Fish en Papillote

Cooking fish en papillote (French), or con cartocchio (Italian), is an easy way to put a a healthy dish on the table for dinner and have a little bit of flair.  If you have ever steamed vegetables on a grill in a foil pouch, this is the same technique and now you have a fancy name for it.  If you are watching what you eat, you can easily control the calorie total for this dish as a 5oz piece of white fish will clock in around 250 Calories and half a cup each of zucchini and yellow squash only totals 40 Calories between the two.  With the teaspoon of oil and half a glass of white wine, you are only getting 400 Calories if you manage to sop up all of the liquid.

By sealing the fish, and vegetables, in a tight pouch you can steam the fish gently with a flavorful liquid keeping it moist and protecting yourself against overcooking the fish on the stove. What follows is a basic recipe, but you can substitute a lot of ingredients based on what you have or you like – any fresh herbs go well instead of just parsley; mix your citrus up adding oranges or grapefruit to the lemon; use different liquids like stock instead of just wine; switch out the olive oil for butter; use fennel instead of squash.  The possibilities are endless.

Cod en Papillote


Fish en Papillote Mis

  • 5oz Filet or loin piece of cod or other white fish
  • 1/2 Cup Julienne or shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 Cup Julienne or shredded yellow squash
  • 1 Sliced Lemon
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Sprig of Parsley or other herbs
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 Glass (2.5oz) of White Wine
 FEP Packets


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Shred or julienne your vegetables and slice your lemon into rounds.
  3. Tear off a square of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  4. Lay the lemons down first, then the shredded or julienned vegetables
  5. Place the fish on top of the vegetables with the garlic and parsley.  Season with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Fold the paper or foil up and tightly crimp and fold one end so it looks like a burrito
  7. Pour the oil and wine into the packet and then fold the remaining side closed and seal it tightly.
  8. Bake in the over for approximately 12 minutes.  You’ll tell that the fish is done as the paper browns and the pouch has puffed up.
  9. Remove the pouch from the oven to a plate and either open or cut open the pouch.  Steam is going to billow out, so be careful.
 FEP Closed
What are your go-to light summer dinners?
Fish en Papillote