35 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, the 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 itself. Those who don't think they like fish might be surprised by how much they enjoy this classic seafood staple, since it does have such an approachable flavor. 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.

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    Cornflake-Crusted Baked Cod

    Baked cod with cornflake crust

    The Spruce

    For a similar crunchy texture to your kids' favorite fish sticks, but with a more adult flavor, 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 for a quicker and easier preparation.

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    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. Added bonus, 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.

  • 04 of 35

    Baked Fish Florentine

    fish Florentine

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Layering spinach, flaky cod, and cream of mushroom soup, then topping them with buttery breadcrumbs creates 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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  • 05 of 35

    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 shatteringly tasty crunch and Tabasco sauce adds a little bit of zip. Serve the fish in tortillas for fish tacos or with coleslaw and French fries.

  • 06 of 35

    Baked Stuffed Cod

    Baked stuffed cod recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Pescatarians may enjoy this traditional New England-style stuffed cod for Thanksgiving or as a special-occasion meal, but even those who don't avoid meat will love it. It's a great way to use up leftover stuffing after the holiday or you can make a batch of stuffing specifically for this dish. Bacon adds a lovely, smoky element that contrasts beautifully with the fish.

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    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 that tastes like a more decadent meal than it is. 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.

  • 08 of 35

    British Fish Pie

    Fish Pie Recipe

     The Spruce

    This one-pot meal makes use of leeks, potatoes, milk, butter, and fresh or frozen fish in a hearty way that will warm up a dreary evening. If you choose to use frozen fish, defrost it and dry it thoroughly first, otherwise you can end up with a watery dish. Sprinkle it with some shredded cheese for a different flavor, and serve alongside a green vegetable for a complete meal.

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  • 09 of 35

    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 cream of celery soup and shredded Parmesan or another mild shredded cheese, then add some cooked frozen peas or broccoli for extra color and nutrition.

  • 10 of 35

    Creamy Fish Chowder

    Creamy Fish Chowder Recipe

    The Spruce 

    A bowl of this fish chowder will warm you right up. Potatoes, carrots, onions, and flaky fish like cod or haddock come together into 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.

  • 11 of 35

    Classic Fish and Chips

    British Fish and Chips

    The Spruce

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

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    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 or trying it with different types of fish fillets.

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  • 13 of 35

    Blackened Fish on the Grill

    Blackened Fish on the Grill Recipe

    The Spruce 

    Cod works well in this Cajun-spiced blackened fish recipe because it has a mild flavor and a 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 having an outdoor get-together.

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    Grilled Onion Butter Cod

    Grilled Onion-Butter Cod

    Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Onion and white wine combine to make a sophisticated sauce that really levels up this simple grilled cod. It tastes like you spent all day, but 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.

  • 15 of 35

    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 in a preparation that takes under an hour, including marinating. 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.

  • 16 of 35

    Cod in Tomato Pepper Sauce

    Cod fillet in tomato sauce with green beans and new potatoes
    Diana Miller / Getty Images

    A zesty sauce made of tomatoes, red bell pepper, and chorizo sausage turns mild cod into a flavorful meal the whole family will love. This recipe calls for steaming the fish, but you can also broil or bake it if you prefer. Add more red pepper flakes for a spicier dish or omit them for more subdued notes.

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  • 17 of 35

    Basic Fried Cod

    Easy fried fish fillets.

      The Spruce

    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.

  • 18 of 35

    Grilled Tandoori Cod

    Tandoori Cod
    Cultura RM/Brett Stevens/Getty Images

    Just an hour of marinating in a number of spices you probably already have in the spice rack and a few minutes on the grill, will result in this delicious Indian-inspired dish. The red pepper lends some heat, so add more or less depending on how spicy you like your food. Buying whole spices, then grinding them yourself will yield a better flavor, but you can use pre-ground in a pinch.

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    Ghost Pepper Honey Cod With Cauliflower Mash

    Ghost pepper honey cod
    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    Whether you follow a keto or Paleo diet or not, this spicy-sweet cod with cauliflower mash will hit the spot. Using just a tiny bit of ghost pepper powder and balancing it with raw honey lets the complex notes in the pepper come out without blowing you away with heat. The mild fish and cauliflower provide an excellent base.

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    Thai Baked Fish

    Thai Baked Fish

     Klaus Arras / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

    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 rest. The fish steams gently in the packet while the flavors meld. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the fish to marinade first, and then cook it for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with rice to soak up the sauce.

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  • 21 of 35

    Slow Cooker Fish Chowder

    Crockpot fish chowder recipe

    ​The Spruce

    When you don't have a lot of time, try a creamy fish chowder that comes together in the slow cooker. Evaporated milk gives it a hearty heft and bacon lends a smokiness that complements the flaky fish perfectly. Add some 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 Fillets

    The Spruce


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

  • 23 of 35

    Coconut Fish Fillets With Mango Salsa

    coconut crusted fish

    The Spruce / Marian Blazes

    Cod lends itself well to this island-inspired fish 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 wonderful fruity and zesty element that also tastes great with chicken and steak. Make sure you use a nice, ripe mango for the best results.

  • 24 of 35

    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 and sweet Hawaiian buns for an authentic flavor. Garnish them with red onion, tomato, and any sandwich toppings you usually enjoy.

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  • 25 of 35

    Psari Plaki Fish

    Psari plaki fish

    The Spruce / Lynn Livanos Athan

    Plaki refers to a dish baked in the oven with 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 some stale leftover bread, too. Serve it room temperature or even cold with a Greek salad and some feta cheese.

  • 26 of 35

    Provencal-Style Cod

    Provençal fish

    By combining cod fillets with olives, tomatoes, and bell pepper, you can have a complex-tasting dish ready in just 30 to 40 minutes. It also doesn't require turning on the oven, since it all comes together on the stove. Halve the recipe for a smaller meal.

  • 27 of 35

    Thai Fish Curry

    Thai Curry with Fish, Vegetables, and Rice in Asian Setting
    NightAndDayImages / Getty Images

    Any type of fish works well in this Thai-inspired curry dish, but we like it best with cod. Paired with vegetables like bok choy and eggplant, it's absolutely divine. Coconut milk lends richness, while lemongrass and fish paste add complexity. Serve it over Jasmine rice for a dinner that comes together much more easily than it tastes.

  • 28 of 35

    Oven-Fried Fish Fillets

    Oven Fried Fish Fillets

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    If you want the taste of fried fish without all the fat, try this simple and delicious baked fried fish. It works well with flaky white fish like cod, and tastes great with seasoned breadcrumbs. Try making your own with leftover stale bread. This recipe also includes instructions for making your own tartar sauce, which tastes so much fresher than the bottled kind.

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  • 29 of 35

    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 pre-made pancake mix means you can whip these up in a flash, and the whole family will enjoy this healthier take on fish sticks or frozen patties.

  • 30 of 35

    Thai Fish Cakes

    Thai Fish Cakes with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
    MIB Pictures / Getty Images

    Unlike Western fish cake recipes, these do not get battered so the flavor of the fish shines through. Coriander, cumin, green onions, galangal or ginger, red chili, 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.

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    Herb-Baked Fish Fillets

    corn flake 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, try mixing up the herb blend.

  • 32 of 35

    Fish Fillets With Mushroom Sauce

    Fish Fillets with Mushroom Sauce
    Beth Galton/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    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.

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  • 33 of 35

    Chinese Stir-Fried Fish

    Stir-fry fish
    Creative RM/ Getty Images

    Flaky fish fillets like cod work well in this Chinese stir-fry recipe. Assertive ingredients like ginger, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine give it a unique flavor that's even better than takeout. Because 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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    Sweet and Sour Cod

    Thai sweet and sour fish


    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    Get the slightly sweet, slightly sour, all tasty flavor of Chinese takeout right at home with this simple recipe. Don't get 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 for others you like, such as pineapple, carrot, and other types of peppers.

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    Potato Chip-Crusted Fish With Lemon-Garlic Aioli

    Baked fish coated with Panko and Parmesan

    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 it, 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.