Easy Baked Cod

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The best Baked Cod with lemon, garlic, butter, and Italian seasoning. This quick and easy recipe is a great way to cook cod at home and get dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.

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Made simply with just 5 ingredients, this Easy Baked Cod recipe makes for a mouthwatering addition to your regular line-up of weeknight dinners. Bursting with flavor and baked to flaky perfection, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try it sooner!

Often overshadowed by more popular fish like salmon and tuna, cod filets are vastly underrated. It’s meaty, flaky, versatile, and affordable. From cod cakes and fish tacos to baked recipes like this one, cod filets can be used in a wide variety of tasty dishes.

This delicious recipe for Easy Baked Cod is made using simple ingredients that pack in tons of flavor and allow the fish to really shine. We coat the cod filets in a vibrant mixture of butter, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and Italian seasoning before baking them, resulting in a final product that is tender, flaky, and insanely flavorful.

For the ultimate weeknight dinner, I like to pair this dish with veggies and rice or potatoes. Whether you’re cooking for one or serving at a dinner party, you can’t go wrong with this healthy and flavor-packed recipe. Ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes, it’s sure to become a fantastic new addition to your weekly rotation.

Cod baked with butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning on a plate with mixed greens.

Key Ingredients

This easy dish requires minimal ingredients to shine. The key ingredients you will need for this dish include:

  • Cod filets: This mild and tender fish is the star of the show. You can use fresh or frozen cod for this recipe, but I prefer to get fresh filets from the grocery store.
  • Butter: This can be subbed for olive oil, but using butter adds a ton of rich and delicious flavor to the dish.
  • Lemon juice: The acidity we get from fresh lemon juice brightens up the rest of the dish and brings out all of the wonderful flavors.
  • Garlic cloves: You’ll want to use fresh garlic if possible, as this will yield the best flavors.
  • Italian seasoning: This simple spice mix brings a ton of flavor to the recipe that perfectly complements the fish. You can use a store-bought blend or easily make your own if you have the ingredients at home.

Why You’ll Love This Dish

  • Easy to make
  • Made with just 5 ingredients
  • Loaded with nutrients
  • Packed with flavor
  • Perfect for quick weeknight meals
  • Great for meal prep

Health Benefits of Cod

Cod is a flaky white fish that is packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s high in protein, but low in calories, fat, and carbs, making it an extremely healthy meal choice. According to The World's Healthiest Foods, these are some of the most impressive health benefits of cod:

  • Promotes heart health
  • Boosts brain function
  • Protects against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Protects against age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces the risk of depression

Recipe Tips for Baking Cod

  • Make sure your cod filets are similar in size and shape so they cook evenly.
  • You can cook this recipe using fresh or frozen fish. If using frozen, make sure to fully thaw it before cooking.
  • For a smoky flavor, you can grill your cod instead of baking it. Be careful not to overcook, cod is a delicate fish that should only need about 10 to 15 minutes on the grill.
  • If possible, try to use fresh lemon juice and fresh garlic for this recipe. Fresh ingredients will yield much better flavors than lemon juice concentrate or garlic powder.
  • To add some heat to the dish, try adding a pinch of cayenne powder or crushed red pepper to your butter mixture before coating the cod filets.
  • If you want to switch up the flavors, you can use different spice blends like Cajun seasoning or Tuscan seasoning instead of Italian seasoning.

How to Store This Dish

If you wind up with leftovers, you can store them in one of two ways:

  • To refrigerate this dish, transfer the cod filets to an airtight bag or container and store for up to 2 days
  • To freeze this dish, transfer the cod filets to an airtight bag or container and store for up to 1 month

Side Dish Ideas for Baked Cod

This Easy Baked Cod is a versatile dish that pairs beautifully with a wide variety of side dishes. Some of my favorite side dishes to pair with this recipe include:

Cod filets that are baked with garlic, butter, lemon, and seasoning on a plate with green salad and a blue napkin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen cod filets?

Yes. Simply drop the frozen cod filets (with the sealed packaging still on) into a bowl of cool water or refrigerate overnight to thaw before cooking them.

What does cod taste like?

Cod is mild in flavor and less fishy than some other types of fish, so it takes on the flavors you coat it with. Because it’s less fishy than others, cod is great for people who may not be the biggest seafood lovers.

What should I serve with baked cod?

Whatever you like! Baked cod is pretty versatile, so it works well with a lot of different side dishes. Some of the most common types of side dishes for fish like cod include grilled or roasted vegetables, potatoes, rice, and salad. You can get creative and switch up the side dishes each time you make this recipe.

What temperature should cod be cooked at?

In this recipe, we cook the cod at 400°F for maximum deliciousness. While this is my preferred temperature to cook cod at, you can technically cook it at any temperature you like, as long as the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Lemon baked cod with garlic and herbs on a white plate with butter sauce and green salad.

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The Recipe
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Easy Baked Cod

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  • 24 oz cod (or other sturdy white fish)
  • 2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic cloves, Italian seasoning in a bowl to create an herb butter.

Butter, garlic, lemon, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place the cod fillets in the baking dish. Carefully spread with a thin layer of the butter mixture on each filet.

Garlic butter being poured on to cod in a baking dish.

Bake the cod for 16-20 minutes (depending on thickness) until cooked through and flaky. The cod should easily flake off with a fork.

Cod baking in the oven with herbs and butter on top.

Serve with any leftover juices from the pan and fresh lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Baked cod with a lemon butter sauce being poured on top.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198
Calories from Fat 52
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 119mg
Sodium 229mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 35g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Easy Baked Cod
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April 13, 2021 - 18:44
This looks so good! We are cruising in our rv right now. Do you have a time and temp for a convection oven?
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