Baked Fish in a Bag with Tomatoes, Butter Beans & Chorizo

Annabel wrote about Jo Pratt’s Madhouse Cookbook recently and so we thought we’d feature one of her scrummy fast and easy recipes. As Jamie Oliver says “Home cooked food that’s tasty and stress free – this is Jo’s guide for busy parents”…. and which of us isn’t busy?


If you like the idea of very little washing up when you finally get the kids to bed so you can enjoy a meal with your partner, you’re going to love this. It’s a complete meal cooked all together in the oven (on a baking tray) in a greaseproof paper bag. The best thing to do is to prepare ahead (perhaps when the kids are eating their tea) and keep it in the fridge to cook later on in the evening.

MAKES 2 adult or 4 kid-sized portions


COOKING TIME 20 minutes



400g/14oz/13⁄4 cups tinned chopped tomatoes

240g/81⁄2oz tinned butter beans, drained

90g/31⁄4oz/2∕3 cup pitted black olives
1 bottled or tinned roasted red pepper, sliced
10–12 thin slices of chorizo (about 40g/11⁄2oz), halved
2 large handfuls of baby or young spinach leaves
2 fish fillets, such as cod, pollack, haddock or salmon
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and put a large baking tray in the oven to heat.

2 Take a piece of greaseproof paper about 60–80cm/24–32in long
and fold in half to make it double thickness, then fold in half again. Tightly fold together to seal two of the edges, creating a pouch, making sure there are no gaps for the food to escape when cooking. Repeat with another piece of greaseproof paper. (Alternatively, you can buy greaseproof paper bags from supermarkets that are all ready to use.)

3 Divide the tomatoes between the parcels, then do the same with the butter beans, olives, red pepper, chorizo and spinach. Season inside
the bags with salt and pepper, then put the cod on top of the spinach. Season the fish and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Seal the open end of the bags by folding the edges over, leaving as much space in the bags as possible for steam to circulate when cooking. (The parcels can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for a good few hours before cooking.)

4 Put the parcels on the hot baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through. When cooked, split open the parcels and serve hot.