Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce


I have a confession to make. Don’t judge me. I love fish sticks…like love love love love them. I always have, and I’m talking about the fish sticks that you find in that dreaded frozen aisle of the grocery store. The other night, I was explaining to Zach how much I loved them and how I haven’t had them in years (probably decades really) because I try to avoid the frozen aisle (unless ice cream is involved) at all costs. It was at this moment that I decided I needed to come up with a homemade recipe that is baked, not-fried and just as delicious as the childhood favorite. With a little bit of testing, I think I finally have it. These crispy oven-fried fish bites with homemade tartar sauce is such a simple recipe. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal, and the flavor is just incredible.

Recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce is a quick weeknight meal that is kid friendly and so much better than the frozen stuff! |

I tend to go a little crazy with oven-fried recipes. This taco recipe and this sandwich recipe are just two examples. Oh, and don’t even get me started on these pickles. I think subconsciously I feel like it’s better for me, even though it’s only a LITTLE bit lighter, but it doesn’t make my house smell like fried food. That my friends, is a win in my book.

I like to use cod for this recipe. Mainly, I gravitate towards halibut. It’s definitely one of my favorites, but let’s be honest, halibut is super duber expensive…especially when you live in Colorado. I get excited when I can find it ON SALE for less than $30 a pound. As a result, I don’t cook with halibut often, unless there’s a special circumstance or I need to fill some craving from the pacific ocean. So, it’s usually cod. This isn’t a terrible thing. Cod is a great fish to fry, and it is even better when it’s oven-fried.

Recipe for these crispy oven-fried fish bites with homemade tartar sauce is below. Pair it with a pale ale and throw in a side of chips/fries. Fish and chips never tasted so delicious. Have a great day everyone! xo

Recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce is a quick weeknight meal that is kid friendly and so much better than the frozen stuff! |

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Recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce is a quick weeknight meal that is kid friendly and so much better than the frozen stuff! |

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce

Yields 4

20 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


    Tartar Sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons dill relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pound cod or halibut fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • non-stick canola oil spray
  • lemon wedges


    Tartar Sauce
  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
  2. Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites
  3. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Pour the oil into a baking sheet and tilt to spread evenly. Place the baking sheet in the oven as it preheats.
  4. Take 3 separate shallow bowls. In 1 bowl, add the flour, creole seasoning, garlic powder and a dash of salt and black pepper. In the 2nd bowl, whisk together the milk and egg. In the 3rd bowl, add the panko bread crumbs. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumbs. Place the now dredged fish on the preheated baking sheet. Spray the fish generously with non-stick canola oil spray.
  5. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes, flipping them once midway through, or until they are brown and crispy on both sides. Remove from heat and serve immediately with homemade tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

Recipe for Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce is a quick weeknight meal that is kid friendly and so much better than the frozen stuff! |


Categories: Appetizers and Snacks, Food and Beer Pairings, Main Course, Meat and Fish, Recipes
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35 thoughts on “Crispy Oven-Fried Fish Bites with Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • March 31, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I’m with you there, I love oven fried everything, so much healthier. I love these fish bites and tartar sauce is one of my favorite sauce. YUM!

  • March 31, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Justine, I have totally been craving fish bites – I don’t know why, but I won’t be satisfied until I have them. And, these look positively delish – I think they’d fit the bill perfectly! Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

  • March 31, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I LOVE fish and chips and oven-fried fish and all of the above. I haven’t had those fish sticks in so long! I used to love them as a kid. I think I stopped when I realized the hubs didn’t actually like them. Lol. Will have to try this version!

  • March 31, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I love to oven-fry ALL the things. For all the reasons that you listed, plus I hate how much oil I end up wasting when I deep fry. My best friend has a corn allergy but loves fish & chips, which usually has cornstarch in it. I shared this recipe with her. I think she’ll love it!

  • March 31, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    With the weather warming up, I definitely see myself making this dish! Love fried fish! The homemade tartar sounds great! Beautiful pictures!!!

  • April 1, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Those look great Justine, so crispy! I have tried so many versions of baked battered fish, and it never ends up as crispy as I’d like. I’ll definitely be giving this one a try!

  • April 2, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Oven-fried for the WIN. I totally can’t stand frying foods either, so I’m right there with ‘ya on that one, girl! This fish seriously looks SO perfect and crispy. Definitely gonna have to give this one a try!

  • April 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I absolutely love fish sticks, too! They totally take me back to my childhood and taste so good. I’m loving your fish bites, Justine! This is so creative and looks delish! Pinned!

  • October 22, 2015 at 10:37 am

    For a more sustainable option you should try using
    tilapia instead of cod or halibut. The Marine Conservation Society’s list of “fish
    to eat” includes tilapia as a more sustainable alternative to cod and halibut
    which are both on the “fish to avoid” list because they are widely overfished
    and inefficiently managed. I tried this recipe with tilapia and it was just as

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  • February 18, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I wouldn’t eat farm raised tilapia if you paid me. It’s not healthy in the least little bit. And I’m all for conservation of our fish supplies…but sustainability shouldn’t be poisoning our bodies.

  • February 23, 2016 at 8:09 am

    The reason that other farmed fished are not recommended is because tilapia is supposedly a vegetarian fish. I had an environmental biologist explain that the other farmed fishes are fed mostly chicken parts for protein on the cheap. I would say to be healthy, you should steer clear of any farmed fishes that you dont know the source. Also, salmon populations are being ruined by the diseases spread by the farmed variety. Look up sea fleas

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  • December 22, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    These are a family favorite! In an effort to get our family rating more fish I made these. Everyone, including my husband who doesn’t like fish, really enjoyed this. Now he asks for them!

  • December 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Yay! I’m so happy everyone loves them! Thanks for trying the recipe, Cherie!

  • March 1, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    this was super yummy! I used yogurt instead of sour cream in my tartar sauce. But otherwise followed the recipe. Loved it! Thanks

  • March 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I’m SOOO happy you enjoyed the recipe, Nicole! Thanks for trying out the recipe!

  • June 15, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Do you think I can make this before a party? I have to arrive with a seafood dish, but I also have to drive two hours to get there. Can I make it ahead of time, then pop it back in the oven to warm it up, or will that ruin it?

  • June 16, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Hi April! If I were to make this before a party, I probably wouldn’t bake it until I got to the party. You could alway prep everything ahead of time (including coating the fish), transport it in a cooler, and then put it in the oven when you get there. I wouldn’t cook it before you left. It may get soggy, and I don’t know if you’d be able to recover it by simply putting it back in the oven. I hope this helps! Thank you so much! – Justine

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