Panko Crusted Cod

cod fillet crusted with panko crumbs on plate with fork and lemon on the side.

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This easy cod recipe is full of flavor from a quick seasoning blend and a touch of lemon zest. The panko coating is adhered with a thin coating of lemony mayo, which helps add flavor and moisture to the fish.


Units Scale
  • 1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless cod fillets (four 4-ounce portions)
  • 3/4 cup (50 g) plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon (zest + 2 teaspoons juice)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; for table salt use 1/2 teaspoon, see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Mix together the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
  3. Finely zest the lemon, set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the the panko, melted butter, lemon zest, and about half the seasoning mixture. Set aside. (See note 2.)
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo and 2 teaspoons lemon juice with a fork (or small whisk) until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Gently pat the cod fillets dry all around with a paper towel. Season them on all sides with the remaining seasoning mix.
  7. With a pastry brush, brush the tops and sides of the cod fillets with the prepared lemon-mayo mixture. It's ok if there is some of the mayo mixture left over. (See note 3.)
  8. Coat the tops and sides of the cod fillets with the panko. You can start by sprinkling on the crumbs, then use your hands to gently pat the crumbs on so the tops and sides of the cod fillets are evenly coated. (Don't press too hard, you want to avoid compacting the panko too much.)
  9. Move the cod to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the panko is golden brown and the thickest part of the cod reaches 145 degrees F.  The cooking time will vary based on how thick the cod is and your own oven.


I used Diamond Crystal kosher salt for this recipe, which has lighter and flakier crystals than regular table salt or Morton kosher salt. To substitute fine grain salt, use only 1/2 teaspoon in the recipe. To substitute Morton kosher salt, use a little more than 1/2 teaspoon (about 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon). Or, measure by weight, for any type of salt (3 g).

To quickly and easily melt the butter, you can microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for 15 - 20 seconds on high. To catch any spatter, cover the top of the bowl with a paper towel. 

If you don't have a pastry brush, you can spread the mayo mixture on the cod with the back of a spoon, but be sure to make a thin coating.

The nutrition information below is an estimate only; the nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brands and exact amounts of ingredients used. This information was provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.


Keywords: panko crusted cod, baked cod with panko