Pretzel Fish with Honey Mustard Sauce
Yield: 4 servings (easy to adjust to desired number of servings)
The quick and easy sauce pulls double duty as “glue” for the crispy, pretzel crumb coating in this family friendly meal, which was the first fish dish my kids truly enjoyed when they were little – but it's always a hit with adults too. If desired, serve with a lemon wedge.

For the Fish:

  • 4 (5-6 ounces each) fish fillets (a flaky white fish like flounder, cod, or tilapia are all good choices)
  • 4 ounces pretzels (gluten-free pretzels may be used)*
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) Honey Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Olive oil spray

For the Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • ½ cup (104g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons (30g) honey
  • Optional: ⅛ teaspoon) cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons sriracha (or more or less to taste)


  1. For the honey mustard sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Make-ahead tip: This may be done a day or two in advance.

    For the fish: In a sturdy bag (an empty bag from a cereal box is a great option to a zip-top bag, which also works!) crush the pretzels with a rolling pin or soup can. Alternatively, you may grind them in a food processor or mini chopper. You want fairly fine crumbs, although some texture is good. Make-ahead tip: This step may also be completed in advance.

    When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place the crumbs on a dinner or pie plate, and remove about 3 tablespoons of the honey mustard mixture to a separate small bowl, reserving the rest for use as a sauce when serving.

    Brush the honey mustard sauce (the 3T in the small bowl) over both sides of the fish. (If you need a touch more to baste the fish, you can transfer it to the small bowl as needed. You just don’t want to introduce raw fish to the portion you’ll be using as the sauce.)

    Press both sides of the fish firmly into the crumbs, and then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle any bare spots with some of the finely ground crumbs. Spray the tops of the fish lightly with olive oil (I have forgotten this step on occasion and the fish still turns out well), and then bake the fish for 8-12 minutes or until the fish is just barely opaque in the thickest part and flakes easily. Serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce.

    Note: Depending on the thickness of the fillets, more or less time may be required. Check a few minutes early and extend cooking time, if necessary. It’s fine to cut into the fish to check for doneness, returning to the oven as needed.


*Feel free to substitute your favorite gluten-free pretzel. I’ve used Utz’s pretzel sticks as well as whole grain, sea salt pretzel sticks by Mary’s Gone Crackers. The latter option was rather hard to crush but both tastes quite good.

*The actual cup measurement of pretzels varies based on what shape pretzel is used. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can estimate the amount based on total size of package – i.e., roughly half of an 8-ounce bag. Any unused crumbs (untouched by the fish) can be stored in an airtight container for several months.

Fish cooking tip: If your fish has one end that’s substantially thinner than the rest of the fillet, fold the thin end under for more even cooking.


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