Panko Crusted Baked Cod

Easy oven-baked cod with seasoned Panko crumb topping and served with parsley yogurt sauce! This is one of the easiest, delicious and healthy baked fish recipes the whole family will love.

What is Panko-crusted cod?

Baked cod with Panko crumbs are made by seasoning the cod fillets first, then topping them with a crust made of Panko breadcrumbs seasoned with herbs and spices. A binding agent is used to get the crust to stick to the fillets. The crumb-topped fish fillets are then baked, which results in flavorful, moist fish with a crunchy panko-herb crust.

If you’ve not heard of Panko crumbs, they are flaky Japanese breadcrumbs made from bread without crusts. They are lighter, absorb less oil and stay crispy for longer than the regular breadcrumbs. These are my favorite type of breadcrumbs and I use them for making appetizers like crispy prawns fry and Italian cheese potato croquettes.

I have adapted this from my spicy baked lemon mustard fish recipe.

One of the healthy seafood recipes in the weekly dinner menu, this is a favorite main course everybody in my family loves. And yours will love it, too! Serve this baked fish with a super easy homemade parsley-yogurt sauce (recipe below!). Pair it with a salad like beet orange salad or turmeric cilantro lentil salad or no-mayo coleslaw for an easy, healthy dinner.

Ingredient notes

Labelled ingredients to make baked cod with Panko crumbs.
  • COD FILLETS– This recipe, like the easy fish cakes, is quite versatile. Any flaky fish can be used: cod, halibut, tilapia, haddock all work well for this recipe. I make this recipe with salmon sometimes and it tastes great. But personally, I feel salmon has a unique flavor of its own and tastes the best when mildly seasoned. I prefer paprika salmon with mango salsa, citrus-marinated salmon or if you want to bake salmon, try these salmon kabobs on skewers.
  • MUSTARD– Mustard and fish taste amazing together. It also acts as a binding agent that helps the breadcrumbs stick to the fillet. I recommend whole-grain mustard since it adds more crunch and texture. But Dijon mustard also has its own advantages. Since it is creamier, it helps pack more breadcrumbs on the fillet that results in a thicker crust.
  • BREADCRUMBS– Ideally, Panko breadcrumbs give more crunch to the topping but if you don’t have them, regular ones can also be used.
  • SPICES AND HERBS– Chili powder and salt for seasoning the fish, red chili flakes, garlic powder, parsley and lemon zest for seasoning the Panko crumbs.
  • OIL– I’ve used olive oil here since it is a heat-stable healthy oil.
Baked Panko-crusted cod fish with yogurt sauce and garnished with parsley and lemon slices in 2 white plates.

How to make Panko crusted baked cod- step by step process

How to season the fish

Season the fish fillets with chilli powder, salt and oil. The oil helps in cooking and also seals moisture within the fish. You can season in advance and refrigerate until ready to bake.

How to top cod fillets with seasoned breadcrumbs

Toss the breadcrumbs with spices and herbs. Coat the top and sides of the fish fillets with mustard. Top liberally with the breadcrumb mixture and press. Spray the remaining oil evenly on the crust.

How to bake Panko crusted cod

Bake the fillets at 200°C/ 400° F for 15 minutes. If your fillet is thicker (the fillet I used is about 1 inch thick), cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Easy homemade parsley yogurt sauce

The fillets and the crust are well seasoned, so you’ll only need a simple yogurt sauce to make it a delicious dinner. Mix yogurt with parsley, cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Devour!

Additions and substitutions

  1. If chilli powder is too spicy for you, use pepper to season the fish.
  2. Feel free to add more seasoning like onion powder or ground coriander to the breadcrumb mixture.
  3. More herbs like chives and thyme can also be added. If you don’t have fresh ones, dried herbs would do.
  4. For added flavor, mix the whole grain mustard with a teaspoon of butter before spreading on the fillet.

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Common questions

  • What’s the best way to cook fish?

    Baking is one of the healthiest methods to cook fish since it limits loss of nutrients like Vitamin D and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. (source)

  • At what temperature should fish be baked?

    The optimum temperature to bake fish for this recipe is 200°C/ 400° F. A higher temperature would burn the breadcrumbs and at a lower temperature, they wouldn’t brown enough.

  • What should I season fish with?

    The fish has to be seasoned initially with chilli powder (or pepper), salt and oil. This helps the fillet retain flavor and moisture on the inside. Then top it up with seasoned breadcrumbs for the flavorful crust.

  • What herbs go well with fish?

    Herbs like parsley, dill, chives, tarragon- all taste great with fish.

Oven baked cod with Panko served with yogurt sauce and garnished with parsley and lemon slices in 2 white plates.

More seafood recipes

Panko crusted baked cod with yogurt sauce and garnished with parsley and lemon slices in a white plate.

Panko Crusted Baked Cod recipe

Easy oven-baked cod with seasoned Panko crumb topping and served with parsley yogurt sauce! Find out the secret to get breadcrumbs to stick to fish without egg!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal

Ingredients
  

Seasoning for fish

  • 2 thick cut cod fillets (320 grams/ 11 ounces each) or 4 fillets, 160 grams/5.6 ounces each. (notes 1&2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or cayenne or black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For binding

  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

For the crust

  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (note 3)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup parsley tightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic)
  • zest of 1 large lemon

For parsley yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400° F.
  • Clean and season the cod fillets with chili powder, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Mix all the ingredients for seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Place the fish fillets on a baking tray. Coat the top surface of fish fillets with wholegrain mustard, dividing equally among the fillets.
  • Take handfuls of the seasoned crumb mixture and spread on each fish fillet evenly. You will have enough mixture to cover the sides too, if you like more of the crust. Press the mixture carefully so it sticks to the mustard.
  • Spray the rest of the oil on the crust and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Testing for doneness

  • Check near the thickest part of the fillet with a fork. The fish must flake easily and should be white throughout. If not, bake for 3-5 minutes more. (note 4)

Parsley yogurt sauce

  • Mix together all ingredients for the yogurt sauce.
  • Serve baked fish fillets with the sauce.

Notes

  1. If you don’t have cod, other flaky white fish like haddock, bass or halibut can be used.
  2. I have used huge fish fillets, each of which can serve 2 people. Feel free to slice each fillet into 2, either before cooking or after. (Or you can buy smaller ones!)
  3. Panko breadcrumbs are larger and extra crunchy, but if you don’t have them, you can use regular ones.
  4. The baking time depends on the thickness of the fillets. Fillets that are about 1 inch thick take 15 minutes. If yours is thicker, bake for 3 to 5 minutes more.
Serving suggestions: Serve with a salad or salsa:
The nutrition facts include those of baked fish and yogurt sauce.
Panko Crusted Baked Cod
Keyword Baked fish with breadcrumbs, Baked Panko crusted fish, healthy baked fish recipes, Panko herb crusted fish, seasoned breadcrumbs for fish

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– Sheeba.

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