Fish En Papillote

February 17, 2021


Note: I am reposting this recipe in time for some meat-free meals for Lent. I know I am always trying to get some ideas now to make meal planning easier. Fish tacos, shrimp scampi, frittatas and cheese pizza are some other favorites. Happy Lent! 

I can’t remember where I first heard of Fish en Papillote (Fish in Paper). It’s a classic French method for cooking fish and veggies but do not let that scare you. Ever wrapped a potato in tin foil and baked it? You’ve got the method down pat.


I am possibly the most excited to share this post of any that I’ve ever done, because I know once you know this method you will have a way to cook fish that is simple, quick (cooks in 10 minutes!) easy, rustic, elegant, and did I mention easy?


I used to make this a lot when I was trying to eat light after my third baby, and now that I remember how yummy it is, it will be on heavy rotation.

But trust me, because with these flavors and a high quality cut of fish, can it possibly taste awful? Especially when you put little to no effort in. These beauties did all the work:


For the record, I made this before I ever did Whole30 because it is so so good. I feel like this is important to mention because I hate feeling deprived, I love flavor, and this is one of those great dishes that makes you feel indulged without any guilt.



But for those of you who are looking for meat-free meals for Lent, or are simply eating light as spring is starting to ease its way into our open windows and sunlit doors and you are remembering you might need to put on a bathing suit in a few months, this one’s for you.


You can use any kind of fish – salmon, sole, mahi mahi, tuna, halibut, etc. Just adjust time for thickness – a thin filet less then an inch thick gets 8 minutes, a thicker one gets 10-12. I used halibut a little on the thicker side and 12 minutes was perfect.

Make sure you chop your vegetables thin so they’ll cook in the same time as the fish. You can easily just slice them very thin crosswise too.


Oh, and what’s that? No clean up either since you just throw your paper away? It is almost magical how perfect this dish is, isn’t it?


Fish En Papillote (printer version here)

Preheat your oven to 425, then:

1. Chop your veggies. Pick any veggies you like – snap peas, asparagus, red pepper, zucchini or summer squash, carrots, onions, celery, leeks, mushrooms are all fantastic steamed with fish.  You want to cut them very thin so they steam in the same amount of time as the fish. I julienned mine (badly) but you can just as easily slice them in thin rounds if you are in a hurry.

2. Lay out a rectangle of parchment paper, fold it in half, and lay your fish on one of the halves. Season with salt & pepper and add a pat of butter.

3. Pile on your veggies, followed by herbs – dill is so great with fish, but I’ve loved thyme with white fish too. I have even added herbed mayo to salmon. Season veggies with a little salt and pepper (being careful not to over salt – you can add more to taste after it’s cooked).

4. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil. (White wine is amazing splashed on here too. Just not whole30 approved as you probably know).

5. Starting at one of the corners next to the fold, start to twist the edges on itself so that the paper forms a seal, allowing the steam inside to cook the fish and veggies. You want to take your time and do it carefully because if steam leaks out it may not be fully cooked.

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