This fish in parchment packets is absolutely delicious. Lemon herb orzo and fresh vegetables are topped with a cod filet and drizzled with garlic butter. Roasted until flakey and perfect – this is satisfying and flavorful!

This dinner is so delicious and has made its way into our weekly rotation!

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

You will not believe how flavorful these fish and orzo parchment packets are. 

I mean, WOW.

I’m in love. These are so super satisfying and enjoyable. Light, fresh, lemony, garlicky and delicious!

It’s a meal I want to make once a week these days. And the kids are obsessed with the individual parchment packets. Like they get their own little personal meal.

asparagus, lemon, tomatoes

I guess this is what I can call a happy meal now?!

orzo with lemon and herbs

ANYWAY.

The term “fish packets” does not do this recipe justice. It doesn’t sound nearly as delicious as these end up tasting.

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

The thing is, I cook a ton of salmon. You see the evidence here! I share many salmon recipes here because I love it, it’s simple and so very versatile. Eddie took a hiatus from salmon but is back on board and really enjoying it too. It’s easy. 

But I love pretty much every other variety of fish and so does he. A mild, flakey and buttery white fish is probably my favorite. In the summers when I was kid and we were vacationing in Northern Michigan, my dad would catch one fish and fry it up for us to share and taste. I can still taste that! 

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

Seafood in general is something I’ve always enjoyed and so does my family, which is great. Having those ingredients available for dinner really opens up the meal options and provides us with a lot of variety. This recipe is pretty forgiving and you could use another version of fish here. Or even pop in some raw shrimp! 

This dish was inspired by one I have in The Pretty Dish. The fish packets in that book are SO good.

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

All I have to say is: GARLIC BUTTER.

A little bit goes a long way and I find it’s imperative to this recipe. It adds so much flavor to the orzo, fish and vegetables. Don’t skip that part! 

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

Here’s how I make these orzo and cod parchment packets!

  • Grab some vegetables. I’m feeling super spring, so I like asparagus, cherry tomatoes and a few scallions. You can grab almost any veggie, other than a root vegetable or potato.
  • Cook your orzo. You can use any grain here. I’m having an orzo moment (I’m sure you’ve noticed!) so I choose that. Cook it, mix with some fresh lemon and herbs and it’s ready. You can easily make this part ahead of time so it’s ready FAST when it comes time to cook. Quinoa, couscous, rice – those also work. 
  • Pick your fish! I use a wild caught cod – more often than not. It’s easy to make, accessible and mild in flavor so the kids like it too. 
  • Slice some lemons, because they are your new best friend.
  • Make a parchment paper packet (you could also use foil) and load everything on. I start with the orzo, then I add the vegetables, then I place the fish on top. Add lemon slices, garlic butter and bake! 
  • The fish steams inside the packet so it’s the butteriest, flakiest fish ever. It’s so tender and flavorful. 

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

These are so simple. So flavorful. Super delicious and a lovely light little meal!

lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

Garlic Butter Orzo and Fish in Parchment Packets

Garlic Butter Orzo and Cod Parchment Packets

This fish in parchment packets is absolutely delicious. Lemon herb orzo and fresh vegetables are topped with a cod filet and drizzled with garlic butter. Roasted until flakey and perfect - this is satisfying and flavorful!
5 from 29 votes
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, like parsley and basil
  • 1 lemon, zest freshly grated and then sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cod filets, I use ones that are about 4 to 5 ounces each, thawed if frozen
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • kosher salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Have 4 sheets of parchment paper ready to go. Season the cod all over with salt and pepper. As a note, if your asparagus spears are thick, I suggest cutting them in half lengthwise since we're only roasting for 15 minutes.
  • Cook the orzo in salted water according to the package directions. This most likely calls for boiling it for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the orzo and drizzle it with the olive oil. Toss with the fresh lemon zest and the ½ cup chopped herbs.
  • While the orzo cooks, make the garlic butter. Heat the butter in a saucepan over low heat until it melts. Stir in the garlic. Remove from the heat.
  • Make the parchment paper packet. I use a rectangular sheet of parchment that is 8x12 inches. I fold up short sides. I place ½ cup of the orzo in the center. I add in a few asparagus spears, cherry tomatoes and green onions (all divided evenly between 4 packets). I usually spray the vegetables with some olive oil spray and then season with salt and pepper. Place the cod filet on top.
  • Drizzle the fish and vegetables with some of the garlic butter - 1 tablespoon or a little more. Place a lemon slice or 2 on top. Fold up the long edges over the fish until they touch, then fold them down together to one side, continuing to tighten and roll the packet until it’s sealed.
  • Place all the packets on a sheet pan. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the fish is easily flaked with a fork.
  • Remove from the oven and serve the packets. If you have extra garlic butter leftover, drizzle it on and serve!
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lemon garlic butter orzo and fish in parchment packet

Deeeelish.