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This really is the best baked cod! The fish comes out perfectly tender, seasoned with lemon and garlic. A dinnertime home run!

Baked cod

Looking for a home-run weeknight dinner? Try this incredible Baked Cod! We’ll admit, cod wasn’t always a fish on our radar. But this fish is truly special. It’s mild, tender, and buttery in flavor. The best part? It’s swimming in a zesty lemon garlic sauce that makes you want another bite before you’ve finished chewing. This baked fish is always a hit with our whole family! More with cod? Try 15 Cod Recipes Everyone Will Love.

How to buy a great fillet of cod

The most important part of making great baked cod? Start with a great piece of fish. We’ve been burned with a few bad pieces of cod, so here’s what to know:

  • Fresh tends to be best. With salmon you can find great fillets frozen or fresh. But the frozen cod we’ve tried has been sub-par, with a fishy aftertaste and watery texture. If you can, nab a piece from your local fish counter.
  • Buy wild caught. Fish that is wild caught in your country is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.

What does cod taste like?

If you’re on the fence about cod, allow us to convince you. Cod has a mild, pure flavor without a “fishy” aftertaste. In fact, it’s even more mild than salmon. Cod is a great starting point for people who think they don’t like fish.

More ways to eat cod? Cod is versatile and works in many different types of preparations: like pan fried, in fish tacos, or grilled.

Baked Cod

How to make baked cod: some tips!

Baked cod is one of the simplest ways to prepare this delicately-flavored fish! It comes out tender and seasoned to perfection. There are just a few things to note:

  • Let your fish come to room temp before baking. You can do this while the oven preheats; just pull the fish out the fridge. Cooking it from room temperature helps to ensure even cooking.
  • Season the fish. This is important! Sprinkle the salt and pepper right onto the fish.
  • Cover with seasoning. This recipe features a lemon garlic sauce made with olive oil, lemon juice, zest, minced garlic, shallot and dried oregano.
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 400 degrees bakes it to perfection.
  • Bake 17 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Cod is not nearly as touchy as salmon, so you can approximate without a thermometer. Get it just flaky!

Cod seasoning variations

Want to mix it up a little? There are some great other seasoning variations to try! Skip the lemon garlic sauce and add these seasonings to the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then paint it right on the fish:

  • Mexican-Style Cod: Add 2 tablespoons of this Fish Taco Seasoning before baking.
  • Cajun Cod: Try it with 1 to 2 tablespoons of this spicy homemade Cajun seasoning.
  • Blackened Cod: Sprinkle on 1 to 2 tablespoons Blackened seasoning, a more mild blend that still preserves the Cajun flavor.
Baked Cod

Make it a meal! Sides to serve with baked cod

Impress your entire family with this baked cod to make an easy, healthy dinner! (Ours was seriously impressed…even our three year old!) The seasoning blend is pretty versatile, lending to lots of different side dish ideas. Here are some we’d recommend:

More easy seafood recipes

Some of our favorite fast and easy dinner recipes feature seafood! Here are some of our favorite fish and seafood recipes:

This baked cod recipe is…

Gluten-free, pescatarian and dairy-free.

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Baked Cod with Lemon

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This really is the best baked cod! The fish comes out perfectly tender, seasoned with lemon and garlic. A dinnertime home run!


  • 1 1/2 pounds cod (4 fillets), patted dry
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus zest of one lemon (plus lemon slices for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pat the cod dry, then season it with the ¾ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, split between the fillets. 
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, dried oregano, minced shallot, and minced garlic.
  4. Brush a bit of the mixture on the bottom of a baking dish and then place the cod on top. Brush each cod fillet liberally with the olive oil mixture. Sprinkle the paprika evenly between the fillets.
  5. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 17 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish), until the fish is flaky and the internal temperature is 130 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer. Garnish with chopped parsley and if desired, lemon slices. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Baked cod, baked cod recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. I was make this for dinner tonight together with the orange fennel salad. I really enjoyed it so fresh and juicy just perfect for a warm summer day. Thanks for the great recipes and inspiration.

  2. Wondering what the nutritional value is for the Lemon Baked Cod. I see values for some of your other recipes, but not this one………Would love to know.

    Thank you.

  3. Made this for dinner tonight and absolutely loved it. It was moist, tender and flavorful yet did not mask the delicate flavor of the cod. Love the fact that it is gluten-free. Most baked fish recipes call for breadcrumbs.