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Panko Parmesan Baked Cod

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This delicious Panko Parmesan Baked Cod recipe is a great way to enjoy this mild, tender, and flakey white fish. The crunchy, cheesy topping adds flavor and texture for an amazing meal. A hint of citrus provides a bright note that ties everything together perfectly.

two black rimmed white plates with cooked panko parmesan cod and lemon slices on the plate with antique forks. fresh parsley bunch and green linen towel can be seen next to the plates

If you’re still on the fence about fish and haven’t tried my Crispy Baked Haddock recipe, then perhaps you could be convinced to try this Panko Parmesan Baked Cod recipe first! As with the haddock recipe, this is a great recipe for beginners who are trying to incorporate more fish in their diet. I know there is a stigma and an aversion to “fishy fish” scents but trust me, this panko parmesan baked cod and the haddock recipe are very mild.

The panko parmesan crust that is on top of the baked cod elevates the flakey white fish by giving it bright flavors and a crunchy exterior. You will hardly taste the fish. In fact, as it is, cod is a very mild and light fish so even raw, you can hardly smell the fishiness. It’s not like salmon or tuna where you get more of a fishy hit.

For me, I like elevating mild fish recipes like cod for those who may be skeptical by adding punchy flavors like Dijon and lemon, which brings a bright citrus note to the table. The panko breadcrumb mixture adds that cheesiness and crispy texture.

panko parmesan cod on a plate with lemon slices next to a bunch of fresh parsley and green linen towel

What is cod?

Cod is a white fish with a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Its dense, firm, and flaky texture makes it ideal for baking or frying and works great in many dishes. It is the fish that is most commonly used in fish and chip recipes.

Cod is usually sold in fillets so there is hardly any prep for them. You won’t have to debone or remove any skin or extra fat. It’s generally a very light and lean fish.

Whether you’re looking to introduce fish into your diet or want to switch up your repertoire of recipes, cod is a great option to consider!

up close image of panko parmesan crust on cooked cod that is browned on top

Why You’ll Love It

Easy yet elegant. If you’re having company over, this is a great recipe to make. It’s easy yet has an elegant touch to it.

Great way to introduce more fish into your diet. If you’re looking to incorporate more fish into your diet, starting with a light fish like cod and a delicious topping such as panko parmesan is probably one of the best ways to start!

ingredients for panko parmesan baked cod: lemon, fresh parsley, cod, butter, dried basil, panko, mayo, dijon mustard, parmesan cheese

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cod fillets
  • Panko breadcrumbs – panko breadcrumbs are different than regular breadcrumbs. Panko offers a lighter and airer texture.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Butter
  • Mayo
  • Dijon mustard
  • Dried basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest

How to Make Panko Parmesan Baked Cod

Set oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the panko parmesan mixture. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the panko parmesan mixture.

Pat the cod dry and assemble. Pat both sides of the cod with a paper towel then place on prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, take the panko parmesan mixture and gently press and form it on top of the cod. It’s okay if pieces fall around it. It makes for crispy edges!

Bake. Bake the cod for 10 minutes on the middle rack then move to the top rack for an additional minute to brown the top.

Serve and enjoy! Let the cod cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Tip for the panko parmesan mixture: it might seem like it’s hard to get everything to combine together but keep working it with a fork or spatula and it will eventually come together in sort of a paste-like consistency. Additionally, I found that if I melted 1 tablespoon of butter, it helped bring the mixture together a little better since it the liquidity of the butter binds it.

tender, flakey, cod filet split in half with a fork to show the inside of the panko parmesan cod

Common Questions

My panko parmesan mixture isn’t coming together, what am I doing wrong? The panko parmesan mixture should be kind of like dough when the consistency is correct. When you pinch it or squeeze it between a fist, it should stay together. If it isn’t coming together it’s one of two things: it’s too wet or it’s too dry. If it’s too wet, add more panko. If it’s too dry, add melted butter.

Can I use another type of fish? Sure, this recipe would work any fish fillet. Just make sure to properly prep the fish and watch the cooking time.

How do I store and reheat? You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator. To reheat, I would wrap it in foil and put it in a toaster oven or oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit to slowly heat up without drying it out.

Can I make this in the air fryer? I haven’t tried it and I think the panko parmesan topping would likely burn since the heating element is so close to the basket. However, you’re more than welcome to give it a shot!

Side Dishes to Accompany Panko Parmesan Baked Cod

up close image of panko parmesan crust on cooked cod that is browned on top

Panko Parmesan Baked Cod

A great way to enjoy this mild and flakey white fish! The crunchy, cheesy topping elevates the cod and makes for an easy and elegant meal!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound cod fillets
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, plus 1 tablespoon (14g) melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • Lemon zest
  • Juice of ½ lemon

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F and prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together panko, parmsean cheese, butter, mayo, dijon mustard, dried basil, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice until mixture forms.
  • Pat dry cod fillets then place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Using your hands, scoop and gently form/press the panko breadcrumb mixture on top of each cod fillet, evenly distributing the mixture amongst the two. It's okay if it falls on the sides of them.
  • Bake in the middle rack for 10 minutes then move up to the top rack for an additional 1 minute to brown the top.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 fillet | Calories: 682 kcal | Carbohydrates: 20 g | Protein: 52 g | Fat: 43 g | Saturated Fat: 21 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 185 mg | Sodium: 1051 mg | Potassium: 1079 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 2 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cod recipe, easy fish recipes
Recipe Rating




Jack

Saturday 31st of December 2022

Followed this recipe to a tee. This was a GREAT dish!!! Sublime, sweet and flakey! Of course, the freshness of the cod helped a bit! A caveat, salt & pepper the fillet before putting the topping on then salt & pepper the topping. Recipe begs for s & p. Also if you live in a high altitude (we're @ 4,600 ft) bake at 400 deg F for 14 min, then 1 min to brown. Remove @ 145 deg F (use an instant read thermometer).

Veronica

Wednesday 7th of December 2022

This is an exception recipe. The flavor combo is perfect...a little tangy, cheesy, crispy goodness all in one. I love cod and lemon on fish is always a win. In my oven I had to cook it a little longer, all ovens are different and I think my fish was pretty thick too. I really appreicate Julie's recipe and how easy it is to follow. I think the panko topping would be great on fresh green beans or asparagus and then popped under the broiler. I will keep this in my weekly rotations.

Julie Chiou

Wednesday 7th of December 2022

I'm so happy to hear you already made this, Veronica! I appreciate the feedback and I'm glad that you enjoyed the recipe!