16 Catfish Recipes That Highlight the Versatility of This Flavorful Fish

And they’re easy to whip up, too.

October 31, 2023

Related To:

Photo By: Matt

Photo By: Virginia Willis ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Right Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael

Photo By: EMMERSCHMIDT ©415-370-0502

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Todd Plitt ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Our Best Ideas for Catfish

Catfish is a staple in the South, and for good reason. This meaty fish is mild, moist and tender yet firm, so it’s ideal for serving as an entrée, as a topping for sandwiches or a filling for fish tacos. Whether you dredge and fry it or sear it on the grill, it’s a versatile ingredient that’s easy to prepare. Hungry for a few of our favorite catfish recipes? You'll love Kardea's Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish. We like to think of it as a way to mix up a typical dinner dish—making it extra crispy and flavorful. First, marinate the fillets in a spice mix made of garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, then cover them in finely-ground cornmeal. Next, fry the fillets in hot oil until perfectly golden and crisp. Serve alongside a crisp salad or some rice and vegetables, but don’t forget to squeeze fresh lemon over each piece for a bit of zesty flavor.

Get the Recipe: Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish

Tortilla Crusted Catfish Po' Boys

We’ve all heard of cornmeal-crusted catfish; but what about tortilla-crusted catfish? This fun spin on the traditional recipe uses finely ground corn tortillas as the base for the crunchy crust. Once fried, the golden crust is just as crispy and crunchy as the traditional, which a slightly sweeter flavor. Serve with homemade Cajun mayo, lettuce, tomato and your favorite hot sauce.

Get the Recipe: Tortilla Crusted Catfish Po' Boys

Fried Catfish Fingers

Who needs chicken fingers when you can have fried catfish fingers? This favorite is flaky and tender on the inside, crunchy and slightly spicy on the outside. Soaking the catfish in buttermilk for a short time adds a tangy flavor, and if you whisk in a little hot sauce you get an extra layer of heat.

Get the Recipe: Fried Catfish Fingers

Pete's Catfish

A good catfish dish doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and this recipe is proof of that. It requires less than 10 simple ingredients—like catfish fillets, cornmeal, salt, pepper and oil for frying—and can be done in just a few steps. The only time-consuming bit? Soaking the catfish in a water brine overnight. After that, simply dredge, fry and enjoy.

Get the Recipe: Pete's Catfish

Cajun-Catfish Tacos

This tasty recipe puts a Cajun spin on the traditional fish taco recipe. Loaded with spices like paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder and cayenne pepper, this easy weeknight meal takes under an hour to prepare. Grilled catfish makes up the hearty filling that gets topped with cilantro and freshly-squeezed lime juice.

Get the Recipe: Cajun-Catfish Tacos

Fried-Catfish Rolls

Whether you’re planning a tailgate party or a backyard barbecue, these catfish rolls are a fun recipe to feed a crowd. Crispy fried catfish gets piled high on potato buns and slathered with a homemade sauce made of mayo, jalapenos, scallions and pickling liquid. Garnish with tomato, pickles and celery, and serve while warm.

Get the Recipe: Fried-Catfish Rolls

Fried Catfish

Fried catfish is a Southern staple, and this recipe proves that it’s a must-have. Dijon mustard and hot sauce make up the base of the spicy coating, which then gets dusted with cornmeal and fried to perfection. Serve with a homemade remoulade and beer battered hushpuppies that will make any true Southerner proud.

Get the Recipe: Fried Catfish

Blackened Catfish Tacos

If you’re a fan of fish tacos, then you’ll want to add these blackened catfish tacos to your weekly repertoire. Ready in just 25 minutes, the easy recipe yields enough tacos for four people, so it’s a perfect way to add a vibrant dish to your lineup of weeknight meals. Serve with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for extra bright flavor.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Catfish Tacos

Blackened Catfish with Harissa Mayo

This classic Southern catfish dish channels the flavors of Tunisian cooking with a simple harissa-spiked mayonnaise that comes together in minutes. The fish is rich and crunchy, and perfectly balanced out by spicy creaminess from the mayo. Serve with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon for extra vibrant flavor.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Catfish with Harissa Mayo

Catfish Po' Boys

If you’re looking for a filling dish that’s sure to impress your guests but—most importantly—takes under a half hour, look no further than these crispy catfish po’boys. Simply dredge and fry seasoned catfish fillets, then pile on toasted rolls with lettuce, tomatoes, hot sauce and lemon juice. The simple sandwich is perfect for serving a crowd in a short amount of time.

Get the Recipe: Catfish Po' Boys

Catfish Piccata

This bright and zesty dish is a fun spin on the classic chicken piccata. Dry white wine and lemon juice help create a vibrant and flavorful sauce, while capers add a bit of salty tang in every bite. The whole dish can be ready in just 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a healthy weeknight meal. Serve with fresh parsley and a light, crispy salad.

Get the Recipe: Catfish Piccata

Catfish Tacos

To make these impressive catfish tacos, start by marinating each fillet of fish in buttermilk for about 15 minutes. Next, remove from the marinade and toss in cornmeal and spices like chipotle powder and Old Bay. Once coated, fry until golden brown and crispy. Top with a homemade slaw and voila! You’ll have crispy, flavorful tacos for people in under an hour.

Get the Recipe: Catfish Tacos

Catfish Baked in Foil

We love this catfish dish that gets baked in because all the ingredients cook together while reducing the amount of dishes you need to prepare it.

Get the Recipe: Catfish Baked in Foil

Fried Catfish Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a fun snack to serve at a party, and there’s no shortage of ways to prepare them. One of our favorites? A devilled egg topped with a piece of crispy, fried catfish. This irresistible snack is crunchy, creamy, spicy and packed with flavor, and it can be on the table in just 30 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Fried Catfish Deviled Eggs

Blackened Catfish

This blackened catfish recipe puts Creole seasoning on full display; it coats the fish and gets mixed into a compound butter, which means each bite is layered with complex flavors and spices. Ready in just 35 minutes, this is an easy dish to whip up if you’re looking for a bold entrée to serve for a weeknight dinner. Pair it with mashed potatoes or jasmine rice for a hearty meal.

Get the Recipe: Blackened Catfish

Barbecued Catfish

If you love the taste of barbecue but aren’t in the mood for a hearty cut of meat, barbecued catfish is a fantastic option. Lighter than the typical pork, beef or chicken, this fish is flaky and dense while being remarkably flavorful. Serve with homemade tartar sauce for a tangy topping.

Get the Recipe: Barbecued Catfish