Cod with Lemon and Olives

Healthy baked cod with lemon and olives

Cod with Lemon and Olives is a low fat and delicious 30 minute meal, full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and one of my favorites. For such a simple recipe it’s packed with flavor!

Baked Cod with Lemon and Olives

It’s no surprise that I love seasonal cooking, and January is one of the more complex (and short!) ‘seasons’ of the year. Cooking during this time of year can be frustrating and exhilarating at the same time thanks to January’s split personality — it’s a dead-of-the-winter month that also happens to preside over the birth of a new year. We want to eat warm and cozy foods, but we also know it offers us a brand new chance at eating better. We’re already sick of casseroles, but it’s too early to be thinking about salads… Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, brings us beautiful citrus fruits to help us in our quest. I think this Mediterranean style Cod with Lemon and Olives satisfies all of our conflicting January cravings to a ‘T’.

Baked fish with lemon and olives

Baked fish cooks quickly, so I usually feel confident labeling it a 30-minute meal. The fish goes in a baking dish along with some white wine and lemon juice, which keeps it moist during the cooking, and also serves as a sauce. I scattered olives, a few capers, some lemon zest, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes over all. A final drizzle of olive oil before it goes in the oven is all that’s left to do. You can do this with most types of fish, but I usually try to find a thicker cut like halibut, sea bass, cod, swordfish, or salmon, rather than thin filets like sole, tilapia, or snapper. I especially love cod because it is so tender, white, and flaky… it’s a really good foil for strong flavors and colors.

baked cod with lemon and olives ready for the oven

We like to eat this with couscous, which serves to sop up the extra sauce, but crusty bread would work, would roasted new potatoes. It’s tangy, briney, and delicious.

Healthy baked cod with lemon and olives

This easy fish recipe is not only a drop dead delicious meal, it’s incredibly good for you, too. Cod is a lean protein, packed with the heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids that fish is famous for.

What are omega-3 fatty acids, and why are they good for your heart?

  • omega-3s are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that have been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • they may help decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure slightly, and reduce blood clotting. They may decrease your risk of stroke or heart attack.
  • 2 servings a week (for adults) of fish are recommended to get this healthy benefit.

healthy, low calorie, low carb, and paleo --- baked fish with lemon and olives is a fabulous way to eat well

Baked Cod with Lemon and Olives
3.67 from 24 votes

Cod with Lemon and Olives

Author Sue Moran


  • 3/4 - 1 lb cod
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup assorted olives
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp capers drained
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • fresh parsley


  • Set oven to 400F
  • Lay out the fish in a pan with sides, or a casserole dish. Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan.
  • Scatter the olives and capers around, then sprinkle everything with the salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and zest.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20-30 minutes until the fish flakes and is done through. The exact time will depend on your oven, and the thickness of your fish. Use your judgement, the fish is done when it is opaque throughout, and flakes when you cut it open.

Cook's notes

This recipe is slightly adapted from Real Simple
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • How about some chopped fresh tomatoes, or halved cherry tomatoes mixed with the olives.
  • If you love garlic, add a minced clove or two.
  • Throw in some good feta cheese.
  • Thinly sliced red onion would add it a gentle kick.
  • Fresh dill, basil, thyme, or rosemary instead of parsley will emphasize the herby flavor.
  • Sliced or quartered artichoke hearts would be nice!
  • Add some very thinly sliced fennel will give a sweet anise flavor to the dish.
  • Lay the fish on a bed of sliced lemon to emphasize the citrus.
  • If you don’t want to use the wine, just increase the lemon and olive oil a bit.


Don’t forget to pin this healthy Cod with Lemon and Olives!

Cod with Lemon and Olives is a low fat and delicious 30 minute meal, full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and one of my favorites. For such a simple recipe it's packed with flavor! #fish #cod #30minutemeal #omega-3 #mediterraneandiet #weightwatchers #paleo #whole30 #lowfat #healthydinner #dinner #easyfishrecipe #codfish #bakedfish #olives #lemon #glutenfree


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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Woot man
    January 25, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Is this Cod dish baked covered or uncovered?
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      January 25, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      I bake it uncovered.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    I just realized that I made two recipes, today, from The View from Great Island! Clementine jam is chilllin’ in the fridge; and my husband and I just wiped out the entire pound of Cod with Lemon and Olives. Both results were delicious. But, this cod recipe is one that I’ll be making, regularly. It really jolted me out of my salmon rut!

    • Reply
      December 4, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Oh wow, I’m in a salmon rut too, I need to revisit this! Thanks for commenting Chris ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 28, 2015 at 11:47 am

    My 10-year-old daughter and I each made a cod recipe the other night, and this was my selection – it was DELICIOUS! So light and fresh. Her selection was cod with a parmesan, mayo, herb, and lemon topping – also super good! Thank you for continuing to inspire our dinners with your gorgeous photos and recipes!

    • Reply
      January 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      What a fun idea, your daughter is getting such an early start cooking and eating healthy, I don’t know too many 10 year olds who would know what to do with cod!!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Ooh…I’m going to have to try both!

  • Reply
    Pure Ella
    January 27, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Stunning photos and recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I go back and forth from eating vegan to eating pescetarian so this is great to pin for those days ๐Ÿ˜‰ xox

    • Reply
      January 27, 2015 at 11:51 am

      I’m with you…I could so easily give up meat, but not sure about fish…

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    January 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    You cook so well, Sue. I would have never thought of pairing fish with olives and I love it after seeing yours. The photos are so beautiful and appetizing.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    I love seafood and this cod looks so summery and delicious!

  • Reply
    Cro Magnon
    January 12, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    We say on a weekly basis that we must EAT MORE FISH. I shall make a big sign and hang it in the kitchen.

  • Reply
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    January 12, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Oh how elegant. I love all your tweak suggestions, too. Could I do them all at once? Wretched excess, but delicious!

    • Reply
      January 12, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Oooh, all at once is an idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
    January 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Mmmm, simple fish dishes are just the best!! Great idea Sue

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I love these fresh and clean flavors, so perfect for January!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    May I please come to your house for dinner tonight? This looks SO GOOD!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    So nice to see a fish recipe, and this one has all the flavours I love (including the wine) I don’t eat nearly enough fish.

  • Reply
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite
    January 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    This cod recipe looks amazing and definitely something I want to try out.

  • Reply
    The Food Hunter
    January 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    This looks and sounds amazing!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 12, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Wow, this is really beautiful. It looks so delicious and pretty. I would eat it all!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I’ve been playing around with a soup that has olives in it and it’s funny that most don’t think about cooking with olives – mostly serving them cold. I love what you did with this dish – the fish looks amazing, flaky, soft, moist – I could really dig into this for any meal of the day!

    • Reply
      January 12, 2015 at 11:36 am

      I’ve been cooking with olives a lot lately, I love their texture when they’re roasted or warmed.

  • Reply
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence
    January 12, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I could just dive right into this. Love!!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2015 at 9:51 am

    What can I add instead of wine if I don’t use alcohol in cooking? Seafood stock?

    • Reply
      January 12, 2015 at 10:05 am

      That’s so funny Maddie because I was puzzling over that while I was doing the ‘adaptations’ section. You could absolutely use seafood stock if you have some around. You could also just use a little more lemon and olive oil, and maybe some of the juice from the olives. Remember, too, that the alcohol will cook off pretty quickly, if you do use wine. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Beautiful recipe, I don’t cook cod often enough, I think it’s because I grew up with my Portuguese grandma cooking salt cod and the smell turned me off completely to that fish

    of course, cod is such a wonderful fish in its natural state – I should look for some and try your recipe

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 12, 2015 at 5:00 am

    This cod looks crazy delicious and effortlessly low-fat! Yum! I am so making it this week. Cod is the only fish my family doesn’t complain about eating! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      January 12, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Cod is one of my favorites, too, especially in chowder, hope your family enjoys this Julia!

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    January 12, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Lemon and olives are a classic combination that always work. I tend to overlook cod and you’ve inspired me to give it a try. As always Sue, your food presentations are stunning.

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