1/2 yellow onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. capers
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1-1.25 lbs. cod, cut into four fillets (sub halibut or sea bass)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 thinly sliced lemon slices (from 1 lemon)
  • Chopped fresh basil leaves for serving
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove the stalks and root end of the fennel bulb, and slice the bulb into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter with your knife, and then thinly slice each quarter.
    To a 4-quart baking dish, combine tomatoes, fennel, garlic, capers, 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of chili flakes (optional); stir well to combine.
    Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are broken down and jammy.
  • Meanwhile, pat the fish dry with paper towels, and brush all over with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season fish with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper.
  • Toss the tomato mixture, and nestle the fish fillets in the pan, spacing evenly apart. Top each fillet with one thin lemon slice. Roast until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil.
    Spoon the tomato mixture over fish fillets when serving.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
    Reheat: To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish, covered with foil, in the oven at 350 degrees F until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake up the flavors. You can also reheat individual portions gently in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1fish fillet with tomato mixture | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 730mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. Beth Piatnitza says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is a winner! I used cut up tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. The fennel base gets so flavorful and creamy. The otherwise bland fish is delicious eaten with bits of fennel or tomatoes.

  2. Caroline says:

    5 stars
    My entire family LOVED this recipe! Delicious!

  3. Susu says:

    5 stars
    My friend made this for dinner last night and dropped off a a serving for me. She said she was making Cod and I didn’t really expect much more than maybe some salt and pepper and little seasoning. It was amazing! Literally one of the best things I’ve had in a long time. I’ve lived in San Francisco so I know what perfect delicious food is. I live on the seacoast in New Hampshire and I know what delicious food is. This could be served at any restaurant and you would be impressed.

  4. Debbie says:

    5 stars
    So delicious. Has a buttery flavor without the butter! Thank you!

  5. Patty says:

    5 stars
    We love this for a quick, healthy dinner

  6. Doreen says:

    5 stars
    This smells amazing when it’s cooking and it was delicious. It will definitely be a regular dish around here!

  7. Jan says:

    Made it tonight and it was easy &delicious!! I love the fennel with fish. I ran short on the cherry tomatoes though so I added a half a can of Delmontes diced Tomatoes in Basil Garlic & Oregano that I had on hand….It was get and would work great sub for all the tomatoes too.

  8. Susan says:

    I will be making this dish for Christmas Eve.
    Just wondering if the recipe calls for cod fillets or cod loins?
    And also what the cooking time should be.