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Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade

October 7, 2022

Tender, flakey oven-roasted cod is enveloped in a bold, herby, and bright olive tapenade.


homemade Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade  on a serving plate with a serving fork next to a bowl of extra tapenade
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Baked Cod Recipe

Nothing is better than a dish that’s bursting with flavor. And here it is: the best baked cod recipe. Packed with nutritional benefits such as being rich in lean protein, low in carbs, and essential B-12 vitamins, this baked cod with lemon, garlic, and olives is dressed to impress. The buttery, flakey, mild but hearty fish is the perfect canvas. Say goodbye to boring and plain fish recipes and hello to your new, simple oven baked cod recipe.

cod filet, spices, parsley, castelvetrano olives, anchovy, garlic, lemon zest & juice & olive oil in bowls on the counter

What is Olive Tapenade Made of?

Olive Tapenade is a briny, salty spread or dip made from olives. It usually contains an acid such as lemon juice, garlic, fresh herbs, and sometimes, anchovies. Across the Mediterranean you might find it on a mezze platter as a pre-dinner appetizer. In our baked cod with parsley olive tapenade recipe, we use:

  • Lots of fresh parsley

  • Castelvetrano olives

  • Anchovies

  • Garlic

  • Lemon zest and lemon juice for brightness

  • Spiced with red pepper, and the usual S+P

  • A few glugs of good olive oil

parsley, olives, anchovy, garlic, lemon zest & juice, salt, red pepper flakes, pepper & olive oil in a bowl for tapenade

How long does cod take to cook in the oven?

If you’re looking for flakey, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cod baked in the oven, we’re here to help! Some of our most popular requests include how long do you leave cod in the oven or how long do you cook cod for and what temperature should cod be cooked at! Although other baked cod recipes might vary on time and temperature, we like to use our surefire method of 450°F for 10 minutes, or until the cod becomes opaque in color and starts to flake when touched with a fork (about 145 °F). We find the center rack provides the most even cooking for something as delicate as cod.

a raw cod filet on a parchment lined baking sheet seasoned with  salt, garlic powder and black pepper

What Goes Well With Easy Baked Cod?

Although mild in flavor, cod is hearty! It’s flakey and tender and our favorite vessel for bright pops of flavor – exactly why we are serving it with our parsley olive tapenade! If you want to make it your own, toast some breadcrumbs for the top for the perfect quick and simple weeknight dinner that’s also luxurious enough for a proper get-together. Serve it alongside our Best Baked Potato Recipe, Mediterranean Wedge Salad, or Green Beans Almondine. We also think it would effortlessly swap in for salmon in an Easy Niçoise Salad or complement a Simple Italian Salad. For a quick and easy pairing, choose any of our popular veggie recipes like Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Zucchini with Parmesan, or succulent Glazed Carrots.

homemade Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade  on a serving plate with a serving fork next to a bowl of extra tapenade

How to Make Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade

In about 30 minutes, you’ll have a herbaceous, upscale baked cod recipe to share with even the most hard-to-impress guests. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Bake the Baked Cod! For this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen cod, whichever is more accessible to you! Be sure to ask your local seafood counter about the sustainability of the fish! When seasoning, we keep it simple with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder to season the cod. Pro Tip: this oven baked cod relies on high temperature and short time for the perfect buttery interior. Make sure you use the center rack!

  2. Make tapenade with parsley! This right here is the flavor-packed secret sauce! We suggest you double it and save half for later. It’s just that good.

  3. Dress 'em’ up! Lemony, garlicky, anchovy goodness tops the perfectly cooked cod.

homemade Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade  on a serving plate with a serving fork next to a bowl of extra tapenade

Tools You’ll Need

Our Favorite Pescetarian-Friendly Recipes

All hail fish! Mediterranean cooking has it right – fish and veggies are delicious healthy additions to every diet! When we want something fresh, easy, and filling but without chicken or beef, we turn to fish:

homemade Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade made with parsley, olives, anchovy, garlic, lemon zest & juice and seasonings

Thank Cod!

We love this Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade recipe because it’s equally delicious as it is impressive and best of all, it’s budget friendly and pretty healthy too! How did yours turn out? Tag us in your photos and video on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 306


  • 1 ½ pounds cod
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup minced Italian parsley
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 anchovy filets, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from two lemons)
  • 1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven for 450°F with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment.

  2. Place cod on the prepared sheet pan. Season with the garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

  3. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine parsley, olives, anchovy, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, remaining salt, red pepper flakes, remaining pepper, and olive oil.

  5. Top the cod with parsley olive tapenade and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories306
  • Protein31 g
  • Carbohydrates1 g
  • Total Fat21 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol77 mg
  • sodium501 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Baked Cod with Parsley Olive Tapenade

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Kylie

    This looks delicious! Would the cook time be the same if the cod was already portioned and cut?

    You can check them after 8 minutes.

  • Pamela

    Absolutely delicious. I usually meal prep on Sundays during the school year and can easily weave this in if I prep the tapenade ahead of time. Bon appétit - no need to dine out when you can easily prepare this at home. I serves it over wilted swiss chard and grilled bread.

    Thanks Pamela, we are so happy you love it!

  • Danielle

    Soooo delicious! Restaurant food at home.. but quick, easy & healthy! 10 out of 10!

    Thank you so much Danielle! We are happy you loved it!

  • Grace

    Soooo delicious and soooo easy. Bright and light but still filling and feels fancy but takes no time! Like just an absolute ten.

    Thanks so much Grace, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Anonymous

    Outstanding. The tapenade was amazing.

    Thank you, so happy you liked it! We love this tapenade!