Spanish Saffron Cod

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 10 mins

| Total Time: 20 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Inspired by classic fish stew recipes from the Catalonia region of Northeastern Spain, this Spanish Saffron Cod recipe is delightfully fast to prepare. However, its simplicity belies a complex layer of flavors, highlighted by saffron. Known as "red gold", saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Hand-harvested from the stigma of the violet-colored crocus flower, it takes roughly 200 hours to painstakingly handpick one pound of saffron, which sells for thousands of dollars! Our primary mission at Piquant Post is to bring a world of flavor home to you and this is no exception. We're excited to leverage our volume buying power to send you premium Mancha-grade Spanish "Royal Saffron".

Throughout history, saffron has captivated monarchs to monks and now michelin-rated chefs with its intoxicating aroma. With notes of honey and hay-grass, our saffron imparts a red-gold hue and a floral-grassy-bittersweet taste to any dish. Lucky for us, a little goes a long way, so you can make at least two recipes featuring saffron this month from our "Royal Saffron" packet. Serve this dish with crusty bread to mop up the sauce or over hot rice.


  • 1-1.5 lbs of skinless white fish (cod, halibut, sole, tilapia, bass)

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of whole peeled tomatoes, drained

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 pinch (~15 threads) Piquant Post Spanish Saffron

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup water

  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


We love simple, one-pan meals, and this saffron cod is a perfect example of how you can make a delicious globally-inspired meal in a snap, with one pan to clean at the end.

Cod is a delicate, flaky fish and the key to perfect cod is simmering at Med-Low or Low heat. You want a very light simmer rather than a rolling boil in the pan.

This recipe calls for slicing the garlic into thin rounds or shavings so that the garlic holds up during sauté, creating little bite sized "chips" of garlic. If you prefer to use minced garlic, it will impart a slightly more intense flavor and be careful to watch that the garlic doesn't burn or turn dark brown.

While we call for a can of whole tomatoes, you can use crushed or diced. San Marzano tomatoes are delicious if you can find them.

Also, we don't recommend using flavored tomatoes (e.g., Italian herbs and spices).

Finally, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


Season the fish with salt and pepper. Slice the garlic into thin rounds. Open the can of tomatoes and carefully drain the juice. 

Then, heat a large sauté pan or skillet with olive oil on Med. Cook the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally, until garlic turns lightly golden (2-3mins).

Add tomatoes, crushing with your fingers as you add them to the pan. Add stock, wine, saffron, bay leaves, water then bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to Med-Low and simmer for ~5 mins to meld flavors. 

Gently place cod in pan and arrange to partially submerge in liquid then cover pan, simmering for ~5 mins. During this time, occasionally spoon liquid over top of the fish and cover pan. Serve in shallow bowls with a portion of the liquid in each bowl. 

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • What can you substitute in this saffron cod dish? First, you can use any flaky, white fish such as halibut, sea bass, sole, tilapia, or mahi mahi.

  • Why do we call for canned tomatoes?  Unless you have perfectly ripe tomatoes from the garden or farm stand, canned tomatoes generally offer a superior and consistent taste to tomatoes you find at the supermarket as they are canned at the height of ripeness. But, use those ripe tomatoes when you have them.

  • For our vegetarian friends, you can use tofu, vegan fish filets, or roasted veggies like eggplant, zucchini or squash. We recommend sautéing tofu or roasting vegetables before starting the rest of this recipe.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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