I’ve had 40-something trips around the sun, and I haven’t met a crispy baked cod recipe that I don’t like. Good news, team! My streak remains intact. This easy panko baked cod is addictively crunchy, well seasoned with fresh thyme, and brings a punch of unique flavor from the buttermilk and dijon marinade.
If fried chicken turned pescatarian, this is what it would look like.
This crispy baked cod is one of those fish recipes you make for people who still say they don’t like fish. It really is something the whole family can enjoy along with tartar sauce (or my homemade salmon patty sauce) as the perfect creamy sauce to accompany the fish.
What you need to make Crispy Panko Baked Cod:
Step-by-step instructions crispy panko cod:
The first step is to marinate the fish. Combine Dijon mustard, buttermilk, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt in shallow dish. Stir until well combined. Add in fish filets, flipping to ensure coverage on all sides. Leave fish to marinate for 30 minutes.
Next, prepare the crunchy topping. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat to medium-low heat. Combine panko crumbs with minced garlic, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt in the olive oil.
Cook gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and the crumbs have turned lightly golden brown. Remove from heat. Add lemon zest, parsley and thyme. Set crunchy panko topping aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle top of the fish lightly with a pinch of salt.
Remove fish fillets from marinade and arrange on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some marinade on the fish.
Divide the seasoned panko mixture over the top of each cod fillet.
Place pan in preheated oven and bake fish in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on thickness of filets, until the fish flakes easily. Cooking time can vary, but a good rule of thumb is 10 minutes for each 1-inch thickness of fish.
Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice.
FAQs about Crispy Panko Baked Cod
What type of fish can I substitute for cod in this baked fish dish?
The beauty of this recipe is its adaptability. Any flaky white fish you find at your local grocery store will work, including grouper, striped bass, tilapia, hake, haddock, pollack, even cod loins, if you can find them.
Can I use frozen fish?
Absolutely. I most often make it with any white fish fillets in my freezer or on sale that week. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of very cold water, and blot dry with paper towels before marinating.
What can I serve with this easy oven baked panko cod?
French green beans and rice would be a perfect side dish these flaky fish fillets with panko crust. Napa cabbage slaw and French fries would round out a grown-up fish and chips meal. And of course, plain rice or rice pilaf and steamed vegetables would be a great side dish and make this a proper healthy meal.
I don’t have panko – what can I substitute?
Regular breadcrumbs would do the trick, but will produce a less crunchy topping. Homemade wheat or white bread crumbs that have been well dried and then browned in olive oil (per recipe) would probably make for a crisper crust.
Can I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic in the topping?
Certainly – start with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and once the panko breadcrumb mixture has been browned, taste and adjust seasoning.
To store leftovers, place in airtight container in refrigerator for 2-3 days. To reheat, cook on baking sheet in oven at 350 for 6-7 minutes, or until just heated through.Print
Quick and Delicious Crispy Panko Baked Cod
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
The crunchiest, most flavorful baked cod you’ll find. Perfect for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner.
- 1–1 1/4 pounds fresh cod fillets (or other mild white fish fillets – approximately 4 pieces of cod)
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Marinate the fish: Combine Dijon mustard, buttermilk, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt in shallow dish. Stir until well combined. Add in fish filets, flipping to ensure coverage on all sides. Leave fish to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the crispy topping: Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-low. Add minced garlic, panko, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and the crumbs have lightly browned. Remove from heat. Add lemon zest, parsley and thyme.
- Bake the fish: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove fish from marinade and arrange on the sheet, leaving some marinade on the fish. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Divide the seasoned breadcrumb topping over the top of the cod. Bake topped fish in the preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on thickness of filets.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven and stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Seafood
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