Skip to Content

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

Our full guide on How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína one of the most popular dishes in Spain especially in the North at Basque.

Bacalao a la Vizcaína is a traditional Basque dish featuring salt cod cooked in a rich tomato and red pepper sauce. Here’s a detailed recipe guide to making Bacalao a la Vizcaína, along with tips and calorie information.

The best Spanish food to try, Breakfast in Spain,  and vegetarian food in Spain


You can stay in a dorm or a room from €20-25. Of course, there are also available Airbnb for €40-60 a night. 

Click here to get the best deals!


Two of our favorite travel insurance: Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full comparison of Genki vs Safetywing Travel Insurance Review and the comparison Heymondo vs Genki

How to Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína

Bacalao a la Vizcaína Recipe Ingredients

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

4 pieces of salt cod fillets, about 1 lb total (desalted)
4 large red bell peppers
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1 cup fish or vegetable broth
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish, optional)

Get the best deals for your home and kitchen needs

Step By Step How to Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína

Desalt the Cod

Soak the salt cod fillets in cold water for 24-48 hours, changing the water every 6-8 hours to remove the excess salt. After desalting, pat the fillets dry with paper towels.

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

Roast the Red Peppers

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the red bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred and blistered.

Remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let them steam for about 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, remove the seeds, and chop the peppers into small pieces.

Prepare the Sauce

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the chopped roasted peppers, tomatoes, and smoked paprika to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
Pour in the fish or vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld together.

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

Blend the Sauce

Use an immersion blender or transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the Cod

Place the desalted cod fillets in the sauce, making sure they are submerged. Cover the skillet and simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cod is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.


Carefully transfer the cod fillets to serving plates and spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

How To Make Bacalao a la Vizcaína Basque-Style Cod (Recipe Guide)

Tips For Making Bacalao a la Vizcaína

Properly desalting the cod is crucial to avoid overly salty fish. Be patient and change the soaking water regularly. Roasting the peppers adds a smoky flavor to the sauce. You can also use jarred roasted red peppers for convenience.

Blending the sauce ensures a smooth, velvety texture. Adjust the consistency by adding more broth if needed.
Avoid overcooking the cod to keep it tender and flaky.

How Many Calories Have Bacalao a la Vizcaína

Salt Cod (1 lb): Approximately 400 calories
Red Bell Peppers (4): Approximately 150 calories
Onions (2 large): Approximately 120 calories
Garlic (3 cloves): Approximately 15 calories
Tomatoes (4 ripe): Approximately 100 calories (or 1 can of diced tomatoes: approximately 90 calories)
Olive Oil (1/4 cup): Approximately 480 calories
Fish or Vegetable Broth (1 cup): Approximately 15 calories
Smoked Paprika and Seasonings: Negligible calories

Total Calories for the Batch: Approximately 1,280 calories

Calories per Serving: Approximately 320 calories

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Please note that we only recommend products and services that we have personally used or believe will add value to our readers. Your support through these links helps us to continue creating informative and engaging content. Thank you for your support!