How to Cook Cod Piperade – Simply Irresistibly!

How to Cook Cod Piperade - Chef Jean-Pierre Hello friends, boy do I have a fantastic fish recipe for you today. Today I am going to show you how to cook Cod Piperade. Cod Piperade is inspired by French Basque cooking. The Baqsue is located in the western Pyrenees mountains straddling northern Spain and southwestern France.

Piperade is a type of Basque vegetable stew, typically made with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices. It’s the perfect complement to mild white fish like cod.

Cod Piperade is often served as a light main course, accompanied by crusty bread or rice. For the best experience, use high-quality fillets and be careful not to overcook the fish.

The piperade sauce can also be made ahead and stored for a few days, allowing the flavors to meld. Just gently reheat and serve the cod freshly cooked for an easy yet impressive meal.

So are you ready to learn how to cook Cod Piperade?

How to Cook Cod Piperade

Amazing Cod Piperade Recipe: This is How To Cook Cod!

chef jean pierre 200x200 3Chef Jean-Pierre
In this delectable Basque-inspired recipe, I'll share with you how to cook Cod perfectly with Piperade Sauce. This dish features tender cod fillets seared to perfection and served with a savory roasted bell pepper sauce known as Piperade.
The combination of flavors is simply irresistible, making it a fantastic choice for seafood lovers. Whether you're planning a special dinner or a delightful weeknight meal, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds.
So, let's get cooking!
4.75 from 12 votes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Basque - Inspired, French
Servings 4 servings

Recipe Video

Recipe Ingredients

For the Piperade Sauce:

  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper, roasted and peeled
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, roasted and peeled
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, roasted and peeled
  • 1 large Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 large Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into julienne
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 tablespoons Harissa Hot Sauce (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic Olive Oil for garnish

To Roast the Garlic:

  • 8 cloves Garlic Cloves, more or less depending on their size
  • 2 Springs of Fresh Rosemary
  • 4 60ml tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Seared Cod:

  • 4 Cod Fillets, approximately 6 ounces each
  • Salt and Black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • Olive Oil for searing

Recipe Instructions

Preheat Oven to 350ºF / 175ºC

    Roast the Garlic:

    • Drizzle olive oil over the garlic cloves, season with salt, and black pepper, and add fresh rosemary sprigs.
      How to Cook Cod Piperade - Roast the garlic
    • Roast the garlic in an aluminum foil or in a glass bowl covered with a silicone top as I did in the video.  Roast until the garlic is soft and creamy.  It can take 45 minutes depending on the size of the cloves.

    Preparing the Piperade Sauce:

    • Place the bell peppers directly over an open flame or under the broiler until their skins are charred and blackened. Alternatively, you can use pre-roasted bell peppers. 
      How to Cook Cod Piperade - Place bell peppers directly over open flame or under broiler
    • Once roasted, place them in a bowl, cover, and let them steam for about 15 minutes to make it easier to remove the skin.  
    • After steaming, peel off the charred skin from the bell peppers. Remove the seeds and membranes, then cut them into thin julienne strips.
      How to Make Cod Piperade - peel off the charred skin from roasted pepper
    • In a Reduction Pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and a pinch of salt. 
    • Sauté until the onions turn translucent and light golden brown, about 10 minutes.  
      How to Make Cod Piperade - Sauté the onions
    • Stir in the prepared roasted bell peppers, and tomatoes and continue to sauté for another 5/10 minutes until well combined and meld with the other ingredients.  
      How to Cook Cod Piperade - Stir in the roasted bell peppers, tomatoes
    • Sprinkle the smoked paprika and granulated sugar over the mixture. Pour in white wine, the Harissa hot sauce (adjusting the quantity to your preferred level of spiciness)
    • Add the roasted garlic and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. 
      How to Cook Cod Piperade - Add the roasted garlic
    • Allow it to cook until the liquid reduces and thickens, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

    Increase Oven to 375ºF / 190ºC

      Prepare the Cod:

      • Season the cod fillets generously with salt, black pepper, and very lightly dust smoked paprika on one side.
        How to Cook Cod Piperade - Season the cod fillets
      • In a fry pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.  
      • Place the seasoned cod fillets on the paprika side in the hot skillet and sear the cod fillets for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they develop a golden-brown crust.
        How to Cook Cod Piperade - Place cod paprika side down in hot skillet
      • Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature of the cod reaches 135°F (57°C).


      • To serve, spoon a generous portion of the Piperade sauce onto each plate.
      • Carefully place a seared cod fillet on top of the sauce.
      • Drizzle a touch of olive oil over the cod for extra richness and flavor.
      • Serve immediately and enjoy your Seared Cod with Piperade Sauce!
        How to Cook Cod Piperade
      • This dish is perfect when paired with a side of rice, quinoa, or crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauce. Bon appétit!

      Cod Piperade, with its vibrant and flavorful sauce, pairs well with a variety of side dishes that complement its rich taste and texture.

      Now that you know how to cook Cod Piperade, here are some suggestions for side dishes that pair well with Cod Piperade:


      1. Rice or Grain Dishes:

      Steamed Rice: Simple steamed rice can absorb the delicious sauce of the Piperade.

      2. Potatoes:

      French Fries: Crispy on the outside fluffy on the inside, roasted potatoes can balance the saucy nature of Piperade.

      Garlic Mashed Potatoes: The creamy texture and flavor of garlic mashed potatoes pair beautifully with the rich Piperade sauce.

      3. Breads:

      Homemade Garlic Bread: Ideal for sopping up the flavorful Piperade sauce.

      4. Vegetables and Salads:

      Green Beans Almondine: The crunchiness of green beans with the nuttiness of toasted almonds offers a delightful contrast.

      Crisp Green Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing: A light salad with a lemony vinaigrette can cleanse the palate and balance the rich flavors of the Piperade.

      Asparagus Tips: The natural earthiness of asparagus pairs well with fish dishes.

      5. Pasta:

      Pasta Salad: I have three different pastas that are sure to please.

      Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: The simplicity of garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes on spaghetti can stand up to the richness of Cod Piperade without overshadowing it.

      6. Polenta

      Delicious Shrimp and Grits: Grits by themselves is a delicious dish, add shrimp and a few simple ingredients and you have something really special.

      Creamy Polenta: Soft, creamy polenta can act as a bed for the Cod Piperade, absorbing the sauce beautifully.

      When choosing a side dish, it’s essential to consider the balance of flavors, textures, and the overall meal’s heaviness. Since Cod Piperade is rich and flavorful, lighter, and simpler sides usually work best to create a harmonious meal.

      Here are just a few wines that pair well with Cod Piperade:

      • Red Côtes de Bourg
      • White Graves
      • White Pessac – Léognan
      • Rosé Bordeaux
      • White Chablis
      • White Meursault
      • White Pouilly – Fuissé


      Frequently Asked Questions About How to Cook Cod Piperad:


      1. What is Cod Piperade?

      Cod Piperade is a delightful dish that combines the delicate flavor of codfish with the rich and colorful Basque dish called Piperade. Piperade primarily consists of bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and spices simmered together.


      2. Who created Cod Piperade?

      While the exact origin of Cod Piperade is not definitively documented, it’s believed to be a fusion of traditional Basque cuisine, where Piperade originates, with the widely enjoyed codfish which is prevalent in many coastal cuisines across Europe.


      3. Can Cod Piperade be prepared in advance?

      Yes, Cod Piperade can be prepared in advance. You can prepare the Piperade sauce a day ahead and refrigerate it. On the day of serving, you just need to cook the cod and combine it with the reheated Piperade sauce.


      4. How to best store leftover Cod Piperade?

      Leftover Cod Piperade should be cooled to room temperature, transferred to an airtight container, and stored in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days for the best quality.


      5. Can you freeze Cod Piperade?

      Yes, you can freeze Cod Piperade. After letting it cool to room temperature, store it in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, ensuring all air is removed to prevent freezer burn.


      6. How long can Cod Piperade be kept frozen?

      Cod Piperade can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. Beyond this, the flavor and texture might start to degrade.


      7. What’s the best way to reheat Cod Piperade?

      Gently reheat Cod Piperade in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Alternatively, it can be reheated in a microwave on a medium setting, stirring every minute until hot.


      8. What makes Cod Piperade unique compared to other cod dishes?

      The uniqueness of Cod Piperade lies in its Piperade sauce – a combination of bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and spices – which imparts a vibrant color and depth of flavor to the delicate cod.


      9. Is Cod Piperade spicy?

      Traditional Piperade sauce has a mild spice level, mainly from Espelette pepper, a special chili pepper from the Basque region. However, the spice level can be adjusted according to preference.


      10. Can you use frozen cod for Cod Piperade?

      Yes, frozen cod can be used for this dish. Ensure you thaw it properly in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before cooking. Using the defrost setting on a microwave can also be an option if you’re short on time, but ensure even thawing to maintain the fish’s texture.


      11. Can other fish be used in place of cod for this recipe?

      Yes, while cod is traditionally used, other firm white fish like haddock, halibut, or sea bass can be substituted in the dish.


      12. Can Cod Piperade be made vegetarian or vegan?

      While the cod is the primary protein in the dish, it can be replaced with tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian or vegan version. The Piperade sauce itself is vegetarian.


      13. What’s the significance of Piperade in Basque cuisine?

      Piperade is a fundamental dish in Basque cuisine, reflecting the region’s agricultural abundance, especially its peppers. The blend of colors in the sauce (red from peppers and tomatoes, green from green peppers, and white from onions) even represents the Basque flag.


      14. What’s the difference between Piperade and Ratatouille, and can the latter be used with cod?

      Both Piperade and Ratatouille are rich, pepper and tomato-based dishes, but there are differences. Ratatouille, from the Provence region of France, includes eggplant and zucchini and has a chunkier consistency. Piperade, from the Basque region, focuses on bell peppers and has a slightly smoother texture with a unique flavor from the Espelette pepper. While Ratatouille is typically served as a standalone dish, you can certainly pair it with cod or other proteins in a manner similar to Cod Piperade.


      15. How do you know when the cod in Cod Piperade is perfectly cooked?

      Cod, like other white fish, is cooked perfectly when it becomes opaque, flakes easily with a fork, and reaches an internal temperature of about 145°F (63°C). It’s essential not to overcook the cod as it can become dry and lose its delicate texture.


      16. Can Cod Piperade be served cold?

      While traditionally served warm, Cod Piperade can be enjoyed cold, especially during warmer months. If serving cold, it’s best to prepare the Piperade a day ahead to allow flavors to meld, and then combine with freshly cooked (and cooled) cod before serving.

      Latest posts by Chef Jean-Pierre (see all)

      Pin It on Pinterest