Crispy Baked Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks are an easy , healthy, crispy kid-favorite finger food made with flaky cod and panko breadcrumbs you can make at home in just 20 minutes. Skip the freezer section! 

If you’re looking for kid-friendly dinners for next time, try our Ultimate Sloppy JoesMac and CheeseOven Baked Beef Tacos, or our Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti.

Tray of Baked Fish Sticks

FISH STICKS

These kid-friendly fish fillets are perfect in a dipping sauce or eaten plain. From start to finish, they have a cook time of 20 minutes and are worth the very short wait.

You don’t have to eat fish sticks from a box anymore (not that they aren’t convenient.) This recipe takes 20 minutes from start to finish and goes great with all sorts of dipping sauces, from dijon mustard and lemon juice to homemade tartar sauce.

How to Make Fish Sticks

Start by mixing together the first five ingredients in a shallow bowl (a shallow bowl makes coating the fish easier). Crack open the eggs and mix them in a second bowl, then blend the Panko and breadcrumbs in a third. Homemade fish sticks are worth the extra dishes, we promise.

Make sure that your fish is dry by blotting it on both sides with a paper towel, and then dip it in each of the bowls, starting with the flour, then the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs. Once your fish is thoroughly coated, place it on a baking sheet in a single layer and, very importantly, mist with vegetable oil spray. Then kick back for 12 to 15 minutes and relax.

Raw Fish Sticks coated in Panko Breadcrumbs

WHAT FISH IS USED FOR FISH STICKS

White fish is traditionally used to make fish sticks. White fish includes pollock, cod and haddock, and all of these fish are perfect because they cook quickly and have a naturally mild flavor.

Clarence Birdseye, one of the big names in frozen food, tried to switch out cod for herring after WWII. Birdseye had people try the herring fish sticks and cod fish sticks in a blind taste test. He was shocked that everyone preferred the cod, which he thought was the blander of the two fish. Well, Clarence, you just can’t mess with tradition.

CAN FISH STICKS BE HEALTHY?

The problem is with the oil used in the breading, as well as in the cooking process. Since we are baking this recipe, it is healthier for you than fried fish sticks. You still get the golden brown crispness without the heavy oil. White fish has less fat in it than other types of meat while still being high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is good news for people who would love to cook fish every day if they could.

WHAT CAN YOU SERVE WITH FISH STICKS?

HOW DO I KNOW THEY’RE DONE?

Even if the fish looks cooked through, it is always best to check with a thermometer. According to the USDA’s website, fish should be safely cooked through at 145 degrees F (62.8 degrees C). With fish, it is especially important to make sure that the temperature is right due to how sick you will be if you don’t.

Once you’ve determined that the internal temperature is safe, you can test the texture of the fish by pressing on it gently with a fork. If the flesh flakes and the liquid that comes out is opaque, then the texture is right.

OTHER FLOURS

We used all-purpose flour for our fish sticks, but if you have an intolerance to gluten you can try this recipe with flour substitutes, such as instant oats. Pulverize them before using, and they will cook similarly to all-purpose flour, no adjustment to time or temperature needed.

Fish Stick dipped in Tartar Sauce

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Fish Sticks

Fish Sticks are an easy , healthy, crispy kid-favorite finger food made with flaky cod and panko breadcrumbs you can make at home in just 20 minutes.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 pound cod fillets cut into 1-inch strips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Mix flour with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  • Beat eggs in a second bowl.
  • Mix panko and breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  • Coat fish in flour mixture then in eggs then in breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet.
  • Spray with vegetable oil spray and bake for 12-15 minutes until browned.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 620mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Keyword: Fish Sticks, How to Make Fish Sticks

Baked fish sticks in a pan and with tartar sauce

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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Comments

  1. I was doubtful but they came out beautifully crispy! I will salt and pepper the fish next time before dredging, but that’s just my family’s palate. Wish I’d had this recipe when my kids were young.

  2. These fish sticks look great. I’ll post again once I’ve made them. What is the dip in the picture with the fish sticks? I’ve looked through the appetiser section but can’t find anything that looks similar to the dip in the picture?

  3. These look yummy! I’m trying to prepare some freezer meals before my baby is due in July…have you ever tried freezing these? If so, what would the process be? Bake, cool, freeze? Freeze before baking? Time and temp in oven you would recommend? Thank you!

  4. Great recipe, but one little problem. Fresh bid has become a rather expensive fish. Any substitutes? Are you so I don’t know if the store for 1399 a pound

    1. Hi there!

      Fish sticks are traditionally made with whitefish, so you can swap with haddock or pollock if affordable cod is not available. Hope this helps!

  5. YUM! Healthy, easy and delicious – my 3 favorite words when it comes to a recipe. Definitely gonna love this one 🙂

  6. I had never thought to make fishsticks at home but it was so easy I’ll only make them like this from here on out!