Mediterranean Instant Pot Fish en Papillote

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Instant Pot Fish en Papillote is a light, refreshing and easy pressure cooker fish recipe with flaky cod, cherry tomatoes, and briny olives cooked in paper packets.

mediterranean fish on a white plate with brown rice and lemons

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe: It’s a light, fresh-tasting meal, and the paper packets ensure the fish cooks up tender and flaky without drying out.

If you haven’t used your Instant Pot to cook seafood yet, you’re in for a treat. This moist pressure cooking environment is the perfect way to gently cook delicate seafood including fish, shrimp, scallops, and more.

This Instant Pot fish recipe has bright and savory Mediterranean flavors from juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, and olives. It makes an elegant dinner recipe any time of year. 

two parchment paper packets with fish fillets

How to Make Mediterranean Fish en Papillote in an Instant Pot

This Mediterranean Fish en Papillote recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL

“En papillote” means “in paper” in French. It’s a method of cooking in which you enclose protein or vegetables in a packet made from parchment paper. It’s important that the parchment be well sealed in order to trap the steam inside. 

The lemons, tomatoes, and fish will all release liquid as they cook, it releases liquid, which turns to steam in the packet to gently cook the food without it drying out.   

🛑 When you unwrap your packets, there may be liquid in the bottom of the pouch. You can unwrap the fish before plating up if you’re concerned about the mess. (This is especially important if you’re cooking filets that had been frozen!)

Or, you can serve the individual packets at the table, so everyone gets to open their fish to a waft of fragrant and delicious steam.

overhead of a fish fillet on a parchment paper with cherry tomatoes and olives under

Making a Parchment Packet for Instant Pot Fish

The key step in this recipe is to seal the cod securely inside a parchment paper packet so no steam escapes during cooking. 

overhead of fish in parchment with the parchment folded over half

To make parchment packets, cut four rectangles of parchment paper, then follow these steps:

  1. Place each fillet on one side of a parchment rectangle. 
  2. Fold the long sides of the parchment over the fillet.
  3. Fold the top and bottom inwards until you have a tight packet. 
  4. Crimp the edges of the parchment paper over itself to seal all the way around. 
  5. If you’re worried about the packet opening up, tie it closed with kitchen twine. 
overhead of a parchment packet with fish inside

Can I Use Foil for the Packet?

You can use aluminum foil instead of (or in addition to) the parchment if you like. This will create a tighter seal around your fish.

If you use foil you will need to add an extra few minutes to the pressure cooking time

overhead of an instant pot with two parchment packets of fish inside

More Instant Pot Seafood Recipes

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Fish en Papillote on a white plate with tomatoes, olives and lemons visible underneath, served beside brown rice, with a fork, an Instant Pot, and lemons visible in the background

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close up on a plate with mediterranean fish en papillote

Instant Pot Mediterranean Fish en Papillote

Yield: 4 Servings
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

Mediterranean Fish en Papillote in the Instant Pot is a light, refreshing pressure cooker fish recipe with flaky cod, cherry tomatoes, and briny olives.


  • 2 lemons, sliced into ¼-inch rounds, seeds removed
  • 4 generous sprigs of parsley
  • 4 6-ounces cod fillets, about 1 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup pitted black or green olives
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water


Cut four 12x16-inch pieces of parchment paper and arrange them on a work surface.

Place 2-3 lemon slices in the center of each rectangle. Top with a sprig of parsley and place a fish fillet on top. Scatter the tomatoes and olives around the fish and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 

Drizzle each piece of fish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. 

Seal the fish inside the paper by folding the long sides of the parchment rectangle over the fillet. Fold the top and bottom inwards and continue folding until you have a tight packet. Crimp the paper over itself on the edge to seal. If necessary, tie closed with kitchen twine. A good seal will keep your fish nice and moist.

Add the water to the pressure cooking pot and place a trivet in the bottom. Stack the packets of fish on the trivet, with 2 on the rack and 2 stacked crosswise on top of those. 

Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and 8 minutes cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.

Carefully remove and open the packets and serve immediately.*


*The fish will release a bit of liquid when you open the packets, this is normal and the fish will taste great!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1191mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 41g

Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.


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