Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon and Panko

Meet your new go-to spring dinner! This herb-crusted cod recipe is light, fresh, and bursting with vibrant flavors. Think tender cod fillets, fresh herbs, zesty lemon, and a crispy panko crust all coming together in under 30 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something healthy and delicious without the fuss.

Lemon herb crusted cod on a white plate with slice of lemon and parsley.

Delish Fish Dinner

This easy baked herb crusted cod recipe takes full advantage of fresh spring herbs to bring a light and aromatic touch to your table.

This dish strikes that perfect balance of looking gorgeous on the plate and being surprisingly simple to whip up in less than an hour. Herb-crusted fish is a personal favorite of mine—it’s straightforward enough for a weeknight family dinner but also has that elegant flair that makes it perfect for entertaining guests.

It pairs the mild, flaky texture of cod with a lively crust, brimming with the zest of lemon and the crisp, green flavors of spring. It’s the perfect meal to welcome the brighter days ahead.

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Two photos of lemon herb crusted cod with the title in between for pinterest pin.

Why this Recipe is a Keeper


  • Fresh and Flavorful: The combination of fresh parsley, dill, and chives with zesty lemon gives this cod a bright, vibrant flavor that screams spring.
  • Quick and Easy: With minimal prep and just 15 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a healthy, delicious meal ready in no time.
  • Versatile and Elegant: This dish pairs beautifully with a variety of sides and looks stunning on the plate, perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.

Looking for more easy weeknight dinner ideas? Be sure to try our oven-baked pesto crusted salmon, our quick pesto butter salmon, our creamy chicken corn chowder, and our creamy rainbow vegetable pasta, with lemon and parmesan.


Seasonal Produce Spotlight:

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a time to celebrate the abundance of fresh, vibrant herbs that thrive in the region’s cool, moist climate.

While many culinary herbs put on their best growth in summer, herbs like chervil, chives, cilantro, dill and parsley can be harvested in spring. 

  • Parsley, with its bright, peppery notes, is versatile and perfect for everything from salads to sauces.
  • Dill offers a fresh, tangy flavor that pairs wonderfully with seafood and spring vegetables.
  • Chives add a delicate onion-like sharpness, ideal for garnishing dishes.
  • Cilantro, known for its distinct, citrusy flavor, is essential in many cuisines and adds a burst of freshness to any dish.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients laid out on a marble counter for herb crusted cod.

*Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

Recipe Roadmap with Images

1

PreHEAT & PRep

Heat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray baking dish with cooking oil.

2

Mix the Sauce

Mix lemon juice and 1 tbsp melted butter in a shallow bowl.

3

Mix the Herb Crust

Combine remaining melted butter, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, dill, chives, panko, salt, and pepper in another bowl.

4

Dress The Cod

Dip cod fillets in the lemon butter sauce.

5

Coat The FILLETS

Dredge fillets in herb-crust mixture, pressing gently to coat both sides evenly.

6

Bake

Arrange fillets in the baking dish and bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and crispy.

7

Garnish & Serve

Sprinkle with fresh dill and parsley before serving. Enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors!

There you have it, an easy baked lemon and herb crusted cod recipe that’s as simple as it is delightful.

The use of fresh spring herbs not only adds layers of flavor but also a touch of elegance to this humble fish dish.

It’s perfect for a light weeknight dinner or a special occasion this spring. Enjoy the freshness in every bite and the smiles around your table!

Recipe Tips

  • Check for Doneness: Use a fork to gently flake the fish at the thickest part. If it flakes easily and is opaque throughout, it’s done. Overcooking can make the fish dry.
  • Add a Squeeze of Lemon: Just before serving, add a final squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the baked cod to enhance the bright, zesty flavor.
  • Experiment with Herbs: Feel free to mix and match herbs based on your preference or what you have on hand. Basil, tarragon, or even cilantro can offer different flavor profiles.
  • Customize the Breadcrumbs: Mix in some grated Parmesan cheese with the panko breadcrumbs for a richer, more savory crust.
Lemon herb crusted cod on a white plate with a fork digging in.

Perfect Sides for Serving

Enhance the delightful flavors of your Lemon Herb-Crusted Cod with these perfectly paired side dishes. From creamy and comforting starchy sides to vibrant and fresh salads, these recipes are sure to complete your meal and impress your guests.

Starchy Side Dishes

For those who love a hearty, comforting side, these starchy dishes provide the perfect complement to the light and flaky cod:

Pesto Mashed Potatoes Au Gratin: These creamy mashed potatoes are elevated with the bold flavors of pesto and topped with a golden, cheesy crust, offering a rich and satisfying addition to your plate.

Buttered New Potatoes with Dill, Lemon, and Garlic: Tender new potatoes are tossed in butter and infused with fresh dill, zesty lemon, and garlic, creating a simple yet flavorful dish that soaks up the cod’s juices beautifully.

Spring Vegetable Au Gratin with Mornay Sauce: A medley of spring vegetables baked in a creamy Mornay sauce and topped with a crispy, golden crust, this elegant dish adds a touch of sophistication and pairs perfectly with the light herb-crusted cod.

Close up shot of lemon herb crusted cod fillets on a white plate.

Roasted or Grilled Vegetables

Roasted or grilled vegetables bring out the natural sweetness and add a smoky depth that complements the fresh flavors of the cod:

Charred Broccolini with Lemon, Garlic, and Parmesan: Broccolini charred to perfection and finished with lemon, garlic, and Parmesan offers a deliciously smoky and savory side that enhances the lemony notes of the cod.

Simple Italian-Style Roasted Vegetables: A mix of seasonal vegetables roasted with Italian herbs, olive oil, and a hint of balsamic vinegar creates a flavorful and aromatic accompaniment, bringing out the best in the cod.

Roasted Carrots and Asparagus with Tarragon Butter: Sweet roasted carrots and tender asparagus are elevated with a luxurious tarragon butter, adding a sophisticated touch that pairs wonderfully with the herb-crusted cod.

Salads

Fresh and vibrant salads provide a refreshing contrast to the savory herb-crusted cod, making your meal feel light and balanced:

Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese: Crisp green beans tossed with a lemony vinaigrette and topped with creamy goat cheese create a refreshing and tangy salad that perfectly complements the flavors of the fish.

Spinach and Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan: A mix of fresh spinach and peppery arugula dressed in a light vinaigrette and topped with shaved Parmesan offers a simple yet elegant side, balancing the rich flavors of the cod.

Simple Strawberry Spring Mix Salad: A delightful combination of spring mix greens, juicy strawberries, and a light vinaigrette makes for a refreshing salad, with the sweetness of the strawberries providing a lovely contrast to the savory herb-crusted cod.

Lemon herb crusted cod fillets on a white plate with forks on the side.

FAQs

Yes! It also works well with halibut, tilapia, snapper, or salmon.

Yes, just make sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before use.

Basil, cilantro, or tarragon can work well as substitutes.

Fresh herbs are recommended, but dried herbs can be substituted. Just remember to use them in smaller quantities.

Yes, but panko will give it a lighter, crispier texture.

Yes, but adjust the cooking time to about 10-12 minutes at 375°F.

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Two fillets of lemon herb crusted cod on a white plate with forks on the side.

Herb-Crusted Cod with Lemon and Panko Recipe

This herb-crusted cod recipe is light, fresh, and bursting with vibrant flavors. Think tender cod fillets, fresh herbs, zesty lemon, and a crispy panko crust all coming together in under 30 minutes. Perfect for those busy weeknights when you want something healthy and delicious without the fuss.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 166 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cod fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • additional fresh dill, chives, and/or parsley, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Start by heating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray the bottom of a baking dish with cooking oil to make cleanup a breeze.
  • In a shallow bowl mix the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • In another shallow bowl, combine remaining melted butter, lemon zest, minced garlic, chopped parsley, dill, chives, panko, salt, and pepper. Stir well to blend all the flavors.
  • Dip each cod fillet into the lemon butter sauce to thoroughly coat.
  • Then dredge the fillets in the herb-crust mixture to coat both sides. Gently press the herb-crust mixture into each cod fillet, making sure you get a nice, even layer on both sides for that satisfying crunch.
  • Arrange the cod fillets in the prepared baking dish. Pop them in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the panko crust is golden and crispy.
  • Once done, transfer the cod to plates and sprinkle with additional fresh herbs. The freshness of these herbs will elevate the dish, adding a burst of spring to every bite!

Recipe Notes

Leftovers and storage:
  • Refrigerate: Transfer any leftover cod to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Reheat Gently: To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the cod on a baking sheet and cover with foil to prevent drying out. Heat for 10-12 minutes or until warmed through.
  • Avoid Microwave: Avoid reheating in the microwave if possible, as it can make the fish rubbery and the crust soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.3g | Protein: 9.5g | Fat: 9.5g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 42.4mg | Sodium: 146.7mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 1.2g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword baked fish, quick and easy, seafood, spring dinner recipes
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