Crispy Baked Cod with Panko is an easy, flavorful, and light dinner meal. Flaky cod fillets topped with seasoned, lemon, garlic, and parsley Panko breadcrumbs then baked to perfection!
This healthy meal is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes and the whole family will love it. Here are more easy and tasty fish and seafood recipes: Best Baked Salmon with Pesto Recipe (Easy), BEST Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce, and Orzo Pasta with Shrimp, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes.
Why I love this recipe
This baked cod recipe is a favorite fish recipe that requires little effort and few ingredients. Enjoy for a weeknight meal, or serve for a weekend dinner with friends.
This was inspired by my quick and easy Best Baked Salmon with Pesto Recipe (Easy)!
I recently made this recipe for a casual dinner party and it got rave reviews.
The lemon and parsley seasoned panko bread crumbs add a wonderful flavor and a crunchy texture to the light, flakiness of the cod. This is a great way to serve fresh cod!
This recipe is inspired by a dear family friend, Uncle Ricky. He loves cod and this recipe is dedicated to him. Enjoy!
- Ingredients for Crispy Baked Cod
- How to make Panko Crusted Baked Cod (step by step instructions)
- Is cod healthy?
- Why use panko bread crumbs for crispy crust?
- How to make Panko Crusted Baked Cod Video
- Substitutions for Cod
- Variations for crispy baked cod with panko recipe
- What to serve with baked cod
- Top Tip
- Crispy Panko Crusted Baked Cod Recipe
Ingredients for Crispy Baked Cod
The best part about this recipe is it only requires a few good quality and fresh ingredients.
- Cod fillets
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Lemon zest
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lemon slices for serving
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Panko Crusted Baked Cod (step by step instructions)
Baking cod in the oven is a foolproof and easy method for tender, flaky fish. Here’s how to make it.
Photos 1-2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, and paprika. Stir with fork to combine. Set aside.
Photos 3-6. Place the fillets onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil and lemon juice over the cod fillets, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Top each fillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of panko topping, and press down gently to ensure the topping stays on top of the fish.
Photos 7-8. Add a slice of butter on top of each fillet.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque in the center. According to the USDA, an instant read thermometer should read 145°F when inserted into the thickest part of the cod.
TOP TIP: I like to use foil instead of parchment paper when baking fish or meat in the oven. I find that it gets a crispier bottom instead of steaming in the way it tends to do when baked on parchment. I use parchment more for baking cakes!
Is cod healthy?
Cod is both a nutritious and flavorful fish loaded with lean protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates.
It is a great source of Vitamin B6 and B12. It’s also low in mercury and this baked cod fish is only 115 calories per serving.
Cod is a healthy fish option to enjoy year around.
Why use panko bread crumbs for crispy crust?
Crunchy panko crumbs provide a gorgeous golden brown topping to the fish fillets. Cod is so flaky and tender I enjoy the contrast with the buttery and soft white fish.
How to make Panko Crusted Baked Cod Video
Substitutions for Cod
What fish can I use instead of cod?
Cod is a delicate, flaky, mild white fish. It works well with this recipe, but you can use other white fish varieties such as:
- Haddock, Pollack, Black Cod, Stripped Bass, Hake, Mahi Mahi, Grouper. You can even use salmon if that is easiest to find!
This recipe is easy to adapt to a gluten-free diet by using a gluten free panko bread crumb variety.
Variations for crispy baked cod with panko recipe
This recipe is phenomenal as is, but you can try these variations to mix it up a bit.
- Cheese - a popular addition is adding parmigiano or parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs to make a parmesan crusted cod. Do this my adding ¾ cup fresh cheese to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Why I like to grate my own cheese: TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese
- Spicy - add some red pepper flakes with the bread crumb mixture to kick it up a notch!
- Deluxe - add crushed crackers, cornflakes, regular breadcrumbs, pretzels, or potato chips instead of the traditional panko bread crumbs. Use thicker, hearty chips and crackers for best results.
What to serve with baked cod
This delicate cod recipe is the perfect main dish for several side options! Make Shredded Zucchini and Cheese Pasta (easy) or Best Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes and Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread with a side of Italian Fennel, Citrus, Pomegranate and Salad.
All you need for this easy no-mess recipe is a proper baking sheet to bake the fish.
If you want to zest your lemon the proper way- use my absolute favorite microplane! I use it to grate my own cheese (read: TOP 5 Reasons Why You Should Grate Your Own Cheese) and zest lemon, limes, and more!
As with all fish recipes, they are best eaten fresh, on the day it is cooked. Leftover cod will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days when properly stored in airtight containers.
Reheating leftover cod.
For best results, reheat the cod in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350ºF. I don’t recommend microwaving as it tends to overcook the fish and dry out the topping.
TIP: to avoid dry fish add a splash of water on top of the filet before putting it in the oven
Freezing leftover fish
Generally, cooked fish can be frozen for up to 1 month. I do not like freezing leftover cooked fish since it changes the consistency when reheated.
- Make sure to dry your cod fillets. This will help create the nice crispy panko bread crumb coating.
- Cook fish on aluminum foil rather than parchment paper. Parchment will steam the bottom of the fish and topping while the foil will help it crisp.
MORE recipes for you:
- BEST Salmon Piccata (Lemon Butter Caper Sauce)
- Broccoli Pasta with Sausage Recipe (Italian)
- Gemelli Pasta Recipe with Tomatoes and Mascarpone
- Creamy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper (No Cook Sauce)
- Italian Pink Sauce Pasta Recipe (Tomato Cream)
Seafood Appetizer recipes:
- Crispy Calamari Air Fryer Recipe (Easy and Light)
- Best Italian Seafood Salad Appetizer (Insalata di Mare)
- King Crab Salad Recipe (Simple and Easy)
This baked cod is a fabulous go-to easy recipe! It’s the perfect dish for those nights when you don't want to get out the pots and pans. Save and make it again.
Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.
This is one of my favorite ways to serve cod. It is flaky and butter soft with the crunchy lemony topping. I know it will soon become a favorite in your home as well!Print
- 3-4 (6 ounce) cod fillets
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 gloves garlic, finely minced (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons
- 1 tablespoon butter, divided into slices (one for each fillet)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- lemon wedges (optional: for serving), cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 425°F, and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil. Use paper towels to pat the cod fillets dry.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, and paprika. Stir with fork to combine. Set aside.
- Place the fillets onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil and lemon juice over the cod fillets, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Top each fillet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of panko topping, and press down gently to ensure the topping stays on top of the fish. Add a slice of butter on top of each fillet.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque in the center. According to the USDA, an instant read thermometer should read 145°F when inserted into the thickest part of the cod.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges, and a side of your favorite vegetable, and bread!
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: cod, fish, main meal, panko bread crumbs, crispy baked cod