Food/ Main Dishes/ Pescetarian

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment}

The past week and a half has been a ride.

Eleven days ago, I went through a server migration for this blog. I wish I could say the transition was smooth, but it wasn’t. It was nightmarish. The blog itself remained live, which is the most important thing, but behind the scenes was all kinds of chaos and anxiety with a splash of defeat. I also had to redesign the site twice and, when I finally thought I was in the clear, I faced some major issues with photos losing quality once uploaded into the new theme. WHY ME. I mean, since this is a food blog, quality photos are kind of a big deal. It was one bump after another.

As if all of that computer-y techy stuff wasn’t bad enough, eleven days ago was also when I kickstarted my Elimination Diet in an attempt to try and sort out a possible food sensitivity. I haven’t been eating nuts, grains (rice, quinoa, etc.), legumes or beans, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes or peppers of any sort), citrus, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat or gluten and, much to my chagrin, no coffee. *collar tug* So basically, throughout all of that stress, I couldn’t even turn to pizza or beer to ease the pain.

Fact: carrot sticks don’t ease the pain.

I did however manage to survive, and I’m happy to report that I feel better than ever. Also, in a fit of desperation one evening while feeling deprived of ingredients, I created this Mediterranean-inspired cod steamed in parchment.

I’ve had it three times in the last 11 days. If you like fish, you need this; if you don’t, this might be a turning point.

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment}

En papillote is French for “in parchment”. This method of cooking is deceiving because though it looks and sounds fancy, it’s a cinch to put together. The parcel of parchment is sealed by overlapping folds around the fillet (video below).

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment} | Killing Thyme

I love roasted or grilled fish, but steaming fish in parchment paper is a whole new level of awesome that needs to be indulged once in a while. When you bake the fish, it steams to a perfect flakiness while sitting in the juices of whatever you add to the packet locking in flavor and moisture. The fun part is you’re given free rein, so you can keep it simple or make it as complex as you want. It’s common to steam fish alongside lemon slices, fresh herbs and a splash of wine; I’d like to experiment with beer this summer. The possibilities are endless and the process is fuss-free; dishes like this deserve the highest of fives.

The best way to serve these bad boys is to keep them sealed so that each individual gets to tear their parcel open at the table, like a little gift, and enjoy the aroma that releases from the pouch. This is a fab idea if you’re hosting a dinner party.

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment} | Killing Thyme

Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment} | Killing Thyme

Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment} | Killing Thyme

Please refer to FishWatch for reliable information and updates on fish + sustainability.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme
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5 from 1 vote

Mediterranean Cod en Papillote {Cod Steamed in Parchment}

This Mediterranean Cod en Papillote is quite literally *packed* with flavor. Sealed up in parchment paper with briny olives and marinated artichokes, this cod is steamed to perfection.

Course Entree
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 2
Author Killing Thyme


  • 2 6 oz fillets of cod skinless + boneless
  • 1 cup marinated artichokes
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 2 teaspoons capers drained
  • A few slices of red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Dry Rub

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 2 sheets of parchment paper
  • Egg wash for sealing parchment


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Place each cod fillet on one side of each segment of parchment. Sprinkle each fillet with the dry rub. Use as much or as little as you prefer. You can store any leftovers for another time. I tend to sprinkle each fillet with 1 - 2 teaspoons of the seasoning.

  3. Arrange the olives, artichokes, onions and capers over the fillets. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each fillet.

  4. Brush the edges of each paper with the egg wash (optional) for a tighter seal. Fold the parchment paper over the fillet to close it in and press the edges down. Begin to tightly fold the open edge of the paper on one end and, inch by inch, continue to fold around the fillet. You can see an example in the video in this post.

  5. Transfer the packets to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

  6. When done, remove from oven and transfer packets to plate. Allow people to open their own packets to experience the steam and aroma that emerges from the pouch.

Recipe Notes

See video in post for a quick tutorial on preparing fish in parchment paper.

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  • Reply
    Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas - Killing Thyme
    March 13, 2017 at 12:27 pm […] not that this salad is a hassle per se, but between preparing hors d’oeuvres, a veg side and parchment fish packets, grating beets was the last thing I wanted to do. But it was oh-so-worth it. It’s also […]
  • Reply
    March 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm I admire your creativity here Dana. That many food restrictions does NOT make for an easy bit of recipe development, and you've pulled off a dandy here. I love en papillotte cooking, and it's so perfectly suited to fish - I tend to do something with white fish and white wine myself. Of course if you can't have booze (booooo-s) you have to rethink that old classic. Kudos on surviving the combined headaches of the last two weeks, and for making something wonderful out of it. Love the look of the site now, and best of luck with all future hosting and thematic tweaks.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 9:12 pm Thanks, Sean! It was tough, but luckily I managed. White wine works wonderfully too; my problem is I never want to give up any of the wine for cooking, lol. But yeah. I'm so glad that things are going more smoothly now. I'm glad you like the site! Thanks! I'm really happy with it. It's a fresh and clean theme that works really well.
  • Reply
    Flavour and Savour
    March 3, 2017 at 11:24 am Cooking in parchment is such a great way to cook fish. I think the reason some people don't like fish is because they've had it improperly cooked. It's so easy to overcook white fish. I LOVE your flavour combinations in this recipe. I think this would be great with halibut too. Thanks!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 12:31 pm Thanks, Elaine! And I am SO with you on that. Anytime someone says they don't like fish, especially salmon, I have to ask how it was done. Overcooked fish is the worst. And yes, this would work with any white wish :)
  • Reply
    The FoodOlic
    March 3, 2017 at 10:19 am To open a papillote is as satisfying as cracking through the top of a creme brulée! Especially when it's well seasoned like you did! Great trick with the seal of egg wash, I'll try it out next time I cook en papillote! Lovely recipe!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm Thanks, Marie. I agree, opening those packets and getting hit in the face with all of those aromatics is fabulous — especially since right then and there, you get to dig in :)
  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 3:11 pm Transferring your site is never easy, but always worth it! I've been there! The new site looks great, and that fish looks amazing!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 3, 2017 at 8:31 am Thanks, Gabby! It was one heck of a haul, but it's over. (I hope. I thought it was over a few times and had a few surprises. Lol.)

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