Avoid soggy fish sticks! These crispy baked fish sticks with tartar sauce are made with a flavorful lemon pepper panko coating.
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. You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones out of the yellow box in the freezer aisle that have the man in the yellow jacket on the ships of Gloucester. Yeah, those.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to love fish sticks as a kid. However, the great thing about making your own is that you can control the quality of ingredients. For example, fresh lemon zest and Japanese panko create a perfect, crispy crust. Even better, they don’t require any butter or oil. Our 2 year old normally isn’t a huge fan of fish but he and my husband were fighting over the last bites. Mission: Accomplished.
When it comes to making dinner for my family, I’m all about easy recipes with real ingredients. That’s why I love these Lemon Butter Baked White Fish and Easy Pan Seared Salmon recipes. Similarly, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes with just a few healthy ingredients!
Of course, who doesn’t love tartar sauce with their fish? However, what I don’t love is all the added ingredients found in the store-bought variety. So, I created my own healthy recipe! I promise once you try it you’ll never look back.
Tips to Create Quick, Healthy Dinners:
These homemade fish sticks literally took me 10 additional minutes compared to the frozen kind. For me, there is nothing better than spending 10 minutes in the kitchen with my family gathered around at the end of a busy day. Therefore, I follow the tips below to reduce the time I spend in the kitchen.
- Keep staples such as panko crumbs, flour, etc. on hand.
- Use fresh flavors and spices such as lemon and garlic to make foods delicious without adding butters and oil.
- Separate meats into an appropriate portion size ahead of time.
- Utilize slow cookers and sheet pan meals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What kind of fish works best?
Due to its thickness and rate of cooking time, white fish such as walleye, tilapia, cod, etc. work best with this recipe.
Can panko bread crumbs be substituted?
Replacements may result in a slightly different texture, but panko breadcrumbs can be replaced with standard breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, crushed tortilla chips, crushed potato chips, etc.
Can the tartar sauce be made dairy-free?
Non-dairy alternatives can be substituted for the Greek yogurt in the tartar sauce.
Crispy Baked Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce
- 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
- 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
- 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.