Table of Contents
  1. The ingredients in this cod with fresh spiced tomato sauce recipe
  2. Watch how to make this cod recipe
  3. Cod with Moroccan Spiced Tomatoes Recipe

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We can all use new ways to cook weeknight meals. And if we can choose to do just one thing for our health, it is to cook at home. The hurdle is being in the mood to spend time in the kitchen after a long day at work. Watching TV or reading a good book will always seem easier, but when we choose to make a homemade meal, we’re making the best decision for our health.

What matters beyond health is a meal that tastes good. After all, that’s the point of eating, right? This cod with spiced tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to add immense flavor without much effort.

Top down view of white countertop with metal skillet filled with red tomato sauce with filets of cod nestled inn with lemon and cilantro sitting on cutting board beside skillet

The core of this recipe is akin to Shakshouka, which is a traditional North African and Middle Eastern dish made with tomatoes that are spiced with cumin, paprika, and red pepper. Traditionally, the tomato sauce would be topped with eggs that are poached in the spiced sauce.

But to make this a weeknight meal, my recipe poaches cod fillets in the sauce. The cod has a light flavor that takes on the spiced tomato sauce perfectly and cooks quickly.

Fork holding piece of filet of cod sitting amongst red tomato sauce topped with feta and chopped cilantro with lemon in background

The ingredients in this cod with fresh spiced tomato sauce recipe

  • Onion is the first base of flavor in the recipe. The onion is sautéed to become slightly softened and take on a sweeter flavor. I often have yellow onions, which I used in this recipe, but white onions also work well.
  • Roasted red peppers are the perfect secret weapon to keep stocked in the pantry. The peppers are fire-roasted for a terrific charred flavor, then jarred and ready to use. Adding them to this dish lends the idea that more work went into the preparation than actually occurred.
  • Paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes are three spices that add immense flavor. Use sweet paprika for less heat, or hot paprika for more heat.
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes are just like roasted peppers. All of the work of roasting is already done for you. These have so much more flavor than diced, canned tomatoes, which again drives home the idea that lots of time was spent making this recipe.
  • Fresh grape tomatoes are delicious and sweet even during the off-season. The mixture of fresh and canned tomatoes in this recipe provides more texture and flavor than would be achieved if using only canned tomatoes. Off-season fresh tomatoes do not always have the best flavor, so offsetting the two types together ensures great results.
  • Cod is a perfect fish to keep in the freezer. I like to keep individual filets on hand so I can always be ready when I want fish. Cod is slightly more meaty than other white fish and holds up well to the poaching without falling apart.

The ingredient list is one that shows how best to use canned and jarred items from the pantry to achieve an easy yet complex-tasting dish. A weeknight meal needs to be one that utilizes shortcuts but does not hold back on flavor or the ability to be a filling meal. This dish hits all those spots. The tomato sauce is chocked full of flavor and texture, and the cod perfectly flakes apart. This translates into a great meal!

Top down view of red tomato sauce with half of grape tomato showing with filets of cod sitting around topped with cilantro and feta all on white countertop

More one pan recipes

Watch how to make this cod recipe

Top down view of metal skillet sitting on white countertop filled with red colored tomato sauce with pieces of cod sitting among the sauce topped with chopped cilantro

Cod with Moroccan Spiced Tomatoes

5 from 5 votes
Made with a combination of spices that harken to the classic dish of Shakshouka, this cod dish is a one-dish wonder! A base layer of fresh and canned tomatoes is combined with onions and garlic to create a flavorful underlayment for the flaky, fresh cod. Topped with cilantro and some fresh lemon, the end result is bright and appetizing!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 whole roasted red pepper drained and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 4 cod filets


  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch over medium. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and salt. Sauté until the onion is softened and beginning to turn golden brown, 4-6 minutes.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion, 1 tsp salt
  • Add the roasted red peppers and garlic. Sauté until the garlic is fragrant, 1 minute.
    1 whole roasted red pepper, 4 cloves garlic
  • Add the paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Allow the spices to warm in the hot oil for 30 seconds.
    1 ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pour in the canned tomatoes, ½ cup water, and prepared grape tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes break down, 8-10 minutes.
    1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • Once the tomato sauce has cooked, add the cod filets by nestling them into the sauce. Cover and simmer until the cod reaches 145°F, 12-15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, remove the lid to reduce the sauce slightly.
    4 cod filets
  • Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, chopped cilantro, and crumbled feta, if desired.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 15.2gProtein: 27.4gFat: 11.3gSaturated Fat: 1.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 65.2mgSodium: 967.5mgPotassium: 985.1mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 7.9gVitamin A: 103.1IUVitamin C: 64.4mgCalcium: 94.9mgIron: 2.5mg
Course Dinner
Cuisine Moroccan
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Incredible flavor and ease of preparation in this one pan dish! Definitely will go into my rotation. We served it with a toothy, chewy noodle that enjoyed the sauce, and a side salad. Yum yum!
    It makes a lovely presentation. Guests were happy.

  2. 5 stars
    Made it tonight. Very tasty and easy. Would be good for company too. Definite keeper. Loved the feta with it.