Mom’s Quick Poached White Fish with Peppers & Zucchini

You can’t get quicker than this when it comes to making a healthy home cooked meal from scratch. How does 20 minutes cook time sound with 5 minutes of prep? Sounds good to me.

The fish is poached in a delicate tomato broth with peppers, onions and garlic. So simple and so flavorful!

You can watch my mom and I make this step-by-step on Instagram (in highlights)!

We make this Italian style but almost every country in the world has their version of this dish. What changes it are the oil, spices and vegetables you choose. This is my grandmother’s recipe and therefore, she liked to use zucchini as the additional vegetable and of course, she used her staple herb, dried oregano.

My mom only started making this regularly in recent years. Growing up, it wasn’t a regular meal for us for some reason but it probably had something to do with me being a teenager and pulling a fit any time my parents cooked fish in the house. How could I go see my l friends ( + boys) with my hair and clothes smelling like fish!?

Today, things are different of course and she can make it happily, minus the eye rolls & tantrums.

Mom’s Quick Poached White Fish with Zucchini and Peppers

Print Recipe


  • large, high-sided skillet or braising dish (with lid)


  • 4 5 oz Pieces of white fish
  • 3-4 Tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 Large zucchini cut into large cubes
  • 1 1/2 Red, yelllow or orange bell peppers chopped Into chunks
  • 1 Large white onion Chopped into chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely Chopped
  • 1 1/3 Cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 28 oz canned peeled tomatoes chopped by hand
  • 1 Large pinch hot red pepper flakes Or to taste
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped


  • Preheat skillet on medium heat and add olive oil
  • Add onion and peppers until softened, do not brown.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds
  • Add chopped tomatoes and their juices (reserve leftover tomato sauce from the can for another use)
  • Reduce to med-low and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. If drying up too rapidly, add a little more tomato sauce from the can.
  • Add stock and increase heat to med or med-high to bring it back up to a simmer
  • once simmering, add zucchini. Lower the heat to med or med-low to simmer and cook until cooked down and softened.
  • Meanwhile prepare fish. Rinse and dry fillets off with a paper towel and place in a plate. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle generously with garlic salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Place fish in the skillet ensuring that they are touching the bottom and that they have enough liquid surrounding them. Cover with the lid and lower to med-low to simmer.
  • Try to avoid removing the lid as the heat needs to remain in the skillet to cook the fish properly. Add most of the chopped parsley, reserving some to garnish.
  • The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. If it’s thicker pieces of firm fish like cod, we recommend cooking it for 7 minutes. If it’s thin, it could take as little as 3 minutes. The fish must flake apart easily with a fork.
  • To plate, place fish pieces in the center of each plate and surround with vegetable mixture
  • Drizzle with fresh olive oil, sprinkle on fresh parsley and serve with warm toasted Italian bread.


Enjoy this delicious and healthy one-skillet meal!

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