This delicious, healthy Baked Cod Recipe is simple and easy and perfect for Spring!  Nestled with asparagus, fennel and leeks, the cod is drizzled with olive oil, garlic, thyme and lemon zest and bakes in under 15 minutes. Keep this low-carb or serve this with Creamy Polenta,  Quinoa, Cauliflower rice or Basmati rice!


Healthy delicious Baked Cod Recipe with lemon, garlic and thyme, nestled in Spring vegetables- Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks. Simple & Easy. #cod #codrecipe

Hello Spring! It comes around again, and with it, an aliveness that is palpable. Feel it, friends, our springs are numbered! Here is a simple recipe for Baked Cod to help celebrate this vibrant season.

What I love about this simple baked cod recipe is how light, healthy and affordable it is. If you are looking for a more summery Cod, this Simple Baked Cod with Tomatoes &  Basil  is also a delicious one!

Fish Options and Cod Substitutes:

Feel free to substitute other white fish – halibut, mahi-mahi, snapper,  haddock, black cod, or sea bass – all work here, but baking time may increase or decrease based on thickness.

TIP If your fish has skin on it…. pan-sear the skin side of the fish in a hot skillet, until the skin is crispy. Nestle the fish with crispy skin, facing UP in the veggies before placing in the oven.

Asparagus, leeks and fennel bulb come together once again and become the flavorful base with a dash of white wine and preserved lemon, to add brightness.

Healthy delicious Baked Cod Recipe with lemon, garlic and thyme, nestled in Spring vegetables- Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks. Simple & Easy. #cod #codrecipe

Can I use frozen Cod?

Yes, just make sure to thaw it first.

What to serve with Baked Cod?

Serve this on its own for a lean, low-carb meal, or pair it with creamy polenta,  everyday quinoa, basmati rice, cauliflower rice or simple steamed new potatoes with fresh dill.

How to make Baked Cod:

Toss the cod with olive oil, salt, pepper thyme and lemon zest.

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner! #bakedcod #cod #codrecipes #recipes #fish #bakedfish #springrecipes #ketorecipes #lowcarb

Sauté the leeks and shallots until fragrant and tender, then add the asparagus, saute for just a couple minutes.

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner! #bakedcod #cod #codrecipes #recipes #fish #bakedfish #springrecipes #ketorecipes #lowcarb

Nestle in the seasoned cod and place in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes.

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner! #bakedcod #cod #codrecipes #recipes #fish #bakedfish #springrecipes #ketorecipes #lowcarb

And voila!

When it comes out the fish will be perfectly poached and flakey.

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner! #bakedcod #cod #codrecipes #recipes #fish #bakedfish #springrecipes #ketorecipes #lowcarb

For those of you who prefer a crust on their fish (like my husband) feel free to dredge in flour or bread crumbs and quickly pan-sear before nestling it in the pan and finishing in the oven.

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner!

Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner! #bakedcod #cod #codrecipes #recipes #fish #bakedfish #springrecipes #ketorecipes #lowcarb

But for a leaner cleaner option, just nestle and roast, letting the flavorful juices gently cook the cod.

Let me know how you like this one in the comments below!

Hope you have a joyful weekend.


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Baked Cod with Asparagus, Fennel and Leeks - a simple, spring-inspired dinner!

Baked Cod Recipe with Garlic and Lemon

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: fish, main
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Pacific Northwest
  • Diet: Low Fat


Baked cod nestled in spring vegetables- asparagus, fennel, leeks, drizzled with olive oil garlic and lemon zest! Bakes in just 12 minutes! Delicious and easy!


Units Scale
  • 11 1/2 lbs cod – or sub black cod, halibut, sea bass… etc.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • zest from one lemon
  • —–
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced ( or sub celery and more asparagus)
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon (or sub zest from another lemon)
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth or stock, more as needed
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or sub more broth and a squeeze of lemon)
  • generous pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cut into 12 inch pieces, tough ends removed.

Serve this on its own for a low-carb dinner, or serve with creamy polenta,  basmati rice, everyday quinoa, or cauliflower rice.



Preheat oven 400F

Cut cod into 4 pieces and pat dry. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, thyme and zest and toss to coat well. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in an oven-proof skillet, cast iron skillet or dutch oven. Add fennel and saute 5-7 minutes, stirring, cooking until just tender.  Add leeks and garlic and continue cooking, stirring until leeks are golden and tender.  Add lemon zest, fresh thyme, broth and white wine. Stir in salt and pepper, simmer on medium-low heat until liquid has reduced by half, and fennel is nice and tender, about 5 minutes.

If fennel needs a bit longer, add another splash of broth and cover pan for a few minutes, letting it steam and get tender. Once fennel is tender, add the asparagus, give a stir and cook for 2 more minutes- until asparagus turns bright green.  If the mixture seems dry, add another splash of broth- you want this slightly wet ( ¼-inch liquid in the bottom of the pan).

Nestle in the fish in the pan, scraping out any excess marinade over the fish.  Bake in the oven until fish is cooked through 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness.

Divide among four bowls. Top with a sprig of thyme and lemon wedge.

Serve this on its own for a low-carb dinner, or serve with basmati rice, everyday quinoa, or cauliflower rice.



If you like a crispy golden crust on the fish, feel free to dredge in a little flour or bread crumbs and pan-sear the fish first before finishing it off in the oven.

TIP If your fish has skin on it…. marinate, then pan-sear the skin side of the fish in a separate hot skillet, until the skin is crispy. Set aside, then nestle the fish with crispy skin, facing UP. Eat the skin- it is delicious.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 266
  • Sugar: 5.2 g
  • Sodium: 521.5 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.6 g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Protein: 28.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 66.1 mg

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  1. This made a lovely Easter dinner, perfect for a springtime meal. My cod pieces were quite thick, so it took some time to cook. Concerned that the asparagus would overcook, I flipped the fish over and it finished off quickly from there. I made a dill mustard sauce to top it with, which I would definitely make the next time around. It really helped to boost the flavors.

    1. Thanks Karen! Share your sauce recipe if you get a chance- it sounds tasty!

  2. Lovely and light, yet tasty and fresh. I went for the unhealthier side of parmentier potatoes. Will definitely be cooking this again.

  3. Very nice recipe and cooked just right in times and temps given -did about 13-15 minutes in the oven. I didn’t have asparagus and wanted to make this anyway with what I had on hand and subbed zucchini and yellow squash which made it more brothy –( I should have thought of that..) —green beans would have made more sense…) but nevertheless it was flavorful with the fennel onions fresh thyme etc.
    Did a wild rice blend on the side.
    Thank you

  4. So flavorful!!! Love this dish. I had not cooked with fennel before. So delicious!! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Katja, most firm white fish would work here, something that is at least one inch thick. Sea bass, escolar, halibut, black cod.

      1. Thanks! With skin on or of? I just can find fish filet with skin where i live 🤣 but if i want to take it of i would distroy the whole thing 🤔

        1. Feel free to leave the skin on, it will come off easily after it is cooked.

      2. Do you think shrimp would work as well? I can’t get any form white fish fillet without the skin…

        1. I bet it would! I haven’t tried this with shrimp, but don’t see why not?

  5. Great recipe! This dish is delicious and had my family sopping up the excess sauce with bread. I served it with the French Potato Salad from this site and that strong flavor really went well with this dish. Thanks once again!

  6. I only made the first half of the recipe – just the lemon and thyme cod – and it was great, light and fresh. I served it with a side of herby quinoa for dinner. Will definitely make again!

  7. This recipe is simple and tastes so fresh and healthy. It’s a regular for me and my partner on the weekends. We make it with your every day quinoa. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi!
    I just bought the ingredients that I didn’t have on-hand a few days ago… I meant to ask if this can be frozen either before or after cooking.
    My fish is fresh and vacuum sealed in my freezer, so if the rest could be frozen that would be great. It’s only me eating and I couldn’t reduce the amount of the ingredients. I’m hoping to make this for (or with) someone I’ve been seeing and wanted to try making this for myself before I make it for someone else (not that I have my doubts about the recipe! I just want to be sure that I make it right!).
    Anyway, any tips/response would be appreciated! I hope that you’re happy and well 🙂

    1. Hi Christie, I have never tried freezing a “cooked fish” dinner. I guess you could freeze the cooked veggie component separate from the fish? Then heat that up and pan sear the raw fish as you need it. Does that make sense?

  9. This was amazing!!! I used black cod and follower the recipe completely. Thank you for these beautiful recipes!

  10. Loved that it was fresh and light. I could see that sauce working well with a little butter and combined with steamed clams….may have to try that! The fish was flaky and delicious and we couldn’t get enough of the fennel.

  11. I make A LOT of new recipes and this one is a winner. I made a few tweaks and definitely made a few mistakes and this turned out great. Also I served this over simple risotto, and could not have been happier

  12. Yet another amazing recipe Sylvia, thanks! I made this last week and served it with instant pot mashed cauliflower! Cod has absolutely become one of our favorite fishes and I love how it poaches so beautifully in this recipe. And the spring veggies were perfect. So delicious and filling, perfect for a chilly spring evening. Thank you again 🙂

  13. I’m going to try this one! I like how it can be baked all in one pot.
    Question: Is it baked covered or uncovered?


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