Healthy Recipe: Baked Fish Packets with Pesto & Tomatoes

Baked Fish Packets with Kale Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe by Charity Ferreira | Photo by Erin Kunkel

If you’ve never tried parchment packets, it’s an easy, mess-free way to steam fish. The fish stays tender and flavorful, and cleanup is as easy as crinkling up the paper and slam-dunking it in the bin. Bright, nutty kale pesto is an unexpected way to enjoy your favorite leafy green. You’ll have extra pesto after making this recipe; store it for up to a week in the refrigerator, and add it to sandwiches, soups, or vegetables.


For the pesto:
1 bunch dinosaur kale
½ cup (2 oz/60 g) chopped walnuts, toasted
¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the packets:
Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
4 halibut, cod, or tilapia fillets (about 6 ounces each)
8 oz (250 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

4 sheets parchment paper, each about 18 inches (45 cm) long


To make the pesto, strip the kale leaves, discard the stems, and roughly chop the leaves. Place about 2 cups (2 oz/60 g) packed kale leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Add the walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set the pesto aside.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Place one sheet of parchment on your work surface and brush it lightly with oil. Place one fish fillet in the center of one half of the parchment. Arrange about a quarter of the tomatoes around the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon about a tablespoon of the kale pesto over the fish.

Fold the parchment over the fish and, beginning with a folded corner, make a series of small overlapping folds all the way around the perimeter of the packet to seal, twisting the end tightly. Place the packet on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 3 more packets.

Bake the packets until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut open packets before placing on plates. Serve warm, passing additional pesto at the table, if you like.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 180 cal
Protein 23 g
Total fat 9 g
Saturated fat 2 g
Carbs 4 g
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 2 g
Sodium 89 mg

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