This Pan Seared Cod with Mexican Quinoa is inspired by my favorite fish tacos we had in San Diego last summer.  I think I dream about them sometimes, but if you’re like me, you’re trying to go a little lighter with your food for the new year.  So I developed this recipe thinking of those fish tacos.  I left out the creamy sauce and those fantastic homemade corn tortillas from the tacos, but all the flavors are here in this recipe.  It’s super fresh and even my kids liked the mild flavored fish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


The recipe has 3 parts, but don’t be intimidated.  It comes together quickly, I promise, and the ingredients are repeated in each dish.   First make the pico de gallo.  You can make it early in the day and let it sit if you want (double the recipe and you’ll have enough to eat with chips later!).  When it’s dinnertime, make the quinoa and while it’s cooking you’ve got time to cook the fish.   


Tomato Pico de Gallo


1  1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used quartered cherry tomatoes)

juice of one lime

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro, more or less to taste

salt to taste


Mix everything together and let it sit in the fridge until it’s time for dinner.  The flavors will get better the longer it sits.


Mexican Quinoa


2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 red onion, chopped (leftover from the Tomato Pico de Gallo)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 small can chopped green chilies

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup dried quinoa

1 cup chicken stock


In a large sauce pan, saute the onion for about 3 minutes in the olive oil, and then add the garlic.  Cook for about 3 more minutes.  Add the tomatoes, green chiles, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne.  Stir well, then add the quinoa and the chicken stock.   Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft.  If the quinoa is too liquid-y after 20 minutes, take off the lid and turn up the heat until it evaporates.



Pan Seared Cod with Lime Butter


4-5 cod filets, thawed

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

juice of one lime

1/2 tablespoon  butter


In a nonstick pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat.  Salt and pepper the dry fish and place in the heated pan.


Cook on one side for about 3 minutes, or until it’s very brown.  Reduce the heat to medium, lip the fish and cook for 3-5 minutes on the other side.  The fish is cooked through when it feels firm.


Add the butter to the pan with the cooked fish.   Squeeze the lime juice over the fish.  Pour the pan sauce over the fish for serving.  Serve on top of the Mexican Quinoa with the Tomato Pico de Gallo over the top.