Skip the frozen aisle and make these healthy, homemade baked fish sticks instead! Breaded in cornmeal and breadcrumbs then drizzled with butter, you’ll have supper on the table in less than 30 minutes!
Our freezers hold our supply of halibut and lingcod to last us through the winter. My husband takes a fishing charter out of Valdez, Alaska each summer to provide us with delicious, healthy, wild-caught Alaska whitefish.
One classic way for families to enjoy whitefish is good old-fashioned fish sticks. Ususally, they come frozen in a package from the store, along with undersirable ingredients.
These homemade baked fish sticks are simply coated with milk and a healthy mixture of homemade breadcrumbs and whole-grain cornmeal. Baked in the oven until lightly browned leaves them tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
These take less than a half an hour from start to finish and paired with a quick side of vegetables or fruit will have supper on the table to everyone’s enjoyment!
Ingredients for Baked Fish Sticks
- Halibut, Cod, or other whitefish-We catch our own whitefish here in Alaska. If you’re purchasing your whitefish, be sure it’s wild caught and responsibly sourced.
- Breadcrumbs-Avoid store-bought breadcrumbs that contain artificial ingredients. All you need to make your own is some bread! I take homemade sourdough bread that’s getting old and shred it with the cheese grater. Store in a quart jar in the freezer and you’ll always have homemade breadcrumbs on hand!
- Cornmeal-Be sure to buy whole grain cornmeal. The only ingredient should be whole grain corn!
- Milk-We use raw milk from our cow but if that’s not available to you, find a source for local, whole milk.
- Butter–Making butter at home is easy and fun! You can use salted or unsalted, depending on your preference. Some will be melted and drizzled on the fish sticks but you will also need some to grease the baking dish.
- Salt and Pepper
Tools You Will Need
- Cutting Board and Fillet Knife-You want to have a good quality fillet knife when cutting fish.
- Two Shallow Dishes-One for the breadcrumb mixture and one for the milk.
- 9 by 13 Baking Dish-Be sure to grease the bottom really well with butter to avoid sticking.
- Measuring Cups
- Digital Food Thermometer-Although you can tell fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork, it’s still nice to have a digital food thermometer for checking the internal temperature and making sure it reaches 140 degrees.
How to Make Homemade Fish Sticks
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Generously grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with butter.
Slice the whitefish fillet into thin strips, about 1/2 inch in thickness. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Into one shallow dish, pour the milk. In the other shallow dish, combine the cornmeal and breadcrumbs and mix well.
With one slice of fish at a time, use one hand to dip the fish into the milk and cover completely. This will be your wet hand. Use the same hand to set the fish into the breadcrumb mixture.
Now use your other hand, your dry hand, to coat the fish completely with the breadcrumb mixture. Then set the fish stick in the baking dish.
Repeat the process with the remaining fish. You can also use a fork to move and dip the fish if you prefer.
Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the fish sticks in the baking dish.
How to Serve Homemade Fish Sticks
Homemade fish sticks make the perfect main course for lunch or dinner. Serve hot out of the oven with your favorite dipping sauce, such as tartar sauce or honey.
You can spritz lemon juice on the fish sticks for some extra flavor. Or dip them in some homemade tartar sauce.
Serve with a favorite side to make a hearty meal. Raw veggie sticks, cooked vegetables, sliced fruit, homemade applesauce, salad, and homemade macaroni and cheese are all great options.
Storing and Reheating Fish Sticks
Store any leftover fish sticks in an airtight container. Refrigerate and enjoy within three days.
You can reheat homemade fish sticks in the oven for a delicious and quick lunch or dinner the next day. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and cook the fish sticks for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they’re nice and hot all the way through.
Microwaving is another even quicker option. Cook in 30-second increments until the fish sticks are warm enough.
You can also enjoy leftover fish sticks chilled! My husband likes to crumble them up and mix them in with a hot bowl of mac & cheese. Or try sprinkling on a salad.
Fish sticks are a classic meal but this recipe is a big step up from the frozen packages in the store. Try making your own in a short amount of time and they’ll become a go-to meal that your family will keep asking for!
Baked Fish Sticks
- Cutting Board
- Fillet knife
- 2 Shallow dishes
- 9 by 13 Baking dish
- Measuring cups
- 1 lb Halibut, Cod, or other whitefish
- 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Cornmeal
- 1/2 cup Milk
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp Butter, plus more for greasing the dish
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Grease the bottom of the 9 by 13 baking dish with butter.
- In one of the shallow dishes, add the milk.
- In the other shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and cornmeal and mix well.
- Cut the fish fillet into thin slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- For each piece of fish, dredge in the milk and then coat evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Place in baking dish.
- Melt butter then drizzle on the fish sticks.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily and reaches 140 degrees at the thickest part.
- Enjoy immediately, dipped in tartar sauce or another favorite sauce.