If you love cod fish and puttanesca sauce, this is sure to become one of your favorite seafood recipes! Cod fillets are notoriously bland, so this hearty sauce loaded with red pepper flakes, olives, capers, garlic, and anchovies is the perfect paring. Serve with crusty bread and wine!
Baked Cod in Puttanesca Sauce
A lot of people think cod is a boring fish… and I would have to agree. But that’s what I love about it! It’s a blank canvas, just begging to be drenched with flavor.
And I think you guys love it too, because out of the THOUSANDS of recipes on this website, the most popular is pan-seared cod with white wine tomato basil sauce! I’m not kidding. Year after year this recipe wins as the most visited recipe on my website.
Today I’m sharing the “winter” version of that recipe! It’s similar in flavor profile, but MUCH heartier and dare I say it… just as delicious? At least I think so! If you’re ready to cook now, feel free to jump to the recipe and get started. Otherwise, I’ve got some tips and tricks for you below.
Cod Puttanesca Ingredients
- Olive Oil: No need to use a fancy olive oil, although I do prefer using a mild Italian olive oil in this recipe.
- Onion: Unlike a lot of traditional puttanesca recipes, I tossed an onion in here to make the sauce slightly chunkier. It also adds incredible flavor. A yellow onion works best, but in a pinch a white or even red onion will work fine.
- Oregano: FRESH!!! Please do not sub dried oregano here. If you cannot find fresh, omit this ingredient.
- Anchovies: Even if you “hate” anchovies, I recommend using them. You could cut the amount of filets used in half, but do not omit.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Add just the right amount of spice. If you prefer spicer food, feel free to add more. If you cannot handle the heat, feel free to reduce the amount called for or omit completely.
- Kalamata Olives: To save time, I suggest buying the ones that are already pitted and sliced in half. But you can do this manually if all you have is pitted olives.
- Capers: Drained, but not rinsed! Unlike a lot of recipe that call for rinsing, I do not find it necessary and like the extra briny flavor the residual liquid adds.
- Garlic: Lots of fresh garlic = LOTS of flavor!
- White Wine: I suggest using something dry like Sauvignon blanc, but a Pinto Grigio will also work. No wine in the house? Sub chicken broth.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Be sure to grab a can that says “with basil” and do not use the “no salt added” tomatoes here.
- Salt and Pepper: To season the fish!
- Basil: Be sure to use FRESH roughly chopped basil; dried basil should never be used in this recipe.
- Cod: Buy fresh filets with the skin removed. Thawed frozen cod will technically work but won’t taste as good.
- Crusty Bread: This is optional, but is great for serving. You could also serve with a vegetable like roasted broccoli or another carb like pasta.
Let’s Make Cod Puttanesca
- Preheat the oven. You’ll want to do this first so it’s reached the proper temperature by the time you’re ready to bake your fish.
- Cook the sauce. You’ll heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, then essentially just add the rest of the ingredients as called for. Simmer briefly, stirring occasionally, just until the sauce thickens. You do not want it super thick or paste like!
- Add the fish. You’ll quickly season the cod filets, then partially submerge them into the sauce.
- Bake the fish. Spoon a little sauce over each filet, then pop the pot into the oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
- Serve. I like to garnish with extra basil or oregano, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with crusty bread and red wine. But you do you! Just be sure to serve warm!
More Puttanesca Recipes:
- Fresh Tomato Puttanesca
- Pasta Puttanesca
- Puttanesca Poached Eggs
- Quinoa Puttanesca
- Linguini Clam Puttanesca with Burrata and Basil
- Tomato and Tuna Spaghetti Puttanesca
Baked Cod Puttanesca
- 3 Tablespoons (42ml) olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano minced
- 1 2 ounce tin flat anchovies in olive oil not drained
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted and sliced in half vertically
- 1/4 cup capers drained
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup (113ml) dry white wine
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
- 1 teaspoon salt divided, more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided, more if needed
- 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- 5 6 ounces cod filets skin removed, 32 ounces total
- crusty bread for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering, then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the oregano, anchovies (and any oil in the can), crushed red pepper flakes, olives, and capers and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, or until fragrant but not brown.
- Pour in the wine and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper (I suggest starting with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper then adding more if needed).
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low (it should be a gentle simmer), partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and set aside for a minute.
- Season both sides of the cod filets with salt and pepper.
- Partially submerge the filets in the sauce, leaving space in between each piece. Spoon some sauce over each filet.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the flesh of the fish turns opaque and begins to flake, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Garnish with extra basil or oregano sprigs, if desired, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm, with crusty bread.