This Baked Cod with Panko is one of the easiest fish recipes with minimal effort and insanely delicious! With a crunchy garlicky panko crust topping and buttery flaky cod fillets, there’s no messy flour and stove-top oil splatter. With only 10 minutes of effort, I say…Yes, PLEASE!

Photo shows 3 cod fillets with panko crust baked in a sheet pan with lemon butter sauce
Panko Crusted Cod with Lemon Butter Sauce ….all baked in one pan!

Yummmmm! Just made this for dinner my husband and I loved it!! The crumbs are so tasty !

– Joanne

Panko Crusted Cod – Baked & Easy!

This cod with panko crust recipe is one of the easiest seafood recipes on the blog. My Chinese ginger scallion cod and baked cod with lemon herb butter are also very popular among the readers.

For 10 minutes of active effort, you get –

  • Buttery, flaky, and tender cod fillets
  • Crunchy garlicky panko breadcrumb toppings (gluten-free)
  • No oil splatter. No stovetop mess.
  • Healthy & affordable dinner for the whole family
  • Easy to make yet tastes amazing!

Ingredients

  • For the fish: Center-cut cod fillets, salt, pepper, and olive oil
  • For the panko toppings: gluten-free panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, fresh herbs (dills, parsley, or chives), and ghee butter.
Photo shows ingredients needed to make panko cod

How to bake cod with panko crust

  1. You’ll need a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Pat dry the cod fillets and season them with salt, pepper and olive oil on both sides.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes at 400ºF.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the panko toppings by combining the ingredients in a bowl with the exception of the butter.
  5. Dot the butter over each fillet and add spoonfuls of panko toppings on top. Use your hands to gently press the panko into the fillets.
  6. Spoon the melted butter over the panko and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges on the side and serve immediately.

What is gluten-free panko?

Panko is a Japanese style breadcrumbs, made with white bread without the crusts. Panko breadcrumbs have larger flakes than Italian breadcrumbs. The texture is super crunchy, flaky, yet light. It doesn’t absorb oil as well, therefore the crumbles remain crispy.

The typical panko is not gluten-free as the ingredient contains wheat flour. Today’s recipe uses gluten-free panko that you can purchase in most major grocery stores or online.

  • Gluten-free panko ingredients: tapioca starch, water, potato starch, potato flakes, palm oil, honey, egg yolks, natural vinegar, and salt.
  • For low carb/keto users, you can use keto pork panko (pork rind bread crumbs).

FAQ:

Baked cod temperature

Cod is done when you can flake it easily with a fork. The ​​internal temperature reaches 145ºF/63ºC.

Do I need to toast the panko breadcrumbs first?

Most recipes tell you to toast the breadcrumbs first but if you follow my instructions you can skip this step. We only add the breadcrumb toppings at the end of the baking so that the toppings remain golden crunchy (i.e. not burnt) and the fish fillets are buttery flaky.

What other fish can I use?

Select white flaky fish fillets with a thick center cut. Halibut, white sea bass, or striped bass are good alternatives.

Panko substitute (for low carb)

You can use pork panko, also known as pork rind bread crumbs. The crust might not be as crunchy but the flavor should still be very good.

Why is my panko baked cod tough

  • Overcooked: If the fish is overcooked, it will be dry. Thicker cut fillets tend to be more flaky.
  • Didn’t serve right away: Serve the dish soon after it’s out of the oven. Once the fillets are cool, the texture becomes more dry and dense.

What to serve with Baked Panko Cod:

Serve Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings as an appetizer or with bok choy soup to complete a light and healthy meal. You can also pair it with potato gnocchi with mushroom cream sauce or my broccoli pesto pasta salad to make the meal more hearty.

More seafood recipes:

A close shot shows baked panko crust with cod served with lemon on the side

Tips and Summary:

  • Use white flaky fish and buy thick center-cut fillets that have similar thickness.
  • It’s okay to use previously frozen fish. I prefer to ask the fishmonger to cut the pieces for me.
  • Serve the dish right away. Once it’s cool, the texture becomes more dry and dense.
  • Do use the butter as the “glue” to help the panko stick to the cod fillets. Butter also helps the fish stay moist.
Photo shows 3 cod fillets with panko crust baked in a sheet pan with lemon butter sauce
5 from 11 votes

Baked Cod with Panko Crust (gluten-free)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: ChihYu
Buttery flaky cod fillets with panko crust and lemon butter sauce tastes super yummy, healthy, and easy to make! This is a wonderful sheet pan meal for weeknights and gorgeous looking for easy entertaining!
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients 

For the fish:

  • 4 pieces center-cut cod fillets, 6-7 oz per piece
  • Sprinkle coarse sea salt
  • Sprinkle ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the panko toppings:

  • ½ cup gluten-free panko, about 2 tbsp per fillet
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs, chives, dills, or parsley, or a combination
  • Quarter one whole lemon juice, plus more for serving
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee butter, room temperature

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF/204ºC.
  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment. Pat dry the fish and lightly season with salt and pepper, and grease the fish with ½ tbsp olive oil per fillet on both sides. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack.
  • In the meantime, make the toppings by combining ingredients from panko to lemon juice in a separate bowl.
  • As soon as the fish is out of the oven, add a little less than 1 tbsp butter on top of each fillet and quickly use a back of the spoon to smear it over. Add about 2 tbsp panko toppings on top of each fillet and use your hands to gently press it in. Some crumbles might fall off and that’s totally okay.
  • Scoop a few spoonfuls of the melted butter from the sheet pan and drizzle them over the panko breadcrumbs and send the sheet back to the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes. The fish is done when you can flake it easily with a fork. The ​​internal temperature reaches 145ºF/63ºC.
  • Serve with lemon wedges on the side and serve immediately while the fish is still warm.

Notes

  • It’s okay to use previously frozen fish. I prefer to ask the fishmonger to cut the pieces for me.
  • Serve the dish right away. Once it’s cool, the texture tends to become more dry and dense.
  • Do use the butter as the “glue” to help the panko stick to the fillets. Butter also helps the fish stay moist.
  • For low carb choice, you can use pork panko, also known as pork rind bread crumbs.  The crust might not be as crunchy but the flavor should still be very good.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 382kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 755mg, Potassium: 720mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 237IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baked cod panko, Baked cod with panko, baked panko cod, cod panko, cod with panko crust, pan crusted cod, panko baked cod, panko cod, Panko cod baked
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