Mediterranean Baked Cod recipe with pesto sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese is a wildly flavorful main dish perfect for keeping dinners fun and interesting. Serve it up with your favorite side dishes for a healthy meal.
After making my Chili Lime Cod a couple of years ago and learning just how stellar the fish is for overall health, I’ve kept cod a part of my regular protein intake.
If you’re new to cod, the basic rundown is it is very high in lean protein and very low in fat, making it also low in calories.
What little fat is present in cod is mostly omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain and hormone health, as well as longevity. In addition, cod is a decent source of Vitamin B-12.
Cod is a mild white fish that has very little flavor, which makes it an ideal canvas for recipes like this, where we’re allowing big bold ingredients to shine through. Because it is a lean fish, it benefits from adding ingredients that contain a decent amount of healthy fats.
Cod is also very low in mercury, much more so than some other types of seafood, making it one of the safest fish you can eat!
If you made my Mediterranean in Parchment Paper, you’re already familiar with the approach here. We’re loading up the fish with palatable ingredients to make a powerfully enjoyable meal.
Making this magically flavorful yet simple cod recipe is exceedingly simple!
We simply smother the cod filets with our ingredients and bake them in the oven. BOOM! A meal that comes off fancy and time-intensive but is actually remarkably simple and crazy quick for weeknight dinners.
Let’s discuss the simple ingredients needed for this healthy baked cod recipe.
Ingredients for Mediterranean Baked Cod:
Cod Fillets: The main event here, cod fish is our protein of choice. As mentioned above, cod has very subtle flavor so we’re making it interesting by adding all sorts of goodies to it. Use either fresh or frozen fish fillets. If using frozen, be sure to thaw the fish completely before proceeding with the recipe. If you don’t have access to fresh cod or frozen cod, you can replace it with mahi mahi, swordfish or halibut.
Avocado Oil: We need a small amount of avocado oil to lightly coat the cod, making sure it stays moist during the baking process. You can also use olive oil if you’d prefer.
Pesto Sauce: Store-bought or homemade pesto sauce brings herby garlicky deliciousness to the meal. Pesto alone can be enough to flavor cod, as seen in my Pesto Baked Cod and Asparagus recipe.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Bright and tangy, sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite ingredients to step up flavor when flavor is lacking. They bring an earthiness and richness to any dish.
Capers: A fun, briny burst of flavor, capers are magical with any type of fish, which is why we see salmon with caper sauce so frequently on restaurant menus. If you aren’t a fan of capers, you can easily omit them without losing out on deliciousness.
Kalamata Olives: That briny amazing ingredient that brings a huge punch to Mediterranean recipes. If you prefer black olives or green olives, you can easily make the substitution here, but I highly recommend sticking with kalamata given their immense flavor.
Feta Cheese: A sprinkle of feta cheese brings additional tang and a little creaminess to just seal the deal on the whole package. If you’re dairy-free, feel free to omit the feta (and use a dairy-free pesto sauce), but otherwise, go wild!
This simple combination of ingredients yields a wildly flavorful healthy fish recipe that you’ll want to keep on constant rotation for busy weeknights!
Feel like changing up this easy baked cod recipe? Consider adding garlic powder, onion powder, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest, green onion, red onion, garlic butter or melted butter, fresh parsley, lemon pepper, Cajun seasoning, etc.
Let’s make this easy dinner recipe that the whole family is guaranteed to love!
How to Make Mediterranean Baked Cod:
If your cod filets are frozen, thaw them completely before preparing this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pat the cod filets dry using paper towels, then transfer them to a casserole dish, baking sheet, or baking dish. Coat the flesh with avocado oil and sprinkle it with sea salt.
Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce over each of the filets. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (capers, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese) over the filets.
Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. cod is considered fully cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of 137 degrees Fahrenheit. To verify the temperature, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the filet and wait until the numbers stop increasing.
Serve Mediterranean Baked cod with your choice of side dishes and lemon wedges. I recommend serving it with Lemon Garlic Rosemary Rice, Crowd-Pleasing Roasted Vegetables and a side salad such as my Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Spinach and Grapes.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The exact cooking time will vary depending on size and thickness of the fillets as well as the temperature of the filets before they go into the oven. For the best result, be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure the fish doesn’t become overcooked or go undercooked.
And that’s it! A simple meal with big flavor and big health benefits that will most assuredly be a crowd-pleaser whether you’re enjoying it as a weeknight dinner or making it for a special event.
If you enjoy fish and seafood, also check out these healthy recipes!
More Healthy Fish and Seafood Recipes:
- Creamy Tuscan Salmon
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Crispy Skillet Salmon with Lemon Dill Caper Sauce
- Orange Ginger Baked Halibut
- Easy Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
Enjoy this best baked cod recipe and a metaphysical vacation to the Mediterranean!
Mediterranean Baked Cod
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pat the cod filets dry using paper towels, then transfer them to a casserole dish, baking sheet, or baking dish. Coat the flesh with avocado oil and sprinkle it with sea salt.
- Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce over each of the filets. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (capers, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese) over the filets.
- Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. cod is considered fully cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of 137 degrees Fahrenheit. To verify the temperature, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the filet and wait until the numbers stop increasing.
- Serve Mediterranean Baked cod with your choice of side dishes and lemon wedges.