How to Bake Cod

Two Methods:Baking Cod (Simple)Making Breaded Cod

Cod is a white fish with a delicate, mild flavor and firm flesh. While you can prepare cod in a variety of way, baking it is quick, easy, and hassle-free. It also allows you to pack a lot of flavor into the fish, whether you want it mild and unadorned, spiced up with vegetables, or lightly breaded.


Servings: 4

  • 1 pound (450g) cod fillets, cleaned.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 cup bread crumbs (for breaded cod only)
  • Spices, to taste

Method 1
Baking Cod (Simple)

  1. Image titled Bake Cod Step 1
    Rinse and thaw your cod fillets. When done, pat them dry. You want your fillets to be roughly the same thickness, as this ensures that they all cook at the same rate in the oven.
  2. Image titled Bake Cod Step 2
    Preheat your oven to 350ºF/180ºC and prepare your pan. Get out a baking dish and line it with parchment paper so the cod do not stick to the bottom while cooking.
  3. Image titled Bake Cod Step 3
    Lightly season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Mix 1-2 teaspoons of salt and pepper in a small bowl and apply this to both sides of the fish, sprinkling it on top. There is no "right" amount to use, but when in doubt go light -- you can always add more before serving. Place the fillets in the baking dish when you are done.
    • If you have coarse or kosher salt, use this instead of table salt. The larger grains of salt will not dissolve as quickly, leading to a more even flavor in the fish.
  4. Image titled Bake Cod Step 4
    Mix together the soft butter or margarine, lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon of butter and lemon juice and a dash of onion or garlic powder
    • This is a good time to add any additional seasonings you enjoy. Try out a teaspoon of chili powder, paprika, and/or cayenne for a hotter fish, or oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or basil for an Italian herb mixture.
    • While you can substitute some olive oil for butter, the fat in butter is essential for keeping the fish moist and flaky.
  5. Image titled Bake Cod Step 5
    Spread the butter/margarine mixture over the tops of the fish fillets. Place small dollops of the mixture over the fish and use a rubber spatula to evenly coat the tops of the fish. As the fish cooks the butter will melt into the flakes of the fish, coating the inside for a moist, silky, and flaky texture at the end.
  6. Image titled Bake Cod Step 6
    Bake the fish 15 to 20 minutes. When the fish is done the white flesh will easily flake off when pulled with a fork. There should be big full flakes when the fish is cut, not a thin crumb-like texture..
  7. Image titled Bake Cod Step 7
    Try out variations on baked cod. You can quickly adapt this recipe to get surprising new flavors with your main dish:
    • Cook the cod with chopped vegetables, such as 1 large tomato, 1 green bell pepper, 1 yellow squash or zucchini, 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved, and cloves garlic, all finely chopped, for a full one-pan meal. Toss the veggies with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place them around the fish, letting them cook simultaneously.[1]
    • Chop up 1/2 cup of fresh parsley and add it to your butter mixture before applying.
    • Melt your butter ahead of time and dip the cod in it, coating the entire thing in seasoning. You can then dip the buttered fillets in flour for a light bread coating.

Method 2
Making Breaded Cod

  1. Image titled Bake Cod Step 8
    Rinse, clean, and dry your cod fillets. Try and purchase fillets that are roughly the same texture. This ensures that they all cook at the same temperature and you don't end up with any undercooked of dry pieces.[2]
  2. Image titled Bake Cod Step 9
    Pre-heat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. The foil will prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom. In the event that you don't have foil, lightly brush the bottom of the pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
  3. Image titled Bake Cod Step 10
    Mix your breadcrumbs in with seasoning in a small bowl. Take 1-1/2 cups of bread crumbs (regular if you want smooth-textured cod, panko for extra crispy) and mix in 1 teaspoon sea salt, cracked black pepper, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and any other desired spices. Toss the mixture so that the ingredients are mixed in evenly and set aside.
    • This breadcrumb mixture is easily customized, as the only "essential" ingredients are the breadcrumbs and the salt.
    • If you want new seasonings, you can't go wrong with a teaspoon of chili powder, paprika, and/or cayenne for a hotter fish. For an herb mixture, try 1 tsp dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, and/or basil.
  4. Image titled Bake Cod Step 11
    Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Chop the butter in small cubes to help it melt faster, and work the microwave in intervals of 30 seconds or less. You don't need the butter to be hot, just melted into a liquid. Mix in the juice from 1 large lemon once it is melted.
  5. Image titled Bake Cod Step 12
    Coat the fish in the butter mixture, then the breadcrumbs. Dip each fillet in the butter, coating both sides, then move it to the breadcrumb mixture. Lightly press the fish into the breadcrumbs so that it is coated completely, then set in the baking dish. Once all the fish is in the pan, pour any remaining butter mixture over the fillets.
  6. Image titled Bake Cod Step 13
    Cook the fish for 12-15 minutes. The fish should be flaky and moist when removed. and it will feel firm. If the inside is shiny and translucent, cook them for another 2-3 minutes. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of fresh parsley and serve.[3]
  7. Image titled Bake Cod Step 14
    Try out several variations on the dish to suit your liking. Cod has a mild flavor that makes it easy to adapt. This means you can customize the dish to your liking with a few easy tweaks.
    • For a low-cal version, cut the butter and breadcrumb mixtures in half. Simply drizzle the butter on top of the fish and sprinkle your breadcrumbs only on the top of the fish.
    • Toss 2-3 chopped tomatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, and one sliced onion with a tablespoon of olive oil and surround the fish with the vegetables when cooking for an easy side-dish to go with the fish.
    • Substitute breadcrumbs for 1/2 cup of flour for a lighter coating on your cod.[4]


  • Large cod tends to be cut into fillets, slices or pieces, ready for purchase.[5] Cod is generally well liked by chefs because its larger bone structure makes it easy to see and pick out the bones.
  • Cod is not a fatty fish and it's full of mineral salts.[5] Oil found in lean fish, like cod, is stored in your liver rather than in your flesh, making it especially healthy.[6]


  • Avoid prolonged cooking of cod––too much time in the oven will spoil its delicate flavor and can destroy its flaky presentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring spoons
  • Baking dish (cover with parchment paper if needed)
  • Oven mitts

Article Info

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