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Fish in Crazy Water
with spinach salad / grapes / walnuts

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min
This Italian recipe gets its unique name from the "crazy" flavorful sauce that cooks down and poaches white fish in a single pan. We serve it with a sweet, crunchy salad on the side made with spinach, grapes and walnuts.


Fish in Crazy Water:
  • Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
  • Fish (any mild fish, like tilapia or cod) - 4 fillets
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Thyme, fresh - 2 sprigs
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
  • Water - 2/3 cup
  • Wine, white (sub vegetable stock or water) - 1/2 cup
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemons - 1/2 , juice of
Spinach Salad with Grapes and Walnuts:
  • Shallots - 1/2 clove , diced
  • Walnuts - 1/2 cup , chopped
  • Grapes, red or green - 20 , halved
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 2 tsp
  • Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
  • Spinach, baby - 4 oz


  1. Garlic / Shallots / Walnuts / Grapes - Prep as directed. You can leave the walnuts raw for the salad or, if you prefer you can toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant, ~4 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Fish - Rinse and pat dry and season with salt and pepper.

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  1. Heat a dutch oven or skillet (large enough to hold all of the fish without overlapping) over medium heat. Add oil and when it begins to shimmer add garlic and thyme sprigs. Saute until fragrant, ~1 minute. Add tomato paste, canned tomatoes (including juice), water, wine and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Increase heat if needed to bring sauce to a simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper.
  2. Add fish to pan and spoon sauce over the top of each filet (don’t worry if the fish isn’t completely submerged in sauce). Simmer fish, flipping halfway through, until fish flakes easily, ~4 minutes on each side (more or less depending on thickness of fish).
  3. While fish poaches, whisk together shallots, oil, vinegar and Italian seasonings. Toss with spinach, grapes and walnuts.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish.
  5. Serve fish with salad on the side and enjoy!



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