32 Light and Flaky Cod Recipes to Try Tonight

Bake It, Fry It, Stuff It

Easy fried fish fillets

The Spruce

For those just getting started in the world of making fish at home, mild and versatile cod is an excellent choice. This flaky white fish lends itself well to a range of preparations because it doesn't have a very strong "fishy" flavor. Even those who don't think they like fish might be surprised by how much they enjoy this classic seafood staple. And, because it goes so well in a variety of recipes, you can try a number of these without getting tired of the main protein.

  • 01 of 32

    Basic Fried Cod

    fried fish

    Spruce Eats  

    Sometimes, you just want a simple fried fish recipe that you can turn to over and over again. Add this one to your repertoire, and you will never need to buy another bag of frozen breaded fish fillets. Cod works well because it has a nice, mild flavor and a firm enough texture to hold up to frying.

  • 02 of 32

    Skillet Fish Nuggets

    Bowl of fried chunky cod breaded nuggets on steel table

    Diana Miller / Getty Images

    If your kids love fish sticks, try making these fish nuggets at home to have more control over the ingredients. Using a premade pancake mix means you can whip these up in a flash, and the whole family will enjoy this take on fish sticks or frozen patties.

  • 03 of 32

    Cornflake-Crusted Baked Cod

    Baked cod with cornflake crust

    The Spruce

    For a similar crunchy texture to store-bought fish sticks, try this cornflake-crusted cod. The crust creates a lovely contrast to the flaky fish, and a hint of Dijon mustard gives it a little zip. Set up a series of stations for dipping the fish and covering it in cereal to make prepping them quicker and easier.

  • 04 of 32

    Herb-Baked Fish Fillets

    Cornflake crumb topped haddock fillets

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    If you've forgotten to take fish out of the freezer to thaw, this easy recipe will save dinner. The fish gets covered with crushed cornflakes and an herbed butter before baking, for a lovely and fragrant protein that everyone will enjoy. For a different presentation, experiment with various herbs for the herb blend.

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  • 05 of 32

    Baked Lemon Garlic Cod

    Lemon garlic cod

    The Spruce

    Lemon and garlic make great pairings for mild cod, giving it a fresh and zesty flavor. This simple fish dish comes out low fat and gluten free, plus you can have it on the table in under half an hour. Pair it with rice and some steamed vegetables for a delicious meal.

  • 06 of 32

    Slow Cooker Fish Chowder

    Crock pot fish chowder recipe

    ​The Spruce

    When you don't have a lot of time, try a creamy fish chowder in the slow cooker. Evaporated milk gives it a hearty heft and bacon lends a smokiness that complements the flaky fish perfectly. Add chopped celery for more texture or shrimp to make it a seafood chowder.

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    Panko-Crusted Fish Fillets

    Baked panko crusted fish

     The Spruce Eats

    A panko coating gives cod fillets a crispy, crunchy texture that creates a wonderful contrast to the flaky fish. Some Creole or Cajun seasoning spices it up wonderfully, but you can add any type of seasoning that you prefer. Serve it with tartar or rémoulade sauce on the side for dipping.

  • 08 of 32

    Baked Fish Florentine

    Fish Florentine

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Layer spinach, flaky cod, and cream of mushroom soup, then top them with buttery breadcrumbs for a flavorful one-pot meal that also comes packed with nutrition. You can have dinner on the table in under an hour with this easy meal that doesn't require any fancy techniques or tools.

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  • 09 of 32

    Classic Fish and Chips

    British Fish and Chips

    The Spruce

    Take your family to the chip shop without leaving the house using this classic fish and chips recipe. It works great with cod and starchy potatoes such as Yukon or russet. Adding dark beer to the batter gives it a crispy texture that tastes just like the kind you get at the most famous chipperies.

  • 10 of 32

    Crispy Lemon Cod

    Crispy lemon codfish

    ​The Spruce

    Fans of fried fish will love this crispy cod with a light lemon sauce. Because you coat the fish in breadcrumbs, then pan-fry them yourself, you know what goes in them every step of the way. The lemon-butter sauce adds a sophisticated element without too much more work.

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    Spice-Rubbed Cod

    Low-fat spice rubbed cod

    The Spruce

    This low-fat broiled fish doesn't taste like a diet food with its assertive spice rub, but the way it's prepared means it doesn't use much extra oil or butter. Cover it with a mixture of paprika, cumin, turmeric, and coriander, then either broil it or stick it on the grill. Start with the suggested spice proportions and adjust for your personal preferences.

  • 12 of 32

    Cajun Seasoned Beer Battered Fried Fish

    Fish Tacos With Fried Fish and Slaw

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Head down to the bayou with this Cajun-inspired fried fish. If you don't have corn flour, pulse cornmeal in a food processor until it gets fine and powdery, or use rice flour instead. Beer gives the batter a tasty crunch, and Tabasco sauce adds a bit of zip. Serve the fish in tortillas for fish tacos or with coleslaw and French fries.

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  • 13 of 32

    British Fish Pie

    Fish Pie Recipe

     The Spruce

    British fish pie makes use of leeks, potatoes, milk, butter, and fresh or frozen fish in a hearty one-dish meal. If you choose to use frozen fish, defrost and dry it thoroughly first to avoid a watery dish. Sprinkle it with some shredded cheese for a different flavor and serve alongside a green vegetable for a complete meal.

  • 14 of 32

    Fish au Gratin

    Quick fish gratin

     The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Combining a mild fish like cod with a simple cheese sauce and covering it in buttery breadcrumbs makes a creamy, delicious fish au gratin that comes together in no time. Use cream of mushroom or celery soup and shredded Parmesan or another mild shredded cheese. Add cooked frozen peas or broccoli for extra color and nutrition.

  • 15 of 32

    Creamy Fish Chowder

    Creamy Fish Chowder Recipe

    The Spruce

    A bowl of fish chowder will warm you right up. Potatoes, carrots, onion, and flaky fish like cod or haddock come together in a hearty soup that makes a meal all on its own. For an even more interesting dish, sauté the onion in bacon drippings, then garnish each bowl with some crumbled bacon and chopped parsley or chives.

  • 16 of 32

    Parmesan-Crusted Baked Fish Fillets

    Parmesan baked fish

    The Spruce

    It doesn't get much easier than these baked cod fillets crusted with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Try serving them with a side of remoulade or tartar sauce and a spritz of fresh lemon juice. Once you get the hang of the recipe, mix it up by adding different spices or cheeses to the breadcrumbs.

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  • 17 of 32

    Blackened Fish on the Grill

    Blackened Fish on the Grill

    The Spruce

    Cod works well in this Cajun-spiced blackened fish recipe because it has a mild flavor and firm, flaky texture. Because blackening fish in a blazing-hot skillet can get smoky, doing it on the grill keeps your kitchen clean. Try this simple and delicious preparation while camping or during an outdoor get-together.

  • 18 of 32

    Baked Stuffed Cod

    Baked stuffed cod recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    This traditional New England-style stuffed cod is an excellent special-occasion meal. It's a great way to use up leftover stuffing after the holidays, or you can make a batch of stuffing specifically for this dish. Bacon adds a lovely, smoky element that contrasts beautifully with the fish.

  • 19 of 32

    Grilled Onion Butter Cod

    Grilled butter onion cod recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Onion and white wine combine to make a sophisticated sauce for this simple grilled cod recipe. It tastes like you spent all day, but it comes together in just a few minutes. To keep the fish from falling through the grates, try using a fish basket, wrapping it in foil packets, or grilling it on a wooden plank instead.

  • 20 of 32

    Fish Fillets With Mustard Butter

    Fish Fillets With Mustard Sauce

    Philippe Desnerck / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    The assertive taste of mustard butter gives mild cod, halibut, or haddock fillets panache, and it all takes under an hour to prepare. Because fish marinates quickly, it makes an excellent choice for a simple weeknight meal. Keep an eye on the fillets while broiling, though, because they can finish quickly.

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    Grilled Tandoori Cod

    Grilled Tandoori Cod

    The Spruce / Crystal Hughes

    Just an hour of marinating in spices you probably already have in the cupboard, and a few minutes on the grill produces delicious tandoori cod. The Indian-inspired dish includes red pepper for some heat. Add more or less depending on how spicy you like your food.

  • 22 of 32

    Thai Baked Fish

    Thai Baked Fish in Banana Leaf Recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Flaky fish gets slathered in a rich coconut sauce and then baked in a banana leaf or foil packet in this delicious Thai recipe. Cod works well because it has a non-fishy flavor, so it won't compete with the other ingredients. The fish steams gently in the packet while the flavors meld. Serve with rice to soak up the sauce.

  • 23 of 32

    Psari Plaki Fish

    Psari plaki fish

    The Spruce / Lynn Livanos Athan

    Psari plaki is a baked Greek fish recipe that features garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil. When you use cod, it comes out flaky and flavorful with very little effort. Panko breadcrumbs give it a crispy crunch, but you can make your own with stale leftover bread, too. Serve it room temperature or even cold with a Greek salad and feta cheese.

  • 24 of 32

    Provençal-Style Cod

    Easy provencal fish recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    The Provençal-style cod recipe cooks the fish with olives, tomatoes, and bell pepper. The complex-tasting dish is ready in just 30 minutes. It also doesn't require turning on the oven, since it all comes together on the stove.

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  • 25 of 32

    Thai Fish Curry

    Thai curry with fish, vegetables, and rice with chopsticks
    NightAndDayImages / Getty Images

    Any type of fish works well in this Thai fish curry dish, but cod is one of the best choices. Paired with vegetables like bok choy and eggplant, it's absolutely divine. Coconut milk lends richness, while lemongrass and fish sauce add complexity. Serve it over jasmine rice for a dinner that comes together quicker than you'd expect.

  • 26 of 32

    Thai Fish Cakes

    Thai fish cakes
    MIB Pictures / Getty Images

    Unlike Western recipes, these Thai fish cakes do not get battered so the flavor of the fish really shines. Coriander, cumin, green onions, galangal or ginger, red chile, and brown sugar give it an assertive Thai flavor. They taste best right out of the oil, but you can make the fish paste up to a day ahead to save time.

  • 27 of 32

    Fish Fillets With Mushroom Sauce

    Fish Fillets With Mushroom Sauce

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Earthy mushrooms, onion, thyme, sour cream, and a lemon blend top juicy baked fish for a homey dish that tastes just as nice for a weekday supper as a special occasion. Flaky, mild cod works well in this method. Serve it with rice or pilaf to soak up that excellent sauce and a green salad or steamed vegetables for a well-balanced meal.

  • 28 of 32

    Chinese Stir-Fried Fish

    Chinese Stir-Fry Fish Fillets

    Ella Mullins / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Flaky fish fillets like cod work well in this Chinese stir-fry recipe. Ingredients like ginger, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine give it a unique flavor that's even better than takeout. Since wok cooking goes so quickly, gather all of your tools first so you don't have to run around looking for them at the last minute.

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  • 29 of 32

    Hawaiian Fish Sandwich

    Hawaiian Fish Sandwich

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    In Hawaii, these fish sandwiches often use mahi-mahi, but they work just fine with cod fillets, too. Use fillets on the thicker side so they stand up to the presentation. Sweet Hawaiian buns ensure an authentic flavor. Garnish them with red onion, tomato, and any sandwich toppings you usually enjoy.

  • 30 of 32

    Coconut Fish Fillets With Mango Salsa

    Coconut-Crusted Fish

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    Cod lends itself well to this island-inspired fish recipe with a coconut crust and fresh mango salsa. Coconut gives it a nice sweetness, while curry adds a bit of spice. The mango salsa lends a wonderfully fruity and zesty element that also tastes great with chicken and steak. Make sure you use a nice, ripe mango for the best results.

  • 31 of 32

    Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

    Thai sweet and sour fish

    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    Get the slightly sweet, slightly sour flavor of Chinese takeout right at home with this simple fish recipe. Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients; this stir-fry does not take as much effort as you think. Feel free to swap out the vegetables you like; pineapple, carrot, and other types of peppers work perfectly.

  • 32 of 32

    Potato Chip-Crusted Fish With Lemon-Garlic Aioli

    Potato Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets With Lemon-Garlic Aioli

     Paul Poplis / Getty Images

    Combine fish and chips into one awesome dish with this twist that uses crushed potato chips as the crunch factor. This recipe calls for baking the fish, but you can air-fry, pan-fry, or even deep-fry it. A homemade lemon-garlic aioli makes an excellent dipping sauce that provides a creamy contrast to the salty fish topping.