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. This post is sponsored by Alaska Seafood but all opinions remain my own.

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 of 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-turn 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.

Can You Cook Fish from Frozen?

Yes! Now that I’ve discovered how to cook fish from frozen, there’s way fewer panicked evenings trying to figure out dinner. 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. Cod, salmon, and more are now so much easier to enjoy!

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.

The best part about it though is that I can enjoy my favorite seafood even in the months when it’s not in season. This makes me very happy. All in all, it’s a smart and healthy choice for my family.

 

frozen collage with text 660

Oh, and in case you’re curious, you can cook shrimp from frozen too. Now onto the fish fillets….

Making Breaded Fish from Frozen

I lightly oiled cod portions and put them on a heavy-duty baking sheet that can withstand a high temperature (like this one) then baked at 450°F 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 450°F).

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 then 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.

How to Cook Fish from Frozen:

 

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How To Cook Fish From Frozen


  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

Did you know that you can cook fish from frozen? These are the basic instructions for cooking cod and salmon portions from frozen. To make the fish with crunchy crumb crust pictured here, the instructions are immediately above this recipe.


Ingredients

  • 4 (4-6 oz.) cod or salmon portions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
  • salt, pepper and/or other seasonings or sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Remove frozen fish from all packaging and rinse under cold running water to remove any ice crystals.
  3. Arrange fish in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides.
  4. Bake for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add seasonings or sauce.
  5. 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 and may require a few extra minutes to cook through.
Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.
Disclosure: Alaska Seafood provided all of the product pictured in this post. I was not compensated in any other way for this blog post. All opinions are my own.
This post originally appeared in April 2014 and was revised and republished in August 2020.
How To Cook Fish From Frozen

105 responses to “How To Cook Fish From Frozen”

  1. Rondo Hunter says:

    I haven’t had time to read through all the comments but I feel the need to spread a little information I read. Though not necessary to defrost frozen fillets, if one chooses to do so place them in the refrigerator overnight on a plate or similar, spread with olive olive after a rinse and dry. That’s right, you must remove them from their vacuum-sealed packaging before defrosting. A potential problem is that when the fish within the vacuum seal begin warming up as they defrost, anaerobic bacteria which may be present – thus warranting a rinse – begin to come alive as the temperature warms. From frozen to heat is fine, it’s just the in-between time that one must be aware of. As simple as a rinse and dry, brush with olive oil, season if you desire but especially add a little salt. Keep in mind that many guests may desire lemon wedges with their fish as well. To wrap up, beware of those germs you can’t see.

  2. Para says:

    Thanks, my mom taoght how to warm frozen fish but i never succeeded to make it right.

  3. Absolutely amazing I loved it..the older I get the more I love fish and its health benefits

  4. Gertrude says:

    I was very disappointed. The fish was like rubber. So sad. I think my cod pieces were not big enough and I overcooked them.

  5. Calvin says:

    Nice and easy recipe, make it right and you won’t be able to tell the difference.

  6. Deborah Waddell says:

    Perfect!

  7. Angelica says:

    You keep surprising me with things you can cook from frozen. I had no idea you could cook frozen salmon! I hate thawing it and don’t cook it often because it’s such a fickle thing. Going to give this a try tonight, I have some salmon waiting in the freezer!

  8. Michael says:

    Very good recipe, thank you.
    I did a white wine sauce with shallots cooked in butter, white wine and sour cream, salt & pepper.
    It was a perfect complement to a perfectly cook frozen cod filet

  9. MadMex says:

    Oven temps may vary and I give mine a good 30 minutes, or more, head start to preheat to reach desired temp – and I still don’t trust my oven reader. That’s why I use a separate tip-top thermometer in my oven. The oven display may say 450, but my tip-top thermometer may say 425, or even less. I say all that to say this technique worked for me. I love it. It’s my new way. Who knew fish (filets) could be cooked (baked) from frozen? Not me.

  10. Anu Shukla says:

    Great
    we love your skills,
    keep sharing!

  11. Best Cooked Octopus says:

    Very nice recipe, ideal for a special but light dinner.

  12. Lindsay C says:

    Tried the breaded recipe using Wild Alaska Pollock, came out AWESOME! Used a honey mustard and rice milk mixture very AMAZING!! Posted to Instagram @cookthestory and #cookthestory

  13. Nancy Rigoloso says:

    I recently discovered your site. Thanks so much for all your practical, tasty recipes, tips, and advice! I buy frozen cod at Walmart. Each piece is sealed in plastic — no air — and frozen. Per your advice, I preheat the oven to 450, and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Then, I melt some butter in the microwave while I pick pieces of frozen fish of like size, unwrap them, and lay them on the pan. I brush the fish with melted butter and season liberally with seafood seasoning. The time in the oven depends on thickness of fish. My son LOVES this for dinner! And, he loves the pan juices, too!

  14. John L. Battey says:

    I lone doing this with frozen Pollock fillets. Pollock is firm , almost dense fish with a mild flavor that accepts almost any kind of seasoning well, and Pollock is the most sustainable of all north American wild fisheries.

  15. Norshafa says:

    Hi,

    I’m planning to cook frozen haddock from frozen for my baby.

    I plan to bake in a double pan, on the stove (that’s how I currently toast my bread, as my oven already not working).

    Do I need to wrap with a foil, or can I put it direct on the double pan?

    Thanks!

  16. Heather says:

    I just tried this – But instead I kept it in the oven for 15 mins after adding the seasoning… it turned out perfectly! I cut into it and it fell right apart. I used juice from about one whole lemon, which may be why it cooks better because it has the liquid to help cook it through. Thanks! 

  17. Jea says:

    Made the breaded version tonight for my husband and 9 month old. Turned out great! Served with roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potato.

  18. Sheila says:

    Tried it last week :)
    More delicious than I thought. Thanks for your guide.

  19. Val says:

    Cooked to a T to your instructions. Timed it perfectly for when my husband got off work. Fillets were not at all thick. The fish was totally raw inside!!! Not impressed.

  20. Lita Watson says:

    That recipe is very quick and easy to cook fish from frozen! But i think that dish will be perfect if you give some ways to mix it with other dishes. That sounds great idea.

  21. Renee Vlna says:

    Amanda, She may be using fillets and you may have used loins thus the difference. Loins are much thicker than fillets.

  22. Kate says:

    I want to prepare fish en papillote and freeze for later preparation. I’m trying to figure out how long to bake at 450 deg. Any advice? Thanks!

  23. Amanda says:

    Hi there!  I ended up having to cook my cod about twice as long and even at that point, it was just barely flaking (still a bit rubbery) so I’m guessing undercooked?  Do you think I should try upping my oven temperature next time?  By how much?  Thanks!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Amanda, it’s possible that your oven temperature isn’t calibrated. You could try getting an oven thermometer that goes inside your oven to double check that. Or, your cod portions might have been much larger than mine. I just went in and edited the recipe to say 4-6 oz. cod portions, since that is what I use. I hope that helps.

  24. William Wilson says:

    just in case someone comes back looking for “Frozen to Fork” I found a .pdf of it on the following blog site.

    http://blog.virginiawillis.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Frozen-to-Fork-E-Book.pdf

  25. Mark says:

    Hi. I live in the U.K., and recently went to South Africa where I tried kingklip and really enjoyed it (never liked fish in my life before this). Tried to source this here in the UK but can only get imported kingklip fillets that are frozen. Do you have any advice for cooking it perfectly and/or recipes to try?

  26. Amanda says:

    Currently putting it back in the oven as the inside is completely raw. Sad because the outside looks amazing after 12 min… Be warned that 3/4 inch thick salmon might take longer to be fully cooked (even with turning)

    Took about 4 min longer so not bad.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Amanda, I feel like the timing for cooking fish from frozen isn’t exactly the same for every kind of fish and every thickness. I’m glad it didn’t take too much longer for you.

  27. We love this! It makes dinner such a breeze and reduces food waste. We’re going to try it out with barramundi.

  28. Rick says:

    “You can get lots of instructions, recipes and ideas on how to cook fish from frozen from the Frozen to Fork e-cookbook.

    ” This link is broken.

  29. […] can even use this homemade cooking cream warmed up over baked fish. My recipe on how to cook fish from frozen will really help you quicken up the cooking […]

  30. Mo says:

    Hi there, sounds very simple and I’m an avid fish lover!, I googled up how to cook fish from frozen and saw your blog on the methods used, must say so simple it is and time friendly I was amazed with restaurant quality in 20 mins at home . I followed it up and it was awesome ! Beautiful dishes in minutes !. Thanks Christine ! Oh I’m from good old UK , York city . Thanks mo

  31. mimi says:

    I have just finished eating the best cod of my life, that I prepared using your recipe! I’m not really big on fish in general, but I currently live on an island with a huge [and cheap] variety of fish so I figured I’d have to adapt. Your recipe was perfect for that! I would’ve never guessed that such a good meal could be prepared in only half an hour. I did everything by the recipe, except i added some rosemary and remoulade to the coating. And I did some baked potatoes on the side. Perfect! Thank you so much.

  32. […] enough, one of the most popular blog posts on this website is the one with instructions for how to cook fish from frozen. That post was revolutionary for me. I had never thought of cooking fish from frozen until I was […]

  33. Madonna says:

    I’ve recently started eating healthier so this is great info. I’d like to try a variation of this method. Would it be possible to bake the frozen cod with sweet potatoes as a casserole (sweet potatoes, onions as a base and cod on top )? Just wondering if the fish and yams can be baked at the same time or should I pre-boil the yams for a while first?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Madonna, The issue here is that the yams need longer to cook than the fish does. You have two options. First, as mentioned, pre-boil the yams until they are just fork tender. Second, put the yams in your casserole dish (with the onions, oil/butter and seasonings) and bake them for about 15-20 minutes. Then add the frozen fish on top and bake until yams are tender and fish is opaque and flaky, about 15 minutes more. If you try it, do let me know how it turns out. Have a great day!

  34. Christy Riederer says:

    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!

  35. Jamie leflar says:

    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!

  36. […] Frozen Cod with Crispy Breading […]

  37. […]  #2: Fish Straight From The Freezer To The Oven (14 minutes): […]

  38. […] How to Cook Fish from Frozen. Most convenient recipe ever! It saves my life all the time when I’ve forgotten to pull something […]

  39. Rita T says:

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

    • Christine Pittman says:

      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!

  40. frozenfishlover says:

    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 says:

      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.

  41. Tried it says:

    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 says:

      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.

  42. […] you looking for more delicious and easy ways to cook fish? Check out my guide for How to Cook Fish From Frozen. It’s so convenient for weeknight meals. You make sure to have fish in the freezer. Follow […]

  43. […] for more easy fish recipes? I have info about how to cook fish from frozen over here. It’s so convenient for busy weeknights. And here’s a delicious recipe for Buffalo […]

  44. Morvin says:

    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.

  45. Tracy says:

    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. :)

  46. Angela says:

    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.

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

  48. Becca Heflin says:

    The roasted cod with kale pesto sounds intriguing!

  49. Shelby says:

    The lime chipotle snow crap sounds amazing!

  50. Sandy Headtke says:

    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

  51. Taylor Closet says:

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

  52. Carolyn says:

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

  53. […] wrote more about this baking-from-frozen technique last week. But basically, if you have wild Alaska cod or wild Alaska salmon in your freezer, dinner can be […]

  54. Leanne says:

    Chai poached Alaska Rockfish :)

  55. Dee Fedor says:

    I would try Roasted Alaska Cod with Kale Pesto

  56. Lily Sheng says:

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

  57. Ginger says:

    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.

  58. Gail K. says:

    India Pale Ale poached cod sounds great!

    • Christine Pittman says:

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

  59. 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 says:

      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!

  60. Sally says:

    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 says:

      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.

  61. 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 says:

      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.

  62. Dan Guerrero says:

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

    • Christine Pittman says:

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

  63. Katerina says:

    I love, love salmon! Thanks for the tips!

  64. 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 says:

      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!)

  65. MaryB says:

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

  66. 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 says:

      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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