Parmesan Baked Cod Recipe with Lemon
Mild tasting cod encased in a flavorful, crispy crust, this Parmesan baked cod is a simple and delicious way to add healthy seafood to your weekday menu. High in protein and low in fat, inexpensive cod is a great choice.
I often default to chicken and turkey as my go-to choices for dinner. However, living in Michigan, I’m pretty much surrounded by lakes so I can’t make the excuse that seafood isn’t available. (In case you’re wondering, both salt water and fresh water fish are considered “sea” food. I Googled it!). I don’t think my mom prepared fish very often when I was growing up so maybe unfamiliarity is part of the reason it’s not the first thing I reach for at the grocery store.
My food preferences are constantly changing, though, and we eat salmon almost every week. I love salmon prepared in a variety of ways, like this grilled salmon, baked salmon with lemon and chives, and salmon with maple mustard glaze. We often have salmon instead of ham for family holidays like Easter or Christmas.
Although my salmon recipes are popular, some of you had requested recipes for other varieties of fish. I absolutely love reader requests, and I try to make the requested recipes happen whenever I can, so today I’m bringing you this recipe for delicious Parmesan baked cod. I think it’s perfect and I’m sure you will too.
As always, let me know if you make this recipe and send any recipe requests my way!
About this Parmesan baked cod recipe:
Cod is a mild tasting white fish that easily adapts to a variety of cooking methods. It can be baked, fried, poached, broiled, or steamed. Use its mild flavor as a base for delicious seasonings and sauces.
I purchase cod fillets at the meat counter of my grocery store. Using frozen cod is okay but I find that it tends to be more watery.
To prepare, rinse each fillet, pat dry thoroughly with paper towels, and cut into serving size pieces.
For this easy recipe, I spread a little mayonnaise on each fillet before lightly coating it with a mixture of Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, and paprika. I place the cod fillets on a baking rack set on a sheet pan for added crispness. I pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the coating is crispy and the fish is done. So simple and delicious.
I serve the Parmesan baked cod fillets with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.
How do you know when cod is done?
Use an instant-read thermometer (like this one) to check the internal temperature of the fish. It should be at least 145ºF.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can easily check the doneness by inserting a fork in the thickest part of the fillet and twisting the fork slightly. If the cod resists the twist, and is still translucent in appearance, it isn’t done yet. Cod should flake easily and be opaque when it’s done.
Some of your fillets may be thicker and will take a little longer to bake. If you want, you can remove the thinner pieces so they don’t get overdone and let the thicker pieces bake a bit longer.
Don’t overcook the cod. It should be moist and tender, not dry and hard.
What do you serve with cod?
Parmesan baked cod is a mild tasting protein that can be served with almost any side: pasta, potatoes, vegetables, salad. Whatever you would serve with chicken or pork would also taste great with baked cod. It’s not fishy tasting so most people will enjoy it.
Is cod good for you?
Cod is high in protein and low in fat. A 3 oz serving has only 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 19 grams of protein! It’s a good source of B vitamins and minerals.
How to make this baked cod your own:
- Use panko or bread crumbs in place of the parmesan. Or use a combination.
- Instead of spreading the filets with mayonnaise, you could brush melted butter or olive oil on them. We did test it this way and found they didn’t get quite as crispy, but they were still tasty.
- Don’t have a baking rack? Just set the fillets right into the baking pan. Again, they may be a little less crispy but will still be delicious.
- Add seasonings that you like: garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, etc. I wouldn’t add salt because the mayonnaise and Parmesan provide quite a bit of saltiness.
Reheating and Storage Tips
If you have any cod left over, you can wrap it well with plastic wrap or put it into a resealable container. It should keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
I like to reheat mine in the toaster oven for 10 minutes or so at 350ºF. You could also reheat it by broiling it for a few minutes so the coating gets crispy again. The fillets could also be warmed in the microwave.
Side dish recipes that would go great with this cod:
As I mentioned above, Parmesan baked cod is pretty easy to pair with side dishes. Here’s a few I like:
- 4 boneless cod fillets (about 4 oz. each)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Optional: lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare baking pan: line with a sheet of foil, place baking rack on top. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Wash cod fillets and use a paper towel to dry thoroughly.
- Place fillets on baking rack. Spread mayonnaise evenly on each fillet.
- In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, paprika, and black pepper. Cover the top of fillets with Parmesan mixture, lightly patting so it adheres.
- Bake 22-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time will depend on how thick the fillets are. Internal temperature should be 140-145ºF.
- Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 oz fillets
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 113mg Sodium: 412mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Protein: 45g
Verdict: I’m a sucker for anything with a crispy crust or coating and this cod is no different. I love it!
Husband’s take: Ben likes seafood a lot and enjoys this fish!
Changes I would make: None are necessary!