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Vital Choice at Home: Champagne & Saffron Poached Cod
This deliciously light dish takes just 25 minutes, and makes an elegant dinner or lunch

Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!

This series features me, Michelle – a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains – my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

(Click here to learn more about me, below.)

I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.



Like everyone else, I've used the new year as an opportunity to take a more thoughtful look at how I eat.

And while I wouldn't say I'm on a diet, I am trying to more thoughtful about how many calories I'm eating, particularly at lunch, when I'm often on my own and scrounging around in the fridge.

So, I've taken a new approach and am planning healthful lunches rather than relying on leftovers, and this recipe was a (very successful) attempt to really nourish myself!

Cod makes the perfect light dinner or lunch
I'm trying to make lunches rich in protein and veggies and light on carbs, and cod fits the bill perfectly!

Alaskan cod is an incredibly versatile white fish, harvested in icy, pristine Alaskan waters. It's far healthier than farmed white fish like catfish or tilapia, which are high in omega-6 fats, low in omega-3s.

Cod is ideal for a diet-conscious meal – it's very lean yet still incredibly moist and slightly sweet. And each 6-ounce fillet has only 178 calories!

A few notes for the cook
I took two portions of Alaskan cod out to thaw the night before, but the fillets are also easy to quick-thaw (in their sealed individual vacuum-packs) in cold water for about 30 minutes if you didn't plan ahead.

The beauty of this meal is that it comes together in just 25 minutes, takes very little prep, dirties only one dish, and is made entirely with pantry items (plus saffron if that's not usually on your spice rack).

This preparation was adapted from a beautiful dish featured in Bon Appétit magazine and serves two, but it would be very easy to halve for one or double for four.

I made this with sparkling wine, because I happened to have some leftover from the holidays. But white wine would work perfectly as well! 

The saffron lends a distinctive yet subtle flavor. I stepped out into the cold just after the dish had come off the range. When I came back in, I realized the whole house smelled of saffron and seafood.

Delicious and so easy – I hope you enjoy!

Champagne & Saffron Poached Cod
Serves 2, easily doubled

½ tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil (or cooking oil of choice)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup Champagne (or white wine)
¼ cup water
Pinch of saffron
2 bay leaves
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 6-ounce fillets Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Cod, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pat cod fillets dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in medium, lidded sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic and red pepper flakes until garlic become fragrant and just begins to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add bubbly, water, saffron, bay leaves and drained tomatoes to the sauce pan. I mashed this combination a bit with my potato masher to create more of a sauce (optional). Season with salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. Lay cod fillets gently on the sauce, cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes or until cod is just beginning to flake. Please don't overcook.
  5. Place the cod fillets in a bowl and cover with sauce. Serve warm.
My rating: 3½ out of 4 stars



A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.

While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.

I'm not a professional chef – just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.

I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

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