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Pan Seared Cod with Herb Brothy Beans

Pan Seared Cod with Herb Brothy Beans- Delicate cod is cooked to perfection then served over buttery beans swimming in a garden herb broth.

July 5, 2021 by Nicole Collins

I envy all of you out there with a green thumb.

I've definitely come a long way. I'm not nearly the plant killer that I used to be.

However, there's A LOT that I just don't know. I wish I could take a class with a plant whisperer, absorb all the tips and tricks I'd ever need, and create the garden of my dreams that would thrive forever and ever.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know this garden season has been a stressful one for me. I put too many seeds in my seedling pots this year, and it created quite the hot mess. I was sure the basil was a goner because of the way it had entangled in itself. I thought I was going to have a successful cilantro and parsley bounty. And, the dill was dead before it even stood a chance.

But in a bizarre twist, my basil is the healthiest plant of them all right now! I got one cilantro and parsely harvest before things went downhill. I truly don't know what happened to the cilantro. One day it was big and beautiful, we had a blast of 90 degree weather, and the next day it was yellow and dead. Then, we have the parsley which was taken over by caterpillars. Those stinkers ate every last leaf. But I feel like by feeding them, I'm doing my part to support the ecosystem, so I guess they can have it.

Though I did have to buy one of the herbs in today's recipe, the rest came completely from my garden. And, that is SO SATISFYING! I'm this close to having the confidence to try to grow some veggies next season, so send me any tips and tricks you have!

In the meantime, we can celebrate our garden successes with a light, beautiful, summery dish.

Today, we're making Pan Seared Cod with Herb Brothy Beans!

This is one of those meals that feels fancy and elegant. But in reality, it's very inexpensive, very easy, and comes together in less than 20 minutes. In my opinion, those are the best kinds of showstopper meals!

Let's talk about brothy beans. This is a concept that I learned about in my local online supper club, and I think it's pretty genius. We're going to cheat a little bit and use store bought, canned beans. But, that's part of what helps this dish come together so quickly. So basically, we make a flavorful broth, throw in some beans, and call it dinner! It's not quite soup, but a lighter more delicate soup like idea.

To make our broth, we're going to add a bunch of stuff to a blender, hit the button, and heat it up. It's sooooo easy! So, we'll take some chicken stock, a little water, some lemon juice for brightness, olive oil for richness, and 3 types of herbs: parsley, basil, and chives; and we'll put all of that straight into a blender along with a pinch of salt and pepper. We'll blend everything until it's liquified, give it a taste, adjust the seasoning as needed, then strain the liquid through a sieve into a saucepan. That's it! That's the broth! Then we'll add in our canned beans, and let both gently heat together until they're warmed through.

Meanwhile, we can be working on our fish. Cod is a very delicate white fish that is kind of a blank canvas. It's pretty mild. But, it's also very inexpensive which makes it a great option for this low cost meal. If you can't find or don't love cod, you could substitute another white fish like halibut or even tilapia.

To season our cod, we're going to use a mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and aleppo pepper. We'll pat our fish with a paper towel to make sure it's nice dry, then we'll sprinkle our seasoning all over both sides of the fish. Then, to a hot pan it goes to cook in some olive oil until it's nice and golden and just cooked through. Now, cod is very delicate, so you need a gentle hand while flipping it and removing it from the pan. However if it breaks while you're trying to move it, that's ok! That's what garnishes are for. ;-)

When we're ready to serve, we'll ladle our beans and broth into a shallow bowl. Then, we'll add some lemon slices for extra flavor and extra wow factor. And finally, we'll lay our fish right on top and finish with some fresh radish microgreens for extra color and a pop of crispness.

This meal, despite being so simple and so inexpensive, is so impressive. The broth is light and bright. But, it's also so fresh and so green. Those beans are rich and buttery adding a nice creamy component to the dish. And, that fish on top is savory and juicy and rich and soft all at the same time. So when you get a spoonful of all three in one bite, you're truly firing on all cylinders.

And if you think about it, you can grow most of this meal right in your own backyard/windowsill/porch. And really, could anything make a dish taste more delicious than knowing that you literally made it from scratch?

I've got big dreams for next year's garden, so if there are any garden gurus out there, please hit me up. I need all the help I can get!

In the meantime, enjoy! And, let's eat!


Pan Seared Cod with Herb Brothy Beans

Serves: 2 Print


For the Herb Brothy Beans:

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ cup parsley, roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp basil, packed

  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Cod:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 4-6 oz cod filets, skin removed

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp aleppo pepper

  • lemon slices and radish microgreens, for garnish


  1. Make the Herb Broth: Add chicken stock, water, parsely, basil, chives, lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until the herbs have completely broken down and the liquid is bright green. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper, if needed, and blend again for another few seconds.

  2. Pour the herb broth through a fine mesh sieve and into a medium saucepan. Add the beans. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer for 10 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Cod: To a small bowl, add ¼ tsp each salt, pepper, garlic powder, and aleppo pepper. Pat the fish with a paper towel to make sure it's completely dry, then season both sides of the cod with the spice mix.

  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a non stick skillet. When the oil starts to shimmer, add fish, presentation side down, and cook for about 3 mins until the fish is golden and releases easily from the pan. Very carefully flip the fish, and cook an additional 2-3 mins until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 145 degrees. Set aside.

  5. To serve, divide brothy beans between 2 bowls. Top with fish, lemon slices, and microgreens. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*Your herb broth with darken a little bit as it cooks. That's totally normal! If you'd prefer a little texture in your broth, feel free to skip the step of straining the solids out of the broth. I like the liquid nice and smooth though, and this is the set of sieves that I love.

*Feel free to use halibut or another white fish of your choice in place of the cod.


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