Fish En Papillote (“Fish in Parchment Paper”)

This has got to be one of the simplest, healthiest, most delicious things I make. It’s pretty. It has a great presentation. There is next to zero cleanup, and it’s about as “clean” as you can get as far as recipes are concerned. Basically, you pick your veggies and fish, pick your herbs & other flavorings, pack it all up in a cute little parchment paper pouch, and then throw them in the oven. The fish and flavorings will steam and cook all together, blending flavors and creating an incredibly tasty dinner. Best of all – this can be ready start to finish in 30 minutes, which makes it a perfect weeknight meal, but it looks so nice that it could be served at dinner parties. 

FISH EN PAPILOTTE (serves as many people as you need it to) 
– 6 oz. of fish per person (any kind – I used cod here, but flounder, tilapia, monkfish, sea bass, salmon, etc. would work. You get the picture.) 
– Veggies. I would julienne squash, carrots, peppers. You can half cherry tomatoes. Cut onions or shallots into thin strips, cut baby potatoes into thin rounds. I used baby bok choy this time, and just put a couple of leaves into each packet, which was also really nice. 
– Herbs. Thyme is fantastic, savory is a bit stronger but also nice. Fresh is best, but if you add dried, add about half of what you would with fresh herbs. 
– Flavors. Thin rounds of lemon to top, a splash of white wine, super thin shavings of butter, etc. 
– Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 375. 

2. Prep whatever veggies you’ve decided to use.

lemon sliced into thin rounds, baby bok choy, halved cherry tomatoes, julienned zucchini, shallot cut into thin rounds

3. Cut a heart (like you did in grade school – half a heart on folded paper, then unfold) in parchment paper. Spritz one side with olive oil.

4. Add veggies to the side of the parchment paper with olive oil. Top with the fish, then lemons/butter/”flavors”. Top with salt & pepper.


5. Fold the other half of the “heart” over the fish & veggie combo. Working from the top, crimp the paper over itself into little pleats so it forms a little pouch. Make sure it’s a bit loose in the middle, so steam can circulate and cook the fish and veggies inside.

6. Put pouches on a baking sheet to catch any juices that spill, then bake for 20 minutes or so, or until fish is flaky and cooked through.  The parchment paper will puff a bit, and get golden brown in spots.

7. Serve pouches on individual plates. You can either cut into the top part of the pouch to eat directly from there, or you can open the entire pouch to empty the contents on the plate. The juices (and flavors) will stay concentrated a little more if you do it the first way, but either way, it’s a delicious dinner that I hope you enjoy as much as we do!