This Spanish Cod recipe checks all the boxes for ease, speed, and flavour. It's also high in protein, fiber and nutrients. The cod filets are baked nestled in a bed of roasted tomatoes, beans and, spinach. Seasoned with saffron and smoked paprika, this dish will transport you to the heart of Spain.
Cod is one of my favourite types of fish. It's light, mild, meaty, and also happens to be affordable. Saffron can be expensive but very little is needed to add a wonderful and unique flavour to this recipe. Don't worry if you can't find it. I will give you some ideas of what else you can add below.
For more Spanish inspired dishes have a look at these Chicken Thighs with Mediterranean Vegetables, Tortilla de Calabacin recipe as well as this Potato Tortilla, and Braised Spanish Chicken. The both would make great side dishes for this recipe.
🥘Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. For quantities see the recipe card below.
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- Cod filets - I used frozen cod loins and thawed in the fridge overnight. You can use fresh cod, halibut, haddock, or salmon. Cooking times will vary depending on the size, thickness and variety of fish.
- Grape tomatoes - any type of chopped tomatoes will work for this recipe. If using canned tomatoes, you will need 2 cups chopped.
- White beans - I used canned butterbeans but any beans will be delicious. My top choices are white kidney beans, Navy beans, and chickpeas.
- Baby spinach - regular spinach or other tender leafy greens, such as arugula, will work. Heartier greens like kale, collards and Swiss chard will work but may require longer cooking times to soften.
- Shallots - I had some shallots to use up but feel free to substitute with ¼ cup of white or sweet onion, finely chopped. Leeks would also be delicious!
- Saffron - other flavours that would be delicious here are ½ teaspoon ground cumin, or chili powder. You can also omit the saffron without substituting. Use stock instead of water to infuse some flavour and add an extra clove of garlic. The most popular dish using saffron is a Spanish Paella.
- Olive oil - or any other flavourful cooking oil.
- Smoked paprika - Spanish smoked paprika gives a true Spanish smokey flavour. I always have a can in my cupboard and use it often in my recipes. You can substitute with regular paprika keeping in mind the flavour will lack smokiness.
- Chicken broth - fish broth or water can also be used
- Garlic - no Spanish dish is complete without garlic!
- Fresh parsley - used for garnish, parsley adds a fresh finish. You can leave it out or substitute with fresh chopped basil.
See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions.
Step 1 - Let the saffron steep in hot broth to bring out the flavours and get the most from the saffron. Prepare the rest of the ingredients except for the cod and place in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour steeped broth over the tomato mixture. Roast in the oven until tomatoes are softening, about 20 minutes.
Step 2 - Pat the cod filets dry with a paper towel. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of smoked paprika, salt, and ground black pepper.
Step 3 - Remove the roasted tomato bean mixture from the oven and nestle the fish filets into the vegetables. Return to oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
What to Serve with Spanish Cod
This is a one-pan meal that gives you everything you need. However, a hunk of crusty bread is perfect for mopping up all the juices. A green salad makes a refreshing side or how about a delicious and refreshing Chilled Gazpacho Soup! if you are looking for more carbs, serve with your favourite rice or pasta.
Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven, microwave or sauté pan. The vegetable/bean mixture will last up to 5 days.
More veggies! I wanted to keep this recipe simple with few ingredients but there are many other vegetables you could add to the mix such as chopped fennel, red peppers, roasted red peppers.
More smokiness and protein. Another common ingredient in many Spanish dishes is dried chorizo sausage. This is also a great addition if you don't have any smoked paprika. Chorizo is packed with smoked paprika and will add extra flavour to this recipe. You can use Portuguese chorizo found in most grocery stores in the deli meats section.
Make it with chicken. After seasoning the chicken pieces with olive oil and paprika mixture sear on both sides, in a hot skillet, until golden brown. Then add to the tomato mixture. Cooking times will vary depending on whether you are using bone-in or boneless thighs or breasts. Cook until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
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- ¼ cup chicken broth, fish broth, or water, hot
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 2 shallots, finely diced or ¼ cup white or sweet onion
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 handful baby spinach leaves
- 4 cod filets patted dry (1lb/454g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Smoked paprika
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat broth or water and add saffron strands. Let steep while preparing the other ingredients.
- Pour 2 tbsp. olive oil into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Add garlic, shallots, grape tomatoes, spinach, and beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Add saffron broth and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together ½ tsp. Smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pat cod filets dry with paper towel. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika mixture.
- Remove tomatoes from oven. Stir and nestle the cod filets into the vegetable mixture. Return to the oven and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.