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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.
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.
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!
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 You’ll Need
- Cod fillets
- Panko breadcrumbs – panko breadcrumbs are different than regular breadcrumbs. Panko offers a lighter and airer texture.
- Parmesan cheese
- 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.
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
Panko Parmesan Baked Cod
- 1 pound (453 g) cod fillets
- ¾ cup (45 g) panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) 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
- Preheat oven to 400 °F (204 °C) 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.
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