This is the easiest and most delicious recipe for baked panko cod. Creme fraiche melts into the cod, making the fish moist and flavorful while seasoned Panko bakes into a crunchy topping. Bonus: A creamy, zippy creme fraiche and mustard sauce on the side.
I'm often tempted to buy affordable cod or tilapia, but then I get it home and always wonder, what should I do with this fish?
Now I know, and this is exactly how you should prepare cod too. This recipe for baked panko cod (or any white fish ) is really easy and mess-free, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time.
Adults love baked panko cod, kids love it, and you'll feel like a talented chef when you serve this panko crusted fish, even though secretly you'll know the recipe is dead simple.
This cod is moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It's a little bit salty and flavored with everyone's favorite seafood spice mix, Old Bay Seasoning.
Bonus: It's served with a really delicious creme fraiche and mustard sauce on the side, which is kind of like tartar sauce for grown-ups (but don't get me wrong, I still love tartar sauce too!)
The Easiest Recipe for Baked Panko Fish
- Pat dry and lightly salt & pepper thin fillets of white fish
- Spread a thin layer of creme fraiche on each fish fillet
- Mix together panko, olive oil, Old Bay Seasoning and salt
- Spread and pat the panko on top of the fish
- Bake 12 minutes
For an extra-fancy finish, snip chives, parsley or dill on the baked fish and serve the baked panko fish with creme fraiche and mustard sauce on the side.
Why Use Creme Fraiche?
Creme fraiche melts into the fish as it bakes, insuring that the fish will be moist and flavorful, instead of dry and/or bland.
What is Panko?
Panko breadcrumbs are crispy and crunchy Japanese breadcrumbs. I find that they make a crunchier topping than regular breadcrumbs.
I also use panko breadcrumbs to make Crispy Tofu Schnitzel.
How to Make Creme Fraiche & Mustard Sauce
This creamy sauce is easy and versatile. I love it with all types of fish, and also with potatoes and other roasted vegetables.
To make the sauce, whisk together creme fraiche, stone ground mustard, lemon and a pinch of hot pepper. That's it!
Frequently Asked Questions About Creme Fraiche & Baked Cod with Panko
Creme fraiche is cultured cream. It's very rich and creamy and has a consistency that's similar to sour cream.
Buy creme fraiche that doesn’t have any added stabilizers or thickeners. The only ingredient should be cultured cream. It will taste better and melt better into the fish. My favorite brand is Bellwether Farms. Creme fraiche is sold in the refrigerated dairy aisle, sometimes near the cheese and sometimes near the sour cream.
I also use creme fraiche to make My Favorite Cheesy Lasagna extra creamy.
Creme fraiche has a higher fat content and is richer than sour cream. It often has a flavor that is less tangy than sour cream. Unlike sour cream, creme fraiche won't curdle in hot sauces or soups.
Thin fillets of cod, tilapia, snapper or other white fish all work well in this recipe. "White fish" is simply a category of mild-flavored fish that's usually more affordable.
I haven't tried gluten-free panko for this recipe. If you do, let me know! I can say, however, that Rice crumbs don’t work as well as panko does. The rice crumbs don’t brown and don’t have as much flavor. However, I've read about finely ground Rice Chex cereal being a good gluten-free substitute for panko. Has anyone tried it? Let me know!
Either will work. The photos for this recipe are taken of panko fish with whole wheat panko (it has a nice, golden color even before baking).
More Fish and Seafood Recipes You'll Love
- Tuna and Orzo Pasta Salad
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Green Beans Sesame-Lime Dressing
- Shrimp Linguine with Arugula Walnut Pesto
- Shrimp and Feta Garlic Bread
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Baked Panko Cod with Creme Fraiche and Mustard Sauce
This is easy, mess-free and the most delicious recipe for baked panko cod. Creme fraiche melts into the cod, making the fish moist and flavorful while seasoned Panko bakes into a crunchy topping.
Kids might like store-bought tartar sauce with the fish, and I have to admit, I’m a fan of tartar sauce too. However, for a more grown-up sauce, use the leftover creme fraiche to make a creamy, zippy mustard sauce.
If you choose to serve asparagus and roasted potatoes with the fish - and I think you should - the mustard sauce is amazing drizzled over vegetables as well. On really busy nights, I just serve this panko fish with defrosted, frozen peas.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 12
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Fish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
- 1 pound thin fillets of cod (or tilapia or other white fish)
- ⅓ cup creme fraiche
- ¾ cup white or whole wheat panko
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seasoning salt)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season fillets
- Fresh herbs, to garnish the fish (chives, dill and parsley are all good)
Creme Fraiche and Mustard Sauce
- ¼ cup creme fraiche
- 3 teaspoons whole grain/stone ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or a pinch of cayenne
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Lightly oil a sheet pan or cover with parchment or foil.
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels and lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the creme fraiche out evenly over the top of each fish fillet, so each fillet is topped with a thin layer of creme fraiche.
- Combine panko, olive oil, Old Bay seasoning and salt in a small bowl.
- Use a spoon to lightly pat and spread the panko on top of the fish, evenly covering the fillets.
- Bake 12 minutes, until the top is golden and the fish easily flakes apart with a fork.
- Snip fresh herbs over the fish before serving.
Make sure to only buy creme fraiche that doesn’t have any added stabilizers or thickeners. The only ingredient should be cultured cream. It will taste better and melt better into the fish.
If the fish fillets are thicker, you might have to bake them slightly longer than 12 minutes.
Keywords: Baked Panko Cod, baked panko fish, baked fish, panko cod panko tilapia, creme fraiche
I love cod, it's my favourite white fish and treat when available. Saving this recipe to try later!
This was such a fresh change from our usual dinner routine. My kids had fun trying the mustard sauce vs tartar sauce and giving their opinion. It was delicious!
The panko topping wins me over every time. This is a keeper…thanks for sharing!
I love panko too! It makes everything taste better!
I'm always looking for new fish recipes and this one sounds amazing! I love the creme fraiche trick!
It really does help the fish stay moist, even if it's overcooked a little bit. Glad you like the recipe!
I love the texture added to the cod from the crunchy topping!