One-Pot Cod with Pearl Couscous

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This one-pot cod with couscous will be your new go-to easy cod recipe. Paired with olives and Castelvetrano olives–or any green olive–this one-pot recipe is easy, quick, and delicious.

Cod is probably my favorite type of fish. It has a mild, subtly sweet flavor, but the fish is firm and holds up while cooking. Its mild flavor makes it a blank canvas for any kind of dish or flavor pairings. If you think you don’t like fish, cod is the perfect place to start, as it doesn’t really have any strong or fishy flavors.

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This one-pot cod is paired with Castelvetrano olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Finished with lemon juice and parsley, this cod recipe brings bold flavors with a bright finish. The best part is that it all happens in one pot in just about 30 minutes total.

I use pearl couscous–also known as Israeli couscous or ptitim–for its quick cooking time. Pearl couscous is not the same as regular couscous, and it’s more closely related to (though still different!) Italian fregola than couscous found in Maghrebi cuisine.

What is pearl couscous? It’s a type of pasta made from semolina flour and water. It’s an extruded pasta, similar to the Italian orzo. In short, unlike traditional couscous, which are small and traditionally hand-rolled, Israeli couscous balls are much larger, made by a machine, and then toasted.

In some instances, you can swap the pearl couscous for traditional couscous. However, be mindful of the difference in cooking time. Hand-rolled, small couscous only takes 5 minutes to steep. Pearl couscous, on the other hand, takes about 12–13 minutes to cook.

For this recipe, I recommend not replacing the pearl couscous with regular couscous. Instead, use an Italian fregola or orzo. If using orzo, you’ll want to remove the fish and then continue cooking the orzo until al dente as it may need more time than pearl couscous.

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How to make this one-pot cod with couscous recipe:

To make this dish, you need just a handful of ingredients, including:

  • Shallot, garlic, and butter as the base of the broth
  • Pearl couscous
  • Castelvetrano olives and sun-dried tomatoes will add a bold, salty, robust flavor to the couscous
  • Cod, cut into 4 4-ounce portions
  • Extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and lemon juice add just a nice bit of zip and richness to the dish

Making it is so unbelievably easy, and you’ll love how quickly it comes together.

  • Step 1: Sauté the shallot, add the garlic, and then melt the butter into the pot.
  • Step 2: Toast the couscous in the pot briefly, and then add the water, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Step 3: Bring everything to a low boil and arrange the cod on top. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of parsley.
  • Step 4: Cover and cook on low until the cod is cooked through and the couscous is tender, about 12–13 minutes.
  • Step 5: Remove the lid and add lemon juice. Carefully spoon the cod onto a plate. Stir the couscous in the pot and add a bit more parsley.

That’s it! From there, simply divide the couscous between shallow bowls and place a cod filet on top. Serve with more lemon.

One-Pot Cod with Couscous_MidPage
One-Pot Cod with Couscous_MidPage

One-Pot Cod with Couscous

This one-pot cod with couscous will be your new go-to easy cod recipe. Paired with olives and Castelvetrano olives–or any green olive–this one-pot recipe is easy, quick, and delicious.
4.40 from 23 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 407kcal


  • Large pot


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, torn in half or use 6-ounce can green olives
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • cups water
  • 4 4- ounce cod filets
  • cup loosely packed fresh parsley, minced and divided
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper


Cook the aromatics:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.

Toast the couscous:

  • Melt butter in the pot. Add the pearl couscous and cook until lightly toasted. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Simmer the cod and couscous:

  • Pour in the water and bring to a low boil.
  • Carefully arrange the cod on top in an even layer. Drizzle with 1–2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil. Add half the minced parsley. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 12-15 minutes or until cod is completely cooked and pearl couscous is tender.

Finish the cod:

  • Remove the cover. Add lemon juice to the cod and remove the fish from the pot.

Finish the couscous:

  • Taste and season the couscous. Stir in the remaining parsley.

To serve:

  • Divide the couscous between shallow bowls and serve with the cod on top. Enjoy with a lemon wedge on the side.


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Sodium: 650mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 8mg
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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing dish and so easy. I made this for a personal chef client and they requested it again the following week! The highest compliment a recipe can receive.

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