Oven Baked Cod with Rustic Sun Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade is a quick and easy weeknight meal and a great way to get in a serving of seafood!
This post was sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership as part of an ongoing partnership. I only work with brands and organizations that I believe in and as always all opinions are my own.
You’ve probably heard of the Mediterranean diet and the health benefits of following this lifestyle – reduced risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, cancer prevention, and weight loss to name a few. The good news is you don’t need to live in the Mediterranean to reap the benefits.
There are easy ways to incorporate the Mediterranean diet into your everyday life, including increased physical activity, greater focus on plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, consumption of fish and seafood at least twice a week, inclusion of yogurt, cheese, poultry, and eggs on a regular basis, and red meat and sweets on occasion. While I could spend a whole blog post on each of these components of the Mediterranean lifestyle, today I want to focus on fish and seafood consumption.
Benefits of Fish & Seafood
Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and many other leading health organizations recommend eating two servings of fish and seafood per week due to the numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and improved brain development and function.
The latter benefit is one I became better educated on this past January at a sponsored conference in Portugal where I learned a lot more about the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for brain development and function, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in fish. Dr. Tom Brenna, a member of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council said “As calcium is to the bones, DHA is to the brain,” thus highlighting the importance of fish consumption in our diets.
Much of the research I learned about was related to the benefits of omega-3s in infant and child development. Luckily, my girls like fish and eat it at least once a week, but I know this isn’t the case for many families.
As I announced on Instagram and Facebook a couple of weeks ago, in an effort to educate families and improve my own family’s fish intake to meet the recommendations, I partnered with the Seafood Nutrition Partnership to inspire you and your families to eat and enjoy seafood at least twice a week.
In addition to the fish and seafood recipes you can already find in my recipe library, today I’m sharing a Mediterranean-inspired fish recipe that has been a hit with my kids.
Preparation & Ingredients
Oven Baked Cod with Rustic Sun Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade is one of my quickest and easiest recipes, perfect for a weeknight dinner and even elegant enough if you’re having company. Traditionally, tapenade is a paste made out of olives, capers, and olive oil that is served as a spread for crostini. There are many variations of tapenade recipes, and sun dried tomatoes are a common addition. Rather than pureeing the tapenade ingredients, I chopped them for a chunkier, more rustic variation that also makes the oven baked cod a more filling dish.
To make the rustic tapenade, sun dried tomatoes and olives are chopped and tossed with lemon zest, lemon juice, and minced garlic and rosemary. If you’re familiar with these flavors I am sure you can imagine how savory and delicious this tapenade is. It’s a perfect compliment to cod or any white fish. I’ve made this same dish with tilapia and rainbow trout, two fish that are a little milder and may be better accepted with kids and adults who are newer fish eaters.
Cod is a little thicker than some of the other white fish I mentioned, so the recipe calls for bake time of 15 minutes, but if using thinner filets be sure to reduce the time and check on it so the fish doesn’t overcook. In the time it takes to cook the fish you can put together the tapenade and prepare a side dish as well. Roasted broccoli and green beans are two favorites in my house and cook up quickly. I also like to add a whole grain to the plate for a fully balanced meal. If your kids are newer fish eaters, be sure to make side dishes you know they will like – this is one of my top 10 meal planning tips for busy families.
Ready to get cooking? Check out the recipe below and join my family in taking the pledge to eat #Seafood2xWk.
Oven Baked Cod with Rustic Sun Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade
Oven baked cod is topped with a savory combination of sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon, garlic, and rosemary for a light, yet filling fish dinner. Serve with a side of your favorite roasted vegetables and cooked grain.
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 6 pieces (or other white fish like grouper, tilapia, rainbow trout)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 packed teaspoon lemon zest, set aside (~1 lemon)
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice, divided (~2 lemons)
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (~2 cloves)
- sliced lemons for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to bake at 400 degrees F. Coat 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange fish in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and lightly rub in. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until fish is completely opaque and breaks apart easily with a fork.
While the fish is baking, in a medium bowl, combine chopped sun dried tomatoes, chopped olives, reserved lemon zest, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, minced rosemary, and minced garlic. Toss to combine and set aside until the fish is ready.
To serve, top baked cod with sun dried tomato olive tapenade. Garnish with sliced lemons if desired.
- You will need about 2 lemons for the 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Use the zested lemon and an additional lemon.