Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish

Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish is a healthier alternative to frying. The Panko gives a crunchy outer coating while still keeping the fish moist and flaky inside. This delicious dinner is ready in just 15-minutes.

3 pieces of Panko Crusted Baked cod fish on a black slate tile. Each piece of cod fish has a lemon slice between it.

This Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish is for those of being a little more health-conscious. Rather than frying, this cod gets its crunch from the use of Panko bread crumbs lightly sprayed with non-fat cooking oil to prevent browning. 

Panko bread crumbs have a crunch and texture that ordinary dry bread crumbs just do not have. Enjoy Panko Crusted Baked Cod with just a squeeze of lemon, pico de gallo (fresh salsa), or tartar sauce. A light drizzle of melted butter or lemon-caper butter sauce takes this classic dish to another level. If you’re more into fried fish, check out my Beer Battered Fried Fish recipe.

What Ingredients are in Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish?

  • Fresh cod, cut into 5 (6-ounce serving-size) pieces – I use freshly caught cod
  • Panko breadcrumbs – I prefer these to plain breadcrumbs but plain may be substituted
  • Egg plus egg whites (or egg substitute) – Used as a coating to dredge the fish and coat with breadcrumbs
  • Garlic salt – Roasted garlic powder is my absolute favorite.
  • Onion powder – This has a very strong onion flavor, a little goes a long way.
  • Cayenne pepper – just a pinch for some spice
  • Dried herbs – your choice parsley, thyme, basil, oregano. I vary mine depending on the flavor we are craving.
  • Salt – I use fine Kosher salt but table salt may be used.
  • Ground Black Pepper – freshly cracked has more flavor but ground black pepper may also be used.
  • Non-Fat Cooking Spray – for encouraging browning.

Recommended Tools:

An up-close photo of Panko Crusted Baked cod on a black slate tile. Each piece of codfish has a lemon slice between it.

How Do I Prepare Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish?

  1. Heat over to 450 degrees F.
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Create a dredge station. Beat egg and egg white in a bowl. Into another shallow dish, place the panko. In a third bowl mix the herbs and spices.
  4. Sprinkle all sides of the fish with the herb and spice mixture.
  5. Dip fish into egg, then into panko, pressing fish into the panko, and then turning to coat both sides.
  6. Place fish on a cookie sheet, after all the fish filets are coated, spray fish lightly with non-fat cooking spray.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the coating is nicely browned and fish flakes easily.
    1. NOTE: If cooking from frozen allow yourself about 20-30 minutes of baking time depending on the thickness of your fillets. Baking from frozen will sometimes also result in a soggy crumb coating.

Can I start with frozen fish?

While fresh fish is best for flavor and texture, that’s just not always feasible. Nowadays, frozen fish is sometimes fresher than raw since flash-freezing happens on most commercial ships just minutes after the fish are caught and filleted.

The science behind this is that flash freezing produces smaller ice crystals, which does less damage to the cell structure, which created less mushy fish once it’s thawed. The smaller the cells are to begin with and the faster it’s frozen, the smaller the ice crystals.

This is why frozen thinner cuts of fish like flounder are fine as long as they’re properly frozen, and why thicker-cut, meaty, flaky fish like cod can suffer when thawed and become mushy, flavorless, and watery.

If you’re starting with flash-frozen cod fillets, you will need to pay closer attention during the cooking time, as the timing will be a bit different from the instructions for raw fish.

Before you cook the fish from frozen, give it a quick rinse in cold water. If there’s any frost or ice, you want to wash it off and pat it dry before coating in Panko Breadcrumbs and baking. Otherwise, you will end up with soggy breadcrumb coating.

Serving Suggestions:

A good classic combination is always going to be fish and chips, right? If you have an air fryer, I urge you to try these Air Fryer French Fries. Hand-cut French fries are one of life’s guilty pleasures! They take about 25 minutes to cook. Get these going in the air fryer and by the time you get the fish prepped and cooked, everything should be done around the same time.

Another great side dish is coleslaw and I have a post coming for this soon. Another great side dish for Panko Crusted Cod Fish is this Classic Tartar sauce. This one is from Sabrina at Dinner Then Dessert.

Panko Crusted Cod IG

Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Panko Crusted Baked Cod Fish has a crunchy outer texture while still keeping the fish moist and flaky.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 260 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs cod , cut into (5) 6-oz portions
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs [See Note 1]
  • 1 egg [See Note 2]
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs like parsley , thyme, oregano, and basil.
  • cooking spray

Optional Sauces:

  • Lemon-Butter Sauce
  • Lemon-Caper Sauce
  • Freshly squeezed Lemon
  • Tartar sauce

Instructions
 

  • Heat over to 450 °F.
  • Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Create a dredge station. Beat egg and egg white in a bowl. Into another shallow dish, place the panko. In a third bowl mix the herbs and spices.
  • Sprinkle all sides of the fish with the herb and spice mixture.
  • Dip fish into egg, then into panko, pressing fish into the panko and then turning to coat both sides.
  • Place fish on cookie sheet, after all fish is coated, spray fish with cooking spray.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes until coating is nicely browned and fish flakes easily. The internal temperature of the fish should read 145 degrees F.
  • If cooking from frozen, allow yourself about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. The internal temperature of the fish should read 145 degrees F.  [See Note 3]

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with roasted asparagus (roast these on the same tray with the fish), rice pilaf, and a fresh garden salad for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Optional Sauces:

  • A fresh squeeze of lemon or a pico de gallo (fresh salsa) is perfect for the health conscious palate. Otherwise, a tartar sauce is the classic accompaniment.
  • To dress this dish up for a date night or easy-entertaining dinner add a lemon caper sauce or lemon-butter sauce to really impress your guests. Serve this at the table or as a drizzle around the edge of the plate, so you don’t lose the crunchy texture of the fish.

Notes

  1. Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs which offer a crunchy texture when baked. If you prefer, you may substitute regular breadcrumbs but do note there will be a significant texture loss.
  2. The egg and egg white may be substituted for all egg whites or Egg Beaters a 100% egg white which offers fewer calories.
  3. If you’re starting with flash frozen cod fillets, you will need to pay closer attention during the cooking time, as the timing will be a bit different from the instructions for raw fish.
    Before you cook the fish from frozen, give it a quick rinse in cold water. DO NOT thaw. If there’s any frost or ice, you want to wash it off and pat it dry before coating in Panko Breadcrumbs and baking. Otherwise, you will end up with soggy breadcrumb coating.
    Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. Additions, omissions, or substitutions will change the calculated values shown. The addition, omission, or substitution of ingredients will alter the nutritional information shown. Nutrition percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. The FDA recommends 80 micrograms of vitamin K

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz filetCalories: 260kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 37gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 528mgPotassium: 818mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2mg
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