How to Bake Cod

by Caryn Anderson

Baked fish never has to be boring. Use delicate broths and subtle seasonings to let the slightly sweet flavor of the fish shine or build layers of flavor by pairing it with bolder ingredients. Cod pairs well with bacon, butter, celery, shallots, white wine, dill, lemon, capers, potatoes and mustard.

Crunchy Baked Cod

Coat cod fillets in a crunchy topping to add a contrasting texture to the tender fish. Place breadcrumbs or crushed crackers in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, add a wet dredging ingredient such as whisked egg or mayonnaise. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the cod fillets in a single layer. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and brush the egg over the top and press the crumbs into the top of each fillet. Bake it in an oven that’s been preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque and flaky. Raise the oven rack to broil the fish 2 inches from the heat source to brown the crumbs if necessary.

In Parchment Paper

Baking cod in parchment paper is one of the easiest ways to make moist, tender fish. Lay out one sheet of parchment paper for each cod fillet. It should be large enough to fold around the fish and other ingredients. Lay the cod fillet on one-half of the parchment and add your favorite vegetables and seasonings such as thinly sliced asparagus, garlic, herb and a drizzle of fresh olive oil and lemon juice. Once you've added everything, fold the unfilled parchment over the fish and begin making overlapping folds that are 1/2 inch wide to seal the parchment in a semi-circle. Place the packets on a baking sheet and bake in an oven that's been preheated to 425 F for about 8 minutes.

Glazed Baked Cod

Make a flavorful glaze to brush on the cod before baking it, a method that combines a slightly sweet base with savory ingredients to create a balanced flavor profile. Start with honey, agave nectar or jam, and mix in a little citrus zest or juice and herbs such as thyme, basil, parsley or dill. Place the cod on a foil-lined baking sheet or a glass baking dish that’s sprayed with cooking spray. Brush the glaze on top of the cod and bake it in an oven that you've preheated to 400 F or 425 F for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flaky and the glaze is slightly thick and bubbling.

With Potatoes and Vegetables

It doesn't get much easier or faster than throwing everything in the oven in one dish. Add potatoes, onions and garlic and your favorite veggies such as green beans, hearty leafy greens like kale, or diced squash. Season it to taste with salt and pepper and herbs such as rosemary or parsley. Because cod cooks quickly, you'll need to either pre-steam potatoes or put them in the oven about 10 to 20 minutes before adding the fish. Preheat the oven to 400 F and bake the mixture in a glass dish for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky and the veggies are tender. Spoon the pan juices over the mixture when you serve it.

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About the Author

Caryn Anderson combines extensive behind-the-scenes writing experience with her passion for all things food, fashion, garden and travel. Bitten by the travel bug at the age of 15 after a trip to Europe, Anderson fostered her love of style and fashion while living in New York City and earning her degree at New York University.