There’s no need to deep-fry cod fish in lots of oil to get it super crispy! This oven-baked breaded cod is moist and flaky on the inside, but perfectly crispy on the outside. Fresh cod is coated in a panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to create an irresistible crunchy crust. Ready to serve in 30 minutes or less for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

crispy panko crusted baked cod piece on parchment paper with a fork inside

As a Registered Dietitian who follows a pescatarian diet, I try to include 2-3 servings of fish per week in my diet to reap the health benefits of eating fish.

Including fish in your diet is a smart way to get valuable nutrients including high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you think cooking fish at home is difficult, I’m here to help! I have plenty of experience cooking healthy and easy fish recipes, like my air fryer salmon, Greek yogurt marinated salmon, baked cod with lemon and capers, and pesto cod foil packets.

This panko crusted cod recipe is beginner-friendly. You’ll coat fresh cod loin in a flavorful blend of panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, parsley, and Italian seasoning.

Top each piece of fish with a pat of butter and bake in the oven. The result is perfectly moist and flaky fish with a crispy, crunchy panko crust (without deep-frying in lots of oil) that you’ll have on the table in 30 minutes or less!

panko crusted cod ingredients

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this recipe:

  • Cod: I used cod loin for this recipe. Cod loin is a piece of cod fish cut from a larger fish. It’s thicker than regular cod filets. Because it is thicker, cod loin takes a little longer to cook than cod, but still only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook.
  • Plain panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are flakier and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs. They are perfect for creating a super crispy crust on this baked cod!
  • Shredded parmesan cheese: You’ll mix a little shredded parmesan cheese into the panko breadcrumbs to provide a salty, savory flavor.
  • Italian seasoning: You’ll use Italian seasoning to add flavor to the Panko crust, with a blend of dried herbs including thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil. Make your own seasoning (it takes 2 minutes!) or use store bought.
  • Parsley: Chopped fresh parsley contributes a nice freshness to the panko crust.
  • Lemon: Add lemon zest to the panko crust for freshness, then squeeze lemon juice onto the cod when serving.
  • Butter: Before baking, add a pat of butter to each piece of breaded cod. The butter melts into the fish as it bakes.
  • All purpose flour: You’ll need flour to coat the cod fish in to help the panko crust stick.
  • Egg: After you dredge the cod in flour, dip it in egg to create a wet surface for the panko crust to stick to.
  • Salt and pepper

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Baking sheet
  • Tin foil
  • 3 shallow bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Visual step-by-step instructions

two pieces of raw cod on a speckled plate
1. Pat the cod dry with a paper towel. Season each side with a little salt and pepper.
panko breading mixture in bowl
2. In a shallow bowl, mix together panko breadcrumbs, shredded parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, and salt.
piece of cod fish dredged in flour in a white bowl
3. Dredge each piece of cod in flour on all sides.
cod fish piece dredged in egg in a bowl
4. Whisk an egg in a shallow bowl. After the flour, dredge each piece of cod in the egg.
piece of cod dredged in panko breadcrumb coating
5. After dredging in egg, dredge each piece of cod in the panko mixture on all sides. You can press any leftover panko breading onto the top of each piece of fish.
two pieces of cod breaded in panko with pieces of butter on top on a foil lined baking sheet
6. Place the cod on a foil lined baking sheet. Place a pat of butter (about 1 tablespoon) in the center of each piece of fish.
2 pieces of baked panko breaded cod on a foil lined baking sheet
7. Bake cod for about 15-20 minutes until it is flaky and opaque in the center. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness: cod is fully cooked when it reaches 145°F.

This recipe is best served right after you prepare it for maximum crispiness.

You can reheat on a baking sheet in the oven set to 350°F for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.

What to serve with cod

I love to serve this crispy baked cod with simple roasted mini potatoes and a vegetable side dish or salad.

Here are some suggestions for veggie sides and salads:

If you’re feeling fancy, this crispy fish would be DELICIOUS drizzled with my reader-favorite Greek yogurt dressing or feta dill dressing.

two pieces of panko breaded baked cod on parchment paper surrounded by some ignredients

Cod nutrition benefits

Cod is a high quality source of lean protein. 3 ounces of cod provides 15 grams or protein!

Additionally, cod has other nutrients. 3 ounces of cod provides:

  • 0.77 mcg Vitamin B12 (32 percent of your daily needs)
  • 1.754 mg niacin (11 percent of your daily needs)
  • 172.55 mg phosphorus (25 percent of your daily needs)
  • 28.14 mcg selenium (day 51 percent of your daily needs)

Is cod high in mercury?

Is cod fish high in mercury?

Cod is a low mercury fish. Atlantic cod has the least amount of mercury.

This means cod is safe to eat a few times a week!

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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two pieces of crispy baked cod on a plate with parchment paper

Healthy Quick-Baked Cod Breaded with Panko

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: oven baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

There’s no need to deep-fry cod fish in lots of oil to get it super crispy! This oven-baked breaded cod is moist and flaky on the inside, but perfectly crispy on the outside. Fresh cod is coated in a panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to create an irresistible crunchy crust. Ready to serve in 30 minutes or less for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb cod loin (fresh), cut into two pieces
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pats of butter, about 1 tbsp each


Instructions

  1. PREP: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
  2. Pat the cod dry with a paper towel and season both sides with a little salt and pepper.
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix together panko, parsley, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Put the flour in a separate shallow bowl.
  5. Crack the egg into another shallow bowl and whisk it.
  6. Dredge each piece of cod in the flour, followed by egg, then in the panko mixture. Be sure to dredge the top, bottom, and sides of each piece of fish.
  7. If there are leftover breadcrumbs in the bowl, you can use your hands to press them into the top of each piece of fish.
  8. Place the pieces of fish a few inches apart on the foil lined baking sheet.
  9. Place a pat of butter in the center of each piece of fish.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish flakes easily and is opaque in the center. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness: it will be fully cooked at 145°F.
  11. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Notes

This recipe is best served right after you prepare it for maximum crispiness.

You can reheat on a baking sheet in the oven set to 350°F for about 10 minutes, until warmed through.