A no-fail fish and pasta recipe that is SO easy to make and can be ready in 30 minutes! The cod gets poached in creamy sauce alongside orzo, and it's the most delicious one pot meal to enjoy with your baby and child!
This meal may sound fancy and intimidating to make, BUT you can totally whip this up even if you have a baby and toddler at your feet, pulling down your pants.
In 30 minutes, you will be enjoying this creamy, velvety pasta with the most tender cod with your entire family! It's thick enough to be scooped up with tiny hands, making it perfect for baby led weaning ;).
What is the best way to cook cod for babies?
First of all, cod can be introduced as soon as baby is ready for solids, usually around 6 months. If you're unsure whether or not your baby is developmentally ready to start solids, sign up below!
Cod is an excellent source of B12, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and iodine. It's great for supporting optimal brain development and immune system.
Poaching is one of the best way to cook cod, or any fish, for babies!
The gentle cooking method helps keep the flesh super moist and retain as much nutrients as possible.
Poach fish in milk or water?
Poached fish is seriously SO easy to do! Simpler than baking or pan-frying, in my opinion!
I highly advise you to poach in milk (along with tomatoes, aromatics, etc.). This lean delicate, mild-tasting fish will just suck up all that rich flavor!
What pan to use?
You will need a deep skillet as higher sides will ensure there's plenty of room for all the ingredients and keep them submerged.
If you do a lot of one pot meals like I do, THIS pan..oh man, it's worth EVERY penny. My husband recently bought this for me, and I'm not kidding when I say the dishes come out more evenly cooked, moist and flavorful!
I also love that it has a tempered glass lid that makes it perfect to keep an eye on how everything’s cooking.
Clean up is a breeze too! Enameled cast iron is a nonstick coating that I feel good about using for my family. The only downside is it's a bit on the heavy side but hey! I could use some arm exercise ;).
If you're not ready to make the investment, make sure the skillet is it's at least 12 inches wide
Cod: I like to use the frozen, wild-caught from Alaska. It's always in my freezer for quick weeknight meals. You can also use other white fish or salmon.
Orzo: I LOVE using orzo for a quick weeknight meal! You can cook it like risotto without having to stir constantly. The starch from orzo helps thicken a creamy sauce. Thick sauce is everything when it comes to baby led weaning as it helps bind other ingredients, so less chance of pasta, tiny grains (like quinoa), lentils, etc. flying across the room. Can I get an amen? 😉
Baby bok choy: this cruciferous vegetable is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. It has a mild, cabbage-like flavor. You can substitute with green cabbage or spinach if you wish.
Coconut milk: Use unsweetened FULL FAT that comes in a can not carton.
Watch how EASY this is to make!
How to serve to babies and kids
For babies, bigger is safer as you can see in the above photo. Regardless of whether or not your baby uses it, always offer a spoon. Early exposure is key. I've included details of this spoon in my BLW essentials post.
My son prefers his fish flaked, otherwise he'd just spit it out. Oh toddlerhood.
Transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. If planning to freeze, skip the cod and freeze just the orzo for up to 3 months.
Other baby-friendly fish recipes
Poached cod with creamy orzo
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 15 ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounce can full fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 8 ounces orzo
- 2 bunches baby bok choy (roughly chop the leafy part, dice the stem )
- 2-3 (4-6 ounce) cod fillet
- lime juice, green onion (or cilantro or parsley)
- Heat butter. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened
- Add garlic and corinader and combine for 30 seconds or so.
- Add bok choy and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Add orzo and give everything a good stir.
- Reduce heat to medium-low to low, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally to prevent orzo from sticking to the bottom of the pan
- Prepare cod: Remove any excess moisture by blotting the cod with paper or kitchen towel.
- Before adding cod, make sure there's some liquid in the pan. If not, add some water. Add cod, nestling in the orzo. Cover the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Add freshly squeezed lime juice and green onion. Enjoy immediately!