A Celebration of Seafood

A Celebration of Seafood

By Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

Enjoying fish and seafood on Christmas Eve is a strong tradition held within many European cultures. It is a festive meal that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. While the origins of this tradition are not crystal clear, it is believed to have roots in Southern Italy.

The types of seafood dishes served can include a variety of fish and shellfish from cod to shrimp and clams, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy this festive holiday! Some families include more than seven dishes, while others may limit to just a few.

In my home, we enjoy cod fish on Christmas Eve and it is a long tradition going back many generations. Fish comes with many health promoting benefits such as lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a wonderful option any time of year.

Cod in Riojana Spanish Sauce

Jgn Cod Fish In Riojana Sauce

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 – 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • 4 Cod Fillets, about 6 ounces eat
  • 1 can (14 ounces) Tuttarosso diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup White Wine (optional)*
  • 1 onion, finely Chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher Salt & pepper
  • Chopped Parsley


  1. Rinse the cod in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Season both sides of cod with salt & pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan add olive oil and heat over medium, add bell peppers and onions, cook for about 5 minutes then add in garlic and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Pour in white wine or chicken broth and let it simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce slightly. Then add in diced tomatoes, smoked paprika and oregano, reduce heat to low.
  5. Place cod fillets into the sauce, spoon sauce over fish and cook for about 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  6. Serve over rice or cooked potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley.


  • Substitute wine with chicken broth or vegetables broth if desired.

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA