This delicious recipe for cod in tomato sauce has a rich and spicy tomato base, beans, olives and perfectly cooked fish. Plus, it’s made in one pot for easy cleanup! Serve with a big hunk of bread for dunking and you’re in for one delicious treat!
Stopping in with an easy seafood recipe that’s sure to be a fave.
With punch-ya-in-the-taste-bud flavours, like briny olives, tender cod, crushed red pepper flakes, and hearty beans, every bite is super satisfying.
I highly suggest serving with a big hunk of bread for dunking, getting every last drop of that tomato sauce.
And if you want to gild the lily here, serve with a glass of crisp white wine and you’re set!
Why We Love This Cod in Tomato Sauce Recipe
- This easy seafood dinner is made in one pot for easy cleanup.
- It’s made with wholesome, simple, ingredients.
- Of course, it tastes amazing! With a rich, slightly spicy, broth and a couple of special garnishes, it’s super satisfying.
How To Make Fish in Tomato Sauce
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook diced onion.
- Add minced garlic and cook.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook for a minute or so.
- Pour in canned tomatoes and water (rinse out your can of tomatoes to get every last bit of that goodness).
- Add your seasonings.
- Mix in beans and olives.
- Cook until the sauce thickens a little.
- Season cod fillets with a little salt and pepper. Then, tuck them into the tomato sauce, fully submerging. Cover with lid slightly ajar and cook until the cod has cooked through, is opaque, and flakes easily with a fork.
- Garnish (if desired). There you have it! You’ve made some tasty, easy fish in tomato sauce that you’re gonna love!
Can I Use Another Type of Fish?
Most certainly! I used fresh boneless and skinless cod fillets, but halibut, tilapia, swordfish, or haddock are other delicious options.
Speaking of fish: fresh versus frozen. I tend to find that with frozen fish fillets, especially cod, they’re more watery upon thawing than fresh.
You can use either fresh or frozen fish in this recipe. If using frozen fish, thaw before using.
Can I Use Something Besides Beans?
While beans are super yummy, gnocchi would be another great option.
Just cook them separately and mix in with the tomato sauce once everything is done. Alternatively, portion the gnocchi and distribute the sauce over top.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Cook time can vary depending on the thickness of your fillets. Cook until fish is completely cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- As mentioned, boneless and skinless cod fillets were used here. Still, check fish over for any bones and discard.
- I tucked 4 cod fillets into the tomato sauce. You can easily add another one or two fillets if you like.
- Because the spicy tomato sauce is such a predominant flavour here, use good quality canned tomatoes. San Marzano is always delicious. Note: Crush the tomatoes with your hands (or roughly mash with a potato masher) so you are still left with some chunks of tomato. It’s delicious! You can dump them into a bowl and crush away. Plus, I find it oddly satisfying to crush tomatoes. I know, I’m an odd one.
- If you want a thicker tomato sauce consistency, you can omit the water and reduce your tomatoes a little more before adding your fish.
- Canned tomatoes can vary in salt content. Add salt to taste.
- I opted to use 1 full teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, but you can use less of you aren’t a huge fan of spice or omit altogether. Alternatively, mix in some freshly minced chili (red Thai chili works great here).
- Canned white kidney (or cannellini beans) were used, but you can use navy beans or great northern beans instead.
- Dried thyme was used in the sauce, but you can use 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme if you prefer.
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Freshly chopped thyme, especially lemon thyme
- Crushed red pepper flakes or fresh chili
- Drizzle of regular or lemon olive oil (so good)
This cod recipe is super hearty and doesn’t need much, but some nicely toasted or grilled bread would be so good for mopping up that delicious tomato sauce.
Tip: After your bread is toasted, scrub a little fresh garlic clove over top to give a little extra oomph!
To make things even more substantial, serve in a shallow bowl over grits, polenta or mashed potatoes.
Serving with a green salad would be yummy too.
More Easy Seafood Recipes
If you try this recipe for cod in tomato sauce, be sure to leave a comment below!
Cod in Tomato Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, tomatoes roughly mashed with a potato masher before using to break them up (about 3 cups or a 796 millilitre can)
- ½ cup water, rinse out canned tomatoes with water and use that
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like things
- 1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup black olives (Kalamata), pitted and sliced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons capers, optional
- 1 ¼ pound boneless and skinless cod fillets, 4 fillets (about 4.5 to 5 ounces each)
- Freshly minced thyme or lemon thyme leaves, garnish to taste (optional)
- Drizzle of lemon olive oil, garnish to taste (optional)
- Crushed red pepper flakes, garnish to taste (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy-bottomed sauté (or deep) pan over medium heat. Note: The pan should have a lid for use later.
- Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, stir, and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in canned tomatoes, water (rinse out tomato can with water and use that "tomato water"), thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, beans, olives and capers (if using). Bring to a simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until things have reduced/thickened a little.Note: If you want less sauce (or a thicker consistency) omit the water and/or reduce your sauce a little longer to get a thicker consistency before adding your cod fillets.
- Season fillets with remaining ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper among all four pieces.
- Make 4 little wells in sauce and add cod fillets. Fully immerse them into the sauce, covering the fillets with the sauce.
- Cover with lid slightly ajar and cook on a gentle simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the fillets are cooked through, they're opaque and flake easily with a fork (insert the tines of a fork into the thickest part of the fish at an angle and twist gently; it should flake easily). Note: Cook time can vary, depending on your heat level and how thick your fillets are.
- Be careful when removing the fillets from the sauce as they are delicate (it's best to use a large spatula here).
- Garnish with more thyme, crushed red pepper flakes and drizzle of lemon (or regular) olive oil (if desired). Serve as is or with crusty bread or over creamy polenta or grits. Enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!