Sheet Pan Panko Crusted Cod with Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Basil.
Tender cod breaded with Italian seasoned panko crumbs and baked with fresh summer corn, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil then topped with slivered basil and served with lemon wedges. From start to finish, this kid-friendly dinner takes less than 30 minutes. And, it’s perfect for busy back-to-school nights because it’s all made on one sheet pan, which means cleanup is a breeze.
Thanks to my friends at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership for sponsoring this post, as part of an ongoing partnership. As always, all opinions are my own.
We are back this week with more inspiration to help you eat your #Seafood2xWk! If you read my last post, you know that I’ve taken the pledge to eat seafood 2 times a week both for better health and because here at My Cape Cod Kitchen (not surprisingly), we love our seafood. Actually, we usually surpass our goal and eat seafood 3-4 times a week. Once or twice a week we have salmon for dinner and then once or twice we have shellfish or white fish. And on weekends, we also have some canned tuna lunches thrown in there. Why are we committed to eating seafood twice a week? In addition to heart smart and brain health promoting omega-3 fatty acids, seafood includes other important nutrients for overall health and wellness, including selenium, iron, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and lean protein. We all should be enjoying seafood more often for flavor and health benefits.
Today, I’ve got a family-friendly fish recipe to share with you that not only celebrates seafood, but also celebrates the best of end-of-summer produce. Because is anything more delicious than summer corn, tomatoes, basil and panko crusted cod? Not too many things. This Sheet Pan Panko Crusted Cod with Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Basil will be on repeat in our house until the end-of-summer tomatoes disappear.
For our family, sheet pan dinners are our good friends. Best friends actually. For your family too? Especially if they are simple, flavorful and kiddo approved. One pan dinners mean fewer dishes to clean, which is always a very good thing around these parts. Often, I find my days passing by with 8-10 hours spent in the kitchen. Between cooking, eating, doing dishes, wiping the floors (3 times a day … after every meal because both Lucca and Lexi drop a ton of food and Lexi eats anything that’s left on the floor, even if it’s weeks old … ugh) … and doing it all over again, I spend a lot (too much??) time in the kitchen. And, if I am developing or shooting a recipe on any given day, that time goes up even more. So. The more one pot/pan meals, the less time spent cleaning up. And that means more time playing with the little ones or going to sleep earlier or having an adult conversation with Adrian (rare these days because of the constant chaos that comes from having a 3 and 1 year old).
This Sheet Pan Panko Crusted Cod with Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Basil dinner comes together with no fuss. The hardest part of the recipe is cutting the kernels off the cob, but you can do that in minutes, right? Sure, you can use frozen corn if you prefer, but it won’t be quite the same. The fresh local corn is just too good right now. Also, if you can grab the tomatoes from your garden, do that.
We used cod for this dish, because it’s local (our local fish market is currently sourcing it from Gloucester, MA, just north of Boston) and has a mild, light flavor. It’s perfect for kiddos or adults who are just trying out fish and don’t want a “fishy” or strong-tasting fish. Cod goes really nicely with the end of summer veggies and the Italian spices in the bread crumbs. If you can’t get cod, any of these would work well too: haddock, bass, flounder, grouper, snapper or tilapia. When choosing the fish to buy, let freshness be your guide. If the cod doesn’t look that great, opt for another choice. This cod is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil then crusted with a light coating of seasoned panko crumbs. Lucca loved the “crunchy fish.” He can be touch and go with crispy and crusted things. He tends not to like a lot of grill marks or hard edges on his food, but he loved the cod prepared this way. And Lexi, double fisted the cod, so I guess that means it’s a winner in her eyes.
If your kiddo(s) is hesitant or refuses to try seafood, here are a few tips that have worked for us over the years in raising little seafoodies:
- Pair it with something familiar.Both of our kids love corn and tomatoes (and fresh rolls, of course), so this meal is already familiar to them.
- Don’t fear the flavor.Our kiddos don’t like spicy things, but they do like flavor. So, I add flavor without going overboard. One thing Lucca doesn’t like though is green things (herbs) in his food, so I remove any fresh herbs in his portion.
- Try it at lunch.Lucca is a lot more willing to try new foods at lunch time. That’s how we got him to try canned tuna. I had tuna in my salad one day and he wanted to try it. I didn’t even have to offer it up. Dinnertime tends to be the witching hour, so it’s less likely he’ll try something new.
- Put it on YOUR plate.Or, in our case, Daddy’s. Lucca will eat whatever Daddy eats, so be a role model by eating the foods you want your child to eat.
- Add a dipping sauce.If you missed these Sweet and Sour Scallop Kabobs, they are a kid favorite and are served with a soy ginger peanut butter dipping sauce. Tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, sour cream/Greek yogurt mixed with Old Bay Seasoning, citrus vinaigrette or even ranch dressing are great sauces to try with seafood. Or offer simply melted butter and lemon juice.
- Crust it and cake it.Add crunchy seasoned breadcrumbs, like in this case. Or put fish or shellfish into a cake – (like salmon pattiesor crab cakes).
- Don’t force it.If your kiddo doesn’t want to try it, move on and try another day. Often times it takes multiple exposures to a new flavor before a child begins to like it.
What is your family’s favorite way to eat seafood?
Have you taken the Pledge to Eat #Seafood2xWk? You can do so here .
Here’s how to make this Sheet Pan Panko Crusted Cod with Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Basil recipe:
Sheet Pan Panko Crusted Cod with Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Basil
- 1 1/2 pounds cod filets
- 5 ears corn, shucked and corn kernels sliced off the cob
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt we used Essex garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup italian seasoned panko crumbs
- 10 fresh basil leaves, slivered
- lemon wedges
- warm rolls or a sliced toasted baguette
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.
- Place cod filets in the center of the baking sheet. Scatter corn kernels and tomatoes around cod. Drizzle cod and veggies with extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Sprinkle fish with panko crumbs.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cod is cooked through, stirring the veggies halfway through cooking time. Cod will be done well you insert a fork into the thickest part of the filet and twist gently. The fish will flake easily when it’s done and will lose its translucent or raw appearance. A good rule of thumb for cooking fish is to use the 10-minute rule: measure fish at its thickest point and cook it for 10 minutes per inch.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven. Sprinkle fish and veggies with basil. Serve with lemon wedges and toasted rolls.
A few tips for purchasing fresh fish:
- When buying fish, it should not smell fishy, it should smell of the sea. If it smells overly fishy, avoid it.
- Your fish flesh should be firm to the touch. Firmness indicates freshness. And the flesh should be intact, not ripping apart.
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