How to Cook Cod for Quality Fish Dinners at Home

Skip the guesswork and learn how to bake, pan-fry, poach, or grill cod using these helpful tips and tasty Test Kitchen-approved cod recipes.

Cod is a flavorful healthy main dish option full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It may have less omega-3 fatty acids than other fish varieties such as salmon or mackerel, but cod can still be a great addition to a heart-healthy diet. When it comes to baking fish, knowing how long to bake cod can be tricky. Follow along with our Test Kitchen's instructions on how to cook cod to perfection. Once you've mastered how to cook cod all the ways, try more of our delicious fish recipes.

Moroccan Cod and Vegetables with Chermoula Sauce
Blaine Moats

How to Bake Cod

Use these easy steps to bake cod to flaky perfection.

  1. Clean fish and gently pat dry. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours or on the defrost setting of the microwave.
  2. Season fish. Plain salt and pepper are great, but you can use your favorite herbs or other seasoning blends.
  3. Place fish in a greased baking dish—try melting butter in the pan first for more flavorful results.
  4. Bake in 400°F oven for 10 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Citrus Salad with Poached Cod
Karla Conrad

How to Cook Cod on the Stove

There are two main ways we like to cook cod in a pan on the stove top: pan-frying and poaching. Use these tips to cook cod in a pan on the stove top.

To pan-fry cod:

Rinse and dry cod. Heat large skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Place seasoned cod fillets and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until fish is done. You can also bread the fish to give it a crunchy exterior like in this herb-crusted cod recipe.

To poach cod:

Rinse and dry cod. Add ½ cup water (if you like, squeeze in some citrus juice to add flavor) to a large nonstick skillet and bring to a boil. Add cod; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, covered up to 12 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa
Andy Lyons

How to Grill Cod

You can infuse cod with irresistible smoked flavor by brushing it with oil and seasoning followed by grilling the fish on a preheated grill pan or gas or charcoal grill on the greased rack of a covered grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Get more tips on preventing your fish from sticking using our guide to grilling fish.

Try more of our favorite fish recipes to keep your healthy menu exciting.

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