Best Substitutes For Cod

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Cod is a favorite food to many people, and you can whip some incredible recipes with the fish. But what if your local grocer is out of stock, or you’re just in the mood for something different? We recently encountered a scenario where a recipe called for cod, but we just couldn’t get our hands on any.

To our delight, we discovered that there are in fact some excellent substitutes that work well in taking the place of cod. We’d like to share our findings with you, as we think you will be plenty pleased with what these alternatives bring to the kitchen table.

But first, let’s take a closer look at cod and what it actually is.

What Is Cod?

Cod is a colloquial reference term for demersal fishes from the genus Gadus and is in the family Gadidae. A large majority of cod found in markets across the planet are either Pacific cod or Atlantic cod.

It’s worth noting that Greenland cod is sometimes available, as well. There is also a fourth species known as Alaskan pollock, but its availability is lower.

The flesh of cod is firm and white in color, with a rather flaky texture. The taste is subtle rather than strong and fishy, ​​making cod a highly versatile fish.

If cooked properly, the cod will become soft, and only a few simple ingredients are needed to elicit the rich, satisfying taste.

Best Substitutes

When faced with so many options to choose from, narrowing down the best alternative to cod can prove to be very challenging.

Before you find yourself confused, think about whether the replacement you just selected is suitable for your recipe. Keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when you replace cod, as it is low in calories.

If your diet dictates that you consume low-calorie foods, you will want your substitute to also be low in calories, if possible.

The size, mild taste, and overall shape of each fillet will affect the recipe you prepare. So be sure to remember such factors as you choose from our top alternatives.

Black Cod

This sablefish is a fish species usually raised on farms and is often called black cod, although it is not actually in the same family as cod. Actually, black cod’s in a family known as “Anoplopomatidae.” Its white meat and high oil make it the most suitable substitute for cod when no other options are available.

The buttery taste of black cod is juicier than cod, yet its oil content is rich with Omega-3s, making black cod ideal for smoking and barbecuing.

Even following extensive cooking, whole black cod and even fillets stay nice and moist. As far as fillet size is concerned, you should expect that the average cut will be quite large, and all meat will produce large flakes.

Most people find that black cod is a convenient alternative to cod, except for its slightly higher calorie content.


This fish is a smaller relative that belongs to the very same class as that of cod, known as Gadidae. Haddock is a saltwater ray with the same nutritional value as cod.

What’s more, they are low in fat and have a mild taste. This makes haddock one of the best and closest alternatives to cod. The taste is also mild and slightly sweet.

Because cod is fatter than haddock, expect smaller flakes with a denser texture. Of course, the fillets will be a bit smaller, thickness included.

Although haddock is indeed a highly versatile fish that can be grilled, fried, barbequed, or cooked in other ways, remember that the oil content isn’t as high as cod. As such, its cooking time is considerably faster.

The texture and taste of haddock are both slightly different. Haddock has a stronger taste than cod, yet it is still a close substitute.


Pollack is the preferred alternative to cod. In most cases, you can easily exchange them. Pollack is a big white fish with a strong flavor that costs less than haddock and cod.

Although frozen or fresh fish can usually be used if you can’t wait, if you don’t like the strong fishy smell, then Pollack is a species you won’t enjoy eating frozen.

The fishy smell that was already prominent will become stronger. Having said that, this unique taste is popular with seafood lovers and is therefore frequently used as the main ingredient in simulated crab meat, as well as commercially processed fish fingers.

Additionally, the meat of Pollack is not white as you find in cod. Rather, it’s off-white. What’s more, Pollack is very versatile and can be used in many forms, from grilling to broths. You will find that many restaurants serve Pollack because it provides the true taste of white fish while extremely complex flavors.


This fish delivers lots of nutritional value, has low saturated fat content, and carries a very versatile flake fish. This makes hake one of the more comparable alternatives to cod.

Being in the same family as cod, hake boasts a taste and texture that is very similar to cod. As such, you can expect flaky but firm pale white meat and a mildly fishy aroma.

It is one of the most succulent meats you can find, and the moisture content is just right when cooked. The size of hake varies, but you will usually find that the fillets are significantly smaller than those from cod. Also, the fillets are smaller and more delicate. However, medium-sized fish fillets are quite large.

Most people find that the taste is milder, and the texture is a lot softer. Moreover, the grain is slightly coarser. As with cod, hake has countless ways to eat it, and it can be well supported when grilled or smoked. Once the meat becomes opaque, your cod is fully cooked. Therefore, be careful not to let this delicious fish get too dry.

Cook Gem Is Your Source for Substitutes and More

We have many more wonderful food substitutes that are sure to come in handy in your cooking ventures. We also regularly discuss vegan-friendly ingredients and food options to help you maintain your vegan diet.

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