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Whatever your favorite method of preparation, fresh catfish is one fish you'll never get tired of. It's easy to catch, inexpensive to buy, and versatile to cook. Any one of these tasty catfish recipes make perfectly flakey fish for an incredible, delicious meal. Whether it’s traditional fried, grilled, cajun-seasoned, caramelized, or stewed catfish, there is a recipe in this collection to satisfy your catfish cravings!
Catfish is a freshwater fish that has a white, soft, flaky meat. When cooked, the meat tastes mild, flakes easily, and absorbs the flavors around it. This fish is easy to work with and pairs well with many different flavors.
Catfish recipes are as diverse as they are delicious. The southern style of frying is perhaps the most well-known and is featured in restaurants and roadside stands throughout the region. One iconic version includes catfish filets crusted with cornmeal. And yes, it’s absolutely delicious! But this white fish isn't just for frying. It's great for tacos, Thai curry, Caribbean dishes, sandwiches, and nuggets too!
While the debate rages on about the best way to prepare a catfish, there seems to be one thing we can all agree on: The more delicious and fresh ingredients you can add to a catfish dish, the better your meal will be.
Southern Fried Catfish is one of those restaurant-quality dishes that you can enjoy at home. Imagine tender catfish fillets with a Southern-seasoned cornmeal crust deep fried to perfection. Crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside — stay in and prepare this Southern classic tonight!
This easy recipe for smoked catfish filets is healthy and delicious. The spices in the marinade give the fish a sweet and spicy flavor that you won't soon forget! Plus, you'll need just six ingredients to make it: catfish filets, olive oil, honey, cajun seasoning, dried thyme, and sea salt.
Warm and aromatic, this baked catfish with herbs is simple yet delicious. A tasty blend of seasonings, lemon, and butter is drizzled over fresh catfish before it goes in the oven. It's the perfect medley of parsley, salt, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil, and pepper!
Grill a catfish filet to enjoy a simple, healthy meal. A delicious rub of lemon and herbs adds flavor to the smoky grilled fish. Using lemon zest and herbs will help enhance the strong flavor in your grilled fish. Don't forget to add brown sugar for an extra sweet touch! Try serving with a side of hush puppies.
If you love fried catfish but don't want all of the excess oil, try this Air Fryer Fried Catfish recipe. Get all of the flavor without adding a lot of extra calories. The secret? Buttermilk! It will make your catfish nice and mild with a hint of lemon flavor. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
Serve up this delicious meal by tossing catfish in a simmering sauce and grilling it right in a cast iron skillet. It packs just enough heat to get you sweating, but there’s just the right amount of sweet to keep you coming back for more. Perfect for a summer backyard bash!
Cajun Blackened Catfish is a spicy way to enjoy a healthy, delicious seafood meal. It's quick and easy to prepare and can fit into several healthy diet plans. To make it even healthier, use a homemade Cajun seasoning instead of the store-bought variety, and choose olive oil over butter.
A po'boy is a traditional sandwich from Louisiana that's often filled with meat and served on New Orleans French bread. This fried catfish po'boy is packed with catfish that's been deep-fried to a golden brown, and an irresistible cool, crisp slaw for a distinct, contrasting taste. Try adding a dash of hot sauce for added heat.
Also known as ca kho to, this Vietnamese caramelized catfish is bursting with flavors from soy sauce, fish sauce, coconut water, shallots, and black pepper. This meal is delicious with white rice, but if you’re looking to eat a little healthier, you can swap the rice for quinoa.
10. Catfish Tacos
Fresh catfish makes delicious tacos, especially when dipped in a golden, crispy batter and cooked until flaky. In this recipe, crunchy fried catfish filets, tequila creamed corn, and flour tortilla come together for a fun fish taco. Top with a little salsa, sour cream, and shredded lettuce!
Catfish nuggets prepared in the air fryer taste just like they've been deep-fried. But they're much healthier and their size is perfect for a bite, especially for kids. Try this air fryer recipe made with only TWO ingredients: catfish nuggets and fish fry mix. So easy and quick!
Bite-sized Fried Catfish Nuggets are a fun, kid-friendly twist on traditional deep-fried catfish. Here’s a quick and easy 30-minute recipe for these crispy, golden catfish nuggets that will become an instant family favorite. Season with cajun, garlic, oregano, paprika, and black pepper, and serve warm with tartar sauce or chips!
If you’ve never had fish curry before, this recipe will make you try it. Thai catfish curry combines coconut milk, curry paste, garlic, ginger, chiles, and fish sauce to complement the mild and firm catfish. The result is a distinctive tangy taste with an extra kick!
Catfish’s mild, sweet flavor means it can handle plenty of spice. A great choice for flakey fish, Caribbean jerk is a spicy Jamaican seasoning made with allspice, thyme, nutmeg, and Scotch bonnet peppers. To balance the flavors, add sweets like grilled pineapple and mango salsa.
This blackened catfish recipe is made with Cajun seasoning, fresh catfish, and a sticky-sweet honey glaze. It tastes great — a combination of sweet, soft, and salty. The secret to perfectly blackened fish? A crisp, slightly darkened skin. Not burnt, but just a bit of a darker amber.
16. Catfish Cakes
Flaked catfish cakes make a great appetizer or light lunch, served with a tangy tartar sauce. It’s crispy on the outside while moist and flavorful on the inside. Make your fish cake from high-quality and fresh catfish, don't use filler ingredients, and deep fry in clean cooking oil for the best taste.
The name of the dish “Almondine” comes from a French term meaning “topped with almonds.” This easy-to-prepare dish is a perfect choice for a weeknight meal. A popular Louisiana dish, catfish almondine features a subtle tang of lemon and a nice crunch from the almonds.
Here's a gluten free catfish recipe that will delight your senses. Instead of regular flour, this recipe uses brown rice flour and gluten free bread crumbs. It’s also versatile enough that you can spice up it up with chili powder and cumin blend, Italian seasonings, or make your own blend.
Want to get the day off to a healthy start? Try the catfish sandwich. It features a fried catfish filet stacked between two slices of toasted bread, smothered in spicy tartar sauce. The better news? Catfish has proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Yummy and hearty, indeed!
20. Catfish Stew
Catfish stew is a delicious and spicy tomato-based stew with red bell peppers, Scotch bonnet chiles, onion, and chicken bouillon. It's easy to make, but it's so good! It's not only famous in the Southern region, but also in Nigeria, where this fish soup pairs well with boiled white rice.
More seafood recipes
20 Catfish Recipes
- 4 catfish fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread olive oil on a baking sheet.
- Rinse of catfish and pat dry with paper towel.
- Sprinkle the catfish with salt and lemon pepper. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.