Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

~ traditional newfoundland Cod au Gratin ~

Cod au Gratin is a traditional Newfoundland dish with the star ingredient being, of course, cod!  There’s a lovely little béchamel or white sauce covering the cod and then it’s topped with cheese and  breadcrumbs (or in this case croissant crumbs….eeeek – YUM!) and all baked in the oven until it’s nice, bubbly and brown.

Hey guys; how’s it going?  Have a nice weekend?  Ours was great – the weather was lovely so we had a chance to sit  on the deck after doing some yard work and have a beverage.  It’s not exactly hot, but the sun was shining so I’ll take it!   I think there’s a bird nest around us somewhere because we have more birds hanging around than usual.  There’s this one little fella and he sits on the railing of our deck and just chills; he has visited multiple times and I can guarantee you one thing, he is eating well!  Little guy is so big!   I just love seeing them around.

We had some good eats this weekend, too.  It was so funny….wondering what we were going to have for supper on Sunday I said to hubby ‘ I have a mad craving for cauliflower.’  He just did a double take and looked and me and said ‘I think that just may be the un-coolest thing you ever said.’  That’s ok; I’m comfortable with who I am, lol 😛 So funny, though.  What can I say, I love cauliflower.  I ending up making vegetable korma with cauliflower rice.  I saw Jamie Oliver use cauliflower like this a while back and you just basically put the cauliflower florets in a food processor, pulse a few times until it kinda looks like couscous, put in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for a bit (I cooked for about 10 minutes and added some shredded coconut after it was cooked)…so easy, healthy & tasty and worked perfectly with the veg korma, soaking up all that sauce.  Do you sometimes get a craving for a food or dish and obsess over it until you’ve had it?  I do.  Usually when I’ve had whatever it is, I’m good. Well, at least this craving is something healthy, not like the craving I had for fries, dressing & gravy a little while back 😀

So what’s this ‘Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin’ dish all about, you ask?  Well, cod is the fish in Newfoundland.  And Cod Au Gratin is among the most popular traditional dishes of the Province, without a doubt.  You can find this dish made at some time or another in practically everyone’s home in Newfoundland.  I’d say a 5 year old could probably make this one with their eyes closed it’s that common.  Ok, not really, but you get what I’m saying.

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

My Mother-in-law gave me these beautiful frozen cod fillets (shout out to Mom-in-law…..heeey!) and they went to good use in this dish.  Au gratin anything is never a bad thing, is it?  I mean, cheese covered whatever and baked?  Sign me up!  I like to add dill and lemon to my recipe.  Not everyone’s version of Cod au Gratin has dill, but I love to add it because seafood and dill go hand and hand…just like dill and lemon or me and cupcakes 😀   It’s a definite seafood classic combo.  A little twist that I like to do, too, just to take it one step further is to add lemon zest to the sauce.  I find that the freshness of the lemon and dill really brighten the dish.

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

Another change-up that I did with this recipe for Cod au Gratin is instead of breadcrumbs I used crumbs from a croissant so you know that’s going to be good with all that buttery flavour!  Butter is never a bad thing, in my opinion 😉  If you don’t have a croissant on hand, not to worry, bread crumbs will work just fine.

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

As I used frozen cod fillets, I like to put the fillets in the oven for a little bit to get rid of excess moisture.  I find that cod, in particular, when frozen, releases a lot of moisture when cooked.  By pre-cooking the cod, it gets rid of excess moisture so that lovely creamy béchamel sauce you have made doesn’t get watered down.  Who wants a watered down anything?  Certainly not me!

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

Or course, I made this in one big dish, but for presentation purposes it really looks nice cooked and served in little individual dishes.  This recipe yields about 4 servings for dinner or 6 appetizer servings.  It’s lovely for dinner with a simple garden salad and leftovers reheat well, so you can totally make ahead if you like.

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

I really hope you get a chance to try this Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin recipe that is an iconic dish of where I am from.  If you do get a chance to try, I’d love to hear how you like it!  Until next time, have a great week and chit chat again soon 🙂


Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin -

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Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin
Cod au Gratin is a traditional Newfoundland dish with the star ingredient being, of course, cod! There's a lovely little béchamel or white sauce covering the cod and then it's topped with cheese and breadcrumbs (or in this case croissant crumbs) and all baked in the oven until it's nice, bubbly and brown
Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin
  1. In a small pot on stovetop heat milk on low. Preheat oven to 375F. Place cod in casserole dish and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of salt. Lay to one side until you make the sauce. See note below if using cod fillets that have been previously frozen, as in my case.
  2. Meanwhile, in another pot on stovetop, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Heat on medium low. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. To onion, add butter; melt. Add flour and stir to form a paste. Stirring, cook for about 3-5 minutes. Slowly add milk to this (cup at a time), stirring until thickened about 2-3 minutes. Sauce mixture should coat back of a spoon. Mixture will be thick.
  4. To sauce mixture, add remaining salt, pepper, lemon zest and 1.5 tsp of dill. Stir to combine. Pour sauce mixture over cod, coating all fish. Stir to ensure mixture is incorporated well.
  5. Add cheese and croissant crumbs on top of sauced fish mixture. Bake for 40 minutes until brown and bubbly. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 tsp of dried dill over top. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If you are using frozen cod fillets (like I did), I recommend thawing and precooking a little to remove excess moisture.  Preheat oven to 350F and place cod fillets in baking dish and cook for about 25 minutes.  Carefully remove from oven, drain any excess liquid and tear the pieces of cod a little to break up. Continue with recipe.  This is not necessary, but I find that it works well because you don't want the sauce to be watered down and runny.


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62 thoughts on “Traditional Newfoundland Cod au Gratin

  1. Marie-Pierre Breton says:

    I’m so trying this out soon! I love cod, and since I’m living in Spain, it just everywhere here! Although salted… but once unsalted must be pretty much the same taste … hopefully;) Yum!

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Awesome – glad to hear that Marie! I would definitely recommend using fresh or fresh/frozen, not salted in this recipe if you can get your hands on some 🙂 Thanks so much! Hope you love it!

  2. Yarrumab says:

    Excellent recipe – best one I have found. I used frozen cod, so I thawed, patted dry and fried in my pan after sautéing my onions – just slightly to remove some moisture.
    I also added a little more lemon zest just because my lemon was quite large.

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Thank you very much. Appreciate that – happy you enjoyed the recipe! Definitely a favourite in our home 🙂 A little extra lemon zest is perfectly fine in my books. Love that stuff! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Smitha says: to this dish. But i have heard of it. I would like to taste it. I should be near to your place so that a delicious dinner would have been possible. Individual serving of dishes are tempting . And demeter name stuart is so cute

  4. Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table says:

    Perfect comfort food! I don’t think I’ve ever had it but that’s gotta change too if it’s this much of a classic where you’re from – know it must be good! Plus, I’m always looking for new great seafood dishes!
    And yes, I totally get random food cravings and they most often involve vegetables. So I don’t think your NEED for cauliflower is weird at all 😉 Have a wonderful weekend! XO
    Kathryn @ Family Food on the Table recently posted…Seared romaine with cheater Caesar’s dressingMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Thanks Kathryn! I’m sure you will love it! I make it quite regularly and it never disappoints. If you do try, let me know how you like it.
      Ok, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets random food cravings and if they are involving vegetables that’s always a good thing, isn’t it?
      Have a wonderful weekend too! xo

  5. Yum In Your Tum | Amanda says:

    This recipe looks amazing Dawn! I love all the photos. I had to stop myself from drooling because everything looks so scrumptious! I am with you on the cauliflower rice …I literally had it for dinner all week! Sounds like you enjoyed your weekend, I hope you have another great one! Off to pinning this yummy recipe! 🙂

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Thanks so much, Amanda! Appreciate the kind comments, girl – means a lot! And thanks for the Pin 🙂 Have a good one too! We have a long weekend here so really looking forward to it 🙂

  6. Amanda says:

    This looks amazing! I never think to cook Cod, but I need to start! I’ve had it before and I love that is a light white fish–not to heavy and full of flavor! Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Michelle | The Secret Ingredient Is says:

    I feel you on the cauliflower craving – I had the same one earlier this week and thought the world was ending because I was craving that instead of sweets! (It didn’t last long though, I’ll be honest.) Ah this dish looks SO good Dawn, I have never herd of cod au gratin before, but you’re right – anything au gratin is bound to be delicious! Love that you used croissants as your bread crumbs, that is such a good idea! Pinned, and saving this for an upcoming rainy day when I’m craving a little twist of comfort food!
    Michelle | The Secret Ingredient Is recently posted…Mediterranean Pasta SaladMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Hahaha 😀 I know, such a funny craving to have, isn’t it? Not like candy or potato chips or something. Thanks so much for the sweet comments and Pin, Michelle! Much appreciated, girl!

  8. David @ Spiced says:

    I love cod! Actually, I love any kind of firm, white fish…so I’m thinking perhaps I was meant to live in Newfoundland. 🙂 I’ve never had cod au gratin before, though, and I’m thinking I need to change that. Plus, the croissant crumbs? You evil, evil woman! (By evil, I mean awesome.) This sounds like such an awesome comfort food dish. I hope you and the hubby have an awesome weekend, Dawn! P.S. Tell that bird hello for me!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Cherry Walnut GranolaMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Maybe so, David! Hahaha….evil woman. I know, right 😀 ? Indeed, I will. The bird has brought many friends so it’s quite entertaining to watch them. Have an awesome weekend, too!

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Well, we speak the same language, Liz!! Sure you can 🙂 Nah, you don’t have to kiss the cod, but may have to have some Newfoundland Screech (rum), lol. Thanks so much for the comments (and the laugh) 😉

  9. Natanja says:

    What a delicious dish! I’m so glad you posted this because my husband and I are visiting Canada in July and have been wondering what the local cuisine is like. We are considering moving there and I’m glad you guys have such delicious food because that’s important to us. We are super excited to try some Canadian dishes and this will hopefully be one of them! 🙂
    Natanja recently posted…Carrot Apple SmoothieMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      That’s so exciting, Natanja! The cuisine varies slightly over different areas of Canada and Newfoundland definitely has it’s own unique dishes, that’s for sure. Hope you do get a chance to try. Best of luck and thanks for the comments 🙂

  10. Tracy | Baking Mischief says:

    Dawn, you are a GENIUS. Croissant breadcrumbs might just be the best idea I have ever heard. And to answer your question about cravings, YES. Now all I can think about is what I can put croissant breadcrumbs on. So thanks for that. Now I have to go out and buy some croissants. The worst! 😉

    And I had never heard of cod au gratin before! I’m not usually a cod person, but I made like this, it sounds delish!
    Tracy | Baking Mischief recently posted…Easy Beef PastiesMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Well, thanks so much Tracy! Can’t go wrong with croissant crumbs, can ya? I mean on their own croissants are fantastic so anything else done with them ought to be good too…well, that was my reasoning 🙂 Cod au Gratin is so popular ’round here; if you try cod in a dish like this I’m sure you will love – or at least I hope so 🙂 If not, you can totally scrape off the cheese and croissant topping and eat all of that because I know that that will be unreal, lol. Thanks for the lovely comments, Tracy. Have a great week 🙂 !

  11. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    When we put a bird feed outside it was so fun to watch all the varieties of birds come by the back yard. So many cool colors and birds I never knew were in our area, too. Then with some being a little messy the seeds on the ground soon brought the attention of rodents. No bueno! The dogs would chase and dig. So buh-bye bird feeder. Can’t stand ’em! Since we have dogs and no cats to keep them at bay…. The birds still come ’round for the water fountain though to bathe and drink – even humming birds! So I get to still see my winged friends.
    You and cupcakes, that was funny! This dish looks mah-velous indeed. Like your little trick with pre-baking the cod to release excess water to keep that lovely dish looking creamy. Croissant crumbs! Love it and your dill and lemon zest add. Sounds fantastic!
    Kevin | Keviniscooking recently posted…Chilled Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese and Pickled OnionsMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Ok, I know for reals what you are talking about, Kevin! We had a bird feeder once and experienced a similar thing. The birds were making a mess everywhere and pretty soon there were squirrels everywhere instead of birds. So, like yourself, bird feeder gone bye bye. The birds still come around without us having a feeder out so that’s definitely a good thing. Our little furry child loves watching the birds, too. He doesn’t bark at them or anything, just watches in amazement, or that’s what I like to think he is doing 😉

      Happy you like the recipe. My little tricks have come along way since first making the dish, that’s for sure, and I pretty much only use frozen cod for cod au gratin. Hope you get to try soon and love to hear what you think of it 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful comments, as usual 🙂 !!

  12. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says:

    We have tons of birds too, Dawn! And deer.. and rabbits. Sitting out on the deck and watching all the animals is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend… with a cocktail or two of course! 😉 I think you saying you have a mad craving for cauliflower is the coolest thing ever!! So tell your hubby he is wrong. hahaha!! Anyways, speaking of cool – umm this au gratin is BOMB!! I love au gratins, but I’ve never had a cod au gratin!! Where the heck has this been all my life!! LOVING IT!! I could eat the whole casserole dish of this cheesy beauty! Gimme Gimme! Cheers, sweets!! xo
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Teaser For TuesdayMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Wow! So awesome, Cheyanne! We don’t have any deer, but have seen some rabbits and, occasionally, a fox. Totally with ya with a cocktail or two…have to stay hydrated, don’t ya 😉 ? Well, thanks…glad you think it’s cool and I just told hubby that you said he was mistaken, lol. You have to come to Newfoundland and try some! It’s pretty much everywhere here. Thanks for the sweet comments, friend. Appreciate it bunches! xo

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Sounds good, girl! It was my first time actually making veg korma (though I’ve eaten it a bunch) and both hubby and I LOVED it! Yes, do try that cauliflower rice….it’s awesome! Thanks so much for the comments, Sarah 🙂

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Thanks so much, Mary Ann! It’s definitely a comfort food dish! I love the dill, too, and the lemon really comes through. Hope you enjoy!! Love to hear how you do. Have a fantastic week 🙂

  13. Demeter | Beaming Baker says:

    Birds and the sun is shining? Loving it. 🙂 Also, how adorable is it that you have a visiting bird friend? How long until you name him? Any ideas to toss around yet? 😉 How about Stuart?
    Omg, cauliflower really is delish, though! So I think you’re the COOLEST. Lol. Also, cauliflower popcorn. Amiright? Cauliflower rice sounds delish.
    Wow, those 5 year olds sure are talented in the kitchen in Newfoundland! 😉 Meanwhile, that croissant crumb top looks so perfectly scrumptious… I can barely stand it. Wow! Can you make a potato version? Pretty please!! 🙂 Have a great week, my dear. Pinning, of course!

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Me too 🙂 Bring on the Summer, right?! Oh my goodness…Stuart sounds adorable. I think he looks like a Stuart…so Stuart it is 😉 ! And how about buffalo sauce cauliflower? Yum! Hahaha…I know, they start quite young cooking, lol. Perhaps I may have to try a potato version or maybe a cauliflower one-oh the possibilities, but then, again the cheese baked on top would probably make a shoe taste good 😀 Thanks for the sweet comments, as usual, and the Pin. Have a great week too, Demeter 🙂

      • Demeter | Beaming Baker says:

        Aw, can’t wait to see pics of Stuart! 🙂 🙂
        Buffalo sauce cauliflower sounds AMAZING!! Okay, you have to DM when you post it–I’ll need to share it vigorously. 😉 If you do add potatoes or do a potato version, I’ll just have to hop on a train to you and I’ll be bringing a ginormous appetite.
        NEW LOGO: OMG!!! It’s so beautiful!! I <3 it Dawn!! Can't wait to see it everywhere. 🙂

        • Girl Heart Food says:

          I’ll have to try to snap a pic of him soon, Demeter 😉 Now, I’m totally craving cauliflower again, lol. Thanks for that 😀 😀 😀 !! So happy you like the logo! I’m pretty excited about it and couldn’t wait to get it up there! Woo hoo! Have a great weekend, girl! Long one for us here and the weekend is looking beautiful. Yay!

  14. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says:

    We actually did have a bird’s nest under our deck. . it was amazing. . we saw the eggs and then the hatched birds and my kids even got to watch the momma bird feeding the babies one day! I am also obsessed with cauliflower right now. . LOVE this cod au gratin!!What a great idea with the cod! I love this!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Spinach Berry SmoothieMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      Oh, wow! That sounds amazing! What a lovely experience for them (and you). Happy you love the recipe and get a chance to try it 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comments and have a great week, Alice!

  15. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says:

    Sounds like you had a great weekend, Dawn! It was sunny, but cool yesterday here too…so I’m hoping this week warms up! And I get the strangest cravings too. Cauliflower is such a good one to have though…could be a lot worse, right? 🙂 This cod au gratin looks SO good! My husband and I make salmon a lot, so I’m loving this cod dish. Sounds perfect for dinner, especially with those croissants on top! Such a great idea! Pinned, of course! Hope your week is off to a great start!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Quinoa and Chickpea Pesto SaladMy Profile

    • Girl Heart Food says:

      I did, Gayle…hopefully this weekend will be just as nice! I don’t even mind if it is cooler, as long as the sun is shining! Fingers crossed. I agree, I could have worse cravings….least it’s a veggie! Thanks so much; it really is a popular dish around here so I’ve definitely eaten my fair share, that’s for sure! Thanks for the Pin! Much appreciated, girl 🙂 Hope you have an awesome week too!

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