Here in New England, Baked Cod with Ritz cracker topping is standard fare. Most every restaurant has this simple fresh oven baked cod recipe on the menu. While some places add a bit of seafood to the cracker topping, others may add some herbs or even top with a tomato sauce. Anyway it's made, fresh fish for dinner is always a treat.
I prefer keep my Boston baked cod recipe very simple, though I did include an Italian style option below. The ritz crackers add taste and help keep the fish moist without interfering with it's delicate texture and mild flavor, rather than over power it. Just add a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy the flaky fish!
This easy baked white fish recipe is quick to prepare and quite versatile. It is a favorite among my soon to become a favorite of your family, as well.
Best Baked Cod with Ritz Crackers
Cod baked in this manner is served in most restaurants and many homes on a regular basis. We do love our seafood here. Sometimes I make it with a bit of an Italian style twist by adding a bit of garlic.
This simple baked fish recipe is quick and easy to make. Baking cod in the oven is a perfect dinner solution for busy families. The delicious mild fish flakes easily with a fork and is suitable for all ages.
Sides for Baked Cod
Due to the filling buttery Ritz cracker topping, I typically just serve this easy cracker crusted baked cod along with a side or two of vegetables, such as sautéed asparagus or carrots and some lemon wedges. It would also go well with pea salad or cauliflower rice pilaf. A side salad with Avocado Ranch or Greek Vinaigrette dressing is a smart choice too.
A baked cod fish seafood dinner is a breeze to make and due to the mild flavor of the fish, goes with a wide variety of sides.
New England Baked Cod
As I mentioned, New Englanders tend to enjoy our seafood. I grew up eating plenty of it. We even went "quahogging" (clam digging) when I was a child and my mom would make a big batch of chowder and clam cakes after.
Although I was accustomed to eating seafood regularly, my family only ate fish as fish & chips or fish sticks. I didn't have baked fish fillets until I was an adult and started both working and going to restaurants in the area.
Baked Fish Leftovers
Unlike fried fish, leftovers from this baked cod recipe are still rather tasty. The dish has handles "late for dinner" time delays well too. Baked fish can be gently reheated, or used for other recipes like fish cakes.
If you haven’t tried baking cod before, try it. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
The picture here is actually of cod that was prepared the evening before. As you can see the dish has handled the time delay well.
How to Bake Cod
Let me show you how very simple this oven baked cod is to make. Even the Italian style version of the cracker topping has just four ingredients. Print recipe card below.
The recipe yields 4 servings, but is simple to adjust up or down.
Prep time: 6 mins | Bake Time: 16 mins
Supplies: While this recipe can be prepared on a sheet pan, a glass or ceramic baking dish is preferable.
Ingredients you will need:
- skinless cod fillets or cod loin (swap haddock or scrod if you like)
- butter, melted or olive oil
- a sleeve of Ritz crackers
- chopped fresh parsley
- fresh clove of garlic, minced *** optional (use garlic powder if you don't have garlic cloves)
- lemons or lemon juice for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil (baking sheet can also be used, line with parchment paper for easy clean-up).
Simply mix and chopped parsley (and garlic, if using) with softened or melted butter, then add crushed butter crackers to create the crumb mixture topping for the fish.
Pat the cod fish dry with paper towel, then spread the topping mixture over the cod fillets. Cover the top and as much of the sides of the fish fillets as you can to lock in moisture. Season fish with Kosher salt and pepper first if you wish.
Ensure the fish is covered with topping and gently pat to help adhere, then place the cod in oven which has been preheated to bake.
Bake cod for about 15 minutes minutes. The cod fish is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. The cooked flesh is opaque and flakes easily and the cracker topping is crispy browned and delicious.
Note: Bake time will vary slightly, depending on thickness of the fish.
Serve the mild white fish with garnish of lemon slices, so fresh lemon juice can be liberally applied while eating.
There are so many ways to change up this basic cod fish recipe easily.
- The crumb stuffing can be made with other crackers, panko breadcrumbs, various chips (see below) or even pork rinds if you are on keto.
- Olive oil can be changed out for the melted butter in the recipe if dairy or saturated fat is an issue for you.
- Mayonnaise is another viable swap for the melted butter. It adds a nice flavor too.
- Spice the baked cod up with some Cajun seasoning or hot sauce in the crumbs.
- Grate some lemon zest into the bowl of crumb mixture before you stir it together, to add a bright note.
- Add a splash of dry white wine or lemon juice on the fish before baking for complimentary flavor.
- Mix in a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese with the crumbs.
Potato Chip Crusted Cod
For a fun twist on the classic baked cod, try topping the fish fillets with crushed potato chips. This also omits the need to use butter.
You will need a ½ cup of crushed chips to top the cod well.
You can even use my homemade Kettle cooked chips for topping the fish!
Yes, frozen cod filets will just take a little longer. I suggest you preheat oven to 400 degrees and add on about 7-10 minutes to the cooking time. This will vary be thickness of the fish.
If stored in an airtight container, promptly after it cools to room temperature the fish will be good for 3-4 days. [ref usda]
Looking for a lower carb option? Try my Lemon Baked Keto Cod Recipe.
Serve the baked cod with lemon wedges, tartar sauce and simple sides, such as baked asparagus spears, coleslaw or glazed carrots. Oven roasted potatoes are also a good choice or try making mashed potatoes in the crock pot.
For more seafood recipes, try my oven fried tilapia, baked popcorn shrimp or Instant Pot clam chowder!
Baked Cod Recipe with Cracker Topping
- 1 pound cod fillets
- 2 tablespoons butter melted or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 25 round butter crackers
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced for Italian Style crumb mixture (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder) *Optional
- salt and pepper *optional to season fillets
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and coat baking dish or oven safe non-stick skillet with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Mix parsley into the softened butter (along with garlic, if you are using it), then crush the crackers in plastic a bag or food processor and mix together well with the butter.
- Pat the cod fillets dry if necessary and arrange the fish in the baking dish by placing snugly together. Fold under any thin edges (this keeps fish moist). Season each cod fillet with salt and black pepper if you like.
- Spread the crumb mixture evenly over the fish. Make sure to cover the fish well. Gently pat to adhere the topping.
- Put the cod in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, until the cod is cooked through (until translucency of fish is gone) and cracker topping is nicely browned and crisp.
- Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Oh YUM. Ritz make EVERYTHING taste better. I'm going to grab some cod or haddock next time I'm at the fish counter.
Using ritz crackers is so smart, they add such a nice butter flavor that is great with fish!
Ann Cummings says
Great pictures showing the foods you're cooking! Makes it easy to follow the recipe.
bill lazdowski says
This is the first time I have come across baked Cod.
So simple and delicious! Great way to make baked cod.
Giana L says
I make it like this, but add more chopped parsley to mine.
The Ritz makes this taste delish!
I have made this cod baked with this Ritz cracker topping twice this week. Such a delicious way to make healthy seafood!
We eat fresh fish once a week, so I'm always looking for healthy fish recipes. This one seems like a kid friendly dinner too
So delicious! Baked Cod is my favorite fish of all time. Ritz Crackers as a coating is really, really good! Thanks for the recipe.
This recipe exceeded my expectations. I will be making it again. Thanks.