This is a delicious buttery Baked Cod recipe that has a simple and delicious seasoning combination along with savory garlic and fresh lemon flavors. This cod is lightly coated with seasoned flour, seared until golden, and finished off in the oven until perfectly cooked and juicy. This cooking method makes it a little crispy on the outside, and wonderfully juicy and tender on the inside.
Cod is a fish that is often underutilized and under-appreciated in many kitchens. With so many seafood dishes centered around fish like salmon, tilapia, and tuna, it’s time to start enjoying the truly delicious experience of baked cod!
Even if you’re not a big seafood fan, you’ll most likely still love this simple baked cod recipe. As much as I enjoy seafood, I’m also not a fan of that “fishy” odor and taste that some fish dinners can have. With cod, that’s almost never an issue – especially when you use this method of cooking. Every time I bake cod in this fashion, my results are always fantastic.
Cod has a delicate, mild flavor that makes it able to adapt to an array of different seasonings and cooking techniques. The texture of it is flaky and tender. If cod sounds like the fish for you, then be sure to also make my Lemon Herb Butter Cod with Asparagus and Tomatoes!
Ingredients for Baked Cod
For the cod, you will need:
- Cod Filets – make sure to have the best quality of cod to get the best taste and no fishy scent.
- Canola Oil – Just a splash of canola oil is needed to sear the fish. However, in a pinch, vegetable oil will work as well as it is also neutral flavored.
- Butter – Butter is needed to bake the fish and give it that wonderful buttery flavor and texture. It’s best to use unsalted butter but if all you have is salted, make sure to reduce amount of salt in other parts.
- Lemon – use the juice of one fresh lemon to really enhance and compliment the natural flavors of the cod. If possible, use a freshly squeezed lemon and not the bottled store-bought lemon for the best flavor.
- Garlic – When paired with the butter and lemon, garlic has a powerful, yet complimentary flavor for the cod. As much as I love garlic, I recommend not using any more than 3 cloves, or you risk the garlic overpowering the other ingredients.
- Parsley – Using freshly minced parsley as a garnish is the best way to really bring this dish together. It not only does wonders for presentation, but it also provides a light earthy taste that accompanies the other flavors perfectly.
The cod seasoning:
- All Purpose Flour – Just plain all purpose flour is all you need here. However, you can also make this recipe gluten free by using a gluten free flour instead if you’d like!
- Paprika – paprika provides a wonderful bright color and almost sweet flavor to the seasoning.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper – Avoid using too much salt if you used salted butter. Also, always opt for freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
How to Make Baked Cod
Start by preheating you oven to 400°F. While that’s heating up, prepare your cod!
Combine the flour and seasoning, being sure to really mix them well.
Before seasoning the filets, pat them dry with a paper towel, then add just a little bit of salt and pepper to them.
Evenly coat the filets with the homemade seasoning mix and flour.
Before you can bake the cod, you need to sear it. Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil.
Sear the filets for about a minute on each side, until they’re nice and golden in color.
Use a fish spatula to carefully remove the golden filets from the skillet and them set aside. Lower the heat on the stovetop.
Add butter to the pan and then garlic, once it’s melted. Sear garlic until fragrant, then add the fresh lemon juice.
Stir the lemon juice, garlic, and butter well, then add the fish back into the skillet.
Transfer the pan into the oven and bake the cod for about 8-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the meat turns completely opaque, flakes easily, and the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
Why coat the fish with flour?
Coating the cod lightly with a flour mixture helps it get brown and a little crispy on the outside, while also sealing the juices on the inside to make it perfectly tender. This technique works best for pan-seared flaky fish, but also works well for baking it or finishing it in the oven.
Health Benefits of Cod
- Just one filet of cod has about 40g of protein.
- Cod is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, which is excellent for cardiovascular health.
- This fish has a very small amount of fat.
- Cod has a high amount of vitamin B12.
What to Serve with Cod
I love serving this cod with vegetables, salads, and a slightly heartier side dish as well. Here are a few of my go-to side dishes!
Can I use frozen cod filets?
Of course you can! Just make sure to completely thaw it first before cooking. Thaw it slowly, overnight in the refrigerator for the best results in texture.
More seafood recipes to enjoy!
Blackened Salmon – a perfectly easy, 20-minute salmon recipe coated in a rich combination of herbs and spices and seared in a pan.
Scallops with Cream Sauce – scallops are seared until there are perfectly cooked with a golden crust and then, cook the sauce in the same pan and toss it with your favorite pasta.
Avocado Shrimp Salad – shrimp salad is made with delicious boiled shrimp, fresh avocado, fresh dill weed, green onions, and some celery for added crunch.
Crab Cakes – classic Maryland style crab cakes feature jumbo lump crab meat, lemon, parsley, a little filler to keep them together and a touch of spice from cayenne pepper.
- 2 lbs cod filets
- 2 tbsp canola oil to sear fish
- 3 tbsp butter to bake fish
- 1 lemon – juice only
- 3 garlic cloves pressed
- fresh minced parsley to garnish
Seasoning For Cod:
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour*
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
Prepare the fish:
- In a wide and shallow bowl, combine flour and seasonings and mix them well.
- Pat each fish filet with a paper towel and season with a little bit of salt and pepper on both sides.
- Dip each fish filet into the mixture, dusting it with flour mixture all around.
Sear the fish:
- Use an oven-safe pan like a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan to cook the fish.
- Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes first and then add oil. Allow oil to heat through for a couple of seconds, spread it all around the pan, and add fish fillets.
- Sear fish fillets for about a minute on each side, until golden. Carefully, using a fish spatula, take fish out of the pan and set it aside for a minute. Lower the heat.
- Add butter to the pan and once it's melted, add garlic. Sear garlic for a few seconds, until flagrant, and add lemon juice. Stir everything well and add fish back into the pan.
- Transfer the pan into the oven and bake cod for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness and size of the filets. You want to see cod turn completely opaque throughout. (If you want to take the internal temperature, fish could be cooked to 145°.)