8 Easy Cod Recipes – Tender, flaky, and mild cod filets are the perfect blank canvas for an unlimited palette of flavors. Lemon butter ranks high on my list, and the firm-fleshed cod is so versatile you can smoke, grill, bake, or fry it. And all that in a moment’s notice.
Cod has always been a favorite of mine because of its incredible versatility. And it goes with almost anything, unlike stronger-flavored fish like catfish and sardines. This list of effortless cod recipes will make your life so much easier. I know it did for me.
This delectable codfish comes from a large family that includes haddock, whiting, and Chilean seabass. So any of these guys will work in the following recipes. And don’t forget about salt-cod for authentic Caribbean cuisine.
Fresh cod is super versatile. The firm-fleshed fish bakes, fries, grills, and smokes deliciously. Salt cod (bacalao) is better for stews, salads, and savory pies.
It’s also known as sablefish or butterfish, and it’s not actually in the cod family. It has a delicate texture, is fattier (hence the name butterfish), and has more omega-3 than most other fish, but it’s not a suitable cod substitute.
Codfish is nicknamed chicken of the sea because of its white, lean, flaky meat and mild taste. It’s tenderly flaky but firm, so it can take the heat, especially for dishes like fish and chips.
Easy Cod Recipe Make-Ahead and Storage
Fish is one of those dishes that is best fresh. Unfortunately, it can get funky pretty fast if it’s raw, so I don’t recommend making it ahead unless you’re thinking about marinating it overnight.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. Or you can freeze leftovers for two or three months.
One trick I learned in freezing fresh-caught fish is to put the fillets in a water-filled freezer ziplock bag before freezing. Of course, you need a sub-zero freezer for that trick. I wouldn’t have believed how fresh they tasted if I hadn’t seen it for myself.
To reheat your fish:
- Preheat the oven to 275°F/135℃.
- Place the leftover fish on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover it with foil.
- Bake it for 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F-130°F/52-54℃.
Or you could microwave in 30-second blasts until it’s hot enough.
The Easy Cod Recipe Rundown
1. Baked Cod
These tender and flaky cod fillets smothered in a lemon garlic sauce with a kiss of heat are an ideal mid-week dinner. Did I mention that it’s low-carb? Even better, you can have this easy cod recipe on the table in 20 minutes flat.
Baked cod goes great with seasoned rice or cream cheese mashed potatoes and parmesan-crusted asparagus. It’s so easy to pair sides with cod’s mild flavors. And don’t forget a delicious tossed salad to turn it into an even healthier option.
2. Fish and Chips
Classic fish and chips are as good as it gets. Delightfully seasoned and tender cod fillets are encased in a mellow beer batter then served with real potato fries (chips in England). While they make a fabulous lunch, they’re also the perfect appetizer or snack to share with your favorite game-day buddy!
If you have leftovers, you can layer them between paper towels in an airtight container, then refrigerate them for up to three days. Reheat them in a preheated 275°F/135℃ oven and bake them until heated through, or about 10 minutes.
3. Fried Fish Sandwich
Forget McDonald’s and Burger King! This crunchy, flaky, fried fish sandwich knocks fast-food fish out of the water. Crispy perfection is topped with homemade tartar sauce and fresh, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. This classic fried fish sandwich is guaranteed to be your new favorite.
You have the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions ready for assembly ahead of time, then heat the buns while you’re frying the fish. Store leftover buns on the counter at room temperature and refrigerate the fish fillets in an airtight container lined with paper towels. Toast the buns and reheat the fish in the oven to crisp them back up.
4. Beer-Battered Fish
This recipe is one of my family’s game day favorites. Fresh cod is enveloped in a well-seasoned beer batter and fried to golden perfection. Crispy on the outside and so flaky on the inside, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. And it’s so easy; you can make it for a deliciously quick lunch.
5. Fish Stew
Tasty white fish stewed in a rich tomato sauce with deliciously earthy flavors. This West African specialty is quick and straightforward. And even better, you can customize it to your family’s tastes.
6. Curry Fish
Spicy, savory fish simmered in aromatic curry sauce with coconut milk and homemade curry powder is powerful comfort food. It’s a fabulicious weeknight meal that’s also perfect for the Lenten season.
7. Fish Yassa
Grilled or fried, this Senegalese seasoned fish is smothered in lemon, garlic, and mustard sauce. While you may know this dish better with chicken, it’s equally delicious with fish. And the mustard, onion, and garlic sauce is a must-have for authentic Senegal food.
8. Caribbean Fish Stew
A simple stew with marinated fish (easily replaced with cod), infused with spices and herbs, then smothered in bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The Scotch bonnet to kick up the heat is totally optional.
This tropical stew is absolutely mouthwatering with coconut rice and fried sweet plantains. The tropical flavors just go so well together. Oh, my little secret, sometimes I replace the water with full-fat coconut milk for a Caribbean fish chowder.
You can easily make this stew the day before and store it in a container with a lid. Reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop because this is one of the few cod recipes that tastes better the day after.
If you don’t cook with cod, I hope these super easy recipes change that. Fish and Chips is my go-to for cozy game nights with the family, and Fish Yassa is where I head when I’m looking for soul-satisfying comfort food. Let me know which one you decide to try in the comments below.