Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Rioja-Style Cod Fish in a Delicious Sauce | Easy & Traditional Recipe
All Recipes, Main Dishes / April 28, 2023

Rioja-Style Cod Fish in a Delicious Sauce | Easy & Traditional Recipe

This Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce, known as Bacalao a la Riojana, is possibly the best cod fish recipe ever. It´s packed with a ton of flavors, easy to make and done in about 30 minutes. The perfect dish for a busy weeknight dinner or a relaxed weekend lunch.

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce
This recipe hails from the beautiful region of La Rioja. Which is famously known for their elegant wines and stunning architecture. This dish is tipically served as a second course for la comida (lunch) or even for dinner. Either way, serve it next to a crunchy baguette and a bottle of Spanish Rioja for the ultimate meal.

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce
For this recipe I used a cod fillets I bought frozen and thawed out. But you can also use fresh cod if you like, as well as any other type of firm white fish. For the tomato sauce I finely grated fresh tomatoes, but you can substitute for 1 can (14.5 oz/410 G) of tomato sauce or passata.

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: When you first fry the cod, you don´t want to fully cook it through. Just give it a light golden crust on both sides. As you will finish cooking the cod later on in the recipe. This dish will hold for up to 4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce
5 from 2 votes

Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce | Bacalao a la Riojana

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 638 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • 2 cod fillets 8 oz / 250 grams each
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour 30 grams
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 2.50 grams
  • 1/2 cup white wine 120 ml
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper
  • handful fresh parsley


  1. Thinly slice the onion, thinly slice the cloves of garlic, cut the roasted red bell peppers into thin strips, finely grate the tomatoes and pat dry the cod fillets with paper towels, then season them with sea salt & black pepper and coat them all around in the flour

  2. Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in the olive oil

  3. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add in the cod fillets, cook for 2 minutes per side or until lightly golden, then remove from the pan and set aside

  4. Using the same pan with the same heat add in the sliced onion and garlic, mix with the olive oil, after 4 to 5 minutes add in the paprika, quickly mix together, then add in the white wine and simmer for 3 minutes, then add in the grated tomato, roasted red bell peppers and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, then add in the bay leaves and simmer

  5. After 10 minutes and the grated tomato has slightly thickened, add the cod fillets back into the pan, give them a gently flip so they are coated in the sauce, place a lid on the pan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cod fillets are cooked through

  6. Transfer into serving dishes and garnish with fresh parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika I used to make this Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Rioja-Style Cod with Sauce | Bacalao a la Riojana
Amount Per Serving
Calories 638 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 20g
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 655mg28%
Potassium 2053mg59%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 3857IU77%
Vitamin C 76mg92%
Calcium 123mg12%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Jayne Langwade

    5 stars
    Fabulous recipe, very tasty. Thank you.

    12 . Oct . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      12 . Oct . 2023
  2. Roger

    5 stars
    I made this tonight for our dinner after seeing your video and finding some fresh cod at our local farmers market. Verdict: ¡Delicioso!
    Two things really made this dish pop, besides the good quality fish: the smoked paprika, and the roasted bell peppers. I had some jarred ones, but I was really inspired to roast my own in my air fryer. It really elevated the dish, IMHO. A slice of local einkorn sourdough bread to sop up the goodness in the bowl completed the meal. Thanks for the great recipe Albert!😋

    02 . May . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      So happy to hear that! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      02 . May . 2023
  3. Ramya

    Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use mushrooms and vegetable broth i never had rioja style cod with sauce before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    28 . Apr . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great Ramya! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      29 . Apr . 2023

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