Discover the Magic of Cod En Papillote: Moist and Flavorful Cod with Veggies

What is Cod En Papillote?

“En papillote” is a French cooking technique that involves cooking food in parchment paper packets or foil to create moist and tender dishes. And when it comes to fish, cod en papillote is the secret to a mouthwatering and succulent meal. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this delicious recipe for cod cooked with vegetables and a tangy lemon-butter sauce!

Steaming Fish Made Easy

A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe tutorial for Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf, which adds a unique twist to steaming fish. But I understand that banana leaves might not be readily available to everyone. So, here’s a Mediterranean-inspired alternative that will satisfy your taste buds.

How to Steam Cod in Parchment Paper

Today, we’re diving into the method of steaming cod in parchment paper, also known as cod en papillote. You can find parchment paper and foil easily in most major grocery stores in the United States, making this cooking method accessible to all.

Unlike steaming with banana leaves, parchment paper does not impart any additional flavor to the fish. Instead, the flavors come from the ingredients you add to your packets. Feel free to use bolder seasonings here compared to banana leaf packets.

In this recipe for baked cod en papillote with vegetables, I’ve prepared a luscious lemon-butter sauce infused with garlic, red onion, and fresh sage. As the butter melts in the packet, the cod steams gently, resulting in moist fish that beautifully combines with the zesty lemon juice.

This dish is a true delight for your senses, and the best part is, it’s incredibly easy to make. But don’t just take my word for it—try it yourself!

⭐ Benefits of Making Cod En Papillote

Why should you give this recipe a whirl? Let me tell you the advantages:

  • Mild fish option for picky eaters: Cod is known for its mild taste, making it perfect for those who aren’t fond of strong seafood flavors.
  • A light dish without deprivation: This seafood entrée contains under 300 calories and is low carb keto-friendly. The rich lemon-butter sauce adds a satisfying touch.
  • Easy weeknight meal: Looking for a convenient and healthy option for busy weeknights? Simply layer your ingredients in the packet and let the oven work its magic. While the cod and veggies cook, the buttery sauce comes together effortlessly.
  • Customize to your preference: You can easily modify these seafood packets to suit your dietary needs. Check out the FAQ section below for tips on substituting fish and vegetables.
  • Gluten-free delight: Cod en papillote is naturally gluten-free, making it a fantastic choice for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
  • Irresistibly delicious: Baked cod in parchment paper is one of the best ways to enjoy cod—it’s simple, requires minimal cleanup, and the flavors are exceptional. Get ready to fall in love with cod papillote!
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🥘 Ingredients for Cod En Papillote

When preparing this dish, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Boneless cod fillets (about ¾-inch thick or 1.9 cm)
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Sliced zucchini
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper (optional, to taste)
  • Thinly sliced red onion (or shallot)
  • Fresh sage leaves (feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs too)
  • Butter (or olive oil)

For specific quantities, refer to the recipe card at the end of this article.

You’ll also want to have side dishes ready to accompany this delightful fish. I highly recommend serving it over cooked whole grain rice or quinoa. Their fluffy texture perfectly complements the lemon-butter sauce. Additionally, fresh citrus slices like lemons, limes, or oranges make a fantastic garnish.

🔪 How to Cook Cod En Papillote

Cooking en papillote may sound fancy, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper and a sheet of foil for each cod packet. These sheets should measure approximately 14-18 inches long, but don’t worry too much about precise measurements—having more paper and foil is better than having too little.
  2. Spray the parchment paper with cooking oil spray. Arrange the sliced zucchini on top of the paper.
  3. Place the cod fillets on top of the zucchini. Drizzle lemon juice over the fish and sprinkle it with lemon zest, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the fresh sage leaves and thinly sliced red onion.
  4. Place a pat or two of butter on top of each fish packet—two ½-tablespoon slices of butter per packet work well.
  5. To fold the packet, fully encompass the food in the parchment by folding the top and bottom, and then fold the sides. Repeat the process with the foil, as it will hold the parchment in place.
  6. Arrange the fish packets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Now you’re ready to steam your cod!
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⏲️ What Temperature to Cook Fish En Papillote?

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the fish packets for 18-20 minutes. Place the baking sheet with the packets one-third of the way down the oven. This ensures that the fish becomes tender and flaky without drying out.

Remember to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cod, which should reach a minimum of 145F (63C) for safe consumption. Cooking times may vary if using fish fillets of different thickness or alternative vegetables.

🥗 What to Serve with Fish En Papillote?

As mentioned earlier, serving fish cooked in parchment paper with a whole grain and some non-starchy veggies is an excellent choice. Whole grain wild rice and tomato-cucumber salads pair beautifully with cod. And while the packets already contain zucchini and red onions, feel free to add more veggies to your meal.

Here are a few suggestions for side dishes:

  • Vegan Spinach Salad
  • Air Fryer Frozen Vegetables (perfect for multitasking while your oven is occupied with the cod packets)
  • Air Fryer Jicama Fries with Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce

Adding more depth to the flavor, you could even try making your own butter using my Homemade Amish Butter recipe.

📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein

A serving of cod en papillote with veggies contains 246 calories, 6.7 grams of net carbs, and 20.4 grams of protein. These values are for one serving of the recipe without additional sides.

💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This recipe falls under level 1, which may support fat loss. Cod is an excellent source of lean protein, providing ample protein while keeping calories in check. It can help you feel full, making it easier to reach your weight loss goals.

Additionally, this cod en papillote recipe incorporates plenty of zucchini, a non-starchy vegetable. Non-starchy veggies are low in calories but high in volume, allowing you to enjoy generous portions while maintaining a healthy weight. If weight loss is your aim, try incorporating non-starchy veggies into most of your meals.

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While the recipe itself provides under 300 calories per serving, it’s typically not enough for a complete meal. To enhance the dish, add ¼ cup of dry whole grains (equivalent to ½-¾ cup cooked) for an extra 150-200 calories. Don’t forget to include more non-starchy veggies or a side of fruit for added variety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is parchment paper the same as wax paper?

No, parchment paper and wax paper are not interchangeable. Wax paper is not heat-resistant like parchment paper, and using it in the oven can lead to food contamination and potential oven fires. So, stick to using parchment paper for this recipe.

Is it better to use aluminum foil or parchment paper?

Both aluminum foil and parchment paper have their unique culinary applications. While parchment paper is the preferred choice for cooking “en papillote,” I like to use a combination of both. I place parchment paper directly on the food, while the foil helps secure and seal the packets, preventing any leaks.

Can I cook other fish en papillote?

Absolutely! This cooking method works well with various types of fish. Don’t limit yourself to just cod—try salmon en papillote by substituting salmon fillets in this recipe. However, cooking times may differ depending on the thickness of the fish fillets.

Can I cook other vegetables en papillote?

Of course! If zucchini isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to use other vegetables instead. Just make sure to choose vegetables that cook at the same rate as the fish. Sliced summer squashes, bell peppers, leek, asparagus, green beans, pesto, and halved grape tomatoes are all great options. For vegetables that take longer to cook, like potatoes or carrots, slice them thinly to ensure they cook properly without drying out the cod. You can also incorporate herbs and kalamata olives into the fish packets for added flavor.

👨🏾‍🍳 Other White Fish Recipes You May Enjoy

If you’re a fan of white fish like cod, you’ll definitely want to explore these delightful recipes too:

  • Frozen Cod in Air Fryer Recipe Served with Strawberry Kiwi Mango Salsa
  • Air Fryer Tilapia with Garlic Chive Miso Butter
  • Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf
  • Air Fryer Sea Bass
  • Air Fryer Halibut

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The Disclaimer…

Please note that all recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for your specific needs and preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician to determine the best dietary approach for you.

The provided nutrition information is an estimate and should be used as a guide. Actual values may vary depending on specific brands and ingredients used. Calorie information on food labels can often be inaccurate, so don’t stress over the numbers too much.

For more information on how our recipe levels may assist with your weight management goals, refer to our Overnight Oats No Sugar post. Now it’s time to get cooking!

📖 Recipe

To access the full recipe for Cod En Papillote with detailed instructions, click here.