This baked cod is my simple and proven recipe for consistently flaky fish. Simple cod fillets are transformed into a light and healthy weekday supper with a simple buttery and garlicky herb garnish.
While salmon gets a lot of attention, a cod fillet should not be disregarded. It's equally as meaty, keeps up nicely in a number of dishes (like this Mediterranean cod en papillote), and the flaky texture is unbeatable.
That is exactly what today's dish does. A simple oven-baked fillet drenched in butter, garlic, lemon, and parsley. It's incredibly tender and offers a tasty and nutritious supper in 30 minutes.
WHAT TYPE OF FISH TO BUY
When it comes to fish, I always start with a high-quality (ideally wild-caught) variety. In this dish, I used Alaskan cod, but you could also use halibut, mahi mahi, or another flaky white fish.
FRESH VS FROZEN COD
Frozen wild Alaskan fish may be a better alternative, similar to how I buy prawns. It's impossible to tell how long the "fresh" fish on ice has been sitting out. Furthermore, fresh catches of the day might be expensive and difficult to come by.
BAKED COD INGREDIENTS
When it comes to seasoning fish, garlic and butter will always be a powerful combo. But there are a few other items you need.
- Cod: Find wild Atlantic or Pacific cod varieties.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter in this recipe so that I can add as much salt as I want.
- Garlic: Fresh is best, but you can use pinch of garlic powder as well.
- Parsley: For the garlic butter and as a garnish, use Italian flat-leaf parsley.
- Lemon: Lemon and fish are best friends!
- Paprika: Just a pinch to boost the flavor profile.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT BAKED COD
Pan searing is one method for achieving that lovely crust. But I have found that baking it in the oven is the most foolproof approach. Here's how you do it.
- Prepare the herb garlic butter. Combine the topping ingredients.
- Coat the fish with flour. Spread the garlic herb butter on the fillets of fish.
- Cook the fish in the oven. When the fish is flaky, it's time to serve.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN BAKED COD IS DONE
A white fish, such as cod, is done when it can be flaked with a fork. Cooking fish at the right temperature of 145°F/63°C is always recommended.
SWITCH UP THE SEASONINGS
Give this cod recipe a fun touch by adjusting the flavor of the garlic butter. Here are a handful of my personal favorites.
- Replace the parsley with fresh or dried thyme, and add a tablespoon of minced capers.
- Cajun: Use your preferred Cajun flavour combination and a touch of cayenne pepper for the paprika.
- Replace the parsley with fresh basil and the paprika with Italian spice.
- Instead of sweet paprika, use smoked paprika.
- Mexican: Use chopped cilantro instead of parsley, powdered cumin instead of paprika and lime instead of lemon.
HOW TO SERVE GARLIC BUTTER COD
What is a meal of fish without warm and flavorful accompaniments? These simple ideas will go perfectly with the cod.
- Broccoli Rice or Cauliflower Rice
- Green Beans with Shallot and Lemon
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Garlic Sautéed Swiss Chard
- Roasted Broccoli
- Sautéed Cabbage
STORING AND REHEATING LEFTOVERS
As with most fish, any leftovers should be consumed within 1 to 2 days of cooking. Here are some storage ideas.
- To Store: Put leftovers in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Freeze in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to one month.
- Reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the fish is well warmed.
GARLIC HERB BAKED COD
- Casserole Pan You can fit several cod fillets on this pan!
- 4 (6-ounce) cod filets
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chives, thyme or other herbs, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cod in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, olive oil, minced garlic, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the compound butter mixture on top of each filet.
- Lay the lemon slices both on top and under the cod filets.
- Bake in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cod is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Before serving, spoon the juices from the baking dish over the cod.