Growing up, fish sticks were never my thing. In fact, they utterly disgusted me, even though I really like fish. I’ve been dodging the bullet, otherwise known as Mr. How Sweet, for months, since he has been asking me to duplicate fish sticks. I just didn’t think I had it in me.

But boy am I glad I did.

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks I

These are so easy. Much simpler than I anticipated. All I did was cute a few tilapia filets into “sticks.”

Then I dipped them in beaten egg whites and panko breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan. That’s it! They went into the oven and I was done with them. Well, after flipping them once that is. How easy is that?
And how delicious does the finished product look?

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks I

The outsides were so crispy and crunchy and the insides were perfectly flaky.

Even though I often make parmesan-crusted tilapia in a similar way, this tasted much better. It was fun to eat. It made me feel like I was seven years old again. Minus the silk shirts, paisley vest and permed hair.

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks I

I think creating a delicious dipping sauce would be a great addition too. I didn’t put my time into that because Mr. How Sweet knows no other condiment besides his beloved ketchup. He ruins everything with ketchup.

If you have an idea for a tasty sauce, throw it at me!

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks I

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks

makes 12 fish sticks

3 tilapia filets (I’m sure you can use another fish too)

2 egg whites, beaten

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450.

Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray it with non-stick spray.

Cut the tilapia once down the middle, then in half, creating four “sticks.” Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, beat the 2 egg whites. In a separate bowl, add the panko, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Dip each fish stick in egg whites, than in the panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and spritz with olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve hot!

Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks I

I served the fish sticks to Mr. How Sweet with a big plate of sweet potato fries and a few extra blobs of ketchup. They were perfect for his 5-year old taste buds.

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123 Responses to “Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks.”

  1. #
    yvette — November 16, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    so funny you posted this?? Me and my boyfriend just bought tilapia from the store and had no clue what to do with it a few nights ago? I went searching for a few recipe’s and we made fish taco’s with it. I’m on your site and everyday.. you must have read my mind haha Thanks!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

      Glad I could help out. :)


  2. #
    Kristi@eatdrinkloveandexercise — November 16, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    Those fish sticks look so good! Definitely will have to bookmark this recipe for later use!


  3. #
    Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) — November 16, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    YUM! i used to eat fish sticks all the time when I was little- haven’t had them in ages! its good to know I can now make them at home with fresh and tasty ingredients!


  4. #
    Jamie @ Food in Real Life — November 16, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    Look good, and easy too. I like mine with tartar sauce. (mayo, relish, lemon juice, salt and pepper)


  5. #
    Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather — November 16, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    I used to never like fish sticks until I made them at home. I like your recipe – simple!


  6. #
    Yum Yucky — November 16, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    You done outdone yourself again. You just earned 10,000 bonus points on this one.


  7. #
    Alyssa — November 16, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

    Fish sticks were the bane of my existence when I was younger (especially when I would walk into the kitchen and be fooled into thinking they were chicken strips at first glance). I love tilapia though, so these sound right up my alley!


  8. #
    Ellen@FirednFabulous — November 16, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    These sound so yummy! And pretty easy too. You know that’s a bonus. The bf would love ’em!


  9. #
    Caitlin (EatFeats) — November 16, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

    I love fishsticks! They were the ONLY form of fish I ate until I was 20 years old. Then my boyfriend took me to a seafood restaurant to expand my horizons.


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

      Did it work?


      • Caitlin (EatFeats) — November 17th, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

        Well…I ordered teriyaki tuna. I was so proud until he told me it was the least fishy thing on the menu. BUT: Two years later I tried salmon and I will definitely be making these fishsticks…baby steps!

  10. #
    Tabitha (From Single to Married) — November 16, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

    I am seriously going to make these and soon too! I have a whole bag of frozen Tilapia in my freezer (thank you Costco) so these would be perfect!


  11. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — November 16, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

    My husband would love these! Except he would probably dip them in mustard….he ruins everything with MUSTARD!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

      Sounds like me… I love mustard.


  12. #
    Cara Craves... — November 16, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

    Fish sticks remind me of my grandma. She would always make them
    for my when I was little; it was probably the only time I ate them…
    I love special grandma treats!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

      I love them too!


  13. #
    cestyeuxbruns — November 17, 2010 @ 1:01 am

    my dad would always make a sauce to dip our homemade chicken strips and frozen fish sticks, it’s delish and I love it, tangy and creamy! I don’t know the exact measurements, but I think it’s a 1:1 ratio of mayo and sour cream, and then stir in spicy mustard. It should be a pale golden yellow color. It’s so good and easy!


  14. #
    Lisa (bakebikeblog) — November 17, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    oh my – what a wonderful take on a not so great original!! :) LOVE IT!!!!


  15. #
    Katrina — November 17, 2010 @ 2:14 am

    When I still ate fish this recipe would have made me a very, very, happy girl. I’ll try to make these this weekend for my boyfriend :)


  16. #
    Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) — November 17, 2010 @ 2:36 am

    I can’t believe I am craving fish sticks! This looks AMAZING!


  17. #
    shira — November 17, 2010 @ 2:45 am

    Here’s a nice tangy honey mustard dipping sauce for your delicicious fish stix and so much more: 1/4 C plain yogurt, 1 tbs mustard, 1 tsp honey. Adjust portions to suit your taste. It’s yummy AND healthy.


  18. #
    Whitney — November 17, 2010 @ 3:50 am

    I saw this today and thought of you :)


    • Jessica — November 17th, 2010 @ 12:12 pm

      Ummmm YUM.


  19. #
    Amanda @SomethingSavory — November 17, 2010 @ 4:16 am

    I usually make an aioli when I make fish sticks. Just combine mayonnaise, chopped garlic, a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and parsley. It’s amazing!

    The best thing about it is that these are all ingredients I always have in stock. It’s really good, I make it all the time. I love the little chunks of garlic. It also makes a good dipping sauce for artichokes too.


  20. #
    Amber — November 17, 2010 @ 4:47 am

    These look delish! I haven’t thought of that in all of my fish meal prepping! My fiance and I often catch our own fish here at the TX coast, so fish is a well know meal! I often us a fish fry, because my fiance loves fried fish. (I love the taste minus the oil) But I’ve tried a cilantro lime broiled trout which is amazing. But these look even better than the fried because they’re baked and with Panko! I would suggest using a homeade tartar sauce! Yummm-o! This recipe will be used in the next week for sure! Thanks so much! Love your blog!


  21. #
    Kim in MD — November 17, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

    I haven’t had fish sticks since I was a child (seems to be same for everyone else)! Your recipe looks and sounds amazing, Jessica! Another “why didn’t I think of that?” moment! I might whip up a chipotle lime sour cream sauce to dip them in! YUM!


  22. #
    Emily @ For Sweets Sake — November 17, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

    I don’t think I’ve had fish sticks since 3rd grade but these look great!


  23. #
    Stephanie — November 17, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

    Love love love fishsticks. When I lived in Florida I babysat for this family and the little boy LOVED fishsticks, so we had them often. I can’t get enough of them, and have also been meaning to make them. Thanks for the inspiration!


  24. #
    Beth H — November 18, 2010 @ 3:12 am

    I am so stinking excited that you posted this. I just bought some tilapia filets and i had no idea what to do with them.

    Basically, you just made my night. :)


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2010 @ 11:46 am

      Glad I could help!


  25. #
    kate — November 18, 2010 @ 3:53 am

    I must be the only weirdo who loved fish sticks when I was a babe.


  26. #
    Yvonne Dodds — November 18, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

    I hate store bought tartar sauce and have searched high and low for one that is delicious. My solution was to make my own.

    Here is a KILLER homemade tartar sauce recipe to go w/ these! My family LOVES it and my 4 and 6 year olds would eat it by the spoonful if allowed!

    Mix together:
    1 cup mayo
    3 TBS lemon juice
    1 – 2 TBS (or more if you like it) minced white onion
    1 TBS (or again…more if you like it) DILL relish
    salt & pepper to taste

    Cover and chill for AT LEAST one hour prior to serving.


    • Jessica — November 18th, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

      This sounds awesome. Thanks!


  27. #
    janetha g. @ meals & moves — November 18, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    Oh I was all about the Van De Kamps when I was little. These are going on the list!


  28. #
    Andrea @ — November 19, 2010 @ 12:48 am

    No but seriously, you can’t even imagine how much I love fish sticks. Easily in my top 20 foods of all time. I’m making these.


  29. #
    Valerie from Sex, Food, and Rock & Roll — November 21, 2010 @ 5:35 am

    I used to HATE fish sticks as a kid! But we only ever ate frozen fish sticks because my mom doesn’t cook much. Now that I’m an adult, I only make them from scratch using whatever white fish I have and a pretty similar recipe to yours! They come out so very crunchy. I like to dip them in a lemon-butter-garlic sauce made from…

    3 tbsp butter, separated into 1 & 2 tbsp
    1 small clove garlic, minced
    Juice of 1/2 lemon

    1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small pot over low heat.
    2. Saute the minced garlic in the butter until fragrant – don’t let it burn! If it does, clean the pot & start over.
    3. As soon as the garlic is fragrant, add the other 2 tbsp butter and melt, stirring occasionally.
    4. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice, and stir together.
    5. Let rest 5 minutes, then serve.


  30. #
    Kelly — December 14, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

    My favorite sauce for fish sticks is ketchup … with a healthy dose of horseradish mixed in. But of course I’ll find any way to spice up my food!


    • Jessica — December 15th, 2010 @ 1:54 am

      Gotta try that sometime!


  31. #
    Betsy — April 23, 2011 @ 12:03 am

    How did you get your fishsticks so brown? I followed your recipie minus the parmesean cheese (because I didn’t have any) and they just didn’t brown like how your pictures shows. What could I have done differently??


    • Jessica — April 23rd, 2011 @ 8:23 am

      Could maybe be your over temperature?? All over temps differ, the only true measure is to use a thermometer. Maybe they needed a little more time?


  32. #
    Amy @ A Little Nosh — May 15, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    Saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen when I was looking for something different to do with tilapia tonight. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was one of yours! Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. You’ve NEVER steered me wrong. Looking forward to making it!


  33. #
    Christina W. — February 15, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    I am making these tomorrow–thanks!!


  34. #
    anna — March 20, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    I just made these and made myself sick. They were so stinkin good that i ate all of them without realizing. Thank u for this recipe. Delish…..


  35. #
    Alexandra — January 6, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

    Has anyone tried to freeze these for reheating? Any success?


    • Jennifer — January 13th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

      I did! 20-25 minutes on 400. I baked them right from the freezer.

      Putting them on the wire rack was a great idea! They came out nice and crispy, although the fish was a little dry. I might have cooked them a little too long, so I recommend playing with the timing.


  36. #
    EliseJ — April 11, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    I ALWAYS have questions when I read a recipe!! hahah!! I KNOW I am a dummy, but what type of parmesan cheese? the kind that’s in the green container that you shake out or grated or shredded or what? This looks so delicious and I want to try it…………..


  37. #
    Tracy — August 6, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

    I just came across this recipe tonight when looking for ideas for my Tilapia. Oh my yum!! I cut my fish into 8 pieces to make them more ‘nugget’ sized…because kids seem to like anything in nugget form. :) They were a hit with my family. Thanks for a great recipe. (PS – I’ve found all kinds of great recipes on your site. Thanks for sharing your passion for healthy, tasty and easy cooking with us!)


  38. #
    Emma — October 29, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    Great post, thanks. :)

    I’m trying to convince my mom to let me make these for her (I’m thirteen). I’ve never liked regular fish sticks, but these look scrumptious.

    By the way, if you’re looking for a tasty dipping sauce… try custard. ;)




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