fish sticks paleo gluten-free recipe

Fish Sticks

For some reason, I can’t get out of my winter funk. We’ve had a few beautiful sunny days, yet I still feel as though I need to go into a small cave and hibernate. I feel such a stunting of my creativity during these dark days (we’ve had a lot more dreary ones than sunny) and a complete lack of drive. I think part of it is all of the illnesses that my family has been through during the past month and our time in familial “retrograde” –we seem to be emerging slowly (emphasis on the slowly more than the emerging). Life these days just feels like walking through glue.

To give myself some energy, I’ve been continuing my protein streak and also trying out variations that the boys might eat. Tonight I made these delicious gluten free fish sticks and served them with steamed kale on the side. The fish sticks are very kid friendly, as is just about anything fried. Given that they’re rather high in protein, I find them adult friendly too, and quite tasty.

Fish Sticks
Serves: 4
  1. Rinse fish fillets in cold water and set on a plate
  2. Cut fish into 1 inch by 5 inch pieces, following the lines of the fillets and removing any bones
  3. Place eggs in one dish and flour and salt in another
  4. Dip fish sticks in egg, then flour; reserve to a plate
  5. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  6. Place half the the fish sticks in the pan, leaving enough room around them so that they aren't crowded
  7. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until well browned, then remove fish sticks to a plate lined with a paper towel
  8. Add 3 tablespoons olive to pan and fry remaining batch of fish sticks
  9. Serve with ketchup

Make sure to serve this heavier dish with some steamed veggies (broccoli or kale work well) or a big salad to balance out the meal.


  1. Shondra says

    I am used to southern fried catfish so took another spin on this recipe and others. I add garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper, paprika and an herb of choice (herbs de provence, parsley, etc.). Instead of just egg only I add heavy cream which makes the almond flour stick better then fry until golden brown on each side. This is sooo good if your are from the South and need a little taste of fried fish.

  2. Jacqie says

    I just made this for dinner – the family is inhaling it. It’s excellent. I’m thinking of trying it with other types of seafood. Thanks!

  3. Sara says

    I made these last night and they tasted great, but the presentation wasn’t there. My breading kept falling off while I was cooking it. I still went back for seconds which I never do with fish.

    • says

      One thing to remember when frying fish is to resist the urge to flip it until it “releases” from the pan, otherwise the coating falls off. Just keep gently checking under an edge – it will release itself, believe me! Then flip it.

  4. Anna S. says

    I loved these! Next time I won’t get the oil so hot before I start, but they were yummy anyway. I liked doing smaller pieces so they got crunchier. Thanks so much, Elana!!

  5. Eva Rector says

    I couldn’t find almond flour, so I tried someone else’s suggestion and used coconut flour. The taste was good, but the texture was a little too “floury”, so I’m going to try adding a bit of milk to the egg next time. They were otherwise very good, and I am happy to add this recipe to my collection!

  6. Samantha Packer says

    Does anyone know if you can do this recipe without eggs? I am finally almost fully paleo, but I’m extremely allergic to all eggs. I’ve read for other fish batters (without almond flour) that you can use ice cold water to help the flour stick to the fish. Anyone know anything about it?

    • Antoinette says

      I see that this was a year ago, but in have the same issue and I substitute 1tbls of flax meal mixed with 3 tbls warm water to replace one egg. Mix it together until becomes a little thicker(almost an egg consistency).

  7. Kelley says

    Elana – I had to write to thank you for this recipe! My son is autistic and super picky about textures. Getting him to eat any protein is a challenge. I was SO excited that he liked this! Thank you!

  8. Sadie says

    thank you so much for this great recipe. i have a question, my baby is allergic to egg whites, can i replace eggs with flax seeds in this recipe? thank you.

  9. says

    I have made quite a few things from your site now and loved them all (simple bread, muffins, cupcakes…). As expected, these didn’t let me down either! They weren’t as crispy as I had hoped, but they really curbed my craving for the breaded kind so that that automatically makes me a huge fan.

    Thank you for your creative and unique website!

  10. Stephanie says

    We had these for dinner tonight. I only changed adding pepper and trader joe’s lemon pepper to the almond flour. My whole gang was wowed!! Even the 9 yr old who “doesn’t eat fish”!!! Thanks for the innovative recipes, Elana!

  11. liz trantanella says

    I am really excited to try these this week and blessed to have found your website. I am curious as to what dipping sauce is in the picture?

  12. debbie says

    My celiac/diabetic child has now been diagnosed with a tree nut allergy. What other flour would you recommend to substitute for almond flour for the fish sticks?

  13. debbie says

    Elana, can you remind me of which almond flour you like. Also , if this is the first time i’m using it can i just try Bob’s Red mill(i know you don’t like it for bread, but is it ok for the fish?)

    what about the schar breadcrumbs or the Hol Grain batter mix?

    • elana says


      Please click on the link in the recipe above for a place to purchase Blanched Almond Flour; I link all my special ingredients to sources for purchase.

      You might want to visit my Forums to see if anyone has any suggestions on substituting flours other than the ones I recommend.


  14. Kara says

    I’ve been following the Paleo lifestyle for about 6 weeks now and this site has been an excellent source for delicious paleo-friendly recipes.
    I made these fish sticks last night for a friend who is a picky eater and generally laughs at my food options…She loved them! Super quick and easy. These will definitely be made regularly.


  15. Kathy Hendriks says

    This is truly a delicious recipe! My kids that are picky eaters asked for seconds. I made one variation which was to dip the cod in coconut flour before dipping in the egg mixture or you can dip in egg first then place in a bag with mixed almond flour and coconut flour then shake. I tried both methods. I love all forms of coconut. I used coconut flour instead of shredded coconut as I didn’t think my kids would like the texture. Easy to make.

  16. says

    Am so exited about this recipe. Planning to make it for dinner this evening. Don’t have almond four though. Will probably use breadcrumbs instead. Hoping they will taste good cold too to add to my list of easy kids gluten free lunchboxes, as that will kill two birds with one stone. Thank you!!!

  17. Eric says

    Cool!!! Fish is on the menu for tomorrow night. My 10-year old is going to love these. Now he can have fish sticks just like his brothers. :)

    Also looking forward to getting your book. Should be here courtesy of Amazon sometime this week.


  18. says

    I made these tonight and they were amazing! Both of my picky children LOVED them, even the 4 yr old who has never eaten meat other than the occasional dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget (only the dino ones–never the regular). Thank you, thank you, thank you for the recipe!

  19. says

    I pick up my fish share later today. It is cod and yellowtail flounder. I will use the cod. Hopefully my 23 yo daughter will try them. She just had 4 wisdom teeth removed 2 days ago and is already sick of eggs. I am never sick of eggs.
    Love your cookbook, I’ve read it twice already. I also pick up my fruit share today. I hope there is something I can use w one of your yummy recipes. Peace and Much Success.

  20. says

    OK, I baked these and they were DELICIOUS. My only modification was to reduce almond flour to 3/4 cup and salt by half. My boyfriend says the fish sticks plus yucca fries and green beans is one of his top five favorites. To bake, heat oven to 450. Place fish on oiled baking sheet and cook 10 minutes.

  21. Betsy says

    WOW!! I have always been intimidated by cooking fish, and this recipe (which I made with tilapia, Honeyville Flour, and Back to the Basiks Key West Citrus Blend spice mix and cooked in coconut oil) was absolutely delicious and so way easy. Way to go Elana!

  22. jyoti says

    oh my god.. I am so excited about this recipe. I just bought some fresh scallops and thought I would check here just in case.
    Now I know what my next seafood purchase will be!

  23. Freedom says

    I hope you dont mind. I added this to Thats where I originally found your website and I have added some of your recipes to my recipe box. I wanted to do these this week but it wasnt on there so I could add it to my planner. I titled it Elana’s fish sticks.

  24. says

    Dear GFB- I hope the fish sticks help with your winter blues as well as your lower-carb diet. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  25. says

    I’m thrilled to see this recipe! I have been eating and loving Dr Praeger’s Potato-crusted Fish Sticks, but now that I’m doing a lower-carb diet where I’m trying to avoid white potatoes as well as refined grains and starches, they aren’t the best for me. This is the PERFECT solution!

    I, too, am suffering from a really bad episode of the winter blues. Maybe fish sticks will help :)

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