Learn how to grill cod with this easy grilled cod recipe! A zesty Mediterranean-style salsa with fresh mint and parsley brings this simple meal to the next level. Ready in 30 minutes, including heating your grill! 

An overhead photo of 2 grilled cod filets topped with pistachio-herb salsa on a serving platter along with a small bowl of the salsa and a spoon.
Photo Credits: Ali Redmond

If you’re wondering how to give simple, inexpensive fish bold flavor, many will point you toward a marinade, but when time is of the essence a quick and easy fresh topping provides all the flavor you need. That’s why I love this grilled cod recipe with Mediterranean-style salsa. It bursts with fresh herbs, pistachios, garlic, scallions, and lemon juice, which perks up simple grilled cod in minutes.

The herbaceous salsa is also incredibly versatile. I’ll often make a double batch, store it in the fridge, and use it to liven up whatever I have on hand—leftover Skirt Steak, Scrambled Eggs, roasted potatoes, or steamed asparagus, to name just a few ideas!

I like to make the salsa in advance so I can quit the kitchen and lounge, drink in hand, by the grill. As soon as the fish comes off the coals, I transfer it to a big platter, spoon on the sauce, and dinner is served. 

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for this Grilled Cod Recipe
  2. How to Grill Cod
  3. Ways to Mix it Up
  4. What to Serve with Grilled Cod
  5. You’ll Also Like: More Cod Recipes
  6. Grilled Cod with Pistachio-Herb Salsa Recipe
Ingredients for grilled cod including skin-on cod filets, shelled pistachios, parsley, mint leaves, green onions, garlic, lemon, olive oil salt and black pepper.

Ingredients for this Grilled Cod Recipe

You only need three things to grill cod: fish, oil, and salt. But the Mediterranean Herb Salsa lifts the flavor, adding a delicious refreshing quality. You’ll need: 

  • Pistachios: A favorite in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, these green gems add a sweet, earthy flavor and a crunchy texture to the salsa. 
  • Parsley serves as the foundation for the salsa, adding bright color and a fresh, herbal flavor.
  • Mint leaves add a refreshing note to the salsa, as well as a fragrant aroma.
  • Scallions add a sharp, pungent flavor to the salsa.
  • Garlic: Adds a spicy note.
  • Lemon juice gives the salsa a hint of acidity and cuts the richness of the olive oil.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil provides body to the salsa and helps to carry and intensify the herbs, scallions, and garlic. Choose a high-quality extra virgin variety for the best flavor.
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper bring out the flavors of the aromatic ingredients.
  • Cod filets are firm and mild, perfect for grilling and loading with flavor. 
A close up of a grilled cod filet topped with pistachio-herb salsa.

How to Grill Cod

I love the smoky flavor of a charcoal grill, but a hot grill pan will do the trick as well! Here are the steps to make this grilled cod recipe: 

  • Heat the grill: If using charcoal, heat in a chimney until smoking hot before pouring the coals into the base of the grill. Alternatively, heat a gas grill to medium-high.
  • Make the Pistachio-Herb Salsa: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup chopped pistachios, ½ cup each chopped parsley and mint, 2 minced garlic cloves, 4 finely minced scallions, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir in ½ cup-¾ cup olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper. The pistachio-herb salsa in a bowl with a spoon.
  • Prepare the fish for the grill: Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place on a baking sheet or platter. Lightly brush the filets on both sides with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of black pepper.4 uncooked cod filets on a plate, brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
  • Grill the fish: Place the fish on the hot grill. If you are using fish with skin, place skin-side down and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a fish spatula and cook just until opaque throughout, about 1 to 2 minutes longer.A close up photo of a cod filet seasoned with salt and pepper on a grill.
  • Drizzle the fish with salsa: Transfer fish to individual plates or a serving platter and drizzle with the Pistachio-Herb Salsa. If you have mint leaves leftover, scatter fish with a few torn leaves. Serve immediately. An overhead close up photo of 3 grilled cod filets topped with pistachio-herb salsa on a serving platter along with a small bowl of the salsa and 2 lemon wedges.

Ways to Mix it Up

As long as you hit all the essential flavor elements, it’s easy to make this recipe fit your tastes. Some ideas:

  • Tweak the salsa: Experiment with any combination of acidic citrus juice, nuts, and fresh herbs, and good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. When basil is in season, I swap it for mint and use hazelnuts, parsley, and shallots with a dash of orange zest. 
  • Use another fish: The fish should be firm-fleshed and able to stand up to grilling, with a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the herb sauce. Good options besides cod include swordfish, skin-on branzino filets, and rainbow trout. If grilling fish is new to you, you may want to try a thicker cut like skin-on halibut or haddock instead—any white fish that is ½ inch or so thick.
An overhead of pistachio-herb salsa in a bowl with a spoon. Next to this is a bottle of olive oil and a sprig of mint leaves.

What to Serve with Grilled Cod

Since the herb salsa is packed with flavor, you’ll want to keep the side dishes simple. Even better, opt for sides that can be made ahead, or kept warm for the few minutes that it takes to grill the fish.

This Easy Blanched Asparagus or Boiled Potatoes with Garlic and Fresh Herbs, and don't forget the drinks! A bright and colorful pitcher of Hibiscus Tea is perfect for porch-sitting weather!

You’ll Also Like: More Cod Recipes

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5 from 2 votes

Grilled Cod with Pistachio-Herb Salsa

Abigail Chipley headshot.Abigail Chipley
A close up of a grilled cod filet topped with a pistachio-herb salsa.
You don't need a long marinade–or any planning ahead, for that matter–to bring bold flavor to an easy weeknight dinner! Instead, make a zippy Mediterranean-style salsa while you preheat your grill and you'll have a healthy dinner on your table in 30 minutes or less.
Prep – 15 minutes
Cook – 15 minutes
Total – 30 minutes
Serves – 4


  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup torn mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 4 scallions, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 (6 to 8 ounces) skin-on cod filets (or other white fish such as branzino or rainbow trout)


  • Get ready. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan to high heat.
  • Make the Pistachio-Herb Salsa. In a bowl, combine the pistachios, parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, lemon juice, and enough olive oil for a runny, salsa-like sauce (½ to ¾ cups). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Season the cod. Place the filets on a rimmed baking sheet or plate. Season generously with salt and pepper and brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Grill the cod. Place the cod, skin-side down, on the hot grill and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish with a fish spatula and cook until opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes longer (depending on the thickness of the filets).
  • Finish and serve. Transfer the fish to a shallow platter and drizzle with Pistachio-Herb Salsa. Serve immediately, topped with torn mint leaves.


  • Shop this recipe: Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including the olive oil used in this recipe.
  • If you can't find cod, don't care for it or are new to grilling you may want to try a thicker cut like skin-on halibut or haddock instead—any white fish that is ½ inch or so thick will be a little more forgiving on the grill.


Calories: 240.3kcalCarbohydrates: 7.4gProtein: 34.2gFat: 8.3gSaturated Fat: 1.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 73.1mgSodium: 100.2mgPotassium: 980.5mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 1.7gVitamin A: 1122.8IUVitamin C: 19.9mgCalcium: 79.2mgIron: 2.2mg
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Abigail is a trained chef and writer whose work has appeared in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, Real Simple, Vegetarian Times, and Foodnetwork.com. She has also contributed to cookbooks, including Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, and Real Simple’s Easy, Delicious Home Cooking: 250 Recipes for Every Season and Occasion.
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  1. Laurie Endre says:

    5 stars
    Loved the herb sauce. I doubled the recipe and have leftovers. Can I freeze the herb sauce?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Laurie. We've never tried freezing the salsa ourselves, but I just did a quick scan of the ingredients, and I think it would work. If you give it a try, will you please stop back and let us know how it went?

  2. Mary says:

    This was a pleasant surprise. Loved the mix of mint and parsley. There is enough left to use on chicken this week. Thank you!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you loved it, Mary!

  3. Mohammed Akhun says:

    5 stars
    tasty loved it