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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
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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

4.55 from 31 votes

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!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 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
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  • 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.


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

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.

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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made this tonight, it was delicious and very easy to make. Definitely going to make it again. My husband commented on how delicious it tasted. I served it with orzo.
    Thank you Julie for sharing this recipe.

  2. I like to prep dishes ahead of time due to work schedule and energy level after work. How long in advance do you recommend making the panko mixture?

    1. hi! truthfully, the panko topping, since it’s mixed with butter, mayo, and other moisture-based ingredients, will likely end up slightly soggy if you prep it ahead of time. if you’re ok with that and think that putting it in the oven will crisp it up enough for you to enjoy, then you can definitely prepare this at least a day ahead!

      1. Hi Julie, I thought the same thing about the sogginess, so I prepped the dry ingredients separately the day before and then the wet ones the day of baking and it worked great. I didn’t have fresh, only frozen cod then followed the recipe as written and it was delicious! I served it with asparagus and white rice on the side. It was even great the next day when reheated for lunch.

          1. Maybe I missed this detail. Are the cod filets cooked from frozen? Or will I need to thaw them first?


            1. If you’re cooking them from frozen, I would definitely suggest thawing them and patting them dry of excess liquid. If they’re fresh, you can just pat them dry.

  3. This was so easy to make but so damn good! My husband doesn’t really like cod but he thought this was better than something you get at a fine dining! Thank you for the most delicious meal. 😋

  4. I have made this recipe three times; once for my husband and me and twice for dinner guests. It is delicious and elegant. Our guests loved it and I will make it again and again. I didn’t have cod on hand so I used halibut, which I had in the freezer. Absolutely amazing. This is a real winner. Really love this recipe.

  5. Delicious!! This recipe comes together quickly and the flavors are amazing! So impressed I can make this in my own kitchen- no need to pay top dollar at a restaurant when I can have a great meal at home. Thanks for another winner!!

  6. 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).

    1. @Jack,
      Funny, I came here to comment on how delicious this was without any salt or pepper. Even husband who heavily salts everything didn’t add any.

  7. 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.

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