Pesto Panko Crusted Fish

Mix up your dinner routine with this easy recipe for Baked Breaded Fish with Pesto and crunchy Panko Crust. A delicious healthy dinner ready in just 30 minutes. Make these panko crusted fish fillets with cod, tilapia or halibut.
Pesto Panko Crusted Fish served on a plate with a side of panzanella salad

One of my best friends used to drink so much Coca-Cola a few years ago that her mom said she had coke running through her veins. Well, I think I have pesto running through mine and this recipe for Pesto Panko Crusted Fish proves is again.

There’s something magical about fresh basil leaves mixed with garlic, parmesan and olive oil and there are so many more uses for it than just tossing it with pasta. It does not only take this baked breaded fish recipe to the next level, but generally elevates any recipe into deliciousness.

You can toss pesto with veggies (try these lemon and pesto zucchini or these pesto green beans), spread it over meat like or my favorite: mix it with cheese, like cream cheese (see my chicken rollatini stuffed with pesto and philadelphia) or ricotta (Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Ricotta, Pesto and Grilled Haloumi). And it makes a great salad dressing (recipe coming next week!).

Making your own pesto is so easy and, honestly, it makes a world of difference when it comes to taste. Even if I only use pesto as a cooking ingredient, like in this panko crusted fish recipe, I don’t buy store-bought pesto anymore because I think it’s really bland compared to the homemade stuff.Pesto Panko Crusted Fish with one bite taken out the front, served with a side of panzanella salad

All you need is a big bunch of fresh basil, a garlic clove, a little bit of Parmesan cheese and some olive oil. The traditional pesto recipe also includes pine nuts but I don’t always add some (and I didn’t for this recipe for Panko Crusted Fish).

For this Pesto Panko Crusted Fish, besides its amazing flavor, we’re also using pesto as a sticking mixture to coat the fish fillets with panko. No eggs needed!

Panko, if you’re not familiar with it, are Japanese style breadcrumbs. The bread flakes are big and it makes for a very crispy coating. To ensure the fish is even crispier, I toasted the panko beforehand and I just love how this baked breaded fish recipe turned out.

If you’re not really into an intense fish flavor, this Panko Crusted Fish recipe is for you. Solal hates anything too ‘fishy’ and he loved it. I think baked breaded fish recipes like this one are great for kids too.

Or maybe you just want to mix up your dinner routine with some new, easy recipes – this Panko Crusted Fish will not disappoint you. You can make this baked breaded fish recipe with your favourite white fish, like cod, tilapia or halibut.

overhead shot of a baked breaded fish with pesto panko crust on a white plate served with a side of panzanella salad

If you tried this Pesto Panko Crusted Fish, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

Pesto Panko Crusted Fish -
5 from 2 votes

Pesto Panko Crusted Fish

Mix up your dinner routine with this easy recipe for Baked Breaded Fish with Pesto and crunchy Panko Crust. A delicious healthy dinner ready in just 30 minutes. Make these oven-baked fish fillets with your favourite white fish, like cod, tilapia or halibut.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword baked, breaded, crust, dinner, easy, fish, healthy, homemade, pesto, tilapia
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 199 kcal


  • 1 1/4 cup panko japanese style bread crumbs
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs white fish fillets 600- 900 g, like halibut or tilapia
  • olive oil spray

For the pesto

  • 1 large fresh basil bunch
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt


For the panko crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
  2. Spread panko in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and toast for 5 minutes or until panko is golden brown. Place in a wide shallow bowl and set aside. Line the same baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the pesto:

  1. Pulse together basil, garlic, parmesan, olive oil and salt in a food processor. Scrape the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed and pulse again until smooth.


  1. Spread pesto generously on each side of the fillets, then dip into panko, pressing to adhere. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  2. Spray lightly with olive oil then bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

Recipe Notes

I served this fish with panzanella salad

Nutrition Facts
Pesto Panko Crusted Fish
Amount Per Serving (1 fish filet)
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 303mg13%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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posted in
Fish & Seafood Italian Inspired Main Dishes Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Refined Sugar Free Under 300 cal
  1. Hey,

    Thank you for this amazing article I really like your way of defining the recipe and I never made fish like that before surely going to try it in this coming weekend because i have invited some guests in my home so it will be better Idea to serve them,

    Can you please tell me that is it possible to use persian saffron ? because i bought it in good amount according to market level’s now I have this

    Your article made me think before using it with this recipe, I hope you can reply me quickly

    Please also mention quantity of using so i will follow you if possible of using it,


    1. I guess you could use saffron yes, but it’s not needed for this recipe and I’m not sure it would be a great match with the other flavors

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