Crispy Panko Baked Cod with Garlic Lemon Pepper Seasoning


My friend Cate from Sweet Nicks adapted this crispy panko baked cod from a recipe she received from Penzey’s spices. We’ve made a few more minor modifications, but it’s still light and flaky with a crispy coating. Enjoy it for a healthy weeknight dinner. If you make a double batch, you can freeze some for an extremely convenient meal.

Crispy Panko Baked Cod Recipe with 2 Seasoning Options - Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, plus Gluten-free option

What’s Panko?

Panko is a type of Japanese-style breadcrumb that stays crispy, unlike freshly ground breadcrumbs. They’re used often for making dishes like katsu and breaded shrimp, and they’re usually dairy free (check the label!). You can find some brands in the Asian section at grocery stores, but brands like Progresso are sometimes found with the Italian breadcrumbs. For gluten-free versions, look for brands like Ian’s Panko.

If you are unable to locate panko, or don’t have time to make it to the store, then you can substitute fine dry breadcrumbs. If your breadcrumbs are too soft, you can toast them in the oven for a few minutes as the oven preheats.

Crispy Panko Baked Cod Recipe with 2 Seasoning Options - Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, plus Gluten-free option

Special Diet Notes: Crispy Panko Baked Cod

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free.

Crispy Panko Baked Cod with Two Seasoning Options
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This easy recipe is seasoned with lemon pepper, garlic, and sweet paprika for a flavorful entree that pairs well with most vegetables sides and grains. See below for a lemon herb option.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 cod fillets or similar white fish
  • 1 cup dairy-free panko bread crumbs (gluten-free, if needed; see post above)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil or melted dairy-free buttery spread, plus additional, if desired
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs, lemon pepper, paprika, seasoned salt, and garlic.
  3. Place the fish fillets in a medium bowl, add drizzle with the 1½ tablespoons olive oil or buttery spread. Toss to evenly coat.
  4. Transfer the fillets to the bread crumb picture, one at a time, and coat evenly on both sides.
  5. Place the breaded fillets on your prepared baking sheet. Optionally drizzle the tops with more olive oil or melted buttery spread.
  6. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Lemon Herb Option: Substitute 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley and 2 teaspoons lemon zest for the lemon pepper, sweet paprika, and seasoning salt. Season to taste with salt, about ½ to 1 teaspoon.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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