Panko Baked Cod.

Cod loin filets topped with a mixture of Italian seasoned panko crumbs, grated parmesan, chopped parsley, lemon zest, sun dried tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, then baked until the topping is crisp and golden and the fish is flaky and succulent. You will love the crunchy texture and Mediterranean flavor on this cod, it will easily become a favorite fish dinner in your home, as it has in ours!

An image of a sheet pan of panko crusted cod loin

Fresh fish needs very little to make it incredible. A bit of fat (in this case olive oil), a little seasoning (this amazing panko crumb mixture) and some lemon. That’s it. This cod fish dinner is beyond simple to prepare comes together in minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight or for serving to guests when you don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen.

What’s this panko crust made of?

  • Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • Lemon zest
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can sub dried. And, if you don’t like sun dried tomatoes, just omit them, as the lemon zest adds tons of flavor, freshness, brightness and acidity.

A panko crumb mixture in a bowl that will be used for cod loin

After you combine the panko mixture ingredients, you simply mound it atop the cod loin filets and bake in a 425 degree pre-heated oven.

An overhead image of raw cod loin with panko crumbs.

What is cod loin?

Cod is a mild, flaky, pearly white fish. It’s gorgeous! A cod filet is typically a long filet, with thickness varying throughout. The cod loin is cut from the thickest part of the filet – the center section. The cod loin is a thick piece of fish, which I prefer to the full filet, because the uniform thickness will cook more evently. Here, I used just over a pound of cod loin and cut it into 4 pieces. At our local fish market, they didn’t have the cod loin on the seafood display, they had to grab it from the back. If you can’t get just the loin, a whole cod filet with work just fine.

Can I use another type of white fish?

Sure! You can use any mild white fish. Haddock, tilapia, halibut, grouper, snapper, etc. Adjust the cooking time, depending on the thickness of the filets. I used cod loin here, which was about 1.5 inches thick.

An overhead shot of cod on a baking sheet

How do I know the fish is done?

These cod loin filets took about 12 minutes in a 425 degree oven to cook through. You know the cod is done when it turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Insert the fork at an angle, at the thickest point, and twist gently. The fish will flake easily when itโ€™s done, and it won’t be translucent. The fish at its thickest point should reach a temperature of 140-145 degrees, as measured with a meat thermometer. As a rule of thumb, cook the fish for 10 minutes for every 1 inch of thickness.

An image of a panko crusted cod loin

What are the health benefits of cod?

Cod is packed with protein, as is all seafood (protein is essential for building and repairing cells) and B vitamins (important for energy production). Cod is also rich in phosphorous (important for the health of your bones and teeth), selenium (important for thyroid health, immune health and reproduction) and magnesium (essential for healthy blood pressure and immune function).

What should I serve this Panko Baked Cod with?

First, you gotta have lemon slices. Which should be no problem, because you use the zest of 1 lemon for the topping. Then, we love serving this easy baked fish with any roasted veggie, especially broccoli or cauliflower. I usually just toss the broccoli or cauliflower with olive oil, garlic salt and ground black pepper, then roast at 425 for ~30-40 minutes, turning once. The cauliflower will take a bit longer than the broccoli. Then, serve with a nice loaf of fresh bread with salted, whipped butter.

An image of one piece of panko crusted cod loin

Is this fish dinner family friendly?

Yes! The crispy topping is definitely a kid pleaser. But … if your kids are in the stage my kids are currently (2 and 4), they may not like the green parsley flecks and the sun-dried tomatoes. My kids scaped the topping off completely. So, for those kiddos who love the crunch, but prefer their fish more “plain,” you can set aside 1-2 pieces of cod and make a separate panko mixture with just panko crumbs, parmesan and olive oil.

An overhead shot of cod loin on a baking sheet with lemon slices

Here’s how to make this Panko Crusted Cod recipe:

Panko Baked Cod

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Panko Baked Cod
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (curly or flat) washed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 heaping tablespoon slivered sun dried tomatoes in herbs and oil drained and chopped
  • 1 lemon washed, zested then cut into wedges
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1.25 pounds cod loin patted dry and cut into 4 equal portions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, parsley, parmesan, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  • Place cod loin onto baking sheet. Mound panko mixture on top of each piece of cod. Drizzle cod loin with additional olive oil, if desired. (I like to do this for added richness, moisture and flavor).
  • Bake cod for 12-15 minutes, until cod is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven.
  • Serve cod with lemon wedges, your favorite roasted veggies (broccoli or cauliflower would be great) and a loaf of whole grain bread.

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