This panko-crusted cod is a quick, easy and delicious fish dinner, with a touch of garlic, lemon and mustard together with a crispy panko topping. Ready in less than 30 minutes and cooks entirely in the oven, too!

Panko crusted cod on plate with lemons and parsley.

I’m a big fan of cod! It’s thick, firm, flaky and flavourful, but not too fishy, making it perfect for various cooking methods. This panko-crusted cod is one of my favourites and it’s a bonus that it comes together quickly and cooks entirely in the oven!

What you’ll need

Ingredients to make panko-crusted cod.

Cod – I will always search out the nice, thick cod fillets when possible.

Panko – Plain, unseasoned panko is recommended.

Mayonnaise – Use whatever mayonnaise you have on hand.

Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard is recommended. If you don’t have Dijon on hand, use about half the amount of yellow prepared mustard.

Butter – I love the flavour of butter, but you can also use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of the butter. For olive oil, reduce the amount slightly as detailed in the Recipe Card.

Garlic – I recommend fresh garlic, but pre-minced garlic can be used. Simply add to the melted butter.

Lemon – There is just a bit of lemon zest in the panko topping. It adds a nice flavour note, but if you don’t have a lemon on hand, you can omit it.

Parsley – Fresh parsley is nice if you have it on hand. If not, dried parsley will work just fine.

How to make panko-crusted cod

Panko topping mixed together in a small bowl.
Mayo and mustard spread onto cod fillets.
Panko topping put on top of the cod fillets.
  1. Mix together the panko crust topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Stir together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a small bowl, then spread it on top of the cod.
  3. Spoon the panko topping onto the cod and press into the mayonnaise in an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes and enjoy!

Recipe tips!

  • This panko topping can be used on any fish, though the oven time may need to be adjusted. Cod is typically quite thick, so a thinner fish will need less time in the oven. With less time in the oven, the panko topping may not brown as much. If necessary, switch the oven to the broiler setting for a minute or so to brown it up a bit. Likewise, a thicker fish may need a bit more time and the panko may be at risk of over-browning. If so, loosely lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the fish for the last part of cooking.
  • As noted above, you can swap out olive oil for the butter in the panko topping but you could also do half olive oil and half melted butter, for the best of both worlds.
  • You can test fish with an instant-read thermometer. It should register 145F when it is done.

What to serve with panko-crusted cod

I love lemon orzo with this cod, together with a green vegetable. Green beans, streamed or roasted broccoli or asparagus are also great choices. You could also pair it with oven-roasted potatoes or go with a simple side salad.

Panko-crusted cod on plate with parsley and lemon wedges.

Making ahead and storing

This is not an ideal dish for making ahead, as the crispy panko topping loses crisp when refrigerated. There is also the risk of over-cooking the fish when re-heating.

If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate them for a day or so. While it will still be flavourful, it won’t be as crisp.

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Panko crusted cod on plate with lemons and parsley.

Get the Recipe: Panko Crusted Cod

This panko-crusted cod is a quick, easy and delicious fish dinner. With a touch of garlic, lemon and mustard together with a crispy panko topping.
5 stars from 3 ratings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 thick cod fillets, about 16-20 oz
  • salt and pepper

Panko-crust topping:

  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, or 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup unseasoned panko
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, chopped or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard


  • Preheat oven to 425F (not convection or fan-assisted). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or lightly brush with cooking oil.
  • Tip! If using olive oil instead of butter in the panko topping, you could warm the olive oil slightly if you like, to better infuse the garlic and lemon flavour into the olive oil.
  • Make the panko topping: Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave (or use a saucepan, then add to a medium bowl). Add the garlic and the lemon zest to the warm butter and let stand for a minute to infuse a bit. Add the panko, the parsley and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. Set aside.
  • Pat the cod fillets dry with a paper towel and season with some salt and pepper. Place the cod onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. Spoon on top of the cod, dividing the mixture between the cod fillets. Use the back of a spoon to spread into an even layer over the top of the fillets.
  • Spoon the panko topping on top of the mayonnaise-topped cod, dividing between the fillets. Use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the top, pressing it lightly into the mayonnaise layer so it will stick in place.
  • Tip! Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. I suggest checking the fish after about 10 minutes of cooking. If the fish is done and the topping isn't browned enough, you can turn on the oven broiler briefly to brown it a bit. If the fish isn't done and the topping is browned enough, you can loosely lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the fish to prevent over-browning for the last part of cooking. Fish is done at 145F internal temperature. It should flake easily when tested with a fork.
  • Place the baking pan into the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the fish is cooked and the panko-topping is golden brown.


Be sure to read the notes above this recipe card, for more tips on making this recipe!
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Main Course
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 379kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 396mg, Potassium: 654mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 925IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 2mg
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