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cod en papillote meal with wild rice

Cod En Papillote | Cod Cooked in Parchment

Summer Yule
What is cod en papillote? This cooking method is the secret of cooking fish so it is moist, tender, and tasty instead of dry. Try it out!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, French
Servings 3
Calories 273 kcal


  • 1 lb. boneless cod fillets, ¾-inch (1.9 cm) thick (454 grams; 3 fillets)
  • cooking oil spray of choice
  • 1 lb. zucchini, cut into ½-inch (1.27 cm) thick slices (454 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 6 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • cooked whole grains, fruits or more non-starchy vegetables (for additional side dishes)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Prepare any additional side dishes that you have planned before working on the fish.
  • Lay out 3 pieces of foil, approximately 14-18 inches (35.6-45.7 cm) in length. Top each piece of foil with a piece of parchment paper, also 14-18 inches (35.6-45.7 cm) in length.
  • Mist each piece of parchment with the cooking oil spray.
  • Place the zucchini slices in a 3-slice by 4-slice rectangle in the middle of each sheet of parchment paper. Put any additional zucchini slices that are left on top of the rectangles. (If you use extremely large or small zucchini, the number of slices used per cod packet will vary.)
  • Put a cod fillet on top of each zucchini rectangle.
  • Pour ⅓ of the lemon juice on top of each piece of cod. Sprinkle the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper, sage, and thinly sliced onions on top (in that order).
  • Put 2 pats of butter on top of the food in each packet (i.e., each packet gets one tablespoon of butter total).
  • Fold the parchment snugly around the food in each packet. You want the food to be completely covered in parchment. I folded the sides of each packet and then the top and bottom. Secure the parchment by folding the foil over the parchment in a similar way. First fold in the sides of the foil, and then the top and bottom. Use the recipe video below as a guide in folding your parchment packets.
  • After each packet of food has been completely encased in the parchment and then the foil, you are ready to get steaming. Place the packets in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  • Put the baking sheet with the packets in the top third of your preheated oven. Steam for 18-20 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
  • After the allotted cooking time, unwrap your packets. The fish should be tender and flaky.
  • To serve, plate the contents of the fish packets with any additional side dishes that you have prepared. I like to serve the fish and lemon-butter sauce in the packet on top of a cooked whole grain. Sometimes I serve the red onions on top of the fish, and sometimes I mix them with the cooked zucchini on the side.


This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). White fishes, such as cod, are a great source of lean protein. Cod provides a lot of protein for very few calories, which may help to keep you full, making it easier to support a weight loss goal.
Additionally, this cod en papillote recipe includes lots of zucchini. Non-starchy vegetables, like zucchini, provide a lot of volume for few calories. Non-starchy veggies allow me to eat large amounts of food while staying in the calorie balance needed to maintain a healthy weight. I recommend trying to get some non-starchy veggies into most of your meals if you want to lose some body fat.
The recipe as written provides under 300 calories per serving, which is usually not enough for a meal. Adding ¼-cup of dry (½-¾ cup cooked) whole grains will add 150-200 calories to the meal. I always include more non-starchy veggies or some fruit too.
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe.


Calories: 273kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 30.6gFat: 13.1gSaturated Fat: 7.5gSodium: 96.5mgPotassium: 1102.9mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 17.4% DVVitamin C: 47.4% DVCalcium: 14.4% DVIron: 8.3% DV
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