Tomato Poached Fish

5 from 81 votes

Tomato poached fish is a delicious and healthy family dinner that's ready to serve in less than 30 minutes. Loaded with flavor, it's simple, quick and so tasty!

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If you are looking for a delicious, healthy and quick dinner to feed your family, this tomato poached fish is perfect for you! We try to eat fish a couple times a week, and poaching it in a rich and delicious tomato sauce adds an amazing flavor that cooks the cod is perfectly and flaky.

Tomato poached fish using cod along with olives an capers
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Ingredients to make poached fish

  • Cod fillet: Cod is a firm white fish and it has a mild flavor. It’s a nutritious and lean protein and perfect for this recipe. You can substitute with other white fish like halibut.
  • Olive oil: For sautéing. You can also use sunflower oil, canola or anything else you have to hand.
  • Onion and garlic: Onion and garlic make the base for the rich tomato sauce.
  • Crushed and diced tomatoes: Using canned tomatoes makes this a really quick and convenient recipe. If you used diced tomatoes, it helps to break down the tomatoes with the back of a spatula.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, dried oregano, crushed red pepper
  • Black olives and caper: I like to add capers and black olives for a salty flavor that works so well with white fish.
Ingredients to make the recipe


How to poach fish in a tomato sauce

  • Cook the onions and garlic until soft.
  • Add in the tomatoes and seasonings.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Place the seasoned cod on top of the sauce and cover and and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the fish is cooked through.
Process shots showing how to create the sauce and then add the fish

There’s no need to flip the fish over; it will be cooked all over. When it’s done cooking, the sauce will thicken and the cod will be very tender and flaky.

Spoon showing the tomato sauce with the poached cod

Tips for poaching fish

  1. Pat the fish with kitchen paper before seasoning. Excess moisture can cause the fish to become tough and mushy rather than flaky.
  2. Don’t boil the sauce when you add the cod to it. The high heat can actually fry the fish out so if it starts to boil, turn the heat down.
  3. Don’t overcook the fish. It will take between 8 and 10 minutes for it to cook through. Check the fish is done with a fork, the flesh will easily flake when it’s cooked.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use other fish rather than cod?

Most fish can be poached with this recipe, mahi mahi, salmon, halibut and hake will all work well.

Why poach fish?

Poaching is a really healthy way of cooking fish because you don’t need to add additional fats. It doesn’t dry the fish out and it adds a lot of flavor without being overpowering.

What do you eat with poached fish?

This poached fish can be served on it’s own. It’s also great with quinoa, pasta, rice or potatoes that soak up the sauce. Serve it with some steamed veggies on the side for a healthy and well balanced meal.

Piece of the poached fish served over the tomato sauce along with pasta in a small white bowl

More easy fish recipes

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Tomato Poached Fish

Tomato poached fish is a delicious and healthy family dinner that's ready to serve in less than 30 minutes. Loaded with flavor, it's simple, quick and so tasty!
5 from 81 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 152
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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  • 4 6 ounces cod fillet
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 28 ounces can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper divided
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup black olives pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers drained


  • Pat the cod dry with a paper towel, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper on both sides; set aside.
  • In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the crushed or diced tomatoes, season with the remaining salt and pepper along with oregano and crushed red pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  • Add the capers and olives to the tomato broth. Carefully nestle the seasoned pieces of cod into the sauce without covering the fish with the sauce. Cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil until the fish is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Serve on its own or with quinoa, pasta, rice or potatoes to soak up the sauce.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 2 days in the fridge, but best eaten the same day they’re cooked.


Calories: 152kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 1149mg, Potassium: 715mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 331IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Main Course

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mariana says:

    Amazing recipe!!! Used fire roasted crushed tomatoes since it was what I found at the supermarket. Deglazed the onions and garlic with 1/4cup of sake I had in my fridge (just because I was feeling chef-y) and doubled the capers because I love them.

    I will include this in my weeknights recipes.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Love the tweaks you made!! So happy you enjoyed this one!

  2. romanita partington says:

    Love making this dish

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