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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.
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.
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!
Watch how to make this cod recipe
Cod with Moroccan Spiced Tomatoes
- 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.