Baked Cod with Panko

Try an easy, flavorful dinner with our Baked Cod with Panko! Tender cod filets topped with crispy, seasoned, buttery Panko breadcrumbs, then baked to perfection.

Oven baked fish with asparagus.

This panko-crusted cod is one of my absolute favorite fish recipes

It’s light, flaky, and oven-baked, making it perfect for busy weeknights. What’s not to love?

Don’t get me wrong. I adore baked mahi mahi, and John is all about baked shrimp and salmon with veggies

But, this baked cod recipe is so easy. In my book, it’s a healthy seafood dish, and that makes it a no-brainer!

I mix crunchy panko breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, melted butter, fresh lemon juice, garlic powder, and a touch of paprika for the most incredible crispy topping.

Add this seasoned panko mixture to cod filets for a crusted, flaky white fish that your entire family will love! 

Serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, french fries, and a side salad for a complete meal!

How to Make Baked Cod with Panko

Start by preheating the oven to 425°F, and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use paper towels to pat the cod filets dry.

In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, lemon juice (reserve about 2 teaspoons), parsley, melted butter, garlic powder, and paprika. Set aside.

Breadcrumbs, seasonings, and parsley in a bowl.
Breadcrumbs with seasonings mixed in a bowl.

Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon juice over the cod filets, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place the filets onto the prepared baking sheet.

Top each filet with 2 to 3 tablespoons of panko topping, and press down gently to ensure the topping adheres to the fish.

Uncooked cod in a baking dish.
Breaded cod on a baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is opaque in the center. According to the USDA, the internal temperature should read 145°F on a food thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the cod.

Remove from the oven, and serve immediately!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

When making panko crusted cod, the moisture from the fish can sometimes make the panko breadcrumb mixture soggy. But don’t worry, there are a couple of tricks to keep that panko nice and crunchy!

First, add a little melted butter to the panko crumbs. The butter helps the mixture brown beautifully and maintain its crunchiness.

Second, cook the panko at a high heat. We bake the cod with panko topping at 425°F, which perfectly cooks the cod while crisping up the panko at the same time. 

These simple steps ensure a wonderfully crispy and delicious topping every time!

It’s super easy to add extra flavor to this recipe with a little parmesan cheese! 

Whether you use freshly grated parmesan (straight from the block and grated in a food processor) or the convenient grated cheese from a shaker container, both work beautifully.

Simply mix in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the grated parmesan with the panko breadcrumbs, then follow the recipe as written.

There are plenty of alternatives to panko for your topping, though the texture will be a bit different. 

Try crushed crackers, cornflakes, regular breadcrumbs, pretzels, or potato chips for a crunchy twist on your baked fish. If you go with potato chips, opt for thicker, hearty ones to ensure they hold up well.

Simply replace the panko breadcrumbs with your chosen topping, add it to the fish, and bake.

When your cod turns out tough, it’s usually a sign it’s overcooked. 

There’s a fine line between perfectly light and flaky fish and dry, overcooked fish. And it can happen fast, so keep a close watch on it!

Tough cod can also occur as the fish cools. It might be flaky and perfect right out of the oven, but as it cools, it can toughen up and dry out. 

So, enjoy it while it’s hot for the best texture and flavor!

Absolutely, you can make this recipe gluten-free! 

Just swap out the regular panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free panko breadcrumbs, and make sure all other ingredients are gluten-free. 

You’ll still get that delicious, crispy topping without any gluten.

If you happen to have leftovers, you’ll want to save it for later. Here are some storage and reheating ideas.

Storing leftovers of your baked cod with panko is simple! Here’s how to do it:

Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftover baked cod will stay fresh for up to 2-3 days.

Reheat Carefully: To reheat, place the cod in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, or until it’s heated through. 

This helps to maintain the crispiness of the panko topping. Alternatively, you can use a toaster oven or an air fryer for a quick and crispy reheat.

Avoid the Microwave: Reheating in the microwave can make the fish tough and the panko soggy, so it’s best to avoid this method.

Baked cod with panko and asparagus.

Baked Cod with Panko

4.5 from 219 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kim
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Panko Topping

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

For the Fish

  • 1 pound cod fillets, 3 to 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

To Make the Topping

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon juice, melted butter, garlic powder, and paprika.
    ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
    3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

To Make the Fish

  • Use paper towels to pat the cod fillets dry. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of lemon juice over the fillets, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    1 pound cod fillets
    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of panko topping on top of each piece of fish and press down gently so the topping sticks. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the cod flakes easily.
  • Serve immediately with a side salad or sautéed vegetables. We do not recommend storing the cod for later.

Suggested Equipment

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1/4 pound of cod. Actual calories will vary.
 
 
*Skip to Step-by-Step Photos.
 
 
*Skip to FAQs including storage information.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25poundsCalories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 21gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 700mgPotassium: 519mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 536IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. This baked cod is amazingly easy and tasty with the recipe just as-is, and next time I’ll include the freshly grated parmesan cheese for just a little more “mmm”.

    1. Thank you Roland! We’re glad you like baked cod. The addition of fresh parmesan sounds awesome. Thank you again commenting, have a great day!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow! One of the best cod recipes I’ve tried yet! My husband isn’t fussy for fish and he even loved it, thanks!!!

  3. 5 stars
    Have tried several cod recipes. This is by far the best outside of a chowder, and so simple. Cod was flaky but still tender, panko coating was far superior to flour-based. Cooking at high heat worked well, just keep an eye on it.

    1. Thanks so much, John!

      We’re glad you enjoyed the cod. Thank you for coming back to comment and rate the recipe. Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ™‚

  4. I made this for dinner last night. It was amazing, restaurant quality. The fish was flaky and the topping cruncy. Did add the parmesan, it gave it a nice flavor.

  5. 5 stars
    I had confirmed fish haters LOVE this! I used seasoned panko, bumped up the cheese but otherwise followed this. News to me: cooking at high heat! This was the trick- and the thick coat of buttered panko/parm kept the fish moist. Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Perfect just the way it is. Don’t change a thing. I baked for 13 minutes and it was flaky and delicious. Thank you!