Cooking en papillote only seems fancy but is actually super simple. See how a piece of parchment paper can transform fish, chicken and vegetables into a tasty, tender dish.

Fish en papillote – sounds fancy, eh? Well, don’t let this French term scare you away from one of the easiest and most fool-proof ways to prepare fish (or even chicken!). All “en papillote” means is “in parchment.” The method just requires some minor origami folding skills, which creates a tightly sealed pouch that steams the ingredients inside.

It’s a simple and healthy dinner quick enough for weeknights, but also impressive enough for a weekend dinner party.

Plus, there are little to no dishes to wash from the preparation process! It’s also super fun for everyone to open up their own parchment package, wondering what surprises they’d find inside. Because the packaging traps moisture inside, you’re ensured a juicy and tasty bite of fish, so not many ingredients are needed to keep it simple, elegant, and whimsical.

We’ve used this fish cooking formula so many times, experimenting with a variety of flavor profiles and vegetable accompaniments. The seasoning can be as simple as salt, pepper, and lemon, but the addition of herbs such as thyme or dill are always great. Inject an ethnic angle with spice blends (such as garam masala for Indian or ras al hanout for Middle Eastern) or sauces (like soy sauce for Asian and curry for Thai or Indian).

For vegetables, choose something that’s quicker cooking, such as greens, tomatoes, thinly sliced mushrooms, summer squashes, or peppers, but stay away from root vegetables or winter squashes (unless you par-cook them ahead of time first). The combinations are endless, so pick up some parchment paper and start folding!


How to Cook En Papillote

Cooking en papillote is a way to cook fish and chicken in parchment paper - seal the ingredients tightly in parchment and they steam to juicy goodness.

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