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Crispy Parmesan Baked Cod Recipe

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The whole family will love this parmesan baked cod with a crispy crust made of panko bread crumbs, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, garlic, and lemon zest. This baked cod with panko is loaded with crunchy textures, buttery flavors, and tender, flaky fish and only takes about 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights. The pine nut topping for this crispy baked cod is the same as my scallop linguine and I love it so much that I wanted to come up with other ways to use it. And it’s perfect here. 🙂

It may be my Wisconsin fish fry background, but I happen to think that the best way to eat a fish like cod (and a lot of seafood) is with some sort of crunchy topping! The variety of textures is amazing – if you feel the same, be sure to try my panko salmon, furikake salmon, buffalo shrimp, or teriyaki salmon next time you need an easy weeknight meal.

Baked parmesan cod on a plate with broccoli

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What You’ll Love About Parmesan Baked Cod

  • Super easy recipe
  • Family friendly meal
  • Delicious, mild flavors
  • Crunchy coating on tender fish
  • Great way to eat more seafood
  • Made with 8 simple ingredients
  • Just 10 minutes prep time
  • Just 22 minutes total time


This baked Parmesan cod is made with simple ingredients:

  • Pine nuts – I love the mild flavor of pine nuts in this crispy baked cod, but you could also use cashews, almonds, or pistachios.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic as garlic cubes or paste will make the bread crumb mixture mushy.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – This helps give the baked Parmesan cod recipe a really crunchy texture. Panko breadcrumbs have more surface area than traditional bread crumbs so they help give a truly crunchy texture, without needing to deep fry.
  • Parmesan cheese – You can’t make baked cod with Parmesan crust without the Parmesan. I recommend using grated Parmesan (the finer, ground cheese), but you could use roughly chopped shredded if that’s what you have.
  • Lemon – Because we’re using the lemon zest, you’ll need to use a fresh lemon.
  • Cod – Use fresh cod (or frozen fish that has been thawed). You can also use any other white, flaky fish like tilapia, sea bass, flounder, grouper, snapper, mahi mahi, or catfish.
  • Butter – This helps give rich flavor to the light fish.
Ingredients to make baked cod with panko

How to Make Baked Cod with Panko

Ok, let’s make this baked cod with panko and Parmesan!

  • Make breadcrumb mixture. In a food processor, pulse together pine nuts and garlic until chopped into small pieces.
Garlic and pine nut mixture for panko cod topping
  • Mix in panko. Add in panko bread crumbs and pulse until combined. Stir in Parmesan cheese and lemon zest, transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.
Panko bread crumb mixture in a food processor
  • Prep fish fillets. Pat fish dry with paper towels and place fish onto foil-lined (or parchment paper) baking sheet. Top fish with a pat of butter, season with garlic salt and top cod fish with panko Parmesan mixture.
Baked cod with panko bread crumbs on baking sheet
  • Bake fish. Bake fish until cooked through and fish flakes easily and breadcrumbs are golden brown. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley if desired.
Crispy baked cod on a plate with broccoli and lemon

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should cod be cooked to?

Most fish recipes should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

Do you flip cod while baking?

It depends on the recipe, but for this particular cod baked with panko, we do not want to flip the fish while baking as the crunchy coating will fall off.

Crispy cod baked with parmesan and panko

Storage Instructions

This baked Parmesan cod recipe is best served immediately. If you have leftovers, store fish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat fish in the air fryer (for best results) or a 350 degrees F oven until heated through, being careful to not overcook as fish can get rubbery.

Can you freeze breadcrumb baked cod?

No, I would not recommend freezing the cooked cod as the breadcrumbs will fall off. If you want to make less, adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below for an updated ingredient list.

How to Serve Crispy Baked Cod to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

If you aren’t sure that your kids will eat this easy baked fish recipe (or it’s a new or learning-to-like food), serve a tiny piece of it in a pinch bowl as a “taster” and be sure to serve it with a few foods you know they will eat (at our house that’s milk, bread, fruit, and/or Caesar salad).

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Crispy baked Parmesan cod on a plate

What to Serve with Crispy Baked Cod

This Parmesan baked cod recipe needs one or two side dishes to turn it into a full meal:

More Easy Seafood Recipes

If you like this baked cod with breadcrumbs and parmesan, you might also like some of these other easy seafood recipes:

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Baked parmesan cod on a plate with broccoli

Crispy Parmesan Baked Cod Recipe

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You’ll love this crispy Parmesan baked cod with panko! Its crunchy topping is loaded with flavor and the perfect contrast to flaky, tender fish. 


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (high quality)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 4 cod fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a small food processor, pulse together garlic and pine nuts until chopped into small pieces. Add panko bread crumbs and pulse until combined. Stir in lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
  3. Place fish onto foil. Top with pat of butter, sprinkle with garlic salt, and divide panko mixture over the top. ⁠
  4. Bake fish in middle rack for 10 minutes, then turn broiler on high and broil for 1-2 minutes, until bread crumbs are golden brown and fish is cooked through and flakes easily. ⁠

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