Meatless Monday Challenge

20-Minute Crispy Baked Panko-Crusted Cod

on August 15, 2022
last updated January 8, 2024
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Learn how to make baked crispy cod at home 20 minutes with this easy recipe! With a panko breadcrumb crust, this white fish dish is crispy on the outside, and perfectly flaky on the inside. Serve with side veggies, or a fresh green salad for a simple, complete meal.
2 plates of 20 minutes crispy baked cod with panko

Looking for a quick and easy way to bake cod while achieving a crispy exterior? This 20-Minute Baked Cod with Panko is simple yet delicious with a flaky, moist fish enveloped in a flavorful crispy crust.

With only 7 ingredients and less than 30 minutes required, this simple cod recipe has quickly become my favorite way to add healthy protein to any meal! Plus, it’s incredible texture and fresh flavor makes it a go-to in my house when it comes to 30-minute meal ideas.

baked cod with panko on a plate with lemon wedges

Baked Cod with Panko Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Cod. This recipe was developed for individual portions of skinless fresh cod, about 4 ounces per portion. If you’re using frozen cod, make sure to thaw it before following this recipe.
  • Panko. While any breadcrumbs will work in this recipe, panko will yield the crispiest exterior.
  • Grated Parmesan. To add flavor and texture. If you want a dairy-free option, omit the Parmesan and replace it with extra Panko.
  • Salt, Pepper, and Paprika. A simple spice blend to ramp up the flavor.
  • Lemon Juice. For fresh citrus and a little bit of moisture. You should be able to get 1 tablespoon of lemon juice from about 1/4 of a lemon.
Baked Cod with Panko Ingredients - Salt, Panko, Pepper, Cod, Paprika, Parmesan, and Lemon

Sustainable Seafood

As an environmental scientist, it’s important to me that I source my seafood in a responsible way to improve my ecological footprint.

If you are a U.S. resident, when it comes to cod, look for wild caught Atlantic cod with a blue Marine Stewardship Council certification to make sure you are sourcing your fish sustainably.

Green tip: Look for Marine Stewardship Council and Friend of the Sea labels on your fish to ensure they were harvested sustainably.

Baked Cod with Panko Tips and Tricks


Pat Dry Your Cod

Before we get cooking, we have to prep our fish for this quick cod recipe. To get a crispy exterior on your cod, it’s best to pat it dry with a paper towel before we add the panko crust!

This is the same technique I use in this Blackened Mahi-Mahi recipe.

Green tip: Paper products contribute to deforestation. Consider these bamboo paper towels! Bamboo naturally regenerates every few months, whereas trees cannot regrow once harvested.

This recipe is designed for fresh cod, but you can also easily use frozen! Just thaw the fish overnight in the refrigerator or add it to a plastic or reusable storage bag and submerge the bag in cold water for about 45 minutes to defrost.

Make sure your cod is fully thawed before starting to prep! This goes for this recipe as well as my other favorite pescatarian recipes, including beer battered halibut!

using paper towel to pat dry cod

Mix Up Your Dry Ingredients

In a small mixing bowl, combine your Panko, Parmesan, and spices. Use a spoon or fork to mix well—it’s important to ensure your spices are evenly distributed around your cod for guaranteed success in this crispy white fish recipe.

adding panko to a mixing bowl

Add Your Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice goes a long way in this recipe! You should be able to get 1 tablespoon of lemon juice from about 1/4 of a lemon.

Add it directly to your dry ingredient’s mixture and stir. This will result in a slightly damp Panko-based coating which will go directly on your fish.

squeezing lemon juice into panko crust ingredients for cod

Coat & Bake Your Cod

Use clean hands to grab a handful of your crust mixture and push it into your fish. This recipe makes enough panko crust to generously coat two individual 4-ounce portions of cod.

Coat both sides with your mixture and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat, leaving a little bit of room in between each cod filet.

Green tip: To avoid extra waste, try these reusable baking mats! They are great for nonstick and super easy to clean.

Then, bake your panko-coated cod at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 125°F.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Panko Baked Cod

Once cooked, your Baked Cod with Panko will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze your panko-crusted cod for up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen, and bake your cod for a second time at 275°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can!

Serving Your Baked Cod with Panko

This cod is super versatile and pairs deliciously with a variety of sides!

Of course, like any main dish, this Baked Cod with Panko can be served with any vegetable like these Sweet and Salty Brussels Sprouts, Purple Asparagus, or Roasted Carrots with Balsamic Glaze.

I also love serving this cod over these Boursin Mashed Potatoes, with Coconut Rice, or over a fresh salad!

overhead shot of two plates of panko crusted cod

Baked Cod with Panko Frequently Asked Questions


What temperature should cod be cooked at?

The goal is to get the internal temperature of your cod to reach 125°F. This can be achieved by baking it in the oven.

In order to get the cod fished thoroughly while creating a crunchy panko crust in this recipe, we bake the cod at 400°F for 10-12 minutes.

How long does cod take to cook in the oven?

The time it take cod to took in the oven at 400°F will range from 10-12 minutes depending on the cut of your fish. This recipe is intended for individual 4-ounce portions of cod.

Why You Should Make this Baked Cod with Panko


  • The texture! It’s flaky and moist on the inside and crunchy and crisp on the outside.
  • It’s quick. Ready in just 20 minutes or less.
  • It’s simple yet effective. Only 7 simple ingredients required, and it’s still so flavorful.

If you’re loving this Baked Cod with Panko and want more recipes for quick and easy fish, check out this 3-Ingredient Pesto Butter Salmon and Beer Battered Halibut.

2 plates of 20 minutes crispy baked cod with panko

20-Minute Crispy Baked Panko-Crusted Cod

5 from 4 votes
Marley Goldin
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Learn how to make baked crispy cod at home 20 minutes with this easy recipe! With a panko breadcrumb crust, this white fish dish is crispy on the outside, and perfectly flaky on the inside. Serve with side veggies, or a fresh green salad for a simple, complete meal.
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cod (individual 4-ounce portions)
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1 lemon = approx. 4 tablespoons juice)
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prep your cod by cutting into individual portions (about 4 ounces each) and removing skin if necessary and patting dry with paper towels (try these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option!).
  • In a small mixing bowl, prep your crust by adding Panko, Parmesan, salt, pepper, paprika, and lemon juice and stirring to combine.
  • Use clean hands to press the crust into the cod, coating it generously on both sides. Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a reusable baking mat.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until the internal temperature of the cod reaches 125°F.
  • Serve with lemon wedges (optional) and sides of choice. My favorite sides for this Baked Cod with Panko are these Boursin Mashed Potatoes and Purple Asparagus.

Pro Tips

  • If you don’t have Panko, you can replace it with any plain breadcrumbs. 
  • For a dairy-free version, simply omit the Parmesan cheese and add an extra 1/4 cup of Panko or breadcrumbs.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Baked Cod, Easy, Fish Dinner, Healthy, Quick
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