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Crispy Baked Cod with Lemon-Garlic Aioli (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)


This light, crispy, and flavorful Baked Cod recipe is an easy and healthful dinner made from affordable, flaky white fish and some everyday pantry staples. Skip the fryer and make crispy baked fish right in your own oven that is made with good fats from avocado oil. Serve it with our lemon-garlic aioli dipping sauce for a simple dinner with that WOW factor!

This post was created in partnership with Primal Kitchen.

White platter filled with crispy baked cod fillets and bowl of lemon garlic aioli

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Yes, You Can Make Delicious Fish Dinners At Home!

Many people are intimidated to make a fish dinner at home. But we’re here to show you that you CAN make the most delicious fish recipe right in your own kitchen, and it’s not hard to do! We think this recipe is a wonderful introduction to working with fish, and the result is a delicious and light dinner that the whole family will love to eat. Follow our simple technique for making crispy baked cod right in the oven from easy-to-find ingredients and kitchen tools.

Overhead view all ingredients for homemade baked cod with aioli sauce.

Ingredients to Make Crispy Baked Cod with Aioli Dipping Sauce

You don’t need to live on the coastline or shop at fancy stores to make this easy oven baked fish recipe right in your kitchen. Gather these simple ingredients and follow our easy directions:

  • Cod fillets – you’ll need 1 to 1 ½ pounds of fresh white fish filets. We think cod is a perfect choice since it has a mild non-fishy flavor, meaty texture, bakes well in the oven, and is easy to find. You can also use black cod, haddock, hake, cusk, tilapia, pollock, striped bass, or white sea bass
  • Tortilla chips – you can use any brand and type of tortilla chips that you’d like to make the crispy coating on this baked cod recipe. Since you’ll be grinding the chips into small pieces, you can use whole chips, broken chips, and even those chip crumbles from the bottom of the bag. For a grain-free recipe, use grain-free tortilla chips
  • Mayonnaise – we always use Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise because we love the flavor and that it’s made from avocado oil. In this recipe, we’ve used mayonnaise in two places – to coat the fish and also in the aioli dipping sauce
  • Nonstick cooking spray – Primal Kitchen also has a great Avocado Oil Spray that’s good for misting baking dishes and getting the perfect crisp coating on this baked fish recipe
  • Spices – you’ll need garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried dill, sea salt, black pepper
  • Garlic clove – can sub 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic for the fresh clove
  • Lemon – you’ll use both the peel and juice of a fresh lemon 

Optional garnishes – lemon wedges, capers, and fresh parsley or chives

Keep reading and scrolling for tips for success, as well as the complete recipe. The ingredient list with exact measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

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Process shot of cod fillet in chip crumbs coating both sides.
Overhead view seven cod fillets coated in crispy coating on wire rack baking sheet combo.

How To Bake Cod So It’s Tender and Crispy At The Same Time

Wondering how to cook cod? Here’s a great technique that makes this meaty white fish so delicious and good for you. In this recipe, a crispy crunchy coating surrounds tender and meaty baked cod. We’ve streamlined the technique so you can make this delicious white fish recipe at home and feel like a gourmet chef. Here are the quick steps to get it done:

Step-By-Step Instructions for How to Bake Cod

  1. Prep the oven and sheet pan: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place a metal wire rack over a baking sheet. 
  2. Rinse and cut the fish: Under cold water, rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 3- to 4-ounce pieces; set aside. 
  3. Make the crispy coating: In the bowl of a food processor, place the chips and seasonings. Grind until the mixture resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. 
  4. Coat the fish: Place some mayonnaise in a small dish. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush a thin coating of the mayonnaise on both sides of each piece of fish. Gently but firmly press each piece of fish into the chip breadcrumbs until coated on all sides. 
  5. Bake the fish: Place the fish pieces on the prepared rack over a baking sheet. Mist each fish piece with nonstick cooking spray. (NOTE: This step is important to ensure the coating gets crispy.) Bake for 20 minutes. 
  6. Make the aioli and serve: Stir together the aioli ingredients. Serve the baked fish with the aioli sauce and garnish servings with lemon wedges, capers, and chives.
White platter filled with crispy baked cod fillets and bowl of lemon garlic aioli.

For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.

Wire Rack for Baking Sheet

This sheet pan with a built-in metal rack is perfect for making crispy baked dishes like this Oven-Baked Cod recipe. In a pinch, you can use a metal cooling rack placed over top of a baking sheet, but this tool is made specially for the job.

The Right Tool for the Job


Use Up Bottom-of-the-Bag Chips

In this recipe, you use tortilla chips to make a crispy crunchy coating on the outside of each fish filet. Since you grind the chips into tiny breadcrumb-size pieces, this is a great way to use up those broken chips and chip crumbles at the bottom of the bag. Keep this recipe gluten-free by using corn tortilla chips, or make it grain-free by using grain-free tortilla chips.

Close up view crispy baked cod fillets on white platter topped with capers and lemon slices, bowl of aioli on side.


How This Baked Cod Recipe Fits In Special Diets or Meets Food Allergy Needs

  • Gluten-free: By using corn tortilla chips and no flour to make the crispy coating on the oven-baked cod, this recipe is naturally gluten free
  • Dairy-free: We’ve used mayonnaise (we love the Primal Kitchen Mayo) to help the chip crumbs adhere to the fish, and also as the base of the aioli dipping sauce. Mayonnaise, which is made from oil, eggs, and lemon juice of vinegar, is a dairy-free food
  • Egg-free: Since mayonnaise contains eggs, look for an egg-free mayo (there are several available) to use for both the fish and the aioli
  • Nut-free: There are no nuts or nut-containing ingredients in this recipe. If you have a nut allergy, double check to verify that the chips you’re using don’t contain nuts
  • Pescatarian: This baked fish recipe does not call for any meat or dairy foods, but it does contain fish, qualifying it as a pescatarian recipe
  • Grain-free option: Most tortilla chips are made from dried corn, which is considered a grain. However, you can easily make this a grain-free recipe by using grain-free tortilla chips to make the crispy coating.
Overhead view white plate with serving of crispy baked cod and roasted vegetables, side of aioli sauce.

A Better Nonstick Cooking Spray

Our team loves to use the Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Spray to mist baking dishes and muffin cups to prevent foods from sticking. In this recipe, it delivers a light spray of goods fats from avocado oil that helps the fish coating get nice and crispy in the oven.

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Q&A for This Crispy Baked Fish Recipe

Here are some frequently asked questions about this great-tasting oven-fried fish recipe. 

  • How do I prevent the coating on the bottom of the fish from getting soggy? Place a wire metal rack (such a cookie cooling rack) over top of a rimmed baking sheet. By elevating the fish pieces on a rack, hot air within the oven is able to circulate fully around each piece, which helps it get crispy on all sides. Be sure to mist the metal rack with nonstick cooking spray before placing the coated fish pieces on it. 
  • How can I crush the tortilla chips? The easiest and quickest way to crush the chips into fine breadcrumb-size pieces is to whirl it in a food processor. You could also place the coating ingredients in a heavy-duty ziplock bag and crush the chips by rolling over the bag with a rolling pin. 


You Can Use Other Types of White Fish

In place of the cod fillets in this recipe, you could use black cod, haddock, hake, cusk, tilapia, pollock, striped bass, or white sea bass. Use any type of white fish that you enjoy. You could also use scallops or shrimp.

A crispy baked cod fillet on plate with fork full to show flaky texture, roasted vegetables on side.

FAQ Continued …

  • What’s the best way to store and reheat leftovers? Store leftovers of the baked cod and aioli in separate covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The best way to reheat the cod is to place it on a rack (over parchment paper) in the oven or a toaster oven and heat it at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • When are some good occasions to serve this baked cod recipe? This recipe is easy and fast enough to make for a quick and nutritious weeknight dinner. And it’s also fancy enough to serve to guests, for a dinner party, or to impress your foodie friends. Many people love to serve fish on Fridays or for Sunday lunches or dinners. 
  • Suggestions for serving? We think this recipe tastes great with a simple veggie side dish, such as sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, and grape tomatoes, as we’ve shown in the photos. You could also enjoy it as a crispy fish sandwich by spreading the aioli on a toasted bun and with some of the baked cod pieces in between (is your mouth watering yet?) You could use this recipe to make cruncy fish tacos. Gently flake the baked cod and serve in taco shells with shredded lettuce and dollop the aioli over top. This crunchy fish is also good served over lettuce and veggies in a salad, or as the protein in a grain or rice bowl.  

What is Aioli? The Perfect Lemon-Garlic Dipper!

We’ve provided an easy dipping sauce to go along with this baked fish recipe. It’s a perfect flavor match for the crispy and flakey fish. Aioli is a type of creamy sauce made from a base of oil and garlic. We call for mayonnaise in our aioli recipe so you can make it quickly by stirring together a few fresh and pantry ingredients. Those include lemon, garlic, and dill, which are flavors that taste so vibrant and good with each bite. Use any leftovers of the aioli for spreading on sandwiches, dipping raw and roasted veggies, or tossing with cooked chicken or turkey for an easy salad topper.

Crispy baked cod on white platter with small bowl aioli sauce, jar of Primal Kitchen mayonnaise next to platter.

Overhead view white platter filled with baked cod fillets and small bowl of aioli sauce.


Crispy Baked Cod with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

A crunchy and crispy fish dinner is easy to make with our simple technique, gluten-free “breadcrumb” coating, and tender, affordable cod. Serve the oven-baked cod pieces with our simple five-ingredient aioli dipping sauce for the ultimate flavorful, light, and good-for-you meal.

Prep: 20 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 40 mins

Servings: 46 servings 1x


For the Cod:

  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs cod fillets
  • 6 oz tortilla chips (pieces, crumbles, or whole chips)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 23 tablespoons Primal Kitchen Mayo 
  • Nonstick cooking spray (Try: Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Spray)

For The Lemon-Garlic Aioli:

  • 1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Mayo 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (½ lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (¼ lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried dill
  • Pinch of coarse sea salt
  • Optional for serving: Lemon wedges, capers, and fresh chives or parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Place 1-2 metal wire cooling racks over top of a baking sheet. 
  2. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fillets into approximate 3- to 4-ounce pieces (4 to 8 pieces total); set aside. 
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tortilla chips, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Grind until the mixture resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. 

  4. Place 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise in a small dish. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush a thin coating of the mayonnaise on both sides of each piece of fish. Then gently but firmly press each piece of fish into the tortilla chip breadcrumbs until evenly coated on all sides. 
  5. Place the coated fish pieces on the prepared wire rack over top of the baking sheet. Mist the nonstick cooking spray over the top of each fish piece. (NOTE: This step is important to ensure the coating gets crispy in the oven.) 

  6. Bake on the middle rack in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. 
  7. While the fish is baking, prepare the aioli: In a small bowl, combine the ⅓ cup mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. 

  8. Remove the fish from the oven and test to make sure it flakes easily with a fork (if not, return to the oven for 2-5 minutes). Serve fish with the aioli sauce and garnish servings with lemon wedges, capers, and/or chopped chives, if desired.

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 4 oz cod with 1 1/2 tablespoons aioli
  • Calories: 303
  • Fat: 18 g
  • (Sat Fat: 2 g)
  • Sodium: 600 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 16 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 0g)
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians

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Overhead view crispy cod fillets on white platter topped with capers and lemon slices, bowl of aioli on side.

This post was made possible by Primal Kitchen. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with, thereby allowing us to continue creating high-quality recipes and content for you.

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Jessie Shafer

Jessie Shafer

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living near Denver, CO where she splits her time among nearby playgrounds, typing away at her trusty laptop, and heating up her home kitchen with delicious experiments. Her best taste tester is her husband, a Denver firefighter with a well-trained palate. A former magazine editor-in-chief, Jessie has a long career in food publishing and health writing. While she once played centerfield for the Northwestern University softball team, Jessie now prefers her fitness in the way of biking up mountain passes and chasing two busy toddlers (the latter proving to be the more exhausting activity).

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