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Crispy Lemon Baked Fish

Crispy lemon baked fish topped with flavorful citrus and herb-seasoned breadcrumbs. An incredibly easy and healthy weeknight dinner to cook in the oven!

baked fish on baking sheet
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Easy Oven Baked Fish

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

This baked fish is so easy to make on a sheet and is the perfect weeknight meal that comes together in just 30 minutes. The end result is tender and flaky white fish with a crisp and golden exterior that’s filled to the brim with flavor.

Whip up a batch of homemade fries to curb that fish and chip craving and serve with a creamy tartar sauce or garlic aioli. It’s a healthier restaurant worthy meal that’s made in the comfort of your own home!

Best Type of Fish to Use

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, haddock, catfish and snapper. They are all great for frying, sautéing, chowders and baking.

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!

fish on the baking sheet

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 are best as they give an extra boost of flavor. You could always use dried herbs 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.

No breadcrumbs in the pantry? You can make this oven baked tilapia with no breadcrumbs or learn how to make breadcrumbs from scratch using leftover homemade bread and a drizzle of olive oil. They are so easy to whip up that you may never buy the store-bought container ever again!

How to Make Baked Fish

A collage showing steps of how to bake fish.
  1. Coat fish with breadcrumbs. 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.
  2. Bake in oven. Place the fish on the lower rack in your oven and cook at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Seasoning Variations

Feel free to switch up the herbs if preferred. Replace the dill and parsley with Italian seasoning or keep it simple with some garlic powder and a sprinkle of lemon pepper. You can even spread some garlic herb butter over the tops before adding the breadcrumb coating. If you like spice, add a dash of paprika!

Favorite Sides for Serving

To keep it healthy, I love serving my baked fish with oven roasted vegetables. You can even cook them at the same time in the oven, which makes it super easy!

FAQs

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.

baked fish with lemon and tarter sauce

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baked fish on baking sheet

Crispy Lemon Baked Fish

5 from 5 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Crispy lemon baked fish topped with flavorful citrus and herb-seasoned breadcrumbs. An incredibly easy and healthy weeknight dinner to cook in the oven!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 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

    Instructions

    • 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.

    Video


    Notes

    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.

    Nutrition

    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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