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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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pan seared cod cakes with fresh herbs

Classic Fish Cakes

Posted by: Ari Laing

Fresh cod fillets, onion, garlic, and panko breadcrumbs are combined with a mayo-based sauce with dijon mustard and Old Bay to create these light, flavorful classic fish cakes. Paired with a homemade tartar sauce and lots of fresh herbs, these are perfect on a weeknight or for entertaining!

recipe +-

Posted by: Ari Laing
pan seared cod cakes with fresh herbs
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Classic Fish Cakes

Classic fish cakes combine freshly roasted cod fillets, onion, panko breadcrumbs, a flavorful sauce with Old Bay, and an abundance of fresh herbs. They cook up quickly and are best served over a big green salad. An elegant dinner any night of the week!
Prep Time24 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cod cakes, how long to cook fish cakes, how to freeze fish cakes, how to make fish cakes, ingredients in fish cakes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • 2 lbs cod fillets or other white flaky fish (such as halibut, grouper, or sole), patted dry
  • 3 Tbsp butter unsalted
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 ½ tsp kosher salt divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dill chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chives thinly sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil such as avocado, grapeseed, or canola oil

For serving

  • lemon wedges
  • arugula or mixed greens
  • additional fresh herbs for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then place cod fillets on top. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 12 minutes, or until fish is an internal temperature of 145F. Set aside until cool enough to handle fish with your hands, about 5-10 minutes.
    baked cod on a rimmed baking sheet
  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, dijon mustard, eggs, Old Bay, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. To this add sautéed onion and garlic, panko breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, and lemon zest. Flake the slightly cooled fish with your fingers or two forks, being careful to keep the flakes as large as possible. Gently combine all ingredients together until homogenous and evenly mixed. Place fish cake mixture in a refrigerator to cool completely, about 1 hour.
    herbs and spice filling for cod cakes in a bowl with a small whisk
  • When ready, use a large cookie scoop to form equal sized patties. Press together gently in your hands to flatten and round each out to about a height of 1".
    cod cakes before cooking on a baking sheet
  • Heat grapeseed (or other neutral oil) over medium-high heat in a large skillet or on a griddle. When hot, add fish cakes and cook 3-5 minutes per side, being careful to flip each gently so they don't break apart. Serve on top of arugula or mixed greens with lemon wedges, some additional fresh herbs for garnish, and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt if you've got it!
    cooked cod cakes


Nutrition facts are for fish cakes only and do not include tartar sauce or salad.
To freeze cooked fish cakes, allow to cool completely to room temperature. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer fish cakes to a freezer-safe airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow fish cakes to thaw overnight in a refrigerator, then reheat in a 350F oven until warm and crispy, about 8-10 minutes.
To freeze uncooked fish cakes, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer uncooked cakes to a freezer-safe airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 months. To cook, allow cakes to defrost overnight in a refrigerator, then use your hands to reshape as needed into lightly-packed patties. Continue with cooking instructions above from Step 5.


Serving: 1fish cake | Sodium: 1208mg | Sugar: 2.1g | Fiber: 1.3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Calories: 207kcal | Saturated Fat: 4.2g | Fat: 13.1g | Protein: 9.1g | Carbohydrates: 14.2g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @wellseasonedstudio and hashtag it #wellseasonedstudio!