Spicy Moroccan Baked Fish

5 from 2 votes
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Spicy Moroccan Baked Fish with chickpeas, burst tomatoes, and herbs. A healthy, one-pan meal brimming with bold, Moroccan-inspired flavors.

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Moroccan baked fish topped with chickpeas and tomatoes in a blue and white baking dish.

Tender, flaky white fish atop a spicy harissa tomato-chickpea mixture with garlic, shallots, and parsley.

This recipe became an instant family favorite for its ease, healthy ingredient lineup, and versatility.

Much like my Mediterranean Baked Cod recipe, it comes together in one pan and truly feels restaurant-worthy.

The key to the Moroccan spice profile is using a good quality harissa (I use Mina brand). And if you love flavoring seafood with harissa, also try my Harissa Baked Salmon.)

Since cherry tomatoes taste decent year-round, so you can make this recipe during any and all seasons!

This meal is impressive enough for entertaining, yet simple enough for weeknights.

Round it out with a simple green salad, and you’re in business.

How to Make Moroccan Baked Fish

While I prefer using a versatile, budget-friendly fish like cod, you can also use halibut or sea bass. (Cod also works wonderfully in this Thai Coconut Cod and Baja Fish Tacos recipe!)

This healthy cod recipe is ready in less than 1 hour, is super good for you, and it has a beautiful blend of Moroccan flavors and ingredients.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with labels on a wooden tray.
  • Cod: A firm, fairly mild fish, cod is a great option for people who don’t like “fishy” fish. It also can take on the flavors of whatever you pair it with.
  • Tomatoes: Juicy, sweet, and available year-round, cherry tomatoes make up the base of the sauce.
  • Chickpeas: For a one-two punch of protein and fiber.
  • Harissa: I prefer using a spicy harrisa, such as Mina brand, which adds smoky, spicy-sweet flavor. I use harissa SO often in my recipes – it’s truly an MVP ingredient in my pantry!
  • Garlic + Shallots: To form the aromatic backbone of the sauce.
  • Sherry Vinegar: For a punch of brightness and acidity. Alternatively, you can use red wine vinegar.
  • Lemon: Optional, however I love adding thinly sliced lemon to the fish to help infuse it with bright, citrus-y flavor.
  • Parsley: For a pop of vibrancy and freshness. Alternatively, you can use fresh basil or dill.

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

The Directions

Step 1: Roast Tomatoes and Chickpeas. To a baking dish, combine tomatoes, chickpeas, shallots, garlic, harissa, vinegar, oil, and salt; toss to combine.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.

Tomatoes, chickpeas, harissa, shallots, garlic, and olive oil being mixed in a baking dish.

Step 2: Season Cod with salt and pepper, and nestle fillets into pan. Top with lemon slices, and roast until the cod is flaky, about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Tell When Cod is Done

You know cod is done when it’s opaque white or off-white in color, and flakes easily with a fork at the thickest part. You can test the internal temperature with a quick-read thermometer and make sure it registers 140–145°F:

Cod fillets being arranged over chickpea and tomato mixture and topped with lemon slices.

Step 3: Garnish with fresh parsley and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Serving Tip

I like to arrange each fillet on a plate, and top generously with the chickpea and tomato mixture. This way, the juices fully coat the cod fillets. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side and an extra drizzle of olive oil and/or fresh parsley.

Spicy Moroccan baked fish styled in a baking dish topped with lemon slices and chopped parsley.

Recipe Variations

  • Use a Different Fish. Any firm, flaky fish such as halibut, sea bass, or even salmon will work well in this recipe.
  • Add Capers or Olives. For a briny bite, add 1 Tablespoon of capers or 3 Tablespoons of chopped dark pitted olives. Preserved lemon would also be lovely in this recipe in place of the fresh lemon.
  • Omit Spice. If you’re spice averse (or serving to kiddos), either omit the harissa entirely or use a mild harissa.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish in the oven at 350ºF until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake the flavors back up. You can also reheat very gently in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. The chickpea-tomato mixture is more forgiving, and can be warmed in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.
  • Note: I do not suggest freezing this dish.

Serving Suggestions

Most often, I just serve this Moroccan baked fish with a simple green salad. However, here are a few other sides that will pair exceptionally well.

Chickpea and tomato mixture being spooned over cod fillets in a blue and white baking dish.

More Healthy Fish Recipes to Try

If you give this Moroccan baked fish a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 2 votes

Spicy Moroccan Baked Fish

Spicy Moroccan Baked Fish with chickpeas, burst tomatoes, and herbs. A healthy, one-pan meal brimming with bold, Moroccan-inspired flavors.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 3 to 4 quart baking dish

Ingredients  

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. harissa
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 (6-oz.) cod fillets
  • 4 very thin lemon slices (from 1 small lemon)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    To a 3 to 4-quart baking dish, combine tomatoes, chickpeas, harissa, shallots, garlic, vinegar, 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt; toss well to combine. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes break down and become jammy.
  • Toss the tomato-chickpea mixture, and nestle the cod fillets overtop, spacing evenly apart. Drizzle cod with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Top each fillet with one slice of lemon.
    Bake until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh parsley and another drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Notes

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. To avoid drying out the fish, rewarm it in a baking dish in the oven at 350ºF until heated through. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to wake the flavors back up. You can also reheat very gently in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. The chickpea-tomato mixture is more forgiving, and can be warmed in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave.
  • Note: I do not suggest freezing this dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cod fillet with 1/2 heaping cup chickpea-tomato mixture | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 690mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6.5g

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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2 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    Jamie!! I wasn’t sure what to expect but this was amazing. It was my first time to try the spicy version of harissa and would repeat! It was a huge hit with our college student home for the summer.
    Made a double batch of the chickpeas/tomatoes and put half away for later before cooking the fish. Served with broccoli. This was a great new addition to our ever-growing (DOH) recipes. Thanks!

  2. Rayna Lane says:

    5 stars
    This was a delicious recipe!!