Tomato Fennel Stew With Cod Recipe

provencal tomato stew
Kristy Del Coro, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time: 55 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Servings: 6 (1 cup stew + 1 fillet)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

257 calories
8g fat
19g carbs
27g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (1 cup stew + 1 fillet)
Amount per serving  
Calories 257
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 719mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 9g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 27g  
Vitamin D 1mcg 5%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 1034mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This simple tomato fennel stew gets all of its flavors from Provencal herbs and spices and is a great complement to simply baked fish. It is rich and flavorful, low in carbs, and under 300 calories per serving.

The stew is versatile enough to serve with any kind of seafood (it would go great with shellfish) and can be easily made ahead and reheated while you bake the fish. Lemon peel added to the tomato during cooking adds bright citrusy notes that make this a meal equally as good in summer or winter!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon for the fish
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 cups small diced onion
  • 2 cups small diced fennel (about 1 large bulb)
  • 5 large slices lemon peel (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided (3/4 teaspoon for stew + ¾ teaspoon for fish)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups canned diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried oregano + 1/2 teaspoon for fish
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme + 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, tied with kitchen twine
  • 6 6-ounce fillets cod, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 400F for fish.

  2. Add oil to a medium pot and turn heat to medium. Add garlic, fennel, and onion and season with 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes until onions and fennel start to soften and turn translucent.

  3. Add white wine to deglaze and cook for another two minutes.

  4. Add tomatoes, dried oregano, fennel seed, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon peel, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add tied thyme and rosemary and gently submerge in tomato mixture.

  5. Let simmer, uncovered or partially covered, on low for 30 to 40 minutes until mixture resembles chunky tomato stew.

  6. Meanwhile, place cod fillets on parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Rub each fillet with ½ teaspoon olive oil and season with a pinch of salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.

  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until fish begins to flake apart easily with a fork.

  8. To serve, spoon one cup tomato stew in the bottom of a bowl and place baked cod gently on top.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

This recipe uses cod but any flaky white fish will do. Shellfish would also taste delicious—whether it is broiling shrimp to serve on top, serving with steamed mussels, or adding them directly to the stew. If adding to the stew, I recommend adding one cup of water so there is more liquid to cook the seafood.

Fresh tomato can be used when in season, or use a combination of fresh and canned. If you cannot find unsalted canned tomatoes, omit the added salt in the recipe to keep it lower in sodium.

If you want an extra boost of nutrients or want to make this vegetarian, cooked white beans can be added to the stew for protein and fiber (add during the last 10 minutes of cooking).

Cooking and Serving Tips

If you don't have kitchen twine, rosemary and thyme can just be added directly to the pot but it will just be a little more challenging to fish them out before serving.

The tomato stew can be made several days in advance and reheated in a pot on the stove while fish is baking. 

Garnish with fennel fronds (the top of the fennel bulb) for presentation.

This dish is best served with warm crusty bread but keep portions in mind if you're watching your carbs.

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