CrockPot Fillet of Sole with Pesto Recipe

Pesto Fillet of Sole -- cooked in the crockpot slow cooker. Recipe calls for fish to be cooked in parchment paper or foil -- from A Year of Slow Cooking
Day 245.

Happy Labor Day!

I made some fish yesterday. In the crockpot. It was terribly easy.

This is
the lazy way to make fish. My brother and his wife (Hi Andy! Hi Karen!) went to Italy this summer and brought us back a bottle of genuine Italian pesto.
I put it in the crockpot.

The Ingredients.

--1 to 2 pounds of white fish. I used Sole.
--bottled pesto

--shredded Parmesan cheese

The Directions.

Spread out a layer of foil on the counter top. Put a piece of fish in it. Cover it with a spoonful of pesto. Sprinkle on some shredded Parmesan.

Fold over the foil to create a little packet.
Put the packet in the crockpot.

Continue to layer in foil packets until you run out of fish.

If you are feeling spunky,
go ahead and layer in some asparagus, spinach, squash, zucchini, or some other vegetable you feel goes well with fish.

I fit 4 large foil packets into a 6 quart crockpot, and could have added a few extra.

DON'T add water. I promise it will cook.
Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours. You really should check it after 3 hours. The fish is done when it is fully white and flakes nicely with a fork. The stuff on the bottom will cook the same as the stuff on the top.

The Verdict.

Moist, delicious, flaky fish. With no fish smell! My 6-year-old ate two platefuls and decided that she was only going to eat fish from now on. Every day (just in case I didn't realize from now on meant every day...).

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at September 01, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Sounds very yummy. And what a fishy smell!

  2. That looks so good! Real Italian pesto - yummm! Sounds divine. And of course, what else are you going to do with it - it has to go in the crock pot! :-)

  3. Holy Cow!! I would do anything to get my almost 7 year old to eat any other kind of fish besides the stick variety....will definitely try this.

  4. Anonymous9/01/2008

    I cannot wait to try this one. I even think that my 5 yr old will like this.

  5. Anonymous9/01/2008

    I've never had pesto before. Have you ever made your own? I see Rachael Ray making it a lot on her show and I feel like I need to step up to the plate.

  6. When you run out of "real Italian pesto" you can get a nice big jar of pesto at Costco, keep it in the fridge and your daughter can have fish and pesto lots more times.

  7. First I have to make the pesto recipe I have been meaning to try but then I will absolutely make this! What could be easier?

  8. Do you do this with frozen fish or does it have to be thawed?

  9. Joanna: you can easily make your own.It is really easy, and you can use other green besides basil, although basil is really the best.

    I am DOING this recipe! I have fish in the freezer, pesto and a block of Parm in the fridge. And a too-big crockpot, but apparently that doesn't matter for this one. I can't wait. Yum.

  10. The fish came frozen, and I ran it under some hot water to thaw it enough to separate.


  11. Anonymous9/01/2008

    I have it cooking right now with some flounder, looks great! I'm happy to have found your blog as I LOVE my crockpot but don't use it enough. I

  12. Anonymous9/01/2008


    Just love your blog. I want to mention that I have made salmon with pesto many times and it is fantastic in my opinion.

    I also think salmon works great in the crockpot. I don't think I have ever cooked it frozen.

    Extremely jealous about real Italian pesto!


    Anonomous only because I can't remember my username and password right now

  13. Thanks for this recipe! Sounds good! I have some pesto sauce, forgot why I bought it and was wondering how I would use it!

  14. This sounds great! If your fish is fresh would the time still be the same, I wonder?

    I think I'll be picking up some fish at the store soon....

  15. Anonymous9/03/2008

    Hi Steph,

    Just being back and not having had to go round to the Supermarket we did a raid of the freezer and store cupboard and found that we had some Salmon and Red Pesto....Kate put it all together just as you said and it was great!!

    You were our saviour in our hours of 'Jet Lag'!!

    Keep them coming!

    Mike and Kate

  16. Anonymous9/03/2008

    Thanks for a great recipe idea.. I used tilapia and made a pesto like substance with fresh spinach, garlic, almonds and olive oil... came out perfect and major yummy.

  17. Anonymous9/08/2008

    Thank you so much for your blog! I don't usually enjoy cooking because I just don't have enough time with two little ones running around. I've been watching your blog for a while now and I finally decided to take the dive and I made this recipe tonight. I used Tilapia and it was AWESOME! I can't believe it was sooooo easy! I am totally stoked to go find some more recipes to try later this week! Thank you so much for your blog!

    OH, and I put my fish in thawed today and I think we took it out at about 3 1/2 hours and it was fine.

  18. Yummy!! I made this tonight with frozen flounder. I just had a small bit of pesto left and so I did not put it on the one for my three year old. All the pieces turned out great...and clean up with a snap:)

  19. Hi Stephanie,

    This is a great recipe! The fish I used was blue hake, which I buy occasionally from our Schwann's man. You were right - no fishy smell. The whole family liked this one, so I'll definitely make it again.


  20. I didn't have pesto, so I just used Italian dressing seasoning mix, olive oil, dried basil and, of course, the parmesan.
    I just sprinkled it all over the fish, and did the pockets. The fish was frozen solid, so it took 6 hours on low. There were 4 pockets, with a total of about 2 lbs of sole fillets.
    My kids (3,5 and 8) LOVED IT!!!!
    They don't even eat fish sticks. This is the very first kind of fish that they liked, and ate a lot of it.
    Thank you so much for the idea!!!

  21. Yum!! I made this last night with tilapia and it was delicious. The fish was fresh, not thawed, and I took it out after about 2 hours & 45 mins. It was perfect. I also made foil packets of broccoli topped with a dab of butter and threw them in too. Awesome, and no pots and pans to wash!!

  22. Anonymous12/15/2008

    I made this tonight with Whiting. Came out excellent! I made a large amount of pesto over the summer and am glad I now have a use for it! =)

    I am a dip and didn't start this until 2 hours before dinner. I started with frozen fish filets, placed on the rack that came with my slow cooker (I don't have a large crockish slow cooker. Mine can go on the stove, so the heat source only comes from the bottom). After 90 minutes on medium, the filets were still cold, so in an act of desperation, I poured enough nearly boiling water to cover the bottom of the crock and cranked it to high. Half an hour later (long enough to boil water and cook a half a pound of Tinkyada pasta) I pulled it out. Perfect! Moist, cooked through and yummy. My husband even liked it, and he hates fish.

  23. Anonymous1/06/2009

    Nobody tried this with parchment paper? Well, maybe I will. I have some whiting filets in the freezer and some homemade pesto in the fridge. Best thing about whiting is you can call it "Chilean Hake" and it sounds fancier. Pesto is easy to make - just shove a bunch of fresh basil leaves, olive oil, fresh garlic cloves (microwaved to pasteurize), grated cheese and pine nuts into a food processor, blend and serve/jar.

  24. Anonymous3/16/2009

    So simple, so fabulous. I used snapper and Classico pesto. I served it over brown rice to soak up all the yummy liquid.

    My husband, the fish snob, loved it.

    I'll be making this again and again. In addition to white fish, I might even try salmon and/or sun-dried tomato pesto. Yumzorz!!

  25. Anonymous3/16/2009

    I totally forgot to mention that I tried this recipe with chicken breasts as well. It turned out just as fabulous :)

  26. I forgot to tell you, after you helped me with the timing and the veggie packet info, that these were wonderful!! I used tilapia and even my mom liked it. She loves sea food but doesn't usually like any way I prepare tilapia, but she loved it!

  27. Okay, so, for working girls - I wonder if this would work. Put slow cooker on a Christmas tree light timer (I don't have a set-ahead version). Put frozen fish packets in when I leave at 6:30am. Have the timer come on at 3pm, fish should be ready when I arrive at 6:30pm? That's nine hours of thawing fish...don't think it will work. :-(

  28. Yeah, fish in the crock pot doesn't really work if you're out all day. However, it's a good one for the weekend - incredibly easy but really feels like a special dinner. We had sole for dinner in a foil packet with butter, orange west and coriander seeds, with potatoes and carrots under it so no need to cook sides. So good it sent me back into the archives here looking for more ideas! Fish in the crock pot = fabulous.