This Panko Crusted Cod recipe has the tastiest sauce (just 3 ingredients!) to seal in moisture to ensure soft, flaky baked cod every time. I love the breadcrumbs mixed with butter for a golden, crispy topping. Such a great 20-minute recipe.

A golden panko-crusted cod fillet rests atop a bed of fluffy white rice and sliced cucumbers, served on a white plate.
  • Crispy crusted, soft fish; who doesn’t love a soft and flaky fish on the inside, wrapped in a crispy, golden outer layer?
  • Versatility; there are so many tasty things you can do with this crispy piece of fish. Pop it in a rice bowl, serve it on noodles, or with a handful of crispy fries.
  • Easy to prepare; while it might look a little fancy, this is a super-simple recipe to put together and great for weeknights. I love mayo as a secret moist maker. You must also try my Flaky Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise.
  • Crowd-pleaser; this recipe will be popular with the whole crew, from kiddies to the more experienced diners in your circle. 
  • Flavor-packed; I amped up the flavor with soy sauce, ginger, and scallions. If you want to take it to the next level, serve it with a drizzle of this creamy Asian dressing.

Ingredients for Panko-Crusted Cod

Ingredients for panko crusted cod on a brown background

Here’s what to gather for this dish:

  • Mayonnaise. I love how using mayo in this recipe makes the fish super succulent without much effort. It also helps the breadcrumbs stick to the fish. It really does double duty with regard to locking in moisture.
  • Soy sauce. You can use a light or dark soy sauce for this; whatever you have in your pantry will work fine.
  • Ginger. Ginger gives this recipe a lovely zing and leans into the Asian-style of it all.
  • Chives or green onion. Adds a note of savory goodness to the fish. I like that chives and green onion give a mild oniony taste to the fish.
  • Cod fillets. Fresh or frozen is fine. Cod’s beautiful flaky nature works well with the crisp outer Panko layer.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. Use regular or a gluten-free variant. Panko gives the lightest, crispy crumb that I can’t get enough of.
  • Butter. Salted. You can use margarine or plant-based, and olive oil is a fine substitution too.

How to make Panko-Crusted Cod

You won’t believe how quickly this comes together:

Step-by-step visual instructions for a delicious baked cod with panko recipe
  1. First, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Next, whisk together the first four ingredients, spread this sauce over the cod to coat (don’t pour it over the pan), and reserve the remaining sauce for serving.
  2. Mix melted butter with panko bread crumbs until evenly blended. Top the fish with the panko crumbs and bake it for 10-15 minutes until 125ºF internal temperature is reached.
  3. Rest cod for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve it with more sauce

What to serve with this

  • Rice or couscous
  • Another grain for a fiber-filled grain bowl
  • Sliced cucumber drizzled with sesame oil and topped with sesame seeds
  • Cooked, shelled edamame
  • Steamed veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini and/or spinach

Make ahead instructions

You can mix the sauce ahead of time and set it aside, ready to go. I don’t recommend making the whole recipe up beforehand, though, as you risk drying out the fish.

Storage instructions 

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

To reheat the fish, pop it in the oven and heat it for about 10 minutes at 425ºF. Try to steer clear of the microwave as it may dry the fish out.

Variations 

  • You could omit the soy sauce and ginger and do a plain version with just mayo. Be sure to season the fish if not using soy sauce – you will need ¾ to 1 tsp kosher salt per pound of cod.
  • Mix in a little Parmesan cheese, parsley, and grated lemon zest for a variation on the crust.
  • Add a spicy little punch by adding a pinch of cayenne powder or pepper to your panko mixture.
  • Switch out the fish and make this recipe with salmon or a favorite mild white fish.

How long does cod take to cook?

The cooking time for cod depends on the cooking method and how thick your piece of fish is. Typically, cod should be cooked for 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness, regardless of the cooking method. 

For example, if the cod is 1 inch thick, it should be cooked for 8-10 minutes; if it’s 2 inches wide, it should be cooked for 16-20 minutes. The main thing is to check the internal temperature with a thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to 125°F for perfectly-cooked cod every time.

Delicious-looking freshly baked panko crusted cod, sizzling on a baking sheet

FAQs

How do you know when the cod is done?

Using a thermometer is 100% the best way to perfectly cook fish every time and make sure it is soft and flaky (never dry). 

When 125ºF internal temperature is reached, stop cooking and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Without a thermometer, you can tell doneness when the cod just opaque and will easily flake apart when tested with a fork.

How do you keep cod from being chewy?

To keep cod from being chewy, avoid overcooking it, as it can dry out and become tough. 

Aim to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F and remove it from heat to rest. It will be perfectly flaky, soft and moist every time.

Can you marinate cod overnight?

You can marinate cod overnight depending on the ingredients in the marinade. The risk is the marinade will break down the delicate texture of the fish. 

Acidic marinades, such as those made with vinegar or citrus juice, can denature (and essentially “cook”) the proteins in the fish. Too long and it will be mushy or tough. A good rule of thumb with acidic ingredients is to marinate cod for no more than 30 minutes to an hour.

For this recipe, you could brush this flavor mixture onto the cod up to a day in advance because it does not contain acid. However, it is truly delicious without marinating it in advance, so file this under “quick weeknight recipe”, take the win, and save the finicky advance prep for something else.

Are panko crumbs dairy-free?

Panko crumbs are generally dairy-free as they are typically made from wheat flour, yeast, salt, and water and do not contain any milk or milk products. However, there are exceptions.

It’s always a good idea to check the ingredient list on the package to be sure, as some brands may add milk or milk products as a binding agent or flavoring.

Pro tips and tricks

  • Resting the cod ensures it stays moist, allowing the juices to redistribute and not run out of the hot fish.
  • Using a thermometer is 100% the best way to cook fish perfectly every time and ensure it is soft and flaky (never dry).
  • Press the crumbs down gently onto the mayonnaise to ensure they stick.
  • Pat the fish dry before covering it with the sauce.
  • Store your panko crumbs in a sealed, airtight container to ensure they stay beautifully crisp.

   Other fish recipes you won’t want to miss

Panko Crusted Cod

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Dinner, Lunch
American
Keyword Baked Cod with Panko, Panko Crusted Cod

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 ½ tbsp minced chives or green onion
  • 6 5-oz fresh or frozen cod fillets
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp salted butter melted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  • Whisk together first 4 ingredients and spread this sauce over the salmon to just coat (don’t pour it over the pan). Reserve remaining sauce to serve.
  • Mix melted butter with panko bread crumbs until evenly blended. Top the fish with the panko crumbs and bake it for 10-15 minutes until 125ºF internal temperature is reached.
  • Rest cod for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve it with more sauce

Video

Notes

This recipe is for cod fillets about ½” thick. If your fillets are thicker, you’ll have to add a minute or two to the cooking time (and reduce cooking time if thinner).
To check doneness:
  • using a thermometer is 100% the best way to perfectly cook fish every time and make sure it is soft and flaky (never dry).  When 125ºF internal temperature is reached, stop cooking and let it rest for 5 minutes. Without a thermometer, you can tell doneness when the cod just opaque and will easily flake apart when tested with a fork.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 2gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 424mgPotassium: 32mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 104IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Baked Cod with Panko, Panko Crusted Cod

Last Updated on May 23, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

18 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sonia Seivwright
11 months ago

Delicious fish dish. I enjoy Cod fish for dinner. So there’s no doubt that this would be insanely delicious.

Stephanie
11 months ago

5 stars
Such a delicious and healthy panko crusted cod recipe! The perfect amount of flavoring in this dish.

Ben
Ben
11 months ago

5 stars
Aww yeah. I love fried fish, but I never have it because it’s so unhealthy. Now I can eat it any time I want! Boom!

Beth
11 months ago

Also, I love how much healthier this is!

Last edited 11 months ago by Beth
Beth
11 months ago

5 stars
This cod looks absolutely amazing. I love that crispy, golden crust. Cod is so perfect for recipes like this.

Lisa
11 months ago

Why is fish so much more delicious once it is coated?! It really elevates it. This sounds like a delicious recipe, I’ll be trying it

1 2 3

Join the Foodess Tribe

Be the first to get new recipes and science-based cooking and baking tips straight to your inbox for free

18
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x