Cod au Gratin is a classic dish on the east coast of Canada, & one of my favourite traditional Newfoundland recipes. This one is gluten free!
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on January 28, 2012. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 3/16/2021, and updated on 3/21/2023.
Cod au Gratin is a traditional Newfoundland dish, and it’s one I indulged in every chance I got while living there.
It’s been a long time, but I can still tell you exactly where my first cheesy bite of cod occurred - Velma’s Place, on Water St.
The restaurant may not be around anymore, but the memories sure are - I can even picture the table I was at, location in the restaurant, and the view out onto the street.
It was raining that evening, and that meal in that moment was just *perfect*.
... and that was almost 25 years ago. I guess you could say it made an impression!
Homemade Cod Au Gratin
Anyway, generally speaking, the traditional recipe consists of cod, Béchamel sauce, and melted cheese / bread crumbs on top... but - of course - I started bastardizing it the first time I made it.
Over time, the Béchamel sauce became a hearty cheese sauce.
I've made this with dill, with asparagus, with bacon, and with other seafood involved.
It's just one of those recipes that I make by "feel", and I've never written down measurements or anything as I've gone. Til now.
I’ve finally measured everything and come up with a single favourite recipe for making cod au gratin, and I actually follow it (at least loosely!) every time I make it, now.
It doesn’t take much time to make - a few minutes of prep, a quick sauce, then toss it in the oven.
I usually make it in a square baking pan, but for an easy-yet-fancy dinner option, it also works well in ramekins, as pictured.
Let’s get to it..
Need a low carb version of this recipe? Check out my Keto Cod au Gratin!
This cod au gratin recipe mostly uses simple ingredients, you should be able to find them - or substitutes - in most larger grocery stores.
Some notes for you:
Generally, I like to use cod loins when I can get them, but cod fillets work as well.
I just prefer the nice big chunks of cod that I get from the loins, over the thinner pieces that come from fish fillets.
You can use fresh cod or frozen, just be sure to thaw and thoroughly drain the fish, when using frozen.
No cod? No problem - you can make this recipe with your favourite white fish - just be sure it’s boneless!
I like to crumble up a small bag of plain potato chips for the crusty topping, but crumbled corn chips or pork rinds also work.
Dry White Wine
The alcohol cooks off in the sauce, but if you’d like to skip the wine entirely, use the same amount of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or seafood stock.
When I use broth instead of wine, I’ll usually add a good squeeze of lemon juice, just to boost the acidity a little and brighten the flavour a bit.
Summer Savoury is an herb that’s popular in certain regions of Canada - especially in Newfoundland.
You may have seen it in some of my recipes, it’s a nice addition to things like Tourtiere, French Canadian Pea Soup, Cod Cheeks & Dressing,Hearty Beef Stew (and my Keto Beef Stew!), Replica Swiss Chalet Sauce and my Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup.
It’s a great herb, and it’s a big part of what gives this dish its iconic flavour.
IMHO Mt Scio brand is the best. In Canada, you can sometimes find it at Sobeys, and usually find it in Newfoundland shops across the country.
Barring that, I think Penzey’s sells it, and you can usually find Summer Savory on Amazon.
Salt & ground black pepper
... I just don’t really have anything else to add, for these last few ingredients!
Cod au Gratin Variations
This is a good base cod au gratin recipe- there's a lot more going on in it than the basic, traditional recipe - but that's how I like it.
My version of cod au gratin uses a lot of my favorite flavors to combine with fish - wine, mustard, garlic, onions, savoury.
That said, there are all kinds of different ways to personalize it to your own tastes - Part of what makes this such a great recipe is how customizable it is.
Feel free to add or substitute items as you like! A few suggestions:
Add some veggies and convince yourself it's healthy! (I like asparagus or broccoli).
Change the cheese. Provolone, gouda, or Monterey Jack are other good options, for example.
Garnish with some fresh parsley or green onion if you like.
Just have fun with it!
How to Make Cod Au Gratin
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is the pictorial walk through.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
Cut fresh cod into 1" pieces, arrange as a single layer in an 8x8" baking dish.
Alternately, you can divide them between 4-6 individual ramekins. Set aside.
Note: If you’re using frozen cod, it’s easiest to cut when still partially frozen.
I’ll chop it and put it in the pan - or a large bowl - to continue thawing. Once thawed, drain off the water, blot dry with a paper towel, and continue from there.
Measure cornstarch or potato starch into the pot, cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
Add Dijon, whisking until well incorporated.
Add milk, once again whisking until smooth. Heat until mixture starts to thicken.
Once sauce mixture starts to thicken, turn heat down to medium-low heat. Add half of the Parmesan and a small handful of the cheddar to the white sauce, stirring until thick, melted, and smooth.
Season with summer savory, salt and pepper, to taste.
Scatter cheddar cheese across the top of the fish mixture, then remaining Parmesan.
Spread crumbled potato chips on top.
Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days or so.
Best reheated in the microwave.
More Gluten Free Seafood & Fish Recipes
Looking for more tasty, gluten-free recipes for seafood? I've got you covered!
Ahi Tuna Crudo
Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Gluten-Free Fish Fingers & Custard
Gluten Free Seafood Crepes
Gluten-Free Fish & Chips
Honey Ginger Shrimp salad
Gluten Free Tempura
Ahi Tuna Nachos
Basic Seafood Risotto
Low Country Boil
Cashew Crusted Halibut with Mango Salsa
Almond Crusted Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce
Curried Shrimp Spring Rolls
Spicy Tuna Maki Rolls
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Tuna Mango Poke
Chicken, Shrimp, & Sausage Jambalaya
Keto Fish Cakes
Seared Tuna Salad
Smoked Salmon Canapes
Spinach Feta Salmon Pinwheels
Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon
Keto Coconut Shrimp
Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp
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Traditional Newfoundland Cod Au Gratin [Gluten Free]
- 2 lbs Fresh Boneless Cod Loins*
- ¼ cup Butter
- ½ Small Onion finely chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves pressed or minced
- ¼ cup Corn Starch Or Potato Starch if needed
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- ¼ cup Dry White Wine
- 2 ¼ cups Milk
- ⅔ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 2 teaspoon Dried Summer Savoury
- Salt & pepper
- 1 Small bag Plain Potato Chips crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Cut cod into 1" pieces, arrange in an 8x8" baking pan. Alternately, you can divide them between 4-6 individual ramekins. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add onion and garlic and cook - stirring frequently - until onions are tender and translucent. Add corn starch to the pot, cook for another minute, stirring frequently. Add Dijon, whisking until well incorporated.
- Carefully add wine to pot, whisking until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes, whisking frequently. Add milk, once again whisking until smooth. Heat until mixture starts to thicken.
- Once sauce mixture starts to thicken, add half of the Parmesan and a small handful of the cheddar, stirring until thick, melted, and smooth. Add savoury, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour sauce over fish, stirring to coat and distribute evenly.
- Scatter cheddar cheese across the top of the fish mixture, then remaining Parmesan. Spread crumbled potato chips on top
- Bake – uncovered- for about 35 (individual ramekins) - 50 minutes (8x8 pan), or until fish is cooked through, and sauce is bubbly.
- Serve hot.
This weekend - and the past few weeks - is/has been a big push to get out post-tornado kitchen reconstruction DONE.
Well, not quite done-done ... we won't have the lumber for the cabinet faces and doors for a while, and those will take some serious time to make ... but functional.
I haven't had a functional kitchen since we bought this house, a year ago. The kitchen, as we bought it, was only barely functional - you may have seen the "before" pictures and description on twitter.
Don't worry, I'll be posting the awful "befores" when I can finally post the "afters"!
This weekend is all about building the cabinetry to surround the slide-in oven, which has been free-standing since we moved in.
I'm not being facetious there, either. We've been discussing all of the great foods I haven't been able to make in a long time, as well as the recipes I've been mentally designing ever since losing my kitchen. All of this takeout food... ugh.
So, we went to the store to pick up groceries for the first couple of meals I'll be able to make, and I used one of my new counters - and my freshly-installed sink area! - to make Cod au Gratin on Friday night.