Have you got some frozen fish that you want to fancy up? Then this Italian herb crusted cod is the perfect recipe for you! Made with items from your freezer and pantry, this is an easy weeknight dinner for those days when you want a slightly fancier meal, but would rather let the oven do the work.
Fish is such a family favourite in my home, but plain fish can feel a little boring. If you would like some recipes using frozen fish that have a crust to make them feel more special, or a different way of cooking, then you may like to see my baked cod with pesto and sweet potato and ginger fish cakes.
And for another crusted fish, but without breadcrumbs, my almond crusted cod is easy and delicious!
Why this recipe is so good
- Full of flavour: the herb crust really transforms a piece of plain cod into something a little special.
- Easy recipe: simply combine the crust ingredients and then pat onto your fish.
- Versatile: pair with the sides of your choice.
This herb crusted baked cod recipe has minimal ingredients, and mostly pantry (or freezer!) staples. You will need:
- Cod: this recipe uses frozen cod.
- Bread: to make the breadcrumbs. Use gluten free bread if required.
- Butter: to bind the crust topping.
- Herbs: see below for the typical Italian herbs!
- Garlic: for a hint of extra flavour.
Making your own Italian seasoning
While I use the Schwartz Italian herb seasoning, you can make your own blend if you have the individual herbs at home and the recipe card below has the individual herbs for those that don't have the mix. Plus, if you have a favourite herb or one that you aren't too keen on, then you can adjust the flavour.
For my low histamine friends, all the herbs in the Schwartz jar score as 0 on the SIGHI list, with the exception of Marjoram which isn't listed and black pepper. Garlic does score 1, but is described as usually being well-tolerated after cooking. If you prefer to leave that one out then why not make your own blend with individual herbs:
Have fun making your herb mix!
Step by step instructions
Making this cod with a herb crust is a very simple three-step process.
Bake your fish, covered, in an ovenproof dish for around 15 minutes.
Make the Italian herb crust topping by combining all the ingredients and stirring well.
Spread the topping onto the fish and return to the oven to bake until cooked through, around 10-15 minutes. Serve with sides of your choice.
Fish and a low histamine diet
Many forms of fish can be eaten on a low histamine diet, but the SIGHI list recommends a few ways to do it. The most important is to avoid eating fresh fish that is on ice on a delicatessen counter or the chilled aisle of the supermarket. Histamine forms quickly on fish, so you don’t want to eat any that has sat out for hours, maybe even days on end, waiting to be bought.
Instead, as the SIGHI list sets out, you can eat freshly caught fish, literally fish that has come straight off the boat and onto your plate. That type of fish scores as a ‘0’ on their scale – the lowest score for histamine. However, most of us don’t live by the sea! Luckily frozen fish also scores as low histamine, which is far easier and I always have some frozen white fish in my freezer for a quick dinner.
There are, however, some precautions to make when cooking fish. As the SIGHI list notes, even frozen fish has ‘rapid histamine formation’. For this reason, it is typically recommended that you do not thaw fish or only for a few minutes, and cook it from frozen. No leaving it laying around on the kitchen counter before you prepare the meal, just put it on a baking tray and into an already pre-heated oven.
If you have any concerns about your tolerance to fish, then speak with a dietician or doctor first. Personally, I tried a very small amount of plain white fish to begin with to check that I was ok with it, which happily I was.
More fish recipes to enjoy
Italian herb crusted cod
- 2 cod fillets frozen
- ½ teaspoon dried or fresh parsley
For the herb crust
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ⅓ slice of bread blended to breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove minced or finely diced
- ⅓ teaspoon dried sage
- ⅓ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Once at temperature, place your frozen fish in an ovenproof dish and cover with a piece of foil. Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the fish is cooking make the crust topping with the breadcrumbs, herbs, butter, garlic and salt and pepper (if using). Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
- Once the fish has baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and discard the foil. Spread the crust mixture onto the fish fillets, patting down with the back of a spoon. Return the fish to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending upon the size of your fillet, until it is cooked through.
- Plate up the fish and serve with vegetables, potatoes or rice. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- If you prefer to be dairy-free, then swap out the butter for olive oil.
- When you take the fish out of the oven after baking for 15 minutes, you can remove some of the excess liquid with a small spoon if you prefer.
- Don't worry about the crust being perfect! It's more of a 'rustic' pat in onto the fish situation!
Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI) food compatibility list for histamineAll ingredients score 0 on the SIGHI list, with the exception of:
- bread - wheat scores 1 and has a ? as a liberator. Be mindful of other ingredients in your bread of choice.
- garlic, which scores 1
- black pepper, which scores 2.