There’s a special place in my heart for seafood dinner recipes. And a large part of it is reserved for crispy pan-fried fish. Especially rosemary fish.

Fish flaked open on bed of arugula next to a fork on a white plate.

There’s just something about the light crunch and the flakey, tender interior that gets me every time. Add in parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary?! Talk about a game-changer.

This recipe is full of flavor and texture and is so easy to make. Truly, it comes together in right around 20 minutes. You can use fresh or frozen fish – and a variety of fish types at that! It’s so flexible and can be served with an assortment of side dishes.

I call that a weeknight, date night, or any night, winning dinner!

What You’ll Need: The Basics

It’s a simple ingredient list, my friends. I told you there’s a lot to love about this recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

As always, be sure to see the full recipe card below for all the details!

Plate of fish filets next to panko, rosemary, flour, parmesan, whisked egg, and spices.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: the base of the fish coating; it creates a lovely crunch and texture with the larger breadcrumb pieces. Find it in the baking aisle near the flour and breadcrumbs.
  • All-Purpose Flour: a little bit to help the breading stick to the fish.
  • Our basic seasonings come from salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Because in this herby combination, we really cannot be without garlic!
  • Fresh Rosemary: the star of the show! Rosemary is a super aromatic herb that’s slightly woodsy, with a little hint of pine, lemon, and mint. It’s truly a heartwarming herb and one of my favorites! And yep, you guessed it, goes wonderfully with fish.
  • Egg: used to help the breading stick to the fish.
  • Neutral Oil: a little oil to pan-fry the fish into a beautiful golden brown. You won’t need any if you decide to bake it.

What Kind of Fish Should I Use?

Ah, you don’t think I forgot the truly most important ingredient in this recipe, did you? The fish!

Any type of white fish will work for this recipe. I like to use cod. It’s generally easy to find and mild enough to let the flavors in the crust shine through.

Other varieties include Walleye, Tilapia, and Halibut. You really can’t go wrong.

What about frozen fish? Absolutely! You can totally use frozen fish in this recipe. Be sure to thaw according to the package directions and pat them dry (really well!) and proceed with the recipe.

How to Make Rosemary-Crusted Fish

Can I just say, it’s so incredibly easy? If you’re intimidated by breading, or fish, or skillets with oil, take a deep breath, and tell yourself YOU GOT THIS. Because you do!

Preparation

First, prepare the fish. As with any meat or seafood recipe, it’s important to pat it dry before proceeding. This helps in the cooking process, generally for creating a nice crust on the meat, but in this case, it helps the rest of our coating stick. It also takes away extra moisture.

I also like to season the meat at this point too, so that the fish itself is flavorful. A sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides goes a long way!

Prepare the coating in a shallow bowl so it’s easy to dredge the fish.

Next up, toss together the coating. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko, parmesan cheese, flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Keep your life easy by combining this in a shallow dish so that you can easily coat the fish in it.

In a similar-sized shallow dish, whisk the egg.

Coating the Fish

Set up your dredging station. It’s your assembly line for breading the filets. From left to right, place the fist, the bowl of whisked egg, the panko coating, and a baking sheet lined with cooling racks.

I like to have a baking sheet prepped with a cooling rack because it catches any panko that falls off, and once fried, any oil drips. It is optional but I find it easiest.

Ok! So dredge the fish in the egg wash, allowing the excess egg to drip off before transferring it to the panko.

It helps to use one hand for the egg wash and your other hand for the panko. This prevents your hands from getting extra goopy.

Next, toss the fish in the panko mixture until coated, lightly patting it down as needed. Be sure to get the sides!

Pan-Fry the Fish

Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet. I prefer using a 12-inch cast iron skillet, but any skillet with sides will work.

Test the oil to see if it’s hot by placing a few pieces of panko in the oil. It should begin dancing around – that’s how you’ll know it’s ready!

Cast iron skillet with pan-fried fish.

Place the coated fish filets in the pan, ensuring that there is space between each filet to cook properly. After 4-5 minutes, the bottom of the filet should be golden brown and you should be able to easily place a spatula underneath it.

Gently flip the filets over and cook again for 4-5 minutes until the second side is golden brown.

Remove the fish from the pan once they’re cooked through and either place on your prepared baking sheet with cooling racks, or a paper-towel-lined plate.

Rosemary fish on cooling rack after frying.

Can I bake the fish instead?

If you really must bake them, you can. I tested both ways for y’all.

Frying them creates a crisp, golden brown exterior that has the “crunch” you want when you’re encrusting a filet. Unfortunately, baking doesn’t do the exterior the same justice.

But anyway, if it’s your preferred method, here are a few pointers.

  • Butter a baking dish well. This helps the bottom of the filets crisp up.
  • Drizzle melted butter on top of the filets.

I like using butter in this case for the added flavor, but a drizzle of olive oil will work too. Bake for about 20ish minutes until the center is translucent.

The internal temperature of fish once cooked should reach 145°F. Keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise several degrees once it’s removed.

Hands holding plate and fork with arugula and fish.

Serving Ideas

I mentioned earlier that there are so many sides to serve with this recipe – and there are! Here are a few of our favorites. Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you served this rosemary fish!

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

If you happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

They’re best reheated in an air fryer to keep the crispy exterior. I like to reheat around 325°F in the air fryer until crisp and heated through. That way the outside doesn’t cook too fast.

Otherwise, reheat them in the oven (convection if you have it).

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

parmesan rosemary crusted cod on arugula with fork
5 (15 ratings)

Get the Recipe Parmesan Rosemary Crusted Fish

Dinner is both delicious and ready in less than 30 minutes with this easy rosemary fish recipe! Coated in a mixture of parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary, and panko, it's pan-fried to create a perfectly crisp exterior and flakey interior.

Ingredients

Instructions
 

  • Pat the fish fillets dry, as needed, and sprinkle each side with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
    4 5-ounce white fish fillets
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the remaining salt and pepper with panko, flour, parmesan, rosemary, and garlic powder. Set aside. In another shallow bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Prepare a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack, if using, or a plate for the coated fish.
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, ½ cup parmesan cheese*, 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 egg
  • Dip the fillets, one at a time, in the egg mixture, and then the panko mixture to coat completely. I recommend designating one hand for the egg mixture and one hand for the panko mixture to prevent gloopy fingers. Set the coated fish filet on your prepared cooling rack or plate.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shiny, and a panko crumb added "dances", place the fish around the pan evenly spaced.
  • Fry the first side for approximately 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. It should easily come up with a spatula. Then, flip and cook the second side for another 4-5 minutes. The time may vary depending on the thickness of your fish! The fish will be translucent; you want to be sure you don't overcook it (look for an internal temperature of 145°F).
  • Place the cooked filets on the cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate to allow any excess oil to drip off. Serve immediately with your sides and a fresh lemon wedge as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • To bake the fillets: heat oven to 375°F. Butter the bottom of a baking dish or sheet. Place the filets evenly across the pan and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter on top. Bake for 20-24 minutes until the center is translucent; the exterior won’t get as golden brown as it will with frying.
  • Parmesan: buy a block of parmesan and use a grater to shred it for best results. Storebought shredded is generally too thick. If you use grated, it’s heavier, so only use 2 tablespoons (or 12 grams). 
Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 562mg, Potassium: 56mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 172IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 171mg, Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!