5 Ingredient Pesto Grilled Fish Foil Packets

Foil packets are the foolproof way to grill fish! This easy recipe (with pesto, potatoes & tomatoes) is super flavorful but also fresh and healthy.


We have this place in Boston that I think is heaven, but it’s otherwise known as Eataly.

It’s an indoor Italian marketplace with the most incredibly delicious, authentic Italian food.

Seriously, they serve some of the best pasta and pizza I’ve found anywhere in the U.S.

And their food market is so much fun to wander through – fresh mozzarella and pasta that’s handmade on site, a huge array of artisanal olive oils, these unbelievably delicious Italian hazelnut chocolates called Baci…

Which brings me to the point of this whole story.

The last time I visited Eataly, I found the tastiest prepared pesto with fresh basil, rich olive oil, and a hint of garlic and parmesan.

That delicious pesto was the inspiration for these easy grilled fish foil packets!

A good quality pesto is so delicious on flaky, grilled white fish. 

You don’t need much else.

These foil packets are super quick and easy to throw together, with just five key ingredients.

(Plus olive oil, salt and pepper. I didn’t think they counted since they’re staples in most recipes. Do you agree?)

In addition to the white fish and pesto, the recipe includes potatoes, chives, and fresh cherry tomatoes.

The combo is richly flavorful and really satisfying.

It’s also really healthy, fresh, light, and perfect for a summer night.

Here’s the secret to getting the potatoes to cook as quickly as the fish:

Finely dice the potatoes into quarter-inch pieces.

And include just a small handful of diced potatoes in each foil packet.

If you overfill the packets with potatoes – or cut the potatoes too big – they’ll take forever to cook on the grill.

Oh, and here’s my other tip for the best flavor:

The pesto really makes this dish (there are only five key ingredients, after all!) so look for a good quality jarred pesto.

Or – since you’ll have 15 minutes to spare while the packets cook on the grill – make it homemade with fresh basil!


This is one of my favorite grilled fish recipes since it’s so satisfying and fresh and richly delicious.

Even better though, the foil packets make this fish the easiest recipe to throw together on a hot summer night!


Here’s the recipe for 5 Ingredient Pesto Grilled Fish Foil Packets:

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5 Ingredient Pesto Grilled Fish Foil Packets

  • Author: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Fish & Seafood
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Italian-Inspired


Foil packets are the foolproof way to grill fish! This easy recipe (with pesto, potatoes & tomatoes) is super flavorful but also fresh and healthy.


  • 3 small white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 pound flaky white fish (haddock, cod, or halibut)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F).
  2. Tear off four large squares of aluminum foil, each about 10 inches in length. Fold each in half to create a fold line, then open, like a book.
  3. Cut the potatoes into small, quarter-inch diced pieces (the small dice will allow the potatoes to cook as quickly as the fish).
  4. Divide the potatoes into four equal portions, and place them in the center of each piece of foil.
  5. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the first portion of potatoes. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper. Add chives. Using hands, mix until all potatoes are well coated with olive oil, salt and pepper, and chives. Repeat process with the other foil packets.
  6. Cut the fish into four equally-sized portions and place one piece on top of each portion of potatoes.
  7. Arrange equal amounts of sliced cherry tomatoes over each piece of fish.
  8. Season well with salt and pepper.
  9. Fold up the sides of the left half of the foil, creating a ’bowl’ that contains the food.
  10. Fold over the right half of the foil, covering the food. Carefully roll the top half of the foil together with the edges of the left half of the foil, sealing all edges and creating an air-tight packet.
  11. Place the packets right-side-up (with the potatoes on the bottom) directly on the grill. Cook for about 12-15 minutes.
  12. Use a spatula to remove the packets from the grill, and plate.
  13. Use kitchen shears or a knife to cut a slit through the top center of each packet to fold open. Open carefully – the steam that will rise from each packet is very hot. Check to be sure fish is opaque and cooked through to the center. If fish is not cooked through, place back on the grill for 5-7 minutes more.
  14. Top each portion of fish with a tablespoon of pesto.
  15. Serve the fish pockets directly in the foil to retain all of the flavors from the oil and seasoning.

Keywords: grilled fish, white fish, healthy, light, grilling, pesto, tomato, potato, grill packets, foil packets

For Related Recipes You Might Love, Check Out:

20-Minute Tomato-Basil Grilled Fish Foil Packets

Summer Grilled Coconut-Lime White Fish Packets

Easy Grilled Chive Oil Potato Packets

Grilled Vegetable Pasta with White Wine and Parmesan


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  1. Elizabeth Tarlow
    August 20, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    These Pesto Grilled Fish Foil Packs sound fabulous! Do you think I could cook them in the oven instead of on the grill? If so, what temp & time would you suggest? Thank you 🙂

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      August 21, 2019 / 8:29 am

      Thank you so much for your note! Yes you absolutely could use the oven. I haven’t cooked this recipe in the oven so I can’t say for sure. But I’d suggest the same as the grill: 400 degrees F for about 12-15 minutes. I’d also place the packets on a large baking sheet in case any liquids bubble out. After about 15 minutes, cut a slit in the top of one packet to check if the potatoes are fork tender and the fish is opaque and flaky. If not, just fold it back up and cook for another 5-7 minutes. And be sure to dice the potatoes really small so they’ll cook as quickly as the fish.😄💕

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