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Blackened Catfish Recipe: Easy & Tasty Dinner

Blackened Catfish Recipe: Easy, Flavorful Meal

Dive into the bold flavors of the South with this easy-to-follow Blackened Catfish recipe! 

Perfectly seasoned with a smoky and slightly spicy blend, this dish brings the taste of Louisiana right to your dinner table. 

Paired with a side of creamy coleslaw, it offers a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. Ideal for a quick weeknight dinner or a special weekend feast, this blackened catfish will impress your family and friends with its depth of flavor and simple elegance. 

Ready in just a few minutes, it’s a delicious way to enjoy a classic Southern favorite at home.

Key Takeaways


Preparation Time15 minutes
Cooking Time8 minutes
Total Time23 minutes
Servings4 servings
Main FlavorsSmoky, spicy
Best Served WithCreamy coleslaw, lemon wedges
blackened catfish fillets, cooked to perfection, with a dark, crispy crust, served on a white plate with a side of creamy coleslaw.


What is Blackened Catfish Recipe?

Blackened catfish is a culinary technique from the Southern United States that involves heavily seasoning fish fillets with a robust spice mix and cooking them in a very hot skillet. This method produces a distinctive charred flavor while keeping the fish moist and tender.

Why is Blackened Catfish Recipe so popular?

This cooking style has gained popularity for its deep, smoky flavors and the crisp exterior it imparts on the catfish. It’s a quick and easy way to prepare fish while infusing it with intense flavors, appealing to those who enjoy bold tastes and quick cooking methods.

What are the benefits of making Blackened Catfish Recipe at home?

Preparing blackened catfish at home allows you to control the ingredients and the level of spiciness. It’s a healthier alternative to frying, as it uses less oil, and it’s a great way to impress guests with your culinary skills.




Catfish fillets

4 (6-8 oz each)


2 tablespoons


1 teaspoon

Onion powder

1 teaspoon

Garlic powder

1 teaspoon

Cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon

Black pepper

1/2 teaspoon

Dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon

Dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon

Unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons

Creamy Coleslaw


  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

What each ingredient adds to the recipe

  • Spices: Create the iconic blackened crust and deep flavors.
  • Butter: Adds richness and helps the spices adhere to the fish.
  • Coleslaw: Offers a creamy, tangy contrast to the spicy fish.

Preperation and Servings

This Blackened Catfish recipe is quick to prepare, taking only about 15 minutes to get the ingredients ready and another 8 minutes for cooking, summing up to a total of approximately 23 minutes from start to finish.

The recipe serves four, making it a convenient option for a family meal or when having a couple of friends over.

Each serving consists of one 6-8 ounce catfish fillet, generously seasoned and perfectly cooked, and a refreshing creamy coleslaw.

It’s an ideal choice for a flavorful, satisfying meal that doesn’t require much time in the kitchen.

Hints and Tips

  • For an even crust, make sure the skillet is very hot before adding the catfish.
  • Avoid moving the fish too much once it’s in the pan to allow a proper crust to form.


  • Try this seasoning on other types of fish like tilapia or cod.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the blackened catfish with creamy coleslaw and some healthy baked fish recipes.

Nutrition Values

  • Calories: Approximately 350 calories per serving.
  • Protein: Roughly 25-30 grams. Catfish is a good source of lean protein.
  • Fat: Around 20-25 grams, mainly from the butter used in cooking. Using less butter or substituting with a lighter option can reduce this.
  • Carbohydrates: Minimal carbohydrates, as the dish primarily consists of catfish and spices. The coleslaw side will add some carbs, primarily from the sugar in the dressing.
  • Fiber: A small amount from the cabbage in the coleslaw.
  • Sugars: About 2-3 grams from the dressing in the coleslaw.

Difficulty Level

EASY. It’s straightforward—just mix a few spices, coat the fish, and cook it in a skillet. There’s no complex preparation or cooking techniques involved, making it perfect for anyone, regardless of their cooking experience.


Store leftover catfish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

History of the Blackened Catfish Recipe

Originating from Cajun cuisine, blackening was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme, turning it into a modern classic that emphasizes the flavorful potential of simple ingredients.


Blackened catfish is a must-try for those who appreciate quick, flavorful meals that bring a bit of Southern flair to the dinner table.

It’s versatile and delicious, perfect for a busy weeknight or a leisurely weekend dinner.

10 FAQs About Blackened Catfish

  1. How do I know when the catfish is perfectly cooked?
    The catfish should flake easily with a fork and have a crisp outer layer.
  2. Can I use frozen catfish for this recipe?
    Yes, just ensure it’s completely thawed and patted dry before seasoning.
  3. Is blackened catfish spicy?
    It has a bit of a kick, but you can adjust the cayenne pepper to suit your taste.
  4. What sides go well with blackened catfish?
    Apart from coleslaw, consider instant pot seafood recipes or a simple salad.
  5. Can I make this recipe without butter?
    Yes, use a high-smoke-point oil like canola or avocado oil as a substitute.
  6. How can I prevent the spices from burning?
    Keep the heat medium-high and don’t leave the fish unattended.
  7. What are the nutritional benefits of catfish?
    Catfish is rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  8. Can I blacken the catfish in the oven?
    Yes, although the crust may not be as crisp as when done in a skillet.
  9. Are there any vegetarian alternatives?
    Try blackening seasoned tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian twist.
  10. Where can I find more fish recipes?
    Check out our full range of fish recipes, including tuna, salmon, and shrimp recipes.

Blackened Catfish Recipe: Easy Classic with Homemade Creamy Coleslaw

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Savor the bold flavors of our Blackened Catfish Recipe, an easy-to-prepare dish perfect for any dinner occasion. The catfish is seasoned with a blend of spices and then pan-seared to perfection, delivering a smoky, crisp exterior.

Paired with our creamy, tangy coleslaw, this meal promises a delightful balance of textures and flavors. Ready in minutes, it's ideal for a quick yet impressive dinner.

Make sure you check your ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free


  • 4 4 catfish fillets (about 6-8 oz each)

  • 2 tbs 2 paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 tsp 1 onion powder

  • 1 tsp 1 garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 dried thyme

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 dried oregano

  • 4 tbs 4 unsalted butter, melted


  • Mix paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl to make the blackening spice mix.
  • Pat the catfish fillets dry with paper towels. Brush each fillet with melted butter and then generously coat with the spice mix.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining butter to the skillet.
  • Place the catfish fillets in the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the spices are blackened and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Make sure you check your ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free


  • Creamy Coleslaw
  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
    1 carrot, shredded
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix the cabbage and carrot.
    To make the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a smaller bowl.
    Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture and toss to coat evenly.
    Refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Make sure you check your ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free

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