Fan of cod stew? This tomato fish stew recipe is a must try! It’s hearty, easy and rich in flavour from seafood stock, canned tomatoes and fennel. Serve with a big hunk of crusty bread and this easy fish stew will hit the spot every time!
Today, though, it’s all about cod fish stew.
I’m super happy to be sharing this stew recipe with you guys today. It’s simple, delicious and super satisfying. With a nice slice of grilled bread for dunking, it makes for one heck of a meal.
There’s a local restaurant that has some pretty awesome fish stew. As much as they’ve changed their menu with the seasons, the fish stew is a constant. I mean, why not? It’s so dang good.
This cod stew is my version. I may be a little biased, but I think it’s better than the restaurant’s. After all, homemade is always better than anything out, don’t you agree?
Sometimes I make with cod and other times another white fish, but the base is always the same. Why mess with a good thing?
Best Fish To Use
For tomato based fish stews, I like to use white fish, usually cod. Not into cod or have something else on hand? Haddock or halibut would work great too!
Can I Use Frozen Cod Fillets Instead of Fresh?
Absolutely! That’s exactly what I used. I just thawed before using and the stew turned out perfectly.
How to Make This Fish Stew Recipe
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook a little.
- Stir in fennel (to see how to prepare it for this stew, check out how I prepare fennel here), celery, thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
- Mix in water and wine and cook a little until celery has softened somewhat.
- Pour in canned tomatoes and fish stock and cook a little more.
- Next goes baby potatoes and cook those until they are fork tender.
- Last goes cod. Heat until cooked through.
- Garnish and enjoy!
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More Recipe Tips & Variations
To make things easier, I used a quality store-bought seafood stock. If you want to make your own, go for it! Champagne Tastes has a lovely homemade seafood stock recipe.
Use a quality canned tomato. I opted for ‘whole’ peeled tomatoes and squished the tomatoes with my hands, breaking them up, before adding to the pot (a potato masher also works great).
Like a little more heat? Add more chili flakes. Enjoy a little less? Reduce or omit.
I enjoy my celery to have a tiny bit of bite, but if you don’t cook a little longer before adding the cod.
I used baby potatoes in this recipe and cut into bite-sized pieces. Depending on how big each potato is, you’re gonna want to cut in half or thirds. Don’t have baby potatoes on hand? Just use 1 to 2 regular-sized potatoes, like yellow or red, and cut into bite-sized chunks (you want about ½ pound or one spilling over cupful). I didn’t peel my potatoes, just washed, but you can peel if you prefer.
Like mentioned above, you can use haddock or halibut instead of cod if you prefer. Because halibut it a little bit denser, it may take a tad longer to cook.
A few sprinkles of lemon olive oil as a finisher is totally optional, but highly recommended. It really adds something special and is so so good! Don’t have lemon olive oil? Try a little sprinkle of freshly grated lemon zest.
When portioning the stew, be careful not to mush the cod pieces. It’s quite tender and delicate.
More Delicious Seafood Recipes
Hope you love this easy fish stew recipe as much as we do!
If you make this tomato cod stew, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Tomato Fish Stew Recipes (with fennel)
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 small bulb fennel (core remove and thinly sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)
- 2 stalks celery , sliced on the thinner side, about ¼ inch slices
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (or to taste, plus more for garnish if you wish)
- ¼ teaspoon salt , optional
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup water (or white wine)
- 13.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (broken up with your hands or potato masher before using, about a 398 millilitre can)
- 4 cups fish stock or broth
- ½ pound baby potatoes , cut into bite-sized chunks (roughly an overflowing cup)
- 1 pound boneless and skinless cod , cut into bite-sized pieces (or other similar white fish)
- Lemon olive oil (garnish, optional, but highly recommended)
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, until onion has softened a little.
- Add fennel, celery, thyme, chili flakes (use according to taste), salt (if using) and black pepper. Stir to combine. Add water (or wine). Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally ensuring nothing is sticking.
- Stir in canned tomatoes and stock. Bring to a low simmer and cook, cover ajar, for 10 minutes.
- Stir in potatoes and cook 12 to 15 minutes (with cover still ajar) or until they are fork tender.
- Gently place cod on top and cook 5 to 8 minutes, cover ajar or until cod is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Note: If you want a looser or thinner consistency, stir in a little water or more fish stock and heat through.
- Portion and garnish with reserved fennel fronds, a drizzle of regular or lemon olive oil and sprinkle of chili flakes (optional). Enjoy! This stew is great with a hunk of bread for dunking.
- Use a quality canned tomato. I opted for ‘whole’ peeled tomatoes and squished the tomatoes with my hands (or use a potato masher), breaking them up, before adding to the pot.
- I enjoy my celery to have a tiny bit of bite, but if you don’t cook a little longer before adding the cod.
- When portioning the stew, be careful not to mush the cod pieces. It’s quite tender and delicate.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.