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plate of breaded baked fish with vegetables and lemon wedges
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4.83 from 28 votes

Crispy Baked Fish (20 minutes)

A buttery golden brown panko crust crowns this crispy baked fish for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. A perfect fish recipe for people who don't like fish. And for those who do too. Choose any mild white fish and a sauce or condiment you like best (we have lots of suggestions).
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 2 (or 3 smaller portions)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Fish

  • 1 pound (450g) white fish, skinned, cut in even(ish) pieces, Note 1
  • salt and pepper to taste

Panko breadcrumb coating

  • 1 cup (119g) Panko breadcrumbs (or finely crushed Ritz cracker/cornflakes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter use 1 1/2 tbsp for extra buttery crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, Note 2 or Old Bay
  • zest of 1 lemon

Mayonnaise coating

  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise light is fine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

Garnish and dipping sauce

  • lemon wedges
  • dipping sauce options, Note 3

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 425F/217C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a grill/rack on top. Spray rack with cooking spray for easy clean up.
  • TOAST BREADCRUMBS: Pan fry Panko crumbs with butter, lemon zest and Cajun seasoning over medium heat in a large pan for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to burn them. To toast crumbs in oven instead: place crumbs on pan and bake in heated oven for 5-7 minutes, shaking half way through, until golden brown.
  • COAT FISH WITH MAYO, THEN PANKO: Stir mayo mixture ingredients together in a shallow dish and brush on fish in a thin layer on both sides. Sprinkle one side lightly with salt and pepper (skip if cajun seasoning is salty). Then dip pieces of fish in crumbs, patting to help adhere crumbs to fish. Place fish on the rack on top of baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs over fish.
  • BAKE: Bake fish in middle rack of oven for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. One inch (2.5cm) thick fish will take about 10 minutes. Half inch, about 7-8 minutes. An instant thermometer will read 135F/57C. The fish should flake easily and be slightly translucent (not dry). Serve with lemon wedges and your preferred dipping sauce (note 3).

Notes

  1. Fish options: haddock (pictured), sole, cod, tilapia, flounder, grouper, snapper, artic char, halibut, walleye. 
  2. Cajun seasoning alternative: if you don't have Cajun seasoning, use Old Bay or Jerk seasoning. Or try: 1 tsp smoked/regular paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, thyme, cayenne. 
  3. Dipping sauce options (~1/4 cup/60ml): 
    • Tartar sauce (classic): 1/4 cup/60ml mayonnaise, 1/2 tbsp chopped capers, 1 tsp Dijon, 1 tsp lemon juice. 
    • Seafood cocktail sauce: 1/4 cup/60ml ketchup, 1 tbsp prepared horseradish. optional: squeeze of lemon juice and dash or Worcestershire. 
    • Plum sauce
    • Honey mustard
    • Sriracha mayo - add 2 tsp sriracha to 1/4 cup mayo.
    • Lemon garlic mayo - add 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 2 tsp lemon juice to 1/4 cup/60ml mayonnaise. 
    • Fresh herb sauce
    • Red pepper sauce
 
Nutrition values are estimates for two large portions and include light mayonnaise and lemon wedges (no dipping sauce). 
Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 2133mg | Potassium: 814mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2093IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg