Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Filets

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My tried-and-true Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Filets are perfectly seasoned, tender on the inside, and crunchy on the outside, then dipped into or topped with delicious homemade tartar sauce — what a duo!

oven fried fish filets on a white plate garnished with parsley and lemon.

This baked fish recipe is one of my Southern favorites, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to make!

Using a simple 3-step dredging process, you’ll have a healthier and easy-baked fish recipe in no time! 

Why you’ll love this crispy baked fish recipe!

  • Packed with Flavor– While we may love classic old bay seasoning, sometimes, it’s nice to switch things up. Crispy oven-baked fish is crusted with garlic, onion powder, and panko mixture, then dipped into or drizzled with homemade tartar sauce!
  • Quick and Easy– Make delicious fish in under 30 minutes– Just coat with the crust, bake, throw together the tartar sauce, and serve!
  • Healthy Meal– This healthy oven-baked fish recipe is much better than deep frying without compromising the taste and satisfying crispy crust!

Ingredient notes

  • Fish filets | This recipe works best with mild white fish filets, like tilapia or Atlantic cod. Or make it a catfish recipe using quality filets of catfish.
  • Flour | A bit of all-purpose flour helps form the crispy crust.
  • Garlic and onion | Season the crust of the fish with garlic and onion powder.
  • Salt and pepper | Add salt and black pepper to round out the flavors.
  • Eggs | You’ll need a couple of eggs to help the crust stick to the filets. 
  • Panko | Use panko bread crumbs for perfectly crispy baked fish.
  • Olive oil | Drizzle the coated filets with olive oil to produce a crunchy golden brown outside — without frying!

Dijon Tartar Sauce

  • Mayonnaise | Make a creamy tartar for this crispy fish with a creamy mayonnaise base.
  • Relish | Subtly sweet pickle relish with tangy notes brings a complex taste to the simple tartar sauce recipe.
  • Lemon | Brighten the flavor of the sauce with fresh lemon juice.
  • Mustard | Use whole-grain Dijon mustard to add rich notes to the recipe. I like to use the mustard from Trader Joe’s!
  • Hot sauce | If desired, add a dash of hot sauce to bring some heat to the sauce.

How to make this Oven-Fried Fish Recipe

This is not your ordinary fish fry! Today’s recipe involves a simple process with basic ingredients that produce an incredible flavor and crispy texture!

STEP 1 | Preheat and prep

Let’s start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

STEP 2 | Cut filets

If you’d like, cut the filets into smaller pieces to make fish sticks instead.

STEP 3 | Set up the dredging station

3-part dredging station for making oven fried fish: flour, egg mixture, and panko bread crumbs in shallow dishes.

Next, combine the dry ingredients, including flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, into a shallow dish and stir with a fork to combine.

Place the beaten eggs and the panko crumbs in two separate shallow dishes for now.

STEP 4 | Dip fish in coating and egg mixture

Coat by dredging each piece of fish in the flour mixture, dipping it into the beaten eggs, then dredging in the panko, making sure the fish is coated on all sides.

Place the breaded filet on the parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Repeat this process for each piece of fresh fish.

tips

  • Using a mat or parchment paper helps reduce the mess and keeps the flaky fish from sticking to the sheet. If preferred, grease the sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil.
  •  If you don’t have a shallow dish for dredging, a pie plate works wonderfully!
  • You may want to coat the fish over paper towels for easier cleanup.

STEP 5 | Bake fish

drizzling olive oil on breaded fish filets prior to baking.

Then, drizzle the tops of the breaded fish with the olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

If you desire a more golden brown crust, once done, increase the heat and place the fish under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

STEP 6 | Mix the homemade tartar sauce

whisking together ingredients for tartar sauce in a small bowl.

Combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, lemon juice, mustard, and hot sauce in a small bowl as the crispy fish bakes. Then, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Once baked, remove the baking pan from the oven, allow the fish to cool a bit, and serve!

tip

  • Reserve some of the extra lemon wedges to garnish when serving. Also, chopped fresh parsley adds a pop of vibrant color and herby notes.

Variations and substitutions

  • Turn Up the Heat. Add a dash of cayenne pepper for extra spice along with the salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powder!
  • Cheesy Crust. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese to the panko crumbs to make a cheesy, crispy crust — Yum!
  • Fish Bites. Chop the fish into small, bite-sized pieces to make mini fish nuggets perfect for party appetizers, your kid’s lunch box, or a tasty afternoon snack.
  • Coating Options. If preferred, use saltine crackers or regular bread crumbs instead of panko. Choose plain bread crumbs or a seasoned style that combines well with the other flavors of the recipe.
  • Healthier Still. Swap the mayonnaise in the tartar sauce recipe with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative.

Storage and reheating tips

  • Allow the dish to come to room temperature, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days.
  • When properly stored, the homemade tartar sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
  • To reheat refrigerated oven-fried fish, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes or until heated through. 
placing a fish filet on a fish turner onto a serving platter on a table.

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to fry or bake fish?

Many people don’t know that frying fish in hot oil removes or lessens vital nutrients like omega-3 fats, vitamin D, and more. Baking fish is an excellent way to retain the health benefits and reduce excess oil.

How do you get breading to stick to fish filets?

The flour and egg in this recipe help the breading to stick to the filets. The panko crumbs will adhere even better when you apply pressure as you coat. It also helps to dry the fish with paper towels before dredging. 

What fish can be fried?

White, mild-flavored, and dense fish tend to fry the best because they don’t easily fall apart and make for an excellent base for seasoned breading. Cod, haddock, and tilapia are great choices for frying, whether cooked in the oven or in a pan.

Serving suggestions

Serve your oven-baked fish filets with hush puppies and Tangy No-Mayo Coleslaw for a traditional southern meal.

Or, pair the healthy fish dish with Lemon Garlic Smashed Potatoes and nutritious Lemon Mustard Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower.

a platter of oven fried fish filets garnished with parsley and lemon halves on a table with a bowl of tartar sauce.

Looking for more delicious fish recipes?

If you’re a fish-lover like me, you’ll also want to try my Simple Blackened Catfish Recipe, these Southern Salmon Croquettes, and my easy and classic restaurant-quality Fried Catfish!

fish topped with tartar sauce being flaked with a fork on a plate.

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oven fried fish filets on a white plate garnished with parsley and lemon.

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Filets with Dijon Tartar Sauce

My tried-and-true Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Filets are perfectly seasoned, tender on the inside, and crunchy on the outside, then dipped into or topped with delicious homemade tartar sauce!
4.34 from 89 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 769 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 mild fish filets like tilapia or cod
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Dijon Tartar Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard Trader Joe’s
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon hot sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Cut filets into small pieces, if desired.
  • In a shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, stirring with a fork. Place the beaten eggs and the panko bread crumbs in two separate shallow dishes.
  • To coat the fish, dredge each piece in the flour mixture, dip it into the beaten eggs, and finally dredge in the panko, making sure the fish is coated on all sides. Place the breaded filet on the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat this process for each piece of fish.
  • Drizzle the tops of the breaded fish with the olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. If you desire a more golden brown crust, once done, increase the heat and place the fish under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
  • In the meantime, combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, lemon juice, mustard, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Using a mat or parchment paper helps reduce the mess and keeps the flaky fish from sticking to the sheet. If preferred, grease the sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil.
  •  If you don’t have a shallow dish for dredging, a pie plate works wonderfully!
  • You may want to coat the fish over paper towels for easier cleanup.
  • Reserve some of the extra lemon wedges to garnish when serving. Also, chopped fresh parsley adds a pop of vibrant color and herby notes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 769kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 60gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 1149mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cod, fish, over fried, panko bread crumbs, tartar sauce, tilapia
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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9 Comments

  1. 375° didn’t work for me. Ended up using 400° and about 3o minutes. Delicious, though, as was the tartar sauce. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Hi! Quite a simple, easy to follow recipe, so thanks! The oven setting, is it 375deg F or C? My oven only goes up to 230deg C…

  3. 4 stars
    Very easy. I used Tilapia and it was very good. I used whole grain bread crumbs and EVOO instead of butter. My hubby said it was a keeper.

  4. WOW this is super cripsy. Who needs takeout…this is BETTER. I know my family would love this for dinner any night of the week.

  5. 4 stars
    Very good! I used GF bread crumbs instead of the panko bread crumbs, and will drizzle butter on the filets before baking next time.

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