The Foolproof Way to Cook Fish With Tons Of Flavor

Photo by Joanne Murphy

People often ask me the best way to ensure that you don’t overcook a fish. The answer is to use my secret weapon: parchment paper.

When you are cooking a fish in parchment, there’s no worry about it sticking to the grill, cleanup is a breeze, and the parchment seals in moisture and flavor. Plus, there’s a sort of Zen to folding the fish within the paper.

Package-Parceled Cod

Serves 4


  • 16 asparagus spears, trimmed 1 inch from the ends
  • 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
  • 1 lemon, sliced into 4 rounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme


1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

2. Lay out 1 large sheet (about 16 by 12 inches) of parchment paper. Place 4 asparagus spears in the center of the paper, then 1 fish fillet on top, then a slice of lemon. Season with salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 sprig of thyme.

3. Fold over the ends of the paper to enclose the fish.* Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish.

4. Bake in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish reaches 130˚F to 135˚F on a thermometer.

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*How to Fold Parchment

Place fish and vegetables in the center of the parchment sheet. Fold in two sides of the paper to the center, then smooth down and crease the sides until the paper stays. Do the same for the remaining two sides, smoothing down and creasing the paper until it stays in place.

Excerpted from the cookbook, The Quick Six Fix: 100 No-Fuss, Full-Flavor Recipes - Six Ingredients, Six Minutes Prep, Six Minutes Cleanup. Learn more at

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