Parmesan Crusted Baked Fish

Parmesan baked fish on a plate with salad and lemon wedge

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
265 Calories
8g Fat
8g Carbs
39g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 265
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 670mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 39g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 852mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This flavorful and filling fish fillet recipe might earn a spot in your weekly rotation because of its ease and convenience. Baked in the oven, these delicious and golden fish fillets are the perfect dinner alongside simple side dishes—think roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe—and a tangy rémoulade sauce or tartar sauce.

The baked fish develops a tender, crunchy crust, thanks to the coatings of milk and a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. This recipe is an easy blueprint for making your own variations, such as adding dried herbs or spices to the breadcrumb mixture before baking.

Choose any fish of your liking, but we recommend a firm fish like tilapia, haddock, cod, bass, or swordfish—just be mindful that while 145 F is the minimum recommended temperature for eating fish and seafood safely, the cooking time might vary depending on how thick the fillets are. Use frozen and thawed fillets or any fresh fish that's available. Although salmon and trout are delicious, this Parmesan crust is best when used on milder white fish.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs, or panko

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus 1/2 tablespoon softened

  • 2 pounds fish fillets

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Parmesan baked fish ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Blend together the milk and salt in a shallow bowl.

    Blend together milk and salt
    The Spruce 
  3. Combine the breadcrumbs, paprika, and Parmesan cheese in another bowl.

    Combine breadcrumbs, paprika, and Parmesan cheese
    The Spruce 
  4. Dip the fish fillets into the milk mixture, then press them down into the crumb mixture until they're well coated on all sides. Reserve the coated fish. If using thawed frozen fillets, pat dry very well with paper towels before dipping in the milk mixture and coating with the cheese crumbs

    Dip fish fillets into breadcrumb mixture
    The Spruce
  5. Grease an 11.5 x 7.5 x 2-inch baking dish with the 1/2 tablespoon softened butter, being sure to reach all sides and the bottom of the dish.

    Greased baking pan
    The Spruce
  6. Arrange the fish in the prepared baking dish. Ideally, the fillets shouldn't overlap in the dish. Drizzle the melted butter over the fillets.

    Baked fish drizzled with butter
    The Spruce
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Check for doneness; the fish should flake easily with a fork when ready. Serve the fish right away with your favorite sides. Enjoy!

    Baked fish ready to serve
    The Spruce

Make Your Own Breadcrumbs

Consider making your own breadcrumbs for this recipe, especially if you have leftover stale bread:

  • Preheat the oven to 250 F.
  • Cube the bread and spread it on a baking tray or silicone mat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake until the cubes are toasted and golden brown in color, and feel hard to the touch.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool off for 10 minutes.
  • Process in a food processor until you've reached your preferred crumb size.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month. Use them in place of store-bought breadcrumbs in any recipe.

Herbs and Spices in the Crust

Add herbs and spices to the breadcrumb mix:

  • Use marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic, or onion powder. All of these flavors go well with paprika. Use two or more to give a beautiful flavor to the fish. For any of these additions, try 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Use 1 teaspoon of a seasoning blend instead. Italian seasoning is a great choice for both the fish and Parmesan cheese.