Panko Parmesan Crusted Cod is so simple and delicious! With flaky fish covered in a crunchy panko and parmesan mixture, this recipe is perfect for an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love.
My family and I are always trying to incorporate more fish into our diet. Fish is full of healthy fats and protein, and a great cornerstone to a healthy diet. This parmesan panko crusted cod is a regular in our meal routine. Fresh cod filets are topped with a tasty mixture of melted butter, Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs, and baked until the topping is crispy and golden brown. Served with lemon wedges, sautéed veggies, and a side of cauliflower or coconut rice, this is a satisfying and healthy meal.
The best part of this delicious recipe is that it is so fast! Fresh fish fillets cook super quickly, and are a perfect protein to get on the table on busy weeknights. This meal only takes a few minutes to prep and 10-12 minutes in the oven! This is a dinner you can actually get on the table within 20 minutes of getting home from soccer practice.
You Will Love This
- This easy recipe takes about 5 minutes of prep and less than 15 minutes of cooking time, for a healthy recipe that is even quicker than takeout!
- Cod is a mild tasting flaky white fish, and is a great option for introducing fish to kids.
- Add a quick cooking vegetable like asparagus or sliced zucchinni to your sheet pan for a simple one-pan meal.
To make panko parmesan crusted cod, you need the following simple ingredients (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Fresh cod fillets: You can use frozen fillets in this recipe, just put them in the refrigerator the day before to defrost!
- Plain panko bread crumbs: I recommend panko bread crumbs specifically for this recipe (as opposed to regular breadcrumbs) because they get super crispy in the oven and make a delicious crust on top of the fish.
- Grated Parmsan cheese: Fresh grated cheese or pre-grated will both work fine in this recipe.
- Butter: You can substitute olive oil if you prefer.
- Seasonings, including kosher salt, freshly grated black pepper and garlic powder
- Fresh lemon: A little fresh lemon juice and/or lemon zest helps make the flavors of this recipe pop!
- Fresh herbs for garnish (optional): I topped my fish with some fresh chives.
Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat dry the cod fillets with paper towels.
Tip: Drying the fish is an important step! Fish retains a lot of water (especially if it was frozen), and if you don’t dry the filets it will make the breadcrumb topping soggy. To dry the filets, press into the fish on both sides with a clean paper towel until no more moisture comes out.
Step Two: Add the melted butter, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to a small bowl, and stir well to combine.
Step Three: Place the dry cod fillets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season the fish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spoon the panko breadcrumb mixture over the fish. Press the panko mixture onto the top and sides of the fish with your fingers to help keep it in place.
Step Four: Bake the fish in the top third of the hot oven for 10-12 minutes. The fish is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, is opaque throughout, and flakes easily with a fork. Feel free to put the fish under the broiler for a minute if needed to help the breadcrumbs brown (but no more than a minute or you might overcook the fish!).
Step Five: Sprinkle the fish with some fresh herbs if desired, and serve with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy immediately!
This recipe is best eaten right away. The breadcrumb topping will loose crispiness and become soggy if stored in the fridge. If you have an air fryer, you could try reheating leftovers in that to restore the crispiness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cooking temperature is important to keep your fish from drying out when baked. Cooking at a high temperature (400 degrees F for this recipe) for a shorter period of time will cook the fish, but keep it moist and tender. Longer cooking times at lower temperatures can cause your fish to dry out. Always use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of your fish, and take it out as soon as it reaches a safe temperature. Fish cooks really quickly, and it will be done before you know it!
Using fat with your fish recipe will also help to keep your fish from becoming rubbery. Cod is a lean fish, and the butter in this breadcrumb topping helps to keep it tender.
It depends on the recipe! Some recipes call for baking cod in a covered dish or foil packet. This causes the cod to steam, and can be a delicious way to cook fish. For this recipe, you want to get a nice crispy panko parmesan breadcrumb topping, so you should cook the fish uncovered. If you cover it, the breadcrumbs will be soggy.
The USDA does not recommend it. Rinsing meat off before cooking is unnecessary (any bacteria will be killed if the meat is cooked properly), and it can spread bacteria around your kitchen. Yuck!! Plus, that’s just one more step that adds complication to your recipe… no thanks!
Panko Parmesan Crusted Cod
- 4 cod filets (about 6 ounces each)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 3-4 grinds fresh black pepper
- fresh lemon wedges
- fresh chives optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat dry the cod fillets with paper towels.
- Add the melted butter, garlic powder, panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to a small bowl, and stir well to combine.
- Place the dry cod fillets in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season the fish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spoon the panko breadcrumb mixture over the fish. Press the panko mixture onto the top and sides of the fish with your fingers to help keep it in place.
- Bake the fish in the top third of the hot oven for 10-12 minutes. The fish is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, is opaque throughout, and flakes easily with a fork.
- Sprinkle the fish with some fresh herbs if desired, and serve with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy immediately!