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. Carol at Wild Goose Tea Avatar
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    Gosh what a tasty redo of the ol’ fish sticks from elementary school lunches. Baked crispy takes the guilt out of it. Woo Hoo! I live in a town on salt water in Washington State. So lots of fish to choose from. I would probably grab some Alaskan cod.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m jealous of your fish!! I love cod!

  2. Natalie Lindsay Avatar
    Natalie Lindsay

    Liz- We made these last night and the kids LOVED them!! My husband and I did also! Thanks for posting this idea… Natalie (Topsfield, MA)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so thrilled they were a hit!!

  3. Joanne Avatar
    Joanne

    I feel like fishsticks are kind of a Lent classic, so I love seeing this healthier baked version of them!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so glad – they were a huge hit!

  4. Cathryn Avatar
    Cathryn

    I made these with cod today. They were wonderful! Thank you for a great recipe.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Cod is perfect! So glad you liked them!

  5. Whitney @ Jewhungry Avatar
    Whitney @ Jewhungry

    OK, a) I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve never been to Massachusetts and I’m still itching to get there and drown myself in fresh fish and knit sweaters and b) this recipe DID actually show up in my kid’s lunch box today! Thanks so much!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh my gosh you will love MA!! You must get there!! 2) I LOVE THAT IT SHOWED UP IN THEIR LUNCH BOX!!!

  6. Gaby Avatar
    Gaby

    I’d love this for lunch today!

  7. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles Avatar
    Brenda @ a farmgirl’s dabbles

    Definitely worth the extra 10 minutes, I love freshly breaded sticks! Soooooo…I’ve only made chicken sticks/tenders…of the white fish you listed in your recipe, what do you find to be the easiest to work with? What’s your #1 choice?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Truthfully – any type of flaky white fish works well! I would rather you get the most fresh available than worry about a specific type. Cod works really well but even tilapia would be fine. Whatever is the freshest. :)

  8. ashley M. | Our Full Table Avatar
    ashley M. | Our Full Table

    Yum! I love making homemade “normally a freezer item” at home. I love making them in bulk for later! These would be perfect for freezer cooking.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You and me both! I wish I had made extra to freeze!

  9. Meredith Avatar
    Meredith

    So delicious!

  10. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking Avatar
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    I am such a sucker for a good homemade crunchy fish stick. The store bought ones have waaaaaay too much breading. These look light and perfect. I also love anything lemon.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You know I agree on the lemon front!