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Homemade Fish Sticks w/ Simple Tartar Sauce Recipe

Feb 28, 2023 | Recipes | 0 comments

Homemade Fish Sticks

If you're looking for low carb family dinner ideas, homemade fish sticks are perfect! A simple tartar sauce recipe takes them over the top.

What do you think of when you think of fish sticks? If it's a freezer-to-table meal of somewhat soggy fish dipped in ketchup, you're not alone 🙂

Trust me though, homemade fish sticks are a different food entirely. With flaky fish and a crispy crust, this is a meal kids and adults alike will look forward to. A simple homemade tartar sauce recipe takes the dinner to the next level. Don't skip this sauce!

These homemade fish sticks first appeared on our low carb meal plans so they're also quite low in carbs and keto-friendly. I know one of the challenges of eating low carb is that the meals aren't always family friendly. No one has time to make two separate dinners every night! I get that. This is definitely one of those low carb meals that the whole family will enjoy and, dare I say, that no one would notice is low carb and keto-friendly if you didn't tell them 😉

I hope your whole family loves these homemade fish sticks!

Homemade Fish Sticks
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Homemade Fish Sticks w/ Tartar Sauce & Roasted Tomatoes

Servings: 4


For the Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup dill pickles
  • 4 tsp pickle juice
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Homemade Fish Sticks:

  • 5 oz bag pork rinds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 T dijon mustard*
  • 4 cod fillets (4-6 oz each)

For the Roasted Tomatoes:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt to taste


For the Tartar Sauce:

  • Finely chop 1/4 cup dill pickles.
  • In a medium container mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles, 4 tsp pickle juice, 1 tsp dried dill and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Serve w/ fish sticks.

For the Homemade Fish Sticks:

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Crush 5oz pork rinds w/ rolling pin. Mix w/ 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • Whisk together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 T Dijon and 2 T water in a wide bowl.
  • Slice cod into 1/2-inch wide sticks.
  • Dip each cod piece in mayo mixture and then dip in crushed pork rinds until well coated.
  • Place on baking sheet and repeat w/ remaining fish.
  • Bake 8 mins, flip carefully, then bake 8-10 mins more, until brown and crispy.
  • Serve fish sticks w/ tartar sauce and roasted tomatoes on the side.

For the Roasted Tomatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Place 2 pints tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle w/ 1T olive oil & sprinkle w/ salt.
  • Cook ~8-10 mins until starting to burst.


*Read all ingredient lists; avoid added msg, sugar, gluten, salt, etc.

How to Make Fish Sticks – Tips

Wondering how to make fish sticks that don't come from a box? It's surprisingly easy!

First, you'll get everything together for your “breading”. Crush the pork rinds and mix with paprika and garlic powder. Then pour the mixture into a wide bowl or onto a plate.

Next, you'll whisk together mayonnaise, dijon and water.

You'll then slice your cod fillets into 1/2 inch strips before dipping them in the mayo mixture, followed by the pork rind mixture. Finally, you'll bake them!

Make sure to let the oven fully preheat before baking, as that high temperature is key for crispy fish sticks. Also, don't forget to flip the fish sticks halfway through baking time. Finally, check the fish sticks often in the last couple of minutes of baking to make sure they don't burn.

With such an easy recipe, you'll never reach for the frozen, boxed kind again!

What to Serve with Homemade Fish Sticks

The roasted tomatoes included in the recipe are quite a nice accompaniment for homemade fish sticks. Their juicy acidity balances out the rich coating on the cod. But if tomatoes aren't your thing or you simply want more options, here are a few more ideas. (Note, changing the side dish will of course change the carb count of the meal and not all of the below sides are low carb.)

  • Kale w/ Goat Cheese: The side dish found in this parsley chicken recipe is quite quick and easy and would be delicious with homemade fish sticks. All you do is sauté some kale and minced garlic for a few minutes and then top with crumbled goat cheese.
  • Sautéed Radishes: Similar to the roasted tomatoes, these add a beautiful hit of color to the plate and offer a nice counterbalance to the fish sticks. Cooked radishes have much less bite than raw so don't be afraid to give these a try!
  • Simple Green Salad: You can't go wrong with a simple salad, especially when the main dish is a bit more involved like homemade fish sticks.
  • Roasted Veggies: Since the fish sticks will already be roasting in the oven, it's a great time to throw another veggie in to roast alongside them. If you're not low carb, you could do roasted potatoes for a “fish and chips” vibe. Roasted broccoli or green beans would also be tasty sides here!
  • Herbed Corn and Kale: This frozen kale recipe is incredibly simple and you can keep all of the ingredients in your pantry or freezer so you can make it anytime, even when groceries are low!

Is this a good low carb meal prep recipe?

Yes! Homemade fish sticks are not difficult to make but they are a bit more involved so this is a great place to implement some meal prep to make your life easier when dinnertime rolls around.

I recommend making the tartar sauce ahead of time. This will not only make it easier on the night you make the fish sticks, it will also give the flavors time to meld together.

Next, slice your cod and store tightly covered in the fridge.

Finally, make your pork rind mixture as part of your meal prep, crushing the pork rinds and mixing with the spices.

With those steps complete, all you'll have to do when it's time to make the fish sticks is make the mayo-dijon mixture, coat the cod slices and bake! That is so much more doable for a weeknight than starting the whole recipe from scratch.

How to Make Fish Sticks - Meal Prep

What's the nutrition like for homemade fish sticks?

As I mentioned above, this homemade fish sticks recipe originated from our low carb meal plans. I always provide macro information for the low carb meal plans, as I know it's important for those sticking to a low carb diet.

One serving of these fish sticks with tartar sauce and roasted tomatoes has about 13.1 grams of fat, 5 grams of net carbs (6.4 grams of total carbs, 1.4 grams of fiber) and 21.2 grams of protein.

In terms of vitamins and micronutrients, both the cod and tomatoes provide substantial nutritional benefits:

Cod (B Vitamins, Phosphorus, Selenium, Lean Protein)

Cod is a great source for Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6 and niacin. B vitamins are important for many of your body's functions, including energy production. Cod's phosphorus is good for your teeth and bones. Another benefit of cod is its low mercury levels compared to many other types of fish.

Tomatoes (Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin K, Folate, Lycopene)

Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene is believed to be the reason that tomatoes are linked to lower rates of certain types of cancers. Eating tomatoes along with a source of fat, like the olive oil drizzled on the tomatoes in this recipe, significantly increases how much lycopene your body absorbs.

I want more low carb family dinner ideas!

Low carb family dinner ideas can be hard to find. No one has time to make two separate dinners though so I wanted to share a few dinner ideas that are low in carbs, but will still work for the whole family. I've included easy ideas for adding in carbs for kids or anyone not wanting to eat low carb.

And don't forget, if you'd like to try out our low carb meal plans for free, just sign up for a Prep Dish free trial and I'll get you started! Each low carb meal plan includes 5 dinners and 1 snack, all low carb and all specifically designed for meal prep.

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If you need an easy carb for the kiddos, just add roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes on the side. They'll bake in the oven at the same time as the casserole, making them an easy addition.

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For the kids or any non-low-carb eaters, some crusty bread makes an easy side for this soup.

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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

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