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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli  Cod en Papillote. En papillote, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a cooking method in which the food cooks in a parchment pouch or bag. The food steams with its moisture. Buy your ingredients at your favorite Farmers Market! 

Cod en Papillote

About Cod en Papillote

Cod en Papillote is one of my favorite mid-winter recipes. In the summer, we always have the option of “throwing something on the grill.” In the winter, this incredible cooking method is a perfect alternative. It’s simple, healthful, and the best part: you don’t smell the fish cooking. Then, when you open the package, all of the food’s aroma escapes in a rush. Delightful!

My first encounter with this cooking method wasn’t with Cod en Papillote; it was in Brownies. Brownies, for the uninformed, is a pre-Girl Scout. I believe I was in 2nd grade, and we used aluminum foil, hamburger, and a campfire, but the same cooking method. All ingredients put in a pouch, seasoned, heat added, and voila, dinner.

Over the years, I have made small changes to the recipe for Cod en Papillote. In particular, I precook the potatoes. That allowed me to cut the cooking time a little; better for the fish. You can change the type of fish and alter the vegetables, but remember the acid and fat (lemon juice and olive oil) are crucial to the dish’s success. I adore the piquant quality of the capers and sun-dried tomatoes. They contrast beautifully with the freshness of the cherry tomatoes, lemon, and leek.

Finally, the 5 minutes that the Cod en Papillote rests when you take it out of the oven is critical. The dish is still cooking in its’ steam. The juices are developing into a delicate sauce. Plate the packages and cut them open at the table. I hope you love this recipe!

cod and leeks
cod en papillote
Cod en Papillote

Cod en Papillote is a perfect “make-ahead” dish. You can have a complete dinner ready in your fridge mid-day for dinner. Eighteen minutes in the oven, and voila! – dinner!

Buon Appetito!

Step by Step Instructions

Cod en papillote

Cod Filets and Veggies en Papillote (Merluzzo in un Pacchetto)

© Chef Laura Bonicelli
En papillote, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a parchment pouch or bag. The food steams with its own moisture.
5 from 2 votes

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Dish - Fish and Seafood, MM-Blue
Cuisine French, Italian
Servings 2
Calories 390 kcal


  • parchment paper


  • 6 baby yellow potatoes
  • 1 leek halved, cleaned, and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic -- minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • =====
  • 2 4-6 ounce skinless cod fillets
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves could substitute minced tarragon or chervil
  • =====
  • 16 grape or cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained


  • Preheat oven to 425º F. Thinly slice the potatoes. Place in a microwavable container with 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave for 4 minutes, drain, and cool.
  • Combine the potatoes, leek, garlic, chili flakes, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut 2 12 x 16-inch pieces of parchment paper and fold each in half crosswise, then open and lay flat.
  • Arrange half of the potato mixture on one-half of one piece of the paper. Place 1 cod filet on top and drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with zest and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. Drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Fold the parchment over the fish. Beginning at one corner, make small overlapping pleats all the way around to seal the edges completely.
  • Repeat the steps 4 and 5 with the second piece of fish on the second piece of parchment paper.
  • Place the packets on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully cut open the tops of the packets; serve an entire packet on each plate.

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Chef Laura Bonicelli


Calories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 95mgPotassium: 1606mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1522IUVitamin C: 74mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 4mg
Keyword cod, en papillote, healthy, vegetables
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