Parmesan Breaded Fish is a crispy baked fish coated in breadcrumbs, herbs, and Parmesan. Your picky eaters won't even know they're eating fish! Italian Parmesan Breaded Fish is a quick and easy weeknight dinner that pairs well with couscous or rice and steamed veggies. Ready in less than 25 minutes!
This perfectly crisp Parmesan Breaded Fish came from a whole lot of trial and error in trying to get a crispy and not mushy crust. Baked fish makes for a simple and quick dinner. It cooks faster than chicken and I've never gotten a chewy or rubbery batch of fish like I sometimes get with chicken. It's also less calories for those of us watching our weight 😉
I love breading fish because my kids don't pay close enough attention to even know their eating "fishies" until they're almost done. The breading in this Parmesan Breaded Fish is so flavorful that it covers any "fishy" taste you sometimes get.
I also love changing up the way I bread white fish, and will often use a combination of panko, crushed walnuts, or almonds in addition to or in place of breadcrumbs. A small change from breadcrumbs to crushed nuts or panko and herbs can really add a different, yet delicious, taste to the meal.
For this recipe I use panko and regular breadcrumbs. It's a great change from using only regular breadcrumbs. Panko helps add crispiness that is hard to get with regular breadcrumbs. But the regular breadcrumbs help to coat the entire fish, so I use both for a fully-coated, crispy, Italian-flavored fish. And boy is it delicious!
How Do I Make Crispy Parmesan Breaded Fish?
The first step to making Parmesan Breaded Fish is to combine the breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan, and herbs in a large shallow bowl. If you use Italian breadcrumbs, you can skip the Italian seasoning. Then combine butter and lemon in another bowl.
Next, coat the fish in the butter and lemon and then in the breadcrumb mixture. You can use any type of whitefish that you like, such as tilapia, cod, flounder, etc. We like tilapia and flounder, so I stick with those.
Place the fish in an oiled glass dish and drizzle with the leftover lemon butter. The key is to only drizzle a little bit on each. If they are too wet the crumbs wont crisp. If you're unsure about how much, you can skip this step without affecting the taste too much.
How do I get a crispy breading? COOKING SPRAY! Spray the fish with cooking oil to coat it completely. It will come out as crispy as can be, almost as if you used a deep fryer. Bake between 10-20 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown and the fish flakes apart easily with a fork.
The variation in cooking time depends largely on how thick your fish is. You can read more about that here to help you figure out the best time. I always cook mine a few minutes longer than recommended because the breading needs that time to get crunchy.
You can top it with chopped scallions and extra lemon for added bang. I think Parmesan Breaded Fish is best when served with quick and simple sides, like couscous (ready in 5 minutes!) and steamed or baked asparagus, broccoli, or broccolini. You can easily make this a complete dinner in less than 30 minutes!
How Can I Make It Kid-Friendly?
It already is! But, if you have exceptionally picky eaters, serve with mac-n-cheese and give options for a dipping sauce, like ketchup, ranch, or honey mustard.
Italian Parmesan Breaded Fish
- 3 white fish fillets (cod, tilapia, flounder)
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup panko (or use 1 full cup of plain breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- ½ lemon
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Mix butter and lemon in a bowl.
- Mix Parmesan, herbs, salt, and breadcrumbs on a large plate.
- Coat the fish in the lemon butter mixture and then in the breadcrumbs. Place on an oiled glass baking dish.
- Drizzle leftover lemon butter over fish, adding more melted butter so all fillets are evenly coated.
- Spray fish with cooking spray to coat.
- Bake 20 minutes. Serve warm, squeezing additional lemon juice on top if desired, over rice or couscous and a side of steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus.