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Crispy Lemon Baked Fish

This crispy lemon baked fish turns out tender, juicy and flavorful from citrus and herb-seasoned breadcrumbs. Use any type of white fish for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner!

This baked fish recipe pairs well with Parmesan roasted broccoli, rice pilaf and a side of creamy tartar sauce.

Baked fish on a sheet pan.
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Easy Oven Baked Fish

I love the classic fish and chips combo, but sometimes I want a healthier version without frying. With this baked fish recipe, you still get the crispy texture and fresh flavor with less calories and fat. Along with oven baked tilapia it’s one of my favorite healthy dinner ideas.

This baked fish is easy to make on a sheet pan and is the perfect 30 minute meal. The end result is tender and flaky flavorful white fish with a crisp and golden exterior. It rivals any restaurant when served with homemade fries and garlic aioli.

Recipe Ingredients

The trick when making this crispy oven baked fish is to use coarse breadcrumbs (such as panko) and finish the fillets under the broiler. This gives it the texture of fried fish, but way healthier and lighter!

Baked fish ingredients.

Find the full printable recipe with measurements below.

  • White fish fillets: You will need four skinless medium sized white fish fillets or 8 small firm white fish fillets.
  • Breadcrumb coating: Panko breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, fresh dill, lemon zest, salt and olive oil. Fresh herbs give an extra boost of flavor. Dried herbs work if that’s all you have on hand, but fresh is definitely my preference!
  • Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is drizzled over the fish before baking for extra lemon taste.

Substitutions and Variations

With baked white fish, lemon is a classic flavor pairing. In this recipe I have added dill, but other herbs and spices work well, too!

  • No breadcrumbs in the pantry? Learn how to make breadcrumbs from scratch using leftover homemade bread and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Dried herbs: Replace the dill and parsley with Italian seasoning or keep it simple with some garlic powder and a sprinkle of lemon pepper.
  • Lemon garlic: Spread some garlic herb butter over the tops before adding the breadcrumb coating.
  • Spice: If you like spice, add a dash of paprika or smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.

How to Make Baked Fish

A collage showing steps of how to bake fish.
  • Coat fish with bread crumbs. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley, dill, salt and olive oil. Place the fish on a parchment lined baking sheet, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with extra salt.
  • Bake in oven. Place the fish on the lower rack in your oven and cook at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until fish flakes. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler.
  • Make tartar sauce: While fish is baking in the oven, make homemade tartar sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl then stirring to combine. Store in the refrigerator until fish is done.
  • Broil until crisp. Place the fish under the broiler for about 1 minute, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy. It won’t take long for them to crisp up, so make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Best Type of Fish to Bake

This recipe calls for white fish. Since there are many different kinds, I recommend using 4 medium-sized fillets, or 8 small fillets (without the skin). White fish is not a type of fish – it just means it’s mildly flavored, firm or flakey and is usually not very expensive.

The most popular kinds that you’ll find at your bulk market or the grocery store are tilapia, cod, bass, halibut, grouper, haddock, catfish and snapper. They are all great for frying, sautéing, chowders and baking.

Excerpt Tips

  • Note the thickness of your fish filets. Thinner filets will cook faster while thicker fish will take longer. Increase or decrease time accordingly.
  • Avoid dry fish. While oven-baked fish is a great hands off method to cook fish fillets, overcooked fish will be dry rather than flaky. Use an instant-read meat thermometer. Fish is fully cooked when it read 140°F.
  • Leftovers. Store leftover fish in an airtight container up to 3-4 days. Use them to make fish tacos!
  • Reheat. Reheat in the oven at 275°F covered with foil to prevent drying out.
Slices of baked fish.

Favorite Sides for Serving

To keep it healthy, I love serving my baked fish with lemon slices and oven roasted vegetables but no one ever turns down some cheddar bay biscuits.


What is the best temperature to cook fish?

It really depends on the type of fish, but generally most fish is cooked anywhere between 350 degrees F and 450 degrees F. For this baked fish recipe, I recommend you bake it 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Can I use frozen fish?

While fresh fish will have the best texture, you can use frozen fish but will need to defrost the fillets and pat them dry before proceeding with this recipe.

How can I tell when fish is finished baking?

You can tell fish is cooked when it becomes opaque rather than the translucent color it has when raw. It will also flake easily with a fork. If you are still unsure, check it with a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 145 degrees F.

Do I need to flip the fish halfway through cooking time?

No, white fish is too delicate and would most likely fall apart if you flip it.

Piece of baked fish.

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Slices of baked fish.

Baked Fish Recipe

4.95 from 19 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This crispy lemon baked fish turns out tender, juicy and flavorful from citrus and herb-seasoned breadcrumbs. Use any type of white fish for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 medium white fish fillets, skinless (or 8 small firm white fish fillets)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice , plus lemon wedges for serving

Optional: Tartar sauce for serving


    • Heat oven to 400ºF and center two racks. Mix together the breadcrumbs, olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, dill and salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place fish on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the fish, then drizzle with lemon juice and season with extra salt.
    • Add the fish to the lower rack in the oven. Cook about 15 minutes total. Remove from oven and heat broiler.
    • Place fish under broiler about 1 minute until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp. Serve with extra lemon wedges and tartar sauce on the side if preferred.


    I love serving the fish with this easy homemade tartar sauce: 
    • 1/2 cup mayo
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped dill or parsley
    • 1-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Salt and pepper, to taste 
    Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until combined.


    Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 640IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Recipe contributed by TaraTeaspoon for I Heart Naptime.

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