How To Cook Fish From Frozen

Did you know that you can cook fish from frozen? In this post you’ll learn how to cook fish like cod and salmon from frozen there’s a basic method plus one for breaded fish.

What do you do when you forget to take something out the freezer for dinner?

You know that mad panic. You’re halfway home from work or from picking up the kids when you realize that you don’t have any dinner plans. Suddenly you’re pulling a U-trun to head to the grocery store, find something quick and easy to make, stand in line to pay, and then finally back into the car and headed home.

And you still have to actually *make* dinner.

But you know what? This doesn’t happen to me anymore.

Not since I discovered how to cook fish like cod and salmon from frozen. Since I learned this technique, I make sure to always have fish fillets or portions in the freezer ready to pop in the oven at a moment’s notice.

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The fish fillets or portions can go straight from the freezer into the oven once you know how to do it. The result is perfectly cooked fish every time.

I used this technique to cook dinner for my in-laws (real fish-lovers) when they last visited. They saw me take it out of the freezer and put it into the oven and they were dumbfounded. But when they dug in, they were amazed. The fish was flaky and moist. Perfect. It’s such a convenient dinner!

The best part about it though is it means that I can enjoy my favorite seafood, Alaska seafood, even in the months when it’s not in season. This makes me very happy. Because Alaska seafood tastes great, it’s super quick and easy to cook and it’s wild and sustainably managed.

All in all, it’s a smart and healthy choice for my family.

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How To Cook Fish From Frozen

For the breaded fish pictured above, I lightly oiled cod portions and then baked at 450F until nearly cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile I also baked some lightly seasoned, lightly oiled Panko crumbs until a toasty browned (3-5 minutes at 450F).

I then removed the fish from the oven and brushed the tops of the fillets lightly with a mixture of half dijon mustard and half milk, and then sprinkled the fillets with the toasted breadcrumbs.

The cod went back into the oven until heated through and flaky in the middle.

Easy, right?

My basic method for cooking fish from frozen (without the breading. Just a very basic method) is in the recipe below.

You can get lots of instructions, recipes and ideas on how to cook fish from frozen from the Frozen to Fork e-cookbook. And here’s my favorite basic method:

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How To Cook Fish From Frozen
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These are the basic instructions for cooking Alaska cod portions and Alaska salmon portions from frozen. To make the fish with crunchy crumb crust pictured here, the instructions are immediately above this recipe.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 4 cod or salmon portions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper and/or other seasonings or sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Remove frozen fish from all packaging and rinse under cold running water to remove any ice crystals. Arrange fish in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides.
  3. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add seasonings or sauce.
  4. Continue to bake until hot and flaky in the center, about 8-12 more minutes. Thicker portions may need to be flipped over halfway through cooking.

Disclosure: Alaska Seafood is providing the 20 pounds of seafood for the giveaway. They also provided me with 8 pieces of cod for testing out the Cook it Frozen method and for recipe development. I was not compensated in any other way for this blog post. All opinions are my own.

52 Responses to “How To Cook Fish From Frozen”

  1. Christy Riederer — February 20, 2015 @ 6:08 pm (#)

    Ok. I have been craving fresh fish for seversl days now, I’ve even gone as far as looking up seafood restaurant menus just to see if they have a photo gallery for pictures of different preparation styles. I know food porn..shame on me. But in my own defense I am a native Floridian transplant in Chicago and crave seafood almost everyday due to eating it 3-5 times a week the entire time I lived in Florida. 
       My son and I want fish now… right now… but since its frozen we did a quick web search and found your site, quickly book marked it and while I’m typing this my 12 y.o. Jordan is busy getting out each ingredient as I read them from the recipe.Im offvto kitchen land and we hope to be tucking into some Pablo baked (frozen) Cod in the next 30 minutes or so. Ill try to get a quick pick of it when it comes out of the oven. Back with my results and review in a bit. Wish me luck. 
    Fish… fish…fish…. Yummy yummy fish…Oh my!

    • Christine Pittman — February 23, 2015 @ 3:53 pm (#)

      Hi Christy,
      I hope it turned out well for you. Let me know what you thought. -Christine

  2. Jamie leflar — February 18, 2015 @ 6:05 pm (#)

    I made this but I took the frozen fish,brushed with vegetable oil,then baked as called for,then put lemon juice and lemon peper seasoning salt on it and baked it. Loved IT!! Even husband loved it and he hates fish!

  3. Rita T — January 6, 2015 @ 7:58 pm (#)

    Thank you!! Easy to follow and came out great!

    • Christine Pittman — January 9, 2015 @ 12:40 pm (#)

      Rita, Thanks for letting me know that it worked for you too. This method really is a life-saver for me all the time! Have a great weekend!

  4. frozenfishlover — December 10, 2014 @ 3:56 pm (#)

    too much work. you’ll get results just as tasty by taking out the frozen fillet, knocking it with a knife if necessary to remove any ice flakes (rinsing just adds more moisture, and possibly spreads bacteria), spreading the frozen fillet with a light coating of Dijon or flavored or reg mayo, then pouring on the panko and spraying with oil. you can add finely chopped tomatoes to the top of the fillet before putting on the panko if you want a variation. bake for 20 at 400°. yum. life changing.

    • Christine Pittman — December 15, 2014 @ 10:18 am (#)

      Thanks for the great idea! My method follows the one that was developed by and recommended by the chefs at Alaska Seafood for best results. I know what you mean about spreading bacteria though. I stopped rinsing chicken and other meats a long time ago for that very reason.

  5. Tried it — December 10, 2014 @ 2:18 pm (#)

    Tried it with frozen cod from Costco, was great, except i left it in the oven over 15 minutes, recipe called for less, but wanted to be safe, the cod was nice and flaky, but a little dry and overcooked, my fault

    • Christine Pittman — December 15, 2014 @ 10:19 am (#)

      You’ll have to try it again and let me know what you think. I know exactly what you mean though. I did the same thing the first time I tried it. I just didn’t believe that it was ready and I wanted to be safe.

  6. son jon — December 7, 2014 @ 9:54 am (#)

    Judit, I’m therefore green with envy. I’m within Sarasota. Although center of the item. Many of us don’t get virtually all the fresh-caught fish as you may possibly assume. It’s difficult to find the item just a 20 kilometer radius individuals household beyond doubt. Just what I really like concerning this approach is usually which i can get fish within bulk when it’s for sale, or even buy particular types which have been just within time of year in peak times from the 12 months. Then i freeze the item and will own it down the line when it would be more costly or even inaccessible. (But indeed, fresh-caught in the sea would certainly continually be far better.
    Go through a lot more in http: //www. cookthestory. com/2014/04/14/how-to-cook-fish-from-frozen/#syFSD87Dk1BuckiT. 99.

  7. Morvin — October 6, 2014 @ 5:21 pm (#)

    I wish people would try the recipe and then post their comments. Instead, most of the comments here simply state that the recipe looks amazing. However, since they have not tried it, they haven’t got a clue as to whether or not it really is good.

    • jody — October 16, 2014 @ 6:19 pm (#)

      No complaints from my house.

      Turned out great and flaky!

      You can also use the grill!!

  8. Tracy — May 4, 2014 @ 11:57 am (#)

    I’m a vegetarian, so I’d make the Celery Root Puree and the Tomato Jam. ;) My family are big salmon fans, but I’ll bet they’d love the Lemongrass-Poached Alaska Halibut, too. My sister, especially, would love these cooking from frozen techniques after teaching all day. Would love to win some fish for the family. :)

  9. Angela — May 4, 2014 @ 11:56 am (#)

    I have tried to cook fish from frozen, and so this is life-altering :) I love the idea of chai-poached seafood. And I am going to try some from-frozen cod tonight.

  10. Laura Phillips — May 3, 2014 @ 10:37 pm (#)

    I would love to try the Semolina-Crusted Alaska Halibut. I love the convenience of popping fish into the oven without thawing.

  11. Becca Heflin — May 3, 2014 @ 9:12 pm (#)

    The roasted cod with kale pesto sounds intriguing!

  12. Shelby — May 3, 2014 @ 6:23 pm (#)

    The lime chipotle snow crap sounds amazing!

  13. Sandy Headtke — May 3, 2014 @ 3:53 pm (#)

    Would love to try the Roasted Alaskan Cod. I feel much more comfortable buying frozen fish. Don’t understand the term ” fresh previously frozen” that I see in the market

  14. Taylor Closet — April 28, 2014 @ 5:36 pm (#)

    I would LOVE to try the Semolina Crusted recipe, looks awesome.

  15. Carolyn — April 28, 2014 @ 3:20 pm (#)

    Great post. Even though I work from home, I still often forget to take things out of my freezer in time!

  16. Leanne — April 22, 2014 @ 7:23 pm (#)

    Chai poached Alaska Rockfish :)

    • Christine Pittman — April 24, 2014 @ 12:42 pm (#)

      Great choice, Leanne!

  17. Dee Fedor — April 22, 2014 @ 2:41 pm (#)

    I would try Roasted Alaska Cod with Kale Pesto

    • Christine Pittman — April 24, 2014 @ 12:55 pm (#)

      Dee, doesn’t that pesto sound fabulous? I want to try this one too!

  18. Lily Sheng — April 18, 2014 @ 10:21 am (#)

    I would love to try the Chai-Grilled Alaska Snow Crab recipe!

    • Christine Pittman — April 24, 2014 @ 12:55 pm (#)

      Lily, I think that sounds wonderful too. It’s made me wonder what else I can do with chai.

  19. Ginger — April 18, 2014 @ 5:10 am (#)

    The Roasted Alaskan Cod with Kale Pesto and Tomato Jam sounds wonderful. I am a Alaskan Salmon lover!!! Never a week goes by that I am not cooking or experimenting with a new recipe using that great seafood. Thanks for some great new ideas.

    • Christine Pittman — April 24, 2014 @ 12:54 pm (#)

      Ginger, I’d love to learn more about your recipes. I love Alaskan Salmon too. Nothing beats it!

  20. Gail K. — April 17, 2014 @ 10:54 am (#)

    India Pale Ale poached cod sounds great!

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 11:20 am (#)

      Gail, That one does sound particularly good. I bet the slightly bitter flavor of the IPA would be brilliant with all that buttery cod!

  21. Heidi @foodiecrush — April 17, 2014 @ 9:26 am (#)

    What a fun contest and awesome tips to cook from frozen. The ebook looks great! I’d have to go with Whiskey Halibut, my husband would flip.

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:33 am (#)

      Heidi, Thanks! Yea, that Whiskey Halibut looks amazing. My husband would love it too. Hmmm…actually, I’m going to add it to our meal plan for next week right now!

  22. Sally — April 17, 2014 @ 9:20 am (#)

    Love Alaskan Seafood! Everyone laughed at me for dragging a Copper River King all the way across the country in the overhead compartment of the airplane!! Until they tasted it!!

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:34 am (#)

      Sally, I would totally have done that too! The Copper River King is truly incredible. I’ve only ever had it once and my mouth waters just thinking about it.

  23. Jen @ Such a Funny Fat — April 16, 2014 @ 9:35 pm (#)

    I had no idea that you could make fish from frozen like that but I have some cod in the freezer and will definitely have to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:35 am (#)

      Jen, it works out surprisingly well. I wasn’t sure at first. And then I tried it. Now it is the first thing I think of when I’m rushing home at the end of the day thinking, “Shoot! What on earth can I make for dinner?” If I have that fish in my freezer, I know it’s going to be quick, easy and delicious.

  24. Dan Guerrero — April 16, 2014 @ 4:57 pm (#)

    the semolina crusted halibut looks great, cant wait to try it

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:36 am (#)

      Dan, You’re right! That halibut looks incredible. I really love cooking with semolina and will definitely give it a try as well.

  25. Katerina — April 15, 2014 @ 5:14 am (#)

    I love, love salmon! Thanks for the tips!

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:36 am (#)

      Katerina, agreed! Salmon is fantastic! Thanks for visiting.

  26. Judit @Wine Dine Daily — April 14, 2014 @ 6:17 pm (#)

    Love the crunchy topping, Christine! Living by the ocean we have mostly fresh fish but it is nice to have a few meals in the freezer and this look delicious.

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:38 am (#)

      Judit, I’m so jealous. I’m in Florida. But the middle of it. We don’t get nearly as much fresh-caught seafood as you might expect. It’s hard to find it within a 20 mile radius of our house for sure. What I love about this method is that I can buy seafood in bulk when it’s on sale, or buy specific types that are only in season at certain times of the year. Then I freeze it and can have it later on when it would be more expensive or unavailable. (But yes, fresh-caught from the ocean would always be better. Lucky you!)

  27. MaryB — April 14, 2014 @ 1:52 pm (#)

    The Lemongrass poached halibut looks delicious but then all the recipes look so good. I especially love halibut and salmon.

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:39 am (#)

      Mary, Don’t the recipes in that ebook look fantastic? I honestly want to try them all. Amazing!

  28. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — April 14, 2014 @ 9:24 am (#)

    Great post Christine – I find much of the fish in the supermarket is defrosted so I love the idea of having my own frozen fish to take out in portions that I need for dinner. Makes it so much more accessible.

    • Christine Pittman — April 17, 2014 @ 10:45 am (#)

      Jeanette, We have the same situation here. So many of the pieces of fish available in the fish counter say “previously frozen.” I find that the fish that is sold frozen is actually fresher most of the time because it was frozen shortly after being caught (and never defrosted to sit in that counter). Glad you like the idea!


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