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. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — November 16, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Very cute!!! Ugh– fish sticks were the BANE of my existence when I was younger. I hated them!! These look so tasty!


  2. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — November 16, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    My daughter would LOVE these! I’m making these very soon!


  3. #
    Sarah — November 16, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    OH-MY-GOSH. I have so desperately wanted to make fish sticks. I can’t wait to try this!!!! I think I’ll try it with a stone from Pampared Chef. That way you might not have to flip them. We will see.

    When I was in South Africa.. I stayed with a family for a minute and they did a receipe.. I’m gonna see if I can find it.. but you baked the fish sticks in speghetti sauce with cheese on top? I’ll have to look at home. But all I know, is that the reciepe changed the way I viewed fish sticks for the rest of my life.
    I’m salavating just thinking about it right now.

    Kudos to you!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

      That sounds good – like fish stick parmesan!


      • Sarah — November 16th, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

        It was.. oh it was so delicious..

        Also – I just thought of this… if you don’t know about food gawker, you should totally scope it out… add your blog.. it’d be good for you. I’m sure of it. If nothing else, the food on there looks AMAZING.

  4. #
    Michele @ Healthy Cultivations — November 16, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    This is a great idea for those who get all nostalgic thinking about fish sticks but don’t want the processed variety.


  5. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — November 16, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I bet these would be perfect in fish tacos too!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

      Didn’t even think of that – sounds so good!


  6. #
    Heather — November 16, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    i haven’t had fish sticks in i don’t know how long! these actually sound really, really great :)


  7. #
    Erica — November 16, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    This is almost exactly how I make fish sticks for Josh too! The wire rack makes all the difference on getting the crispiness all over. Very nice!


  8. #
    Sally — November 16, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    These look great and perfect timing – I’ve been running out of fish ideas :)


  9. #
    Krystina (Basil & Wine) — November 16, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

    I bet these would also be great with salmon!


  10. #
    Lauren — November 16, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    Great job re-creating a childhood favorite! I love fish, but my husband is just so-so about most varieties. I bet he’d love these fish sticks, though… maybe with some tartar sauce for dipping. Thanks for this recipe :).


  11. #
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black — November 16, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    I hate fish, but my bf loves it- great idea!


  12. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 16, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    We didn’t eat a ton of fish sticks as a family when I was little, but when we did they were the store-bought kind and I didn’t think they tasted great. These ones look so good!!


  13. #
    Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen — November 16, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    That fish is gorgeous, and that is so easy! I’ll admit I was a sucker for fish sticks as a kid…


  14. #
    Torrie @ a place to share... — November 16, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    Love this idea… and as with the chicken, love that they are baked, not fried. Every once in a while, I’ll buy a package of fish sticks… from Trader Joes (which somehow justifies purchasing “frozen fish sticks” in my mind:).

    But this is so much better!! I kind of love that your husband eats the way he does, because I’m getting SO many ideas for dinner (with picky kids) in such a short time of following your blog. This is a perfect food blog for moms!

    This recipe looks good (for a dipping sauce)- since I love dill…


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

      That does look good! Thanks!


  15. #
    MelissaNibbles — November 16, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    I make my own chicken fingers all the time. It never occured to me to make fish sticks! YUM!


  16. #
    Eliana — November 16, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    I love everything crusted in panko and these look super delish. (I too ruin everything with ketchup.)


  17. #
    Jihane (Sinful Sundays) — November 16, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

    Awww! Fish sticks! I haven’t had those in forever. good times. :)


  18. #
    Melinda — November 16, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

    Those look awesome and I love that they are homemade. I have been using batter tilapia (frozen) sticks for my fish tacos, but I bet these would be great instead.


  19. #
    Talia @Texas Gunslinger — November 16, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    OH MY GOSH- YUMMMM-E! I love fish sticks, though haven’t had them since I was a kid. Come to think of it, that is such a shame:( Whenever my parents went out and we had a babysitter, we always got to have fishsticks HAHA! Reminds me of good times as a kid! Isn’t it fun how food can “take ya back” at times:)


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

      We always had foods like that when we had a babysitter too!


  20. #
    Shannon — November 16, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

    Oh, I’m going to have to make these soon. I’ve never thought about making homemade fish sticks. Great Job! Using these for fish tacos will make my husband very happy!!!


  21. #
    Nienke at Revel — November 16, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    This is brilliant! I’ve been trying to ‘up’ my fish intake and this is just the thing I need. MMM with some tartar sauce and mashed potatoes…


  22. #
    Vicki — November 16, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I make a spicy, sophisticated version of tartar sauce for all my seafood – it’s so easy and you can really throw in whatever you want. My standby is mayo, small squirts of ketchup, mustard and sriracha, chopped capers or pickles, crushed garlic, lots of black pepper, salt and dill. It’s so good with crab cakes – I can almost taste it with homemade fish sticks!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

      That sounds delicious!


  23. #
    Natalia - a side of simple — November 16, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    Gaah yum! Healthy, homemade, fish sticks? I never even imagined it possible ;)


  24. #
    Lisa @ I'm an Oie — November 16, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

    The word fish sticks makes me want to vomit! Seriously, bleh!

    Yours look tasty tho!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

      Trust me, that is how I always felt too.


  25. #
    Robyn — November 16, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    i know i need to eat more fish, so this is probably a great place to start!


  26. #
    the blissful baker — November 16, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    these look great! fish sticks were one of my favorite snacks growing up


  27. #
    Holly @ couchpotatoathlete — November 16, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    These look so good — and I have tilapia to use :) I just need some breadcrumbs and I’m good to go.

    I’ll probably dunk them in ketchup and mustard — anything tastes good in ketchup and mustard!


  28. #
    Joee — November 16, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

    Wow.. these look great! I want to try to make them.. So the fish you used is probably the best kind to use? I love fish sticks.. and these seem even better.. you should make tarter sauce.. mmm! :) I love seeing what you create on your blog.. hehe. I am going to be making french bread pizzas this week because of you!!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

      I wouldn’t say it’s the best because I’m honestly not sure! But I’m sure some other fish would work. I don’t have a great selection where I live. And thanks!


  29. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — November 16, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Oh my gosh I am SO making these!! I acutally always loved fish sticks as a kid and NEVER thought to make homemade ones! I have so much frozen tilapia that this would be PERFECT for! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!


  30. #
    Victoria (District Chocoholic) — November 16, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

    These look delicious. The awesome thing about them is that they contain whole pieces of fish, instead of pulverized fish product, like commercial fishsticks.

    Greek yogurt+wasabi powder. If you go for that.

    Mashed avacado with red pepper, cumin, and lime juice.


    Pureed sundried tomatoes and greek yogurt. With garlic?

    Too many choices, really…


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

      Great ideas! Thank you.


  31. #
    Ami @ beyondpeasandcarrots — November 16, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

    I <3 fish sticks.


  32. #
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) — November 16, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    My brother and I used to beg for fish sticks… only bc we had hippy parents who only fed us whole grains adn clean food though ;P …but these… these, look SO good! Will have to make a batch.


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

      Hahaha that’s a good problem to have when you look back on it now, huh?


  33. #
    Sarah — November 16, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    I hated fish sticks growing up but these looks so delicious I might have to make them. I love love love tilapia even if it is one of the ugliest fish!


  34. #
    Angela Duffy — November 16, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    This is going to sound crazy, but it’s a delicious and somewhat healthy sauce. A little olive oil mayo, some chopped up basil, or flat leaf parsley, and some fresh lemon juice to thin it out a bit and give it a little kick. Can’t wait to try these!!!


  35. #
    Kacy — November 16, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    I was one of those weirdos that kinda liked fish sticks. Thing is, I never liked real fish. Those look great!


  36. #
    Jenn L @ peas and crayons — November 16, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    I use a similar recipe for my husband’s chicken nuggets and it’s sooo easy! You can sub the egg for dijon mustard to give the fish a zesty little kick of flavor =)
    good stuff!



  37. #
    Midwest Mommy — November 16, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

    Looks yummy!


  38. #
    Moni'sMeals — November 16, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

    Wow, Props to you, I have never tried Homemade Fish Sticks.

    They look easier than you would think.

    I love anything with Panko and yes, kids never know the difference.



  39. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 16, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    Yum! Those look tasty :)


  40. #
    Chicago Cuisine Critique — November 16, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    Yum, I loved fish sticks as a kid. :)


  41. #
    mags — November 16, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

    Easy and healthy… I love it!


  42. #
    Angela @ A Healthy Fit — November 16, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

    I’ve never been a fish stick fan, but the hubs loves them. Guess I’ll have to give them a shot and get some good wifey points!


  43. #
    Blond Duck — November 16, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    I’ve been meaning to make these for awhile. Brilliant idea!


  44. #
    Ashley — November 16, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    I was never a fish-stick kid but you sure know how to make them look good!!!


  45. #
    natalie (the sweets life) — November 16, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    I love ketchup so I’m going to have to go with that here…but you could kick it up by making curry ketchup! just curry powder & ketchup…my friend made some for homemade potato chips and it was an awesome pairing!


    • Jessica — November 16th, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

      Hmmm… sounds interesting. And a good way for me to trick Mr. How Sweet into eating more like a “foodie.” Hahahah.


  46. #
    Sues — November 16, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    Wow, these look incredible!! I’m not a fish stick person, but it’s probably because I don’t like them frozen out of a box. I bet I would LOVE these! :)


  47. #
    Kat — November 16, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    These look so yummy and so easy!


  48. #
    Katie — November 16, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    I’m super impressed with your willingness to try new things! I don’t think I could manage fish sticks – fish grosses me out a little. But the finished product looks fantastic!


  49. #
    Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries — November 16, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

    Get out of my head! I was actually thinking of making fish and chips for TKD sometime soon! These look so good :smile:


  50. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — November 16, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    fish sticks remind me of lent and my childhood. no meat. lots of fish. in every possible form. except these look wayyyyy better than what i ate as a kid!



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