This Crispy Fish Sandwich is mouth-watering and ready in 20 minutes! The tender fish fillet is perfectly seasoned with Old Bay and lemon pepper and topped with melted cheese, crunchy pickles, and tartar sauce. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a delicious dinner option, this meal is sure to satisfy your cravings.
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If you’re a fan of Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s I’m sure you will love this easy version of the recipe!
What Type of Fish to Use
The type of fish you use will depend on your personal preferences. Mild, firm fish that will hold up well when baked or air fried works well. Fish that is too delicate will fall apart when cooked. I also recommend something that won’t overpower the other flavors in your sandwich. Here are some options:
- Cod: Mild, flaky white fish that holds up well when baked or air fried and has a slightly sweet flavor.
- Haddock: Another mild, flaky white fish that has a slightly stronger flavor than cod, but is still mild enough to appeal to most people.
- Tilapia: Easy to find and relatively inexpensive. It has a mild flavor and a firm texture that holds up well.
- Catfish: Catfish is a flavorful fish that is often used in Southern-style fish sandwiches. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a firm texture that works well.
Seasoning and Spices
I like to use a combination of Old Bay Seasoning, lemon pepper, and salt. Here are more options:
- Cajun seasoning: A blend of spices like paprika, garlic, and cayenne pepper, adds a nice kick of heat and flavor to the fish. I love to add this to the blend above!
- Old Bay seasoning: A classic seafood seasoning blend, that adds a savory flavor. Hence, why I prefer to use it.
- Lemon juice: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds a bright, tangy flavor to the fish.
- Garlic powder: Adds a savory, slightly sweet flavor that complements its mild taste.
- Dill: Fresh or dried dill adds a slightly sweet, herby flavor that pairs well with creamy condiments like tartar sauce.
Check out our post on What to Put on a Fish Sandwich.
How to Make a Fish Sandwich
Full detailed instructions are below in the recipe card.
- Season both sides of each fish fillet generously with lemon pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and salt.
- Set up a breading station: Place the all-purpose flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat the egg. In a third shallow dish, mix together the breadcrumbs.
- Dip each seasoned fish fillet in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it in the egg, making sure it’s coated on all sides. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the fish to make sure they stick.
- Bake or air fry.
What Type of Breadcrumbs to Use
The best type of breadcrumbs to use are usually panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are a type of Japanese breadcrumbs that are coarser and larger than traditional breadcrumbs, which makes them ideal for coating fish fillets as they create a crispy and crunchy texture.
Regular breadcrumbs will work and you can also use seasoned breadcrumbs.
How to Tell When the Fish is Done
- Cod should be cooked to an internal temperature of 135-145 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
- Check for flakiness. Gently press the thickest part of the fish using a fork. If it flakes easily, it is done. The flesh of the fish should be opaque.
- The breading should be golden brown and crispy.
- Lettuce: A bed of lettuce adds a nice crunch and freshness to the sandwich.
- Tomato: Sliced tomatoes add a juicy sweetness that pairs well with the mild flavor of the fish.
- Onion: Thinly sliced onions, whether raw or caramelized, add a nice zing.
- Pickles: Pickles, whether sweet or dill, add a tangy flavor and a nice crunch.
- Cheese: A slice of melted cheese, such as cheddar or American, can add a creamy richness.
- Tartar Sauce: A classic condiment for fish, adds a tangy, creamy flavor that pairs perfectly with the mild flavor of the fish.
- Coleslaw: Adds a crunchy, slightly sweet contrast to the fish, and also helps to cool down the heat of any spicy toppings.
- Hot Sauce: If you like a little heat, hot sauce can add a nice kick.
What Type of Bun to Use
I used Brioche, it’s my favorite. You can also use ciabatta rolls, whole wheat buns, pretzel buns, or kaiser rolls. Use what you like.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers can be stored tightly covered and sealed for 3-4 days.
How to Reheat
You can reheat leftovers in the oven or air fryer at 350 degrees until warm. You can also reheat it in a skillet. You can use the microwave but it will soften the crispiness of the fish. You also risk it overcooking and becoming tough in texture.
More Fish Recipes
Smoked Fish Dip
Fish and Grits
Salmon Rice Bowl
Cod Fish Tacos
Nobu Miso Black Cod
More Sandwich Recipes
Blackened Chicken Sandwich
Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich
Crab Cake Sandwich
Lobster Grilled Cheese
Crispy Fish Sandwich
- 10-12 oz cod fillets I used 2 6oz fillets. See notes for substitutions.
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs I used panko.
- cooking oil
- Season both sides of each fish fillet generously with lemon pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and salt. (Alternatively, you can add your spices to the flour and season your fish when you bread it with the flour).10-12 oz cod fillets, 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
- Set up a breading station: Place the all-purpose flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, beat the egg. In a third shallow dish, mix together the breadcrumbs.2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 egg, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- Dip each seasoned fish fillet in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it in the egg, making sure it's coated on all sides. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the fish to make sure they stick.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the breaded fish fillets on a baking sheet/sheet pan. I line it with parchment paper first, but it isn't required. Spray the top of the fish with cooking oil. While the fish cooks, if you notice white spots in the breading, spray them with oil.cooking oil
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy.
Air Fryer Fish
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil. Place the breaded fish in the air fryer basket. Spray the top of the fish with cooking oil. While the fish cooks, if you notice white spots in the breading, spray them with oil.cooking oil
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes until golden brown. Flip the fish halfway through. Cook time will vary based on the size and how thick the fish fillets are. Cook until the interior of the fish is flaky and the outside crust is golden brown.
- Assemble the sandwiches on buns with toppings.buns
Monday 8th of May 2023
Delicious and easy. I used Hot old bay for extra spice. Great with cod but i’ll be back to try with a different fish next time.
Monday 8th of May 2023
I'm so glad you found it easy!
Friday 5th of May 2023
I kept reading and waiting for the heat up the oil part and really happy to see preheat the oven instead.
I like Frank's hot sauce but on fish sandwiches I throw on a few banana peppers for that extra kick and flavor. This recipe is perfecto!
Saturday 6th of May 2023
So glad you liked it!
Thursday 4th of May 2023
Baby…….this sandwich is 🔥🔥🔥🔥! Add a dab of hot sauce and it will really set it off on the left. *chefs kiss*
Thursday 4th of May 2023
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it!