Fish Fillets en Papillote

The Culinary Medicine team has a recipe for Fish Fillets en Papillote, a tasty fish baked in a pouch of parchment paper!

Fish Fillets en Papillote

Fish Fillets en Papillote Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • ½ lemon
  • ½ zucchini, peeled and trimmed
  • ½ carrot (about 2 ounces), trimmed
  • ½  shallot (about 3/4 ounce), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1.5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/8 teaspoon dry
  • 3/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed
  • ¼ tsp. fine salt, divided
  • 1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless fish fillets, such as cod, pompano fillets or trout
  • ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/8 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc (optional)
  • Torn fresh basil leaves, for serving (optional)


  1. Position oven rack so it is roughly in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. Halve the lemon and juice one half; reserve the other half for serving.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini and carrot into thin, wide ribbons. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, carrot, shallot and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the lemon juice, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt until evenly coated.
  4. Cut two (12-by-15-inch) pieces of parchment paper. (The size of the parchment needed may vary depending on the shape of the fillets.) Fold each sheet in half lengthwise; and then open flat. Evenly divide the vegetables, garlic and bay leaves, if using, on one half of each piece of parchment, near the fold. Drizzle a bit of the drippings from the vegetable bowl on top of each pile of vegetables.
  5. Pat each fish fillet dry. Use the remaining oil to coat each fillet and sprinkle each with the remaining salt and pepper. Place the fillets on top of the vegetable piles, then dot the fish with butter. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of wine, if using, over each fillet.
  6. Fold the empty parchment half over the top of the fillets and roll the edges, crimping to seal tightly. The paper can touch the fish, but should not be pressed against it, so the packets have room to expand.
  7. Using a spatula, carefully transfer 2 bags to one rimmed baking pan.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes for thin fillets, 15 minutes if the fillets are more than 1-inch thick. The fish will be opaque and flake and the vegetables will be crisp-tender. To check, remove one packet and gently use a fork to flake the fish, resealing and returning to the oven as needed.
  9. To serve, place a packet on each dinner plate. Using scissors or a very sharp paring knife, cut open the packet and fold back the opened flap, being careful of any hot steam that escapes. Sprinkle over the fresh basil and a few more grounds of fresh pepper, if using, and serve with a wedge of lemon.

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