It’s all in the crumb for this New England Baked Haddock. A simple and delicious dish with little prep and lots of buttery crumb that's done in 30 minutes and uses 5 ingredients. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or elegant meal.
If you’re from New England, you probably have had baked haddock at a restaurant. It’s simply a haddock fillet topped with buttery crackers crumbs and a slice of lemon. Doesn’t sound like much, but boy is it good.
You’ll need a couple pounds of fresh haddock. When buying fresh fish, look for firm flesh and no smell. If you smell fish, walk away. If you smell bleach, run. Go somewhere you trust. It doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for good fish, it just means you should shop somewhere reputable.
Living near the coast in northern New England, I'm lucky to have access to fresh seafood from Mass to Maine. You know when you have good fresh haddock because the fish won't be swimming in water after it's baked. There's nothing worse than seeing all that water in the baking dish when you're taking it out of the oven. It also turns those beautiful golden crumbs into mush. I bought these fillets at a fish market in Maine that was recommended by a local. Believe me, they were perfect, fresh, and there was no liquid after baking.
About the crackers
Here in New England, the most common cracker used is none other than buttery Ritz crackers. They’re crumbled then mixed with butter. I like to add some lemon juice which add a little moisture without having to add more butter and a little paprika to give the crumbs a beautiful golden color.
A good serving of New England baked haddock has to have just the right amount of crumb. Not too much where you have to dig to find the fish, and not too little where the crumbs don’t cover the fish. I believe for 2 pounds of fish, a sleeve and a half of crackers do the trick. It’s about 48 crackers but you don’t have to waste your time counting. Just eyeball it. It should be enough to cover the fish because that’s what this dish is all about - the crumbs.
The haddock stays moist underneath all the buttery crumbs. Yes, I know you hate that word - moyeeesssst - but it’s better than dryyyyyyyy and it will be dry if you over cook the fish.
Bake it for 25 minutes and check to see if a piece in the center flakes apart with a fork. If not, bake another 5 minutes and check again.
Life is too short for mediocre food.
New England Baked HaddockPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Butter a baking dish with a tablespoon of the melted butter. You can eyeball it.
- Place haddock fillets in a casserole or baking dish. Fold over the thinner end of the fish under itself to even out the thickness of the fish.
- Sprinkle fillets with a little kosher salt and some pepper. I don’t mind the black specks of pepper, but if you don’t want to add pepper, it’s fine.
- Crush the Ritz crackers. I place them in a zip top bag and roll them with a rolling pin or pound them gently with my fist. Transfer crumbs into a bowl and stir in the paprika. Stir in the lemon juice and melted butter.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the haddock and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the fish flakes and pulls apart easily with a fork.
- Serve and enjoy.