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There are some main courses that just seem to have it all and Parmesan Baked Cod is a great example. Tender baked cod is crowned with a crunchy, cheesy, herbaceous blend of grated parmesan cheese, panko breadcrumbs, Italian herbs, and a splash of fresh lemon juice. And that's just the beginning.
It's weeknight easy, but date night and dinner party elegant; hearty and decadently flavorful, but low in calories; easy to prepare and made in less than 30 minutes. It's an exemplary main course that's sure to impress everyone at your table.
Ingredients You Need to Make Parmesan Baked Cod
- Panko Breadcrumbs: or regular breadcrumbs in a pinch
- Cod Fillets: or other firm white fish
- Olive Oil: ideally good, extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon: for juice and zest, plus lemon wedges for serving, optional
- Fresh Chives: or green onions
- Fresh Parsley: fresh flat leaf parsley (also called Italian parsley)
- Parmesan Cheese: or Pecorino Romano cheese
- Kosher Salt: or half the amount of fine sea salt
- Black Pepper: ideally freshly ground
- Though you can use regular breadcrumbs here, I recommend using panko breadcrumbs instead for a lighter, crispier topping.
- Baking on an oven-safe rack set inside a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet guarantees even cooking, a crispy topping that doesn't get soggy at the edges and easy cleanup.
- When it’s time to add the topping, gently press it into the fish to ensure it adheres and forms a delectable and crispy crust.
- Serve with lemon wedges for a blast of freshness to bring out all of the deep, savory flavors.
- Swap in any firm, mild white fish you like for the cod in this recipe.
More Great Ways to Enjoy Cod
- Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Red Potatoes or Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
- Rapini with Raisins and Hazelnuts or Garlic Butter Green Beans
How to Make Parmesan Baked Cod
Combine panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, chives, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Pat dry cod fillets with paper towels and rub all over with olive oil; drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Lightly season with salt and pepper and arrange on an oiled oven-safe rack set inside a parchment lined baking sheet. Divide panko mixture evenly over fish fillets and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in an oven preheated to 425°F until breading is crisp and fish flakes easily with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.
Parmesan Baked Cod
- ⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 6-ounce cod fillets or other firm white fish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ small lemon juice and zest, plus lemon wedges for serving, optional
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives plus more for garnish, optional
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish, optional
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1 ½ ounces
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning fish
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning fish
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place an oven-safe rack inside; spray or brush rack with oil to prevent fish from sticking. (If you don't have an oven-proof cooling rack, you can bake directly on the parchment paper)
- Pat cod fillets dry and rub all over with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper and arrange on rack in baking sheet.
- To a small bowl add panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest, chives, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; stir well to combine. Divide panko mixture evenly over the tops of fillets, gently pressing down on the breading to be sure it adheres. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil evenly over the fillets.
- Bake at 425°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until breading is crisp and fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.