Oven-baking is easily one of the most delicious ways to prepare your cod. It’s quick, simple, mess-free, and it can be done anywhere, in any weather, any time of year.
It’s a consistent cooking method that rarely disappoints, and the options for flavorful marinades and sauces are endless. This is especially true where cod is concerned, as it is a mild, flakey and delicate fish that practically begs for robust marinades, seasonings and sauces.
What You’ll Need
You won’t need many tools or much prep time: A baking sheet, some aluminum foil, some cooking spray or olive oil, and then your flavors of choice.
Lining your baking sheet with aluminum foil is a crucial step. The foil prevents your fish from sticking to the sheet pan, and it also makes it really easy to quickly clean up after you’re done.
And if you’re feeling fancy you can even make a foil packet by sealing the edges of the aluminum foil around your fish, creating a parcel full of flavor that evenly roasts and steams your fish simultaneously. Sounds impressive, tastes amazing, but honestly, it’s really easy to do.
Prepping Your Cod
First dry your fish using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, focusing on removing as much liquid and dampness as possible. The drier your fish is before you bake it, the more moist it will be when you are done. At this point you should also look at your cod loin. Ideally your filet will have even thickness throughout, but if it doesn’t try to fold any tapered ends under to ensure your fish cooks evenly.
Ideal Cooking Temperatures and Cook Times Vary
As a rule of thumb, set your oven temperature to around 400 °F. Of course, depending on the thickness of fish and the desired result, you may need to adjust your oven temp, but most recipes and culinary pros will tell you that 400 °F is the sweet spot for oven roasting fish. If you are roasting a fillet of cod at 400 °F, then about 8-10 minutes of baking time per each inch of thickness is a good starting place. You can always put your fish back in the oven for an additional minute or two, as needed, but always err on the side of not overcooking.
Another option is to slow roast your fish, meaning you cook it at a lower oven temperature for a longer period of time, allowing the fish to slowly bake. At 300 °F, an average portion of cod will slow roast for about 20-30 minutes, or until opaque and easy to flake when you poke it with a fork.
Pick Your Flavors of Choice
Oven-baking cod comes with tons of flavor profile possibilities, seasoning, marinades and more. You can follow a specific recipe or just focus on a family of flavors or a culinary inspiration from a cuisine or destination you love.
Oven Baked Cod Recipes We Love
Of course, some flavor combinations and marinades work better than others, but you definitely have a lot of options. This Lemon Parsley Baked Cod is indulgent and also on the lighter side thanks to the lemon zest and fresh lemon juice.
This Slow Roasted Cod with Bell Peppers and Capers follows the slow cooking concept of oven roasting your fish at a low temperature (300 °F) for a longer period of time (25-30 minutes). The trick is to roast the bell peppers ahead of time at high heat, and then combine them on the baking sheet with your seasoned cod. The result is a perfectly moist, tender, baked cod with charred peppers and so much flavor.
And then there is this Mediterranean cod dish, perfect for anyone who loves Greek cuisine. Fresh lemons, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, paprika makes this flavor profile bright and fresh. What makes this dish unique is that you first sear the fish in a skillet over high heat, and then you bake it in the oven so that it cooks through perfectly but has a nice crispy outside.