This baked cod is hands-down my favorite fish dish. It turns out perfectly flaky every time. The flavorful, creamy sauce puts it over the top!
This baked cod is one of the easiest fish dishes you can make, and easily one of the most delicious! You get perfect, flaky cod every time and the cream sauce kicks it up to the next level. Even your pickiest eaters will love this dish! Cod is such a mild fish anyway but when it is baked in this cream sauce, any trace of fishiness disappears. You are going to love it!
How to buy fish:
About 10 years ago I took a cooking class from a renowned chef in Salt Lake City. The entire class was all about how to cook fish. The chef gave some excellent pointers on how to find and buy the best fish, one of them being if you must buy fish from a grocery store (rather than a fresh fish market), always buy it FROZEN.
Don’t buy the fish that has already been thawed and sitting in the case. Most likely, they took fish that was frozen already and put it in the case. If you go home and freeze the fish for later use, that will be the 2nd time it has been frozen. That is not ideal. If you must, ask the person at the seafood counter to wrap up some fish for you that is still frozen. Or to simplify things, just buy the frozen cod at Costco. It’s delicious!
Substitutions for cod:
For this recipe you can use any kind of mild white fish, not just cod. Halibut, tilapia, mahi mahi… these will all work great! Just be sure that when you are cooking them to check for doneness. Tilapia will typically cook faster than, say, halibut because it is usually not as thick of a cut. Use whatever fish is “in season” and you won’t be disappointed! Here is a great chart to see what fish are in season at any given time (click HERE).
What goes well with baked cod?
We like to serve this particular dish with either baked or mashed potatoes. You can also serve it with plain or seasoned rice. Our favorite vegetables to serve with baked cod is sautéed sweet asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, or peas. You really can’t go wrong with any kind of steamed vegetable!
Can baked cod be re-heated?
Yes… if done correctly. The best way I have found to re-heat fish is to put it in a frying pan with a lid and bring it up to temperature on the stove (slowly). If you heat it on too high of heat it will burn, so watch it closely. You definitely don’t want to throw it in the microwave. Fish does re-heat well in the microwave! It will turn rubbery and the flavor will just not be there.
How to make gluten-free baked cod:
To make this recipe gluten-free, the only thing you really need to be conscious of is the breadcrumbs. You can easily replace the breadcrumbs with GF breadcrumbs or you can leave the breadcrumbs out altogether. The béchamel sauce is made with cornstarch so you don’t need to make any adjustments there.
How to prepare baked cod:
First, you season the fish with salt and then slather with seasoned butter:
Then, add some bread crumbs over the top:
Lastly, pour the cream sauce around the fish and bake! Easy right? Dinner is done in less than 40 minutes!
If you want to make it really fancy (with very little effort), bake the cod in separate gratin dishes. Isn’t that pretty?
How to make Baked Cod in Cream Sauce:
Baked Cod in Cream Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
- Prepare cream sauce (see instructions below) and set aside, keeping warm.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and place cod fillets in the dish. Sprinkle with salt.
- Combine melted butter and garlic and brush over fillets, reserving any leftover butter mixture.
- Sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs over fillets and pour remaining butter mixture over the top.
- Pour cream sauce in the spaces between the cod fillets so it fills up the baking dish and just the tops of the fillets are visible.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cream sauce starts bubbling.
- When the sauce starts bubbling up, set oven to "broil" and broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the fillets start to turn golden brown.
- Keep a CLOSE eye on it to make sure it doesn't start to burn.
- Remove from oven and serve with potatoes, rice, or vegetables.
For the cream sauce:
- Melt butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.
- Slowly add the cornstarch and stir for about 1 minute.
- While whisking constantly, slowly add whipping cream and milk until well combined. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
- Reduce heat to low and whisk occasionally for about 10 minutes until sauce becomes rich and creamy, adding more milk, if needed. You want it to be the consistency of a thin gravy.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.