For a quick, easy and delicious dinner, you are going to love this panko crusted baked cod. Cod is a mild white fish, and a slightly sweet and flaky fish that is enjoyed by just about everyone. This easy cod recipe is also so easy to adjust for 2 people.
This baked cod version is less messy than deep fried and the crunchy Panko topping still makes it wonderfully crispy. This baked cod with Panko recipe includes roasted fresh asparagus spears for a one pan meal. You can also make my roasted baby potatoes or roasted baby potatoes and carrots in the same oven for even more delicious side dishes.
Why You’ll Love This Baked Cod
Cod is the mainstay of Friday Night Fish Fry's in the Midwest and is is often used in the British classic Fish and Chips and for good reason. This panko crusted baked cod recipe will satisfy all your fried fish cravings. Cod is readily available and relatively inexpensive.
- Easy recipe. Simple ingredients and easy preparation makes this one of our favorite fish recipes.
- Quick. In under 30 minutes, start-to-finish, you will have a meal ready that the whole family will love.
- A healthy meal. Cod is a low fat source of protein. Like many types of fish it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and is packed with vitamins and minerals. (source WebMD) Baked cod is also more healthy than fish fried in oil.
- Cod fish fillets or cod loins. You can buy a larger fillet and cut it into evenly sized pieces if you prefer. Either fresh or frozen cod works equally well to make baked cod. Make sure to check out my defrosting tips.
- Panko bread crumbs. Panko is a Japanese style bread crumb that is lighter and airier. It absorbs less oil than regular breadcrumbs which gives your fish a crispier coating. Panko is not gluten-free. You can find gluten-free versions at your grocery store or online.
- Seasonings. Chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, kosher salt and black pepper.
- Butter. Used to blend with the Panko crumbs and seasonings for a buttery panko adhere to the fish. I also use it to drizzle over the asparagus, but you can use an olive oil for drizzling if you prefer.
- Parmesan cheese. This ingredient is optional. Feel free to use it both in the Panko breadcrumb mixture for the cod and to sprinkle on the asparagus.
Check the recipe card for the exact measurements for these ingredients and equivalent measurements for dried and fresh ingredients.
If you plan to use frozen cod instead of fresh cod, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. If you are in a hurry, you can defrost it in ice cold water in the sink or in a bowl. Change the water frequently to keep it cold. I do not recommend defrosting the cod in the microwave.
What Type of Cod is Best
Cod is also referred to as Cod, Codfish, Scrod, True Cod, and Whitefish. Some close substitutes for this recipe include Sea Bass, Stripped Bass, Whiting, Mahi Mahi, Haddock, Pollock, or Monkfish. I would strongly recommend checking the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch as they are the best source for sustainable fish choices and the best type of fish to use.
Cod Substitutes: Ideally, you should ask your fish monger what would be a good substitute if you are not using cod. They are the most knowledgeable.
If you want to use another type of white fish, choose a fish fillet that is similar in size and weight to cod so it cooks up the same and the complementing flavors work just as well as in this panko crusted baked cod recipe.
How To Make Baked Cod With Panko
Step 1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 3. Pat the cod fillets dry with paper towels. Arrange cod fillets on one end of the prepared baking sheet with space in between the fillets.
Step 4. In a medium bowl, combine Panko, 3 tablespoon of melted butter, the parmesan (if using), parsley, half of the garlic, and the lemon zest and juice.
Step 5. Using a spoon, divide panko mixture evenly over the top of the fish. Using the back of the spoon, spread the buttery panko breadcrumbs all over the top of the pieces of cod.
Step 6. Arrange the asparagus on the remaining end of the baking sheet, uncrowded, and drizzle with the remaining butter and garlic. Season with salt. Gently toss asparagus to coat.
Step 7. Bake for 15 minutes or until transparent and the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. A safe internal temperature is 145 degrees F according to the USDA. The panko crust will have a nice golden brown color. The asparagus should be tender and lightly browned.
Step 8. Transfer asparagus and cod fillets to serving platters. Serve with tartar sauce and your favorite condiments.
Cook's Tip: This lemon squeezer is hands down one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. It is so easy to use, cleans up easily, and lasts forever. It works on other citrus too.
Tips for Best Results
- Make sure to pat the fish dry with paper towels before spreading the breading over the top. This will help the breading adhere to the fish and make it crispier.
- Cut the remaining half of the lemon into wedges and serve the lemon wedges with the baked cod.
- If using frozen cod, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or in ice cold water. Do not use a microwave. Defrosting cod in the microwave can cause it to partially cook on the exterior before it is totally thawed which will cause uneven cooking and the cod to dry out.
- Test the fish with an instant-read thermometer to ensure a safe internal temperature of 145°F.
- Lemon: The remaining ½ of lemon, can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. For longer storage, zest the lemon and add about 1 teaspoon to individual dents in an ice cube tray. Add water and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, defrost the cube of zest and pat dry. For the juice, add measured amounts to the ice cube trays and freezer for up to 3 months.
- Cod: Baked cod can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, place it on a sheet pan in a 225 degree oven until warm. The panko coating will not be as crispy after storing.
- Asparagus: Roasted asparagus can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 2 days if using the garlic or up to 3 days if you haven't used the fresh garlic. Reheat it in 225 degree oven until warm. Roasted asparagus does not freeze well.
Baked Cod With Crusted Panko
- 4 cod fillets, 6 ounces each
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup butter, melted divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese optional
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced divided
- ½ lemon, zest and juice of
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound asparagus trimmed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat the cod dry with paper towels. Arrange cod fillets on one end of the parchment paper with space in between the fillets.
- In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, 3 tablespoon of butter, the parmesan (if using), parsley, half of the garlic, the lemon zest and juice, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Using a spoon, divided mixture evenly over the cod fillets. Using the back of the spoon, spread panko mixture to cover the cod.
- Arrange the asparagus on the remaining end of the baking sheet, uncrowded, and drizzle with the remaining butter and garlic. Season with salt. Gently toss asparagus to coat.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until fish is transparent and flakes easily when tested with a fork. The asparagus should be tender and lightly browned.
- Arrange asparagus next to the cod fillets on individual plates and serve.
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes can be used in place of the fresh parsley.
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic can be used in place of the fresh clove.
- 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice can be used in place of fresh.
- ½ tablespoon of lemon zest can be used in place of fresh.
- ¼ teaspoon of dried lemon zest can be used in place of fresh.