Crispy Fish Nuggets with Cajun Tartar Sauce

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is perfectly crispy fried fish dunked in creamy tartar sauce. Every once in a while I will just crave it. The breading so crispy, the fish so tender and flaky. And the tartar sauce? Oh it must be homemade. Yes, homemade. Because, really friends, that is the only kind of tartar sauce you should be eating.

When it comes to fried fish there are two essential things:

1. Perfectly crispy fried white fish. No soggy batter here thank you very much.


2. Creamy tangy tartar sauce to dunk said perfectly crispy fried fish into.

This recipe has both.

You’re welcome.

Let’s talk about the fish first. You can use any white fish that you like for this recipe. We prefer cod in our home, but you could easy spend a little more money and use halibut or save some bucks and use tilapia. Any will work. The key to making them perfect, in my opinion anyway, is the coating. Ever bit into a piece of batter fried fish and had the oil drip out all over? Yeah. I have. Not pleasant. That is why I forgo batter frying my fish. Instead I coat it in panko. The panko gives the fish a super crispy crunch and it’s never soggy.


Next up is the tartar. Ever since I shared this tartar sauce recipe back in 2009, I have been making my own tartar sauce. It’s just so easy to make and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand so I can’t imagine ever buying some.  You probably have all the ingredients already too. All you need is a little mayo, dill pickles, sweet relish and onions. For this recipe, I decided to make a spicy version by adding some cajun seasoning. It adds just the right amount of kick that was the perfect dip for these Crispy Fish Nuggets.

Crispy Fish Nuggets with Cajun Tartar Sauce Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Crispy Fish Nugget Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon blackened seasoning
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into bite size pieces
  • oil
  • salt
  • lemon

Cajun Tartar Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon diced dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning



Make the tartar sauce first. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Combine flour and blackened seasoning together in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together milk and egg. In another bowl combine panko bread crumbs and garlic powder. Dredge fish into seasoned flour, dip into egg/milk mixture and then press into panko to coat completely. Repeat until all fish is coated.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees.


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook fish, in batches, 2 - 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and keep in warmed oven until all fish is cooked.


Once all fish is cooked serve hot with tartar sauce and a lemon wedge.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    February 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Perfect for Lent! I am always looking for new recipes to make for my kids on “Fish Fridays.” I am also a huge fan of homemade tartar sauce – once you make it yourself, you can never go back!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      I agree! You can’t ever go back!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I like crispy fried fish but the thought of frying makes me panic, which, curiously is what the autocorrect wants to do with panko!
    Thanks for a lovely-looking recipe!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      Don’t panic! This isn’t too difficult, it’s not deep frying either. Just a small amount of oil :)

  • Reply
    Patricia Conte
    February 20, 2015 at 8:22 am

    These look delicious, and so happy you said they don’t include soggy batter — the worst! Yum!!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      I agree, it’s the worst!

  • Reply
    Heather @FrenchPress
    February 20, 2015 at 8:05 am

    I bet this would get my kids to LOVE fish!! and soggy fried fish is the WORST

  • Reply
    February 20, 2015 at 7:15 am

    These look awesome! I have some bite-sized fish in the freezer and this would be perfect!

  • Reply
    Accidental Farm Wife
    February 20, 2015 at 7:06 am

    This looks so good, and so easy! Need to make this for the cajun tartar sauce alone!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      It’s pretty tasty stuff!

  • Reply
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)
    February 20, 2015 at 5:13 am

    I am really, really excited about this recipe! 1. I LOVE fish and chips so anything battered and crispy is for me. 2. I gave up meat for Lent. 3. My family eats Gorton’s fish sticks and continuously claims they are “the best.” I am so going to show them with these little bites!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I hope they love them as much as we do!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    February 20, 2015 at 4:28 am

    My husband literally has an obsession with all things Cajun! When I ask him for recipe ideas, it is ALWYAYS cajun something or other. So, clearly, this needs to happen to my life. Pinned!

    • Reply
      February 24, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      I like your husband’s style!

  • Reply
    February 20, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I am with ya there! Crunchy fish sticks all the way!

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