Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce

4.94 stars average

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Avoid soggy fish sticks! These crispy baked fish sticks with tartar sauce are made with a flavorful lemon pepper panko coating.

Crispy baked fish sticks with tartar sauce.

My husband grew up on the North Shore of Boston, just 30 minutes from Gloucester. Needless to say, he grew up eating his fair share of fish sticks. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love store-bought fish sticks as a kid. However, the great thing about making your own is that you can control the quality of ingredients. My Crispy Baked Fish Sticks even includes a homemade tartar sauce, and are still totally kid-friendly! If you’re trying to include more seafood in your families diet, then this dish is perfect!

Ingredients

  • White fish: Walleye, cod, tilapia, or any other white fish works great for these fish sticks, offering a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Egg: Coats the fish to help the bread crumbs stick and get an even, crispy bake.
  • Panko bread crumbs: The bread used for panko is very airy, making them especially crispy when baked or fried.
  • Garlic powder: Adds a punch of strong, garlic flavor to the coating.
  • Lemon: Lemon zest adds a wonderful, fresh punch of flavor to the fish sticks, and lemon juice adds brightness to the tartar sauce.
  • Yogurt: Plain yogurt acts as the base for my healthier, homemade tartar sauce instead of mayonnaise.
  • Pickles: Finely diced dill pickles and pickle juice give the tartar sauce it’s signature tart and tangy flavor.
  • Salt & pepper: Seasons and enhances the fish and sauce.

How to Make Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce

Fish for Fish Sticks 2

Start your crispy baked fish sticks by cutting your fish fillets into 1-2 inch thick sticks.

Baked fish stick ingredients

Then beat your eggs in once dish that will easily fit the fish, and stir the panko bread crumbs, lemon zest, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in another dish.

fish stick breading process

Pat the fish dry, season with some salt and black pepper, then dip in the egg mixture.

panko for baked fish sticks

Once fully coated in the egg, move to the panko bread mixture and coat on all sides.

Fish Sticks on Baking Sheet

Place on a prepared baking sheet, and repeat until all fish sticks are coated and on the baking sheet.

oven baked fish sticks

Then throw your fish sticks into the oven preheat to 425 until crispy and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

yogurt for baked fish stick tartar sauce

While fish sticks bake, make your tartar sauce. Start by adding your plain yogurt to a medium bowl.

pickles for baked fish sticks tartar sauce

Then finely chop your dill pickles and add them to the yogurt.

homemade tartar sauce for baked fish sticks

Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, pour in the pickle juice and lemon juice, and mix until fully combined.

fish sticks dipped in tartar sauce

Once fish sticks are golden-brown, serve and enjoy your Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce!

Easy Substitutions

  • Make it gluten-free. Replacements may result in a slightly different texture, but panko breadcrumbs can be replaced with gluten-free breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, crushed tortilla chips, crushed potato chips, etc.
  • Spice things up. For a bigger punch of flavor, try adding come paprika, cayenne pepper, or onion powder into the panko mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you serve with fish sticks?

Bake or air fry some French fries, whip up some coleslaw, or roast some vegetables.

Are baked fish sticks healthy?

Fish is very good for you, and baking fish sticks instead of frying them makes them even healthier because you don’t ingest all of the added oils.

How do you store leftover fish sticks?

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, reheat either in the oven or an air fryer to keep them crispy!

Baked fish sticks with tartar sauce.

More Kid-Friendly Recipes

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Liz eating baked fish sticks with tartar sauce.

For a quick and easy dinner your whole family will enjoy, add my Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce your weekly meal plan.

No fork required.

fish sticks dipped in tartar sauce

Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce

4.94 stars average
Avoid soggy fishsticks! These crispy baked fish sticks with tartar sauce are made with a flavorful lemon pepper panko coating.
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 45 minutes
Pin
Servings4

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ pounds white fish ((i.e. walleye,cod, tilapia, etc.) – skin removed and cut into strips)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 zest of lemon

Tartar Sauce

  • ½ cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Set out two shallow glass dishes (pie plates work well). In the first dish, whisk one egg until light and fluffy.
  • Combine panko, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and lemon zest in the second dish.
  • Sprinkle both sides of the fish strips with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Dip fish in egg then coat evenly with panko mixture. Place on lined baking sheet and continue until all fish is coated in panko.
  • Spray fish sticks with cooking spray then bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Make the tartar sauce while fish is baking by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerating until you’re ready to serve.

Last Step:

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Nutrition

Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 19.3gProtein: 36.5gFat: 3.7gSaturated Fat: 0.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.9gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 979mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 1.9g
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50 responses to “Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce”

  1. Aggie Avatar
    Aggie

    Mmmm fish sticks. Friday nights during Lent!! Love these homemade ones. :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Why are fish sticks so good?!?

  2. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough Avatar
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    LOVE me some homemade fish sticks! Especially healthy ones that are made in lickety-split. Sign me up.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I love the phrase “lickety split” btw: )

  3. Shauna Avatar
    Shauna

    I’m from Gloucester! These look “wicked good” as we “north of Boston-ers” would say. I’ve been transplanted to Wisconsin where most of the fish eaten is at a Friday nigh fish-fry. I’m definitely going to have to try these for a healthier taste of home. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I love Gloucester!!! Let me know what you think!

  4. Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen Avatar
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen

    I love homemade baked fish sticks! Just made a batch the other day with barramundi.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I bet it was so good!!! We don’t have whole foods or trade joe’s here so I can’t find barramundi anywhere!! :(

  5. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite Avatar
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

    I used to eat Captain Morgan Fish sticks all the time as a kid. Love that I can make my own version with my little one so I know what goes into it.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      We had them too!!! Such a childhood favorite. :)

  6. Kim | Just For Clicks Avatar
    Kim | Just For Clicks

    I’ll be super honest… these are a HUGE favorite for my son. But he doesn’t get them often because I buy the frozen ones…. even though I’ve now found them at Whole Foods, it’s not a great option. Can’t wait to make these for him!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I hope he likes these Kim!! My son doesn’t love fish but he devoured these!!!

  7. Tina Muir Avatar
    Tina Muir

    Liz, those look fantastic! I love crispy foods, and need to include more fish in my diet, so these would be perfect! Yum! They look amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe! I know I can trust yours to be wonderful :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Let me know if you try them!! We loved them!!

  8. Marisa Avatar
    Marisa

    Yum! I love this and can never get enough panko. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful photography (as always). :-)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You and me both – I adore panko!!

  9. Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) Avatar
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life)

    Pinned! These look fabulous :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you Brittany!

  10. Maryea {happy healthy mama} Avatar
    Maryea {happy healthy mama}

    I love this and will definitely be trying this recipe soon. Pinned! Thank you. :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Let me know what you think!!

      1. Linda Johnston Avatar
        Linda Johnston

        Liz – my husband grew up in Topsfield MA and our two boys were born there. Where is your husband from? The world gets smaller every day . . .

        1. Linda Johnston Avatar
          Linda Johnston

          AND I want to leave work early and go home and make these!

        2. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          Oh my goodness I’ve been to the Topsfield Fair many many times!! My husband is from Saugus!!! :)