Panko crusted cod is a delicious, easy dinner ready in under 15 minutes. Cod fillets are topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, garlic and lemon and baked in the oven for perfectly cooked, flaky fish.
I absolutely adore cooking with cod! It’s a versatile fish that is a total blank canvas. This recipe uses a buttery breadcrumb topping that is easy enough to make on a weeknight (heating up the oven is what takes the most time!) but also fancy enough to serve guests at a dinner party.
Why this recipe works
The crispy, herbaceous topping is a perfect balance to the buttery, flaky fish. Panko is tossed in melted butter with lemon zest, garlic and parsley.
Panko breadcrumbs are larger and flakier than regular breadcrumbs, meaning you’ll end up with a crispier topping.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Cod fillets. I love using cod because it’s one of the few varieties of fish that is actually great after being frozen, so it can be more affordable and budget-friendly than other types of fish. If you’re using frozen cod, make sure it’s fully thawed before you bake it in the oven.
- For the breadcrumb topping you’ll combine melted butter with lemon zest, fresh parsley and a small clove of garlic. You could also add some red pepper flakes if you’re looking to add a little bit of spice.
- To ensure even seasoning, you’ll sprinkle each fillet with salt instead of stirring it into the panko mixture.
- This recipe doesn’t call for any lemon juice as it would make the topping soggy. Instead, you can serve with lemon wedges and people can choose to sprinkle some overtop of their fillets if they want to amp up the lemon flavor.
- Since I’m not using any kind of binder for the topping, you’ll just need to pile the breadcrumbs on top of the fish and press them down to adhere slightly. You’ll also want to make sure you add the topping once the fillets are in the baking dish–they aren’t easy to move once you’ve added the topping.
- You’ll need to broil the fish for the last two minutes of cooking to crisp up the topping. Be sure to keep an eye on it as it can burn quickly!
- You can replace the cod with another firm fish like halibut, haddock, salmon, swordfish, or mahi mahi.
Step by step instructions
- Preheat oven to 450F and grease an 8×8 or 9×13 (depending on the size of your fillets) with olive oil. Add fillets to the prepared dish and season evenly with salt.
- In a microwave-safe medium bowl, melt butter. Stir in panko, parsley, garlic and lemon zest.
- Spoon topping evenly overtop of fillets. Press down to adhere. Bak for 5-7 minutes, until almost fully cooked. Turn on the broil and broil for 1-2 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy.