Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce

/// August 24th, 2016

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

Yesterday we spent the entire day (and night) at the Dutchess County Fair! I look forward to it every Summer, and definitely didn’t hold myself back from indulging in funnel cake, deep fried oreos, french fries, and chocolate covered bananas. We occupied our afternoon trying to win oversized stuffed animals, spinning on the ferris wheel (pretty much the only ride I have the guts to get on), and strolling around the luscious fair grounds, soaking up the late-August sun. To top it all off, Third Eye Blind put on an evening concert where I definitely sang (ok… shouted) my heart out and maybe indulged in one too many sangria slushies. The whole experience was nothing short of Summer magic!

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

Suffice it to say, I’m currently recovering from a fried food hangover! As I type I’m sipping on a green juice and dreaming of this healthy, flavorful pan-seared cod I made last weekend. It took about 40 minutes start-to-finish and is exploding with flavor thanks to fresh basil, juicy tomatoes, plenty of garlic, and a bright kick of white wine. It’s the kind of meal you can look forward to making and eating!

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

  • Due to the delicate nature of cod, I highly suggest using a non-stick pan or skillet when making this recipe. If the cod sticks, it will likely break apart when you try to flip it, which isn’t a huge deal (it still tastes delicious) but try to avoid it if you can.

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

  • I haven’t tried this recipe with frozen cod, but I imagine it would work as long as it’s thawed first. I suggest reading the package instructions before trying it with this recipe.
  • If possible, purchase thicker fillets of cod, since the thin tail is very delicate and flakes easily.
  • When it comes to choosing your white wine, I suggest using one that is crisp and dry, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Cod cooks very fast, so be sure not to over cook it. It really only needs 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
  • You will have plenty of pan sauce leftover, so I suggest serving this recipe with rice, quinoa, or even mashed potatoes.

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

If you love seafood as much as I do, this Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce is sure to be a hit in your home!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your creations makes my day.

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!

Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 serving

A quick and easy recipe for Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce!


  • For the White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 large cloves (or 3 smaller cloves) garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (more to taste)
  • For the Cod:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds fresh cod, cut into 4 fillets (or four 6 ounce fillets)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. For the White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce:
  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and blistering, but still hold their shape, about 12 minutes. Add in the white wine, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a light simmer. Stir in the basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and set aside until needed.
  4. For the Cod:
  5. Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Season both sides of cod with salt and pepper. Place cod in the oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the cod over and place the pan in the oven to continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until it's cooked through.
  6. Pour the white wine tomato basil sauce over the cod and serve at once.

110 thoughts on “Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce

    1. Sandy Cassar

      LOL. I thought the same thing Lilly. No need to preheat oven I guess. Actually warming up fresh bread in the oven to dip in the delicious tomatoes is a great idea.

  1. Jamie

    Made this for dinner tonight. Served it over brown rice with steamed broccoli. I used swordfish instead of cod because it was on sale and looked yummy. I love the spice the red pepper flakes add to it. I will definitely make this again.

      1. Sandy Cassar

        I made this tonight for dinner for my husband for Valentine’s Day. It was so delicious. He loved it so much. Thank God I made enough for his lunch tomorrow. One of the easiest and best recipes I’ve ever had.

  2. HappyLuckyBlessed

    Thanks for posting. This looks amazing – I’m making it tonight. Do you think this recipe would also work well with Tilapia?

  3. Paula Barberan

    Amazing recipe! I’ve never enjoyed as much with this recipe, easy to make and a gorgeous presentation! I served it over mashed potatoes, and my family loved it! Thank you

  4. Rebecca

    Made it for dinner tonight. It was really good, used 800 g of fish and it resulted in 4 servings. I would have liked some ore sauciness, maybe add some cream, chop the fish and let it boil in the sauce.
    I used frozen cod that I had in room temperature for half a day, worked perfctly! Did not put it in the oven, it got fully cooked in the pan.

  5. Andrea McManus

    Made this tonight, it was fabulous. I had something else in the oven at 425* so I only cooked it in the oven for 3 minutes, came out perfectly done. Sauce was great. Will make this again!

  6. Stephanie

    I am making this tonight! Will have to skip the oven part though since my oven went out last week :( But I am sure it’ll cook up just fine in the pan.

  7. Sheila Pountney

    This meal is fabulous! I chose to serve the fish on a bed of thin cut , crispy homemade sweet potato fries. The colors of the meal on the plate were wonderful, and how healthy! I paired it with fresh from the oven dinner rolls, to dip in the sauce yummy with a capital Y. Thank you for such a wonderful dish! Elegant presentation

  8. Maria

    This was yummy! I used flounder which was very thin, so I cooked it right in the sauce. Can’t wait to have the leftovers.

  9. William lowden

    Great dish
    Tonight will be the second time I made the recipe
    First time with cod fish tonight I will use stripebass
    Thanks for sharing

  10. Dianna

    This is a fabulous recipe. The flavors are amazing. I made French bread with garlic and herbs. Great meal! Thank you for sharing. I will make this again.

  11. Karen

    My daughter made the cod recipe for our Sunday group dinner/game night. It was a fantastic dish! The recipe is in my “keep forever” file. Loved it. I will cook the sauce for other dishes as well. Thanks.

  12. Michelle

    Made this last night and posted a pic on IG immediately! It was delicious but I have to admit that I didn’t use the oven; I cooked it entirely in the pan. Turned out great and my husband loved it!

  13. FaithK

    This recipe is a keeper. My husband and I loved it.
    Very flavorful with the perfect spice from the red
    pepper flakes.

  14. Josie

    Simply delicious! Used basil pesto instead of fresh, lime instead of lemon and it was out of this world! Thank you for the recipe! :)

  15. Steve

    Made this last night. Wife and 17yr old son both loved it, as did I! Super easy and light.

    Thanks for posting (sorry, pinning) this, it’s a keeper!

  16. shaun edmonds

    I found this recipe on Pinterest (now saved), its perfect for us as we get the freshest caught cod and beautiful locally grown heirloom tomatoes. Personally I make the sauce then add the cod loin as is and let it steam for 15 minutes, its sooo good and flakes beautifully. And as an aside you can indeed use frozen fish, cooked the same way its perfect.

  17. Mags

    Delicious – made this last night and we had it over mashed potatoes with some green veg on the side. Didn’t have fresh basil so used dried instead and then finished it off by putting lid on pan and leaving it for five minutes….definitely a keeper!!!

  18. Dawn

    We LOVED this cod!! So fresh tasting. Made it a few times now that the guy at the fish counter asked me how I cook the cod and asked for the recipe. He always cuts me two thick 6oz. portions. It’s good to get to know your fishmonger :)

  19. Sharon

    #1 you can use just about any fish- even chicken works well with this sauce.
    #2 if you don’t have oven friendly pans, cover the fish after turning and it will help with final cooking and will keep it juicy.
    #3 you suggest using a non stick pan and show a stainless steel pan. I bit of a contradiction. If a good stainless steel pan is heated before adding the oil and the fish is allowed to seal (Maillard effect) you should be able to lift and turn the fish without breaking it up.
    #4 I would cook the cod first, remove it a plate and cover, then make the sauce, which will have a lot more flavor after cooking the fish in the pan.

    All based on personal experience.

  20. Norain

    I made this, and it was delicious. I baked my fish seperately and poured the sauce on the cod afterwards. The recipe for the sauce is amazing!

  21. Hema

    Colourful, delicious and quick and easy to make.
    I have made it twice already and it is a winner!!!
    Thank you so much!

  22. Robin Duncan

    We cooked this tonight. Made entirely on stovetop. No need to put in oven. Flavors were very good. Husband really liked! It also cooked up faster than recipe indicated. Maybe my fish pieces were not as thick. I recommend this .

  23. Toni Ryan

    Hi, I’m going to try and make this in English measurements tomorrow!! Can I ask, are red pepper flakes the same as red chilli flakes? Thanks!

  24. Andrea E

    This is the bomb! I haven’t found a recipe, except fish and chips, for Cod that we liked. My 16 year old son, who mainly eats pasta or California rolls, actually devoured this! I cut the lemon in half and omitted the zest because my husband loathes lemon/lime. He couldn’t tell there was any lemon and loved this dish!
    This is definitely a recipe I will use frequently as I am trying to cook more fish for my family rather than beef and pasta all the time!!
    Thank you so much for a great dish! : )

  25. Nicole

    We had this tonight and it was fantastic! I will definitely be making this again.

    The only change I made was to sear the fish, remove it to a plate, make the sauce as directed, then add the fish back to the pan with a lid and let it cook in the simmering sauce for 7-8 minutes.

  26. Marianne

    I tried this dish for the first time and once I taste tested the tomato basil and white wine sauce I knew my husband and I were in for a real treat!! OMG this beat any meal at a fancy restaurant. I used frozen cod and it worked perfectly. I served it over a bed of fresh zucchini “noodles ” YUMMY, Thanks for this great recipe.

  27. Sheila

    Yummy!!! Delicious!!! I made this tonight and served it over mashed potatoes and the flavor was out of this world. The flavors and texture was soooo comforting!!!!!

  28. Vicki

    OMG! This was amazing! I added, mushroom, onions & peppers and served on top of mashed potatoes… fabulous!! This will definitely be one of our monthly dinners!!

  29. Callie

    I made this recipe this evening to the directions and it was so good!! Served it with green beans and they went so nicely with the sauce as well. Next time I make (and there will be a next time) I’m going to add some artichokes and capers for a Mediterrean twist.

  30. CK Ackarie

    What can I use as a substitute for white wine? I’m making this for dinner tonight and don’t have any on hand.

    1. Dania

      I had chicken stock on hand and it was so good, also I finished cooking the fish with the tomato basil sauce in the oven that gives the sauce some fish flavor which was great.

  31. Desiree Milburn

    I have made this 3 times now. My people now think I am a cooking godess. Excellent recipe. Thank yo for making me look good!

  32. Crissy

    This is a very pretty dish, the sauce was flavorful and delicious. I shouldn’t have used cod though, for me, it is a fish that is best used for fish and chips. I would use tilapia if I make it again. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  33. Sandy

    I’m going to make this for dinner. But I was curious, why preheat the oven? I don’t see it used in this recipe

  34. Evelyn

    I pan sear frozen fish all the time. first I sear both sides, holds up better while frozen. Then proceed with my recipe which is similar to yours. For very thick prices I cover and simmer after all the ingredients are in. Doesn’t need the oven and completed very quickly

  35. Meredith S.

    Made this last night and it was great! I had to use tilapia because they only had frozen cod at the store and I wanted something fresh. :) (FYI – I cooked the tilapia basically the same way, but it fell apart a little more easily than cod likely would.) I doubled the sauce and reduced the tartness some by adding extra wine and a little butter. I also seasoned the fish with Sazon instead of just plain salt. Served over seasoned sauteed zucchini/ summer squash noodles. Everything was perfect! Thanks for the great recipe!

  36. Steph

    Made it tonight for my hubby for valentines. Delicious! We loved it, just the right balance of flavours and spice…it was a great success and I rarely do the cooking :) made it with brown rice and Bok Choy. Would have taken a pic but ate it too fast

  37. Kitty

    I made this tonight for dinner. So easy. But I will say if you truly use 1/2 tsp red pepper flake your pallet is made of Asbestos! I can do spice with the best of them but 1/2 tsp is a bit much. I cut it to 1/4 tsp and it was still screaming hot!! The fish was so amazing but will cut the red pepper flake the next time to a pinch! Will diffenately make this again!! With much less heat! DELICIOUS

  38. Linda Heil

    The tomato topping was delicious on the fish. I baked the cod the entire way instead of searing first to help get rid of some of the fat. The family loved the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Barbara

    I always print out my interest recipes (so I don’t have to hassle with the phone or tablet going blank), and after I’ve tried the recipe, I rate it on the print-out. The highest score has been “primo”. But this one got a notation that said “Waaaaay better than primo! This was breathtaking!” Thanks for the amazing dish!

  40. Kayleigh

    Came out even better than expected! My boyfriend loved it and he thought it was better than a 5 star restaurant. The only thing I would change is less crushed red pepper. When you heat it in oil it brings the oil out in the pepper and intensifies the spiciness.

  41. Liz

    This was so delicious and easy to throw together!! Even my husband loved it, and he’s usually pretty down on “Fish Night”. I will definitely repeat! I added 2 cayenne peppers to the tomato sauce for some added kick & also a few leftover slices of sweet bell peppers. It came together very nicely. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the great idea. :-)

  42. Rachael

    I absolutely LOVED this!! It’s allergy friendly and friggin loaded with flavour. I didn’t alter the recipe at all, however, my fish was frozen and thawed when I cooked it and you’d think it was fresh. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous dish!

  43. Shemin

    I made this today and it was really delicious. I generally am not a fish person, but I will be making this often to fit fish in my diet. Thank you for sharing this recipe.


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