Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals: Tasty Crusted Cod recipe

Tasty crusted cod, mashy peas & tartare sauce

Inspired by a childhood favourite of fish fingers and mash, this 30 Minute Meal of crusted cod, mashy peas and tartare sauce is gorgeous and I’d highly recommended it.

As with the 30 Minute Asian Style Salmon this may not be a dish to cook if you’re feeling frugal. The cod ideally needs to come from a fishmonger and it’s quite expensive to purchase the specified 1200g fillets. Having said that, I firmly believe it’s worthwhile as the cod is by far the star of the meal with its crispy breadcrumb topping and punchy tomato sauce. It is indeed a giant, fancy fish finger and a great pleasure to eat.

Update: I’ve since cooked this dish with frozen skinless cod fillets (defrosted) and it works a treat as well as being more cost effective.

A food processor is used extensively throughout the preparation and is essential if you want to stick to the 30 minute time frame. The quantities of potatoes, broccoli and peas makes loads of mash but it freezes well.


Serves: 4

Tasty Crusted Cod

  • 1200g (2 x 600g) cod fillets, skin on
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 200g crusty white bread
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tin anchovies in oil
  • ½ a 280g jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • small bunch basil
  • 1 chili
  • 40g Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or a small pinch of dried)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or a small pinch of dried)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mashy peas

  • 4 medium baking potatoes
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 500g frozen peas
  • knob butter
  • 1-2 tbs mint sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Tartare Sauce

  • 3 gherkins
  • 1 tsp capers
  • small bunch parsley
  • ½ tin anchovies in oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g mayonnaise
  • Sweet paprika


This recipe requires a food processor.

  1. Turn the grill on to a high heat and fill and boil the kettle.
  2. Mashy peas: Chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks (no need to peel) and place into a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add salt and cover the potatoes with the boiled water from the kettle then cover with a lid.
  3. Trim the end from the broccoli stalk then separate the florets from the stalk. Place the florets to one side then chop the stalk into 2cm chunks and add to the saucepan with the potatoes.
  4. Cod: Drizzle some olive oil into a large roasting tray or ovenproof dish that will accommodate the cod. Add the fennel seeds, salt and pepper into the dish then coat the cod fillets in the oily mixture. Place the fillets skin side down then put the dish under the grill on the bottom shelf in your oven so that the top doesn't cook too quickly (around five minutes).
  5. Break the bread into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Crush in two cloves of garlic and some of the olive oil from the tin of anchovies. Process until you have coarse breadcrumbs then tip into a bowl.
  6. Place half of the anchovy fillets into the food processor then add the sun-dried tomatoes and a little of their oil. Add the other two cloves of garlic, the chili, parmesan and the basil. Grate in the zest from the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Add around a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar then process until you have a thick sauce.
  7. Remove the fish from under the grill and spread the tomato sauce over the top of the fillets then finish with the breadcrumbs. Top with the rosemary and thyme sprigs then place back under the grill until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown (around 10 minutes).
  8. Mashy peas: By now the potatoes should be soft so add the broccoli florets and the frozen peas into the saucepan then cover with a lid. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Tartare sauce: Rinse out the food processor then add the gherkins, capers, parsley and the remaining anchovies and their oil. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and drizzle in some olive oil. Process until smooth then transfer into a bowl and mix in the mayonnaise. Taste and add more lemon juice if required then sprinkle over the paprika.
  10. Mashy peas: Drain the potatoes/vegetables and leave in a colander for a few minutes to allow all of the water to evaporate then transfer back into the saucepan. Add the butter, olive oil, seasoning and mint sauce then roughly mash everything.
  11. Cod: The fish should be cooked by now so remove it from the grill and take it to the table along with the mash and tartare sauce. Serve with a lemon wedge and chilled white wine.