Baked Fish with Almonds, Lemon, and Bread Crumbs

Gluten-free bread, ground into bread crumbs and mixed with nuts, citrus zest, and a little olive oil, makes a fine topping for baked fish. Roasted at a high temperature, the baked fish emerges crisp and juicy. This is a great basic recipe to experiment with. I’ve used walnuts and hazelnuts in place of the almonds, and orange zest instead of lemon. Other good fish to try in this gluten-free recipe include arctic char, halibut, Pacific cod, tilapia, or trout. Serve with roasted broccoli. And don’t forget, when working with lemon, grate the zest first, then cut the fruit in half and squeeze the juice.–Kristine Kidd

LC Ingenious Use Of Gluten-Free Bread Note

This baked fish recipe is perhaps the most ingenious use of gluten-free bread that we’ve seen yet. It not only harnesses the dry, crumbly nature of many gluten-free breads by turning it into crumbs, it also offsets any potential lackluster taste by jumbling the bread crumbs with lemon zest and almonds. (Caveat: Not to knock gluten-free bread, as it’s come quite a long way in recent years, but we all know that there are some disappointing loaves out there. So when you encounter one, don’t begrudgingly shove it in your mouth and suffer in silence. Toss it in the freezer and save it for this.)

Baked Fish with Almonds, Lemon and Bread Crumbs Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Four 6-ounce fish fillets, such as cod, black cod, or wild salmon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet and the fish
  • 1 lemon (preferably organic), zest finely grated and remaining lemon halved crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices bread (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, preferably raw
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan with olive oil.
  • 2. Place the fish on the baking sheet with the slightly curved side of the fillet facing up. Brush with olive oil and squeeze the juice from the lemon halves over the fish. Season with salt and pepper, then spread the mustard lightly over the fillets.
  • 3. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces. Place in a food processor and grind to fine crumbs. You should have 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl. Grind the almonds coarsely in the processor and add to the bowl with the crumbs. Mix in the scallions, lemon zest (you should have about 4 loosely packed teaspoons), and 1 tablespoon oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 4. Just before baking, divide the bread crumb mixture among the fillets, pressing the mixture onto the top of each fillet. Bake until the fish is just springy to the touch and the bread crumbs begin to brown, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness (or less if your fish is thinner). Transfer the baked fish to plates and serve right away.
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Testers Choice

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Testers Choice
Sita Krishnaswamy

Sep 03, 2013

This recipe is simple, easy, and gluten-free for those who need it to be. It makes a delicious weeknight meal or a grand weekend eat. It’s absolutely stunning when presented at the table, and even more divine when you sink your teeth into it. I used wild salmon fillets, followed the recipe exactly, and after 10 minutes of cooking I had a great dish. I served it with a green salad with a ginger lemon dressing and some roasted new potatoes. This recipe is a blueprint for amazing variations and I cannot wait to add my twists to it. I served it with Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc.

Testers Choice
Kim Venglar

Sep 03, 2013

Simple ingredients combine to make a memorable dish. That’s how I feel about this recipe. My only problem with it was that 2 slices bread equaled 1 1/2 cups crumbs, and I only needed 1/2 cup. It also took 2 lemons to get enough zest. I used a coarsely ground Dijon mustard but next time I’ll try a smooth mustard. The end result was a very flavorful, flaky fish that everyone liked. I can’t wait to try different nut and citrus zest combinations.

Testers Choice
Connie Lewis

Sep 03, 2013

I like the idea of cod, but I usually find the reality of it terribly bland. Cod with this topping was so delicious that I wanted to eat all 4 servings! I used panko instead of fine bread crumbs and thought the texture was perfect. Next time, I think I’ll use about twice as much mustard.

Testers Choice
Mackenzie Campbell

Sep 03, 2013

I decided to whip this up on a whim last night for dinner, which was very easily accomplished on super short notice. The only thing I needed to buy was a piece of fish. We opted for local blue cod, which is about 60% less expensive than halibut, which is what I really wanted. The cod was fantastic nonetheless!

The bread crumb topping was particularly tasty, and all the flavors melded together well. I used whole grain mustard on the fish because apparently I don’t have Dijon in my fridge. It tasted great with the whole grain substitute. This all came together so quickly and easily, and there’s a lot of room for playing around with the different ingredients. I used a rustic, crusty bread for the topping (not gluten-free). I think it was important to use a heartier bread; it picked up the flavors of the other ingredients in the topping much better than sliced sandwich bread. In the future I’ll try gluten-free.

Depending on which of the fish suggestions you choose, you might want to alter different components of the bread crumb mixture. For example, if I choose a fish that’s more strongly flavored than the mild white fish I chose, perhaps wild salmon, I might want to increase the amounts of lemon and scallions in order to match up to the flavor of the fish. The flexibility of this recipe is what’s really great about it.

My cooking time was a bit longer, about 12 to 15 minutes in a 450°F oven. (My fillets were roughly 1 inch thick.) This dish has successfully worked its way into my dinner rotation.

Testers Choice
Sandy Hill

Sep 03, 2013

This was definitely impressive enough for any company! The flavors of the nuts, olive oil, and lemon worked so well together. I used tilapia fillets and the almonds and lemon, but can’t wait to try other nuts and orange zest. We could smell the nuts roasting and the lemon zest as the fish cooked. The 1 tablespoon oil mixed with the bread crumb mixture helped it to hold together on the fish fillets. The tilapia was a little thinner than the recipe suggested so I cooked it only 7 to 8 minutes. This recipe was easy enough for a weeknight meal, but had a sophisticated enough look for guests. I’ll go back to this recipe in the future.

Testers Choice
Angie Hsing

Sep 03, 2013

This is so easy to make. Just drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper, and mustard on fish (I used tilapia), grind up the bread crumbs, mix the almond mixture with some lemon zest, scallions, and oil, put it on the fillets, and bake. The bread crumb coating sealed in the juices of the fish. I had perfectly cooked, tender, juicy fish. I loved the flavors of lemon and nuts with the onion. Very simple, healthy, and fast.

Testers Choice
Ralph Knauth

Sep 03, 2013

A very easy, straightforward, and delicious recipe. I made it exactly as it was written, and it worked like a charm. I used tilapia and baked it for exactly 10 minutes. The fish came out perfect. Since I already had the oven hot, I made a side of sweet potato wedges in the oven. Nice combo. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Though it worked great with the tilapia, I’d love to try it out with salmon.

Testers Choice
Sema Stein

Sep 03, 2013

I don’t like making fish. I decided to try this recipe in the hopes that I’d find a recipe that’d make me want to cook fish, and I hit the jackpot! The flavors work really well together, each singing its own song and yet not overpowering the fish (I used cod). The crumb topping adhered nicely to the fish thanks to the olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. The timing in the oven was accurate. Definitely a winner.

Testers Choice
Eydie Desser

Sep 03, 2013

This roasted fish recipe is surprisingly good for such a simple preparation, which is just how home cooking should be. My husband and I rated this as company-worthy, and really perfect for surprise midweek dinner guests. The best thing about this recipe is the technique. You can use a variety of fish, gluten-free (or not) bread crumbs, olive or coconut oil, different spices, citrus juices, herbs such as cilantro, spices including cumin, etc. Rub on, drizzle with olive oil, bake, perfection!

I used wild California sea bass, a nice mild yet meaty fish. It was absolutely delicious. Make sure to rub the oil all over the fish, top and bottom, and place on parchment paper or aluminum foil to make the cleanup extra fast. Adding a little chopped parsley, cilantro, basil, or dill to this recipe would be a nice addition, along with another splash of lemon juice and a little drizzle of delicious extra-virgin olive oil just before presenting to elevate the taste. The cooking time—10 minutes at 450°F (232°C)—was right on for the fish I used, which was about 1/2 inch thick. If yours is a little thinner, check after 6 to 7 minutes and you should be fine. Make this dish and, voila, your guests will think you’re a genius!

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

Sep 03, 2013

The crumb topping for the fish is easy to make and has wonderful flavor components. I think that this would be a great topping for a neutral-flavored fish. The mistake I made was putting it on top of a piece of wild Copper River salmon. I like that fish so much that I don’t want to do anything to it at all. I ended up taking the topping off of the fish, and eating it on the side. I look forward to using this topping on a different type of fish.

Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

Sep 03, 2013

Our neighbor went fishing and we had so much that he gave us we’ve had to eat fish for 2 days now and will have the leftovers for lunch again tomorrow. We had this wonderful recipe tonight. The one change I made was to use almond meal (about 3 tablespoons) and then add in a handful of walnuts and put it all through the food processor just in case the almond meal alone didn’t give it enough crunch. Tasting the bread crumb mixture was the key. Between 10 and 15 minutes was the correct cooking time; the top was crispy, the fish moist, and everything so flavorful. The scallions were an added surprise to the crumb coating, and of course the lemon zest and quick squeeze of lemon are musts. All in all, this beats frying fish—which is a big thing in Louisiana—every time. Just delicious. It’s a keeper.

Testers Choice
Ellen Fuss

Sep 03, 2013

Cod combined with this topping makes a fish dinner worthy of praise from anyone who can appreciate a savory, nutty topping with lemon and scallion flavors coming through strongly. This dish was easy to put together and, for me, all the ingredients were already on hand. My cooking time exceeded the recipe suggestions by a couple of minutes but yielded moist, tender fish with a deliciously crisped topping. The mouth feel of crisp topping combined with tender fish was perfect. The mustard helped the mixture adhere to the fish while adding flavor. I look forward to trying this topping on other mild fish—it's a dish that is perfect for weeknights and could definitely be served at a dinner party.

Comments
Comments
  1. love the assortment of ingredients used, healthy and delicious recipe, thanks for sharing!!

  2. I am happy to see that many people enjoyed my recipe. And thank you to Leite’s Culinaria for sharing the recipe with your readers.

  3. Aunt Elly says:

    How much panko do you use to equal the 2 slices of bread?

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