Catfish Recipe for Fillets - quick, easy and delicious

Are you in need of a catfish recipe that is quick, easy and tastes great? Well, this is it. Just about anyone can have success with this recipe. Let's dive in.

This recipe feeds about three people when accompanied by other side dishes.


  • 3 medium catfish fillets
  • Corn meal (I prefer a medium grind)
  • Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Salt (optional)
  • Butter or vegetable oil (I prefer olive oil)


  1. Final clean and rinse catfish fillets to remove membrane, skin, or perhaps a little slime if they haven't been allowed to soak and rinse well (anglers should see my suggestions for cleaning and rinsing catfish fillets).

  2. Lay out the fillets on a cloth towel, place another cloth towel on top and press down firmly to extract excess water from the surface of the fish.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, place three handfuls of cornmeal and enough Old Bay seafood seasoning to cover the surface of the cornmeal. This catfish recipe requires that you make that cornmeal dirty!

  4. Add a dash of cayenne pepper and/or a few dashes of paprika if you like a little zing and additional flavor with your fish.

  5. Add a sprinkling of salt if you'd like to bring out the flavor a bit more.

  6. Use a whisk to mix up the cornmeal and seasoning to a consistent appearance.

  7. Firmly press both sides of the fillets into the mixture to allow residual moisture on the fish to pick up the cornmeal and seasonings. (No need to dip in egg or milk first. This is a catfish recipe, not a recipe for an omelet or a bowl of cold cereal.) This should produce a thin coating on the fish and in places it might almost look like a powdered coating. (Again, the idea here is to eat fish, not some thick cereal coating with a little fish hidden inside of it.)

  8. Turn the oven on to 300 F because you'll soon be using it. (If the fillets are small and thin, skip this step, you'll just fry them to perfection.)


  1. Heat up butter or vegetable oil in a large fry pan until it gets hot enough to fry foods.
  2. Lay the fillets in the pan, leaving enough room to get in there with a spatula to turn them.
  3. Cook the fillets until they brown up a bit on each side, then transfer them to a cookie sheet and place them in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes. (For small and thin fillets, don't bother with the oven. For fillets up to 3/4 of an inch thick, increase oven time to about 30 minutes. For fillets an inch of more in thickness, bake for about 45 minutes.)


Put the cookie sheet of hot fillets right on the table (protected by trivets, racks or potholders) and let your guests help themselves to fresh fried/baked catfish. Your fillets will go well with potatoes, coleslaw, corn bread, a mess of greens and a nice wheat beer. Also, don't forget to have hot sauce, lemon wedges and vinegar on hand.


If you have leftovers, a partial fillet will make for a nice fish sandwich, either warmed up or cold. I'm partial to hot sauce on mine.

I hope you enjoy this catfish recipe. I favor this one when the Dude and I bring home fresh catfish.

Done with Catfish Recipe, back to Frugal Recipes

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