Fiesta Baked Cod


A quick family approved dinner idea when you only have 10 minutes

This baked cod recipe only requires 4 ingredients and it comes together in about 10 minutes. Cod fish filets are baked with balsamic vinaigrette and Rotel to make a simple, healthy homemade meal in minutes.

Sometimes, you only have a small window of time to get dinner on the table. Instead of reaching for fast food or processed meals, I like to keep it simple with easy, go-to dinners that don’t take a lot of time or effort. The fiesta baked cod recipe is one I make often. It’s made in one pot just like my skillet lasagna and egg roll in a bowl, so not only is dinner easy to make but clean up is a breeze!

a fork holding a flakey chunk of white fish

I usually have frozen fish on hand. It’s the protein I turn to when I forgot to thaw something for dinner as fish only takes about 20 minutes to thaw if you put it in a cold water bath. Cod fish usually comes in portioned packets to so I don’t have to weight or cut the fish filets. Cod is an excellent protein choice if you want a good, lean protein source.

Since I make this easy baked cod recipe quite often, I always have a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette in my refrigerator and a can of tomatoes and chilies (aka Rotel) in my pantry. Give a sprinkle of cheddar cheese right before baking to balance the flavors. No need to mess with panko, breadcrumbs or a garlic butter sauce as this roasted cod recipe has plenty of flavor without the crusted butter layer.

How to bake cod

  1. Pat each cod filet dry with a paper towel and season with salt.
  2. Place in a square baking dish. Drizzle olive oil on top.
  3. Pour on balsamic vinaigrette and Rotel.
  4. Sprinkle on shredded cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes! Serve with lemon wedges or a drizzle of lemon juice.

a cheesy fish casserole in a baking dish

Key ingredients

  • Cod – Cod is the preferred fish for this recipe, but any white fish will work. Cod is relatively inexpensive and accessible to most people. Tilapia will also work in this recipe.
  • Balsamic vinaigrette – I prefer the flavors of balsamic vinaigrette but if you only have balsamic vinegar, you can use that instead. The vinaigrette adds a hint of sweet and bold flavor to this dish. If you chose to use balsamic vinegar, just add a drizzle on top of the fish as to not overpower the flavors. Another option is just to use lemon juice. It will provide enough acid for the oven bake cod.
  • Rotel – Also known as a can of tomatoes with green chilies. This is the go-to pantry item if you want to add umami flavor will a kick.
  • Cheese – I prefer a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese on top to add a bold creamy flavor; however, you can substitute any cheese flavor in this recipe or completely omit if you are dairy free.

Baked Cod Recipe Video

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Fiesta Baked Cod Ingredients

  • 1 pound cod filets
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 4 oz Rotel, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Fiesta Baked Cod Directions

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pieces of baked cod in a baking dish topped with cheddar cheese and chunks of tomato

Fresh vs frozen seafood

You can use either fresh fish or frozen cod for this seafood recipe. I find it easier to use frozen since I readily have it in my freezer at all times.

I prefer to get wild caught Alaskan cod as most Pacific cod fish tastes the best and the quality if better.

Other white fish fillet can be used in this recipe like tilapia and halibut.

Thawing frozen fish

To safely thaw frozen cod, you have a couple of options:

  1. Place frozen cod in the refrigerator to thaw. This will take 1-2 days depending on the thickness of your fish fillets.
  2. Thaw using a cold water bath. Fill a bowl or dish with cold water and place frozen cod inside the dish. Keep the cod in it’s vacuum sealed individual pouches. Submerge and let sit for 20-30 minutes or until filets are thawed.


Keep these important tips in mind when thawing frozen fish

  • Never thaw in warm or hot water. This can start to cook the fish from the outside while the inside may still be frozen.
  • Never thaw fish at room temperature on the counter for food safety reasons.
  • Don’t refreeze thawed fish that was previously frozen.
two pieces of baked cod on a stack of white plates topped with tomatoes and parsley

Storage information

I don’t care for leftover fish, but if you don’t mind it and have some leftover baked cod fish, simply reheat in the oven or air fryer.

Store cooked fish leftovers in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Fiesta Baked Cod: FAQS

Can I use frozen fillets?

Yes, you can use fresh or frozen fish for baking cod. Frozen fish is easy to keep in your freezer at all times and easier to find. Fresh is obviously easier to use as it is already thawed.

What temperature should I bake cod at?

Bake cod fillets at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. It's best if they are all the same thickness and size.

How do I know when cod is fully cooked?

You fish will easily flake apart if you pull it with a fork. The flesh of the meat will also be a bright white color too.

Should I bake cod covered or uncovered in the oven?

It's best to bake this dish uncovered.

Nutritional information & Macros

Nutrition Information

Fiesta Baked Cod

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 233
Fat 18g
Protein 18g
Total Carbs 3g
Net Carbs 3g

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  1. We had this last night and definitely will be making it again! And it was so easy to make! Thanks for all you do for the keto folks, Annie!

  2. The recipe calls for 1 lb of cod but the video looks like 2, based on how full the pan is and number of pieces (1 lb for me was 3 pieces). Am I missing something?

    1. I cut my cod in smaller pieces to get them to fit in the 8 x 8 inch baking dish. It was 1 pound.

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