Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce


Indulge in a culinary journey with our tantalizing recipe for Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce. This dish captures the essence of the Mediterranean, blending the freshness of cod with the rich flavors of tomatoes, basil, and aromatic spices. Perfect for both special occasions and weeknight dinners, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.


  • 4 cod fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. Season the cod fillets generously with salt and black pepper on both sides.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cod fillets to the skillet. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the cod from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion, sautéing until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chopped basil, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Return the seared cod fillets to the skillet, spooning the tomato basil sauce over the top. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  6. Once the cod is heated through and the sauce has reached your desired consistency, remove the skillet from the heat.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve the Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod with lemon wedges on the side for a burst of citrus flavor.
  8. Enjoy your culinary masterpiece with a side of couscous, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Benefits of Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce:

  • High in protein: Cod is a lean source of protein, making this dish a nutritious option for those looking to increase their protein intake.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Tomatoes are packed with vitamins C and K, as well as potassium and folate, contributing to overall health and wellbeing.
  • Heart-healthy fats: Olive oil is a key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and provides healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease.

Serving and Storage:


  • Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce is best served fresh and hot, straight from the skillet to the plate.
  • Garnish each serving with fresh basil leaves and serve with lemon wedges on the side for a pop of citrus flavor.
  • Pair this dish with your choice of sides such as couscous, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
  • Serve with a crisp white wine or a light-bodied red wine to complement the Mediterranean flavors.


  • If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • To reheat, gently warm the cod and sauce in a skillet over low heat until heated through, being careful not to overcook the fish.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave for quick and easy meals.
  • Avoid freezing leftovers, as the texture of the cod may become mushy when thawed.

Enjoy the delicious flavors of Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce whenever you crave a taste of the Mediterranean, whether freshly cooked or reheated!

Variations of Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce:

  1. Mediterranean Vegetable Medley: Enhance the dish by adding a variety of Mediterranean vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to the tomato basil sauce. Sauté the vegetables until tender before adding the diced tomatoes and continue with the recipe as directed.
  2. Spicy Variation: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce or add a diced jalapeño pepper for an extra kick of spice. You can also incorporate a dash of cayenne pepper for added heat.
  3. Herb-infused Sauce: Experiment with different herbs to infuse the sauce with additional flavors. Try adding fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley along with the basil for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
  4. Citrusy Twist: Brighten up the flavors of the dish by adding citrus zest to the tomato basil sauce. Lemon zest works particularly well, adding a refreshing tang to the dish. Simply stir in the zest of one lemon when simmering the sauce.
  5. Creamy Variation: Create a creamy tomato basil sauce by adding a splash of heavy cream or coconut milk to the sauce. This will add richness and a velvety texture to the dish. Be sure to adjust the seasoning to taste after adding the cream.
  6. Mediterranean Fish Stew: Transform the recipe into a hearty fish stew by adding additional seafood such as shrimp, mussels, or calamari to the tomato basil sauce. Simmer the seafood in the sauce until cooked through and serve the stew with crusty bread for dipping.
  7. Mediterranean Cod Tacos: Serve the pan-seared cod and tomato basil sauce in warm tortillas to create delicious Mediterranean-inspired fish tacos. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado slices, and a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream for a satisfying meal.

Get creative in the kitchen and customize Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce with these flavorful variations to suit your taste preferences and culinary preferences!


Elevate your dining experience with this exquisite recipe for Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce. With its vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients, this dish is not only delicious but also nutritious. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a taste of the Mediterranean, this recipe is sure to impress.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce:

  1. Can I use frozen cod fillets for this recipe? Yes, you can use frozen cod fillets, but it’s recommended to thaw them completely before cooking to ensure even cooking and better texture.
  2. Can I substitute the cod with another type of fish? Yes, you can substitute cod with other firm-fleshed white fish such as halibut, haddock, or tilapia for a similar result.
  3. Is it necessary to use fresh basil, or can I use dried basil instead? Fresh basil is recommended for its vibrant flavor, but you can use dried basil if fresh is not available. However, use half the amount of dried basil called for in the recipe.
  4. Can I make the tomato basil sauce ahead of time? Yes, you can make the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove before adding the seared cod fillets.
  5. I’m following a low-carb diet. Is this recipe suitable for me? Yes, this recipe is low in carbohydrates and can be enjoyed as part of a low-carb diet. Serve it with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.
  6. I’m allergic to tomatoes. Can I use a different sauce? While the tomato basil sauce is a key component of this recipe, you can experiment with alternative sauces such as a lemon-butter sauce or a Mediterranean olive tapenade.
  7. Can I use canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes? Yes, canned diced tomatoes can be used as a convenient alternative to fresh tomatoes. Just be sure to drain any excess liquid from the canned tomatoes before adding them to the sauce.
  8. Is this recipe suitable for freezing? While the cooked cod can be frozen, the texture of the tomato basil sauce may change upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
  9. I don’t have a skillet. Can I use a different type of pan? Yes, you can use a non-stick frying pan or a stainless steel pan instead of a skillet for cooking the cod. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as needed.
  10. What can I serve with Pan-Seared Mediterranean Cod in Tomato Basil Sauce? This dish pairs well with a variety of sides including rice, quinoa, couscous, or roasted vegetables. Crusty bread is also great for soaking up the flavorful sauce.

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