15 Easy and Delicious Ways to Cook Cod (and Other White Fish)

updated Sep 28, 2023
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Credit: Christine Han/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

PSA: Cod is the addition to your dinner queue you’ve been looking for — and if you’re shaking your head and thinking I don’t know how to cook fish, I’m here to tell you it’s easy, fast, and satisfying. In other words, it’s everything you want from a weeknight dinner — especially if you know how to choose the right fish. While it’s easy and fast to cook fish, here are 15 easy cod recipes to make when you want a quick and satisfying meal.

What Kind of White Fish Should I Get?

While cod is probably the most popular (and recognizable) white fish, there are a number of varieties, such as bass, grouper, and tilapia, that cook relatively similarly. White fish have a flaky and firm texture and their mild flavor appeals to a wide range of flavors and palates. If you’re not sure what to get, don’t be afraid to ask the fishmonger questions. They’re there to help! A quick Q&A can enlighten you on the freshness and flavor of the fish in their case (and recommendations on which to buy).

Do I Want Whole Fish or Fillets?

While whole-cooked fish looks impressive and makes a good dinner party centerpiece, we recommend sticking to fillets for weeknight cooking. The fishmonger should be able to fillet any fish for you, and you gain little trying to do it yourself at home.

Is Frozen Fish an Option?

Frozen fillets (which you don’t always need to thaw before cooking) are an excellent option. They’re easy to store, taste just as good when cooked, thaw quickly, and are a great protein to have on hand for last-minute meals.

How Should I Cook White Fish?

There’s a real value to learning to cook white fish well: Paired with lemon and herbs, tucked in a taco, simmered in salsa, or served on a sandwich, white fish make easy, filling weeknight dinners. Here are 15 different ideas for cooking cod (and other white fish) to get you started.

Cod and Other White Fish Recipes

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Mahi Mahi
Easy pan-seared mahi mahi fish with a lemon butter sauce.
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2 / 15
Fish Tacos
These homemade fish tacos boast the crispiest golden fish fillets — no deep-frying required.
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3 / 15
Baked Cod with Lemon, Garlic, and Herbs
A simple recipe for cod fillets baked with lemon slices, garlic, and fresh herbs.
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4 / 15
Gremolata Butter Baked Cod Recipe
This parchment pouch fish and potato dinner is one you can easily make ahead.
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5 / 15
Nobu's Miso-Marinated Black Cod

Nobu restaurant’s miso-marinated black cod, a classic Japanese-influenced recipe that makes an easy, elegant dinner for guests or a quick main dish you can prep over the weekend.

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6 / 15
Persian Lime-Poached Seafood Stew Over Herbed Basmati Rice

This unfussy but richly flavored seafood stew marries the flavors of California’s thriving Persian population with the Golden State’s tendency to use local, sustainable ingredients and let them shine in simple preparations.

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7 / 15
Salsa-Simmered Fish
An easy recipe for white fish fillets simmered in tomato sauce on the stovetop and served over rice.
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8 / 15
Skillet Braised Cod with Asparagus and Potatoes
This fast and fancy fish dinner is so beautiful and nourishing, yet so surprisingly easy to pull together.
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9 / 15
Skillet Cod with Lemon and Capers

This recipe delivers on ease and flavor, serving up golden-brown fillets of cod with a buttery, briney pan sauce.

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Fish in Acqua Pazza

Traditionally from the coast of the Italian region of Campania, this broth is most commonly used as a poaching liquid for white fish, but can be used to poach other ingredients like shrimp or a mix of vegetables.

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11 / 15
Sheet Pan Pistachio-Crusted Cod with Fall Vegetables
Cod fillets are topped with Dijon and buttery pistachios in this easy, vegetable-packed sheet pan dinner.
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Lemon-Herb Sole on Crispy Potato Rafts

The potatoes in this fish dish fuse together in the oven and become supremely crisp, tender, and garlicky. I like to use sole or halibut on top, but any firm and flaky white fish will do, like cod, haddock, or striped bass.

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13 / 15
Baked Fish, Spinach, and Tomatoes in Foil Packets

This is really a template for any type of baked fish. I used cod, but you could just as easily go with halibut, tilapia, salmon, or whatever looks good and fresh at the fish counter. Closing everything up in a packet steams the fish and vegetables while keeping them moist.

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Pasta Gratin with Fish and Spinach

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover fish from chef Jacques Pépin’s Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze, but you can also just buy canned tuna or salmon instead for a quick shortcut. While it may seem like a basic noodle casserole, I love that it has a bed of wilted spinach, so it can truly stand alone as dinner.

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15 / 15
Baked Crispy Fish Sandwiches

For these fish sandwiches, I brush the fish with mayonnaise first to keep it moist and to give the panko something to cling onto, and I also use mayonnaise, dill relish, and some capers to make a quick tartar sauce.

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