Baked Catfish

by Lana Stuart on January 21, 2011 · 48 comments

Baked Catfish from @NevrEnoughThyme

I’m just going to say this: I love fried food. There. I’ve said it and I meant it, too. There’s just not much better in this world to me than a perfectly cooked piece of fried chicken. Or country fried steak. Or fish. I could go on and on.

I realize that part of my love of fried food is cultural. When I was growing up, an everyday meal consisted of some kind of meat, more often than not fried, accompanied by two or three vegetables and bread. The proverbial “meat and three” that I see so often referenced these days. My daddy loved a fried t-bone steak. That’s right, fried. Mama would salt and pepper a t-bone, dredge it in flour and ease it down into hot oil in a black iron skillet to cook. It came out golden brown and slightly crispy on the outside and juicy and moist on the inside. Hmmm…I hadn’t thought of that in years until I started writing this. Of course, we all learned that there were more healthful ways to eat and gradually our diet changed. Fewer fried foods, more baked or roasted meats. But I still sometimes crave that good old fried food.

All those years ago frying was an inexpensive and easy way to prepare the main meat course so that’s what was done. I mean, for goodness sakes, people back then were busy! We just think we’re busy these days. Laboring in the field from sunup to sundown or taking care of children and running a household a few decades in the past was a much more taxing existence than it is today. But back then people could handle a more calorie-laden diet because of all the manual labor they did. Today, not so much. So, even though I still love my fried foods and greatly enjoy them on occasion, I do look for ways to cook that are somewhat more healthful.

I saw this recipe recently for baked catfish in one of Taste of Home’s publications. The fish is coated with a delicious blend of herbs and spices, then drizzled with butter and lemon juice and baked. What a great change of pace from the usual fried catfish! We quite enjoyed it and I’m happy to share it with you, too.

2 tblsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. ground black pepper
4 whole catfish fillets
Juice of one lemon
2 tblsp. melted butter
¼ tsp. garlic powder
Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Baked Catfish

Combine the parsley, salt, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil and pepper in a small bowl.

Baked Catfish

Sprinkle the spice-herb mixture over both sides of the catfish fillets. Place the fillets in a 9×13 baking pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. I also lined my pan with foil just because it makes it so much easier to clean.

Baked Catfish

Add the melted butter, lemon juice and garlic powder to a small bowl. Mix well to combine.

Baked Catfish

Drizzle the butter-lemon-garlic mixture over the fillets.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home’s Busy Family Recipes, Winter 2011

Baked Catfish
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Seasoned, baked catfish make a perfectly delicious main course for a quick dinner.
  • 2 tblsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 whole catfish fillets
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tblsp. melted butter
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the parsley, salt, paprika, thyme, oregano, basil and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Sprinkle over both sides of catfish fillets.
  4. Place the fillets in a 9x13 baking pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Add the melted butter, lemon juice and garlic powder to a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
  6. Drizzle the butter-lemon-garlic mixture over the fillets.
  7. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
--Recipe adapted from Taste of Home’s Busy Family Recipes, Winter 2011

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 clive January 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

I cannot wait to make this…made sauteedfish the other day……if only i had known this recipe was coming i would have saved the fish for tonight :0

thanks a million


2 megan January 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

I dont know why, but cooking with catfish scares me but I would happily eat this it! :)


3 Drick January 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I will eat catfish anyway prepared… nothing better than cornmeal battered & fried but I have baked and panteened fillets lately cooking very similar to this recipe…. reminds me of the oven-fried catfish recipe I did for Dara back in August…


4 Miss P January 21, 2011 at 3:48 pm

You can cook catfish fillets on the George Foreman also. Make sure that you coat the fillets with olive oil, and really spray the surfaces with cooking spray. Season to your liking, and cook for only 2 or 3 minutes. Really quick, super good.

Miss P


5 Vickie from Part Three January 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Since you sound like a person that loves a plate of fried catfish as much as I do, I’m betting this is delicious. Isn’t catfish fabulous? Being a Texas gal, I think catfish is as much fun to catch as it is to eat, :)


6 Rajani January 22, 2011 at 7:57 am

Hi Lana,
First time here and am bowled over.Your connection to your family,keeping up your ‘southern cooking traditions’ and celebrating humble food – these have me floored.I am a vegetarian and am going to drop in a lot to enjoy your blog…


7 Amanda January 23, 2011 at 11:18 am

Oh my gosh, these look so incredibly good! We don’t eat a lot of fish here, but I bet if I put this on the table they’d be drooling!


8 clive January 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm

the dish was ok….a bit too salty for me. I wrote a halfe decent comment but correcting spelling mistakes with the new system you have is such a PITA i deleted the whole thing and wrote this instead


9 Lana January 23, 2011 at 2:25 pm

So sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Clive. You can always adjust the amount of salt to suit your personal tastes. I’m unsure what you are talking about with “the new system.” I haven’t changed anything at all – still the same old “system” I’ve always had.


10 clive January 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Lana, i enjoyed it a lot…just a bit more salt than I am used to,,,,,as per the site i dont remeber being unable to use the right click of the mouse to make corrections….maybe in the past my spelling was better and corrections were not needed hahahaha


11 Stephanie January 23, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This looks sooo tasty!! I don’t have any cat fish but I bet it would be good on the white fish I have in my freezer


12 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen January 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Fantastic! I love catfish, and like you, I grew up eating everything fried. My grandparents and then my parents owned a fried catfish restaurant when I was growing up, so your post made me smile! Can’t wait to try this.


13 Lana January 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I hope you will try it and like it! It’s an alternative for times when you want something a little different from the usual fried :-)


14 Genie March 24, 2011 at 12:03 am

You make a good point about how the calorie laden diets of yesteryear suited the labour intensive lifestyle. I sit behind a computer around 10 hours a day. I couldn’t have country fried steak every night for dinner. Although I would love to try it just once! I wonder if future generations one day become more active and frown upon our low calorie diets as a diet for lazy and feeble people?


15 lori April 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Delish! I just finished eating. Didn’t have lemon juice but this was sooooo good!!!!


16 Lana April 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

So glad you liked it, Lori.


17 Lauren July 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I’ve made this recipe a couple times and have been very happy with it. I’ve done catfish with rice, I’ve done it by itself, tonight I’m even using this seasoning on tilapia and baking vegatables with it. Baked fish is so good.


18 Carlos January 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Just found this recipe by looking around on google. Looks like I hit the jackpot. I give this recipe five stars. Quick and easy. So much flavor.


19 Nell February 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

Thank you for this recipe! I tried it last night , and it was just right. Light, not spicy, but a bold flavor. I am always on the lookout for good fish recipes that are not complicated and time consuming . So glad I found your site! Thanks a million.


20 Lana February 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Nell. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s one of our favorites. Hope you’ll find lots of other things to enjoy here on the blog.


21 Beth Westmark March 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hi Lana,

If we enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed reading your narrative, it will be a keeper for sure. Seriously, looks great, and I have some parsley, thyme, and oregano in my little herb garden I’m just itching to use. We’ll try it tonight! Thanks. . .


22 Lorinda May 31, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Fixed this recipe tonight and it was wonderful. I left out the paprika as I didn’t have any and I used dried parsley instead of the fresh parsley. This recipe is a “keeper”.


23 Lana Stuart June 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

That’s great to hear, Lorinda. I’m always pleased when someone enjoys a recipe.


24 Anna June 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Tried the recipe and it’s delish. Did not have parsley so I left it out all together. I also did not salt as much because of the feedback above. I found your recipe because I was trying to make a meal in the oven all at the same time. So I started by roasting brussel sprouts. Then prepared and added corn bread. Then prepared and added the catfish. Waited 20 min and Voila! Everything was ready at the same time. Really happy the way it turned out.


25 Lana Stuart June 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I’m so glad it worked out well for you, Anna. It’s a recipe we really enjoy.


26 Alesia October 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Stumbled on this recipe Googling baked catfish recipes. Best stumble I’ve ever made. I added cornmeal and a quarter more of the herbs to the dry mix plus a light egg white wash. Totally delish! Thank you for posting your story and this delightful recipe.


27 Lana Stuart October 24, 2013 at 8:33 am

So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Alesia!


28 LaFrunde Glenn October 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Hello. I curious about the nutrition facts, by any chance would you happen to know what they are?


29 Lana Stuart October 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Sorry, but for legal reasons I do not provide nutrition information on my recipes. There are numerous nutrition calculators on the internet where you can plug in the ingredients of a recipe and get a nutritional calculation. They all differ but you might try one of those.


30 Coral November 6, 2013 at 12:26 am

I’ve never really made fish before but my boyfriend is obsessed with catfish and he LOVED IT! Thanks for the delicious recipe!


31 dl January 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Does this recipe apply to other fish as well?


32 Lana Stuart January 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm

I haven’t tried it with others, but I would think you could use any firm fish.


33 Angie January 27, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Going to make this in a few minutes, can’t wait! I know it’s going to be amazing!


34 Lana Stuart January 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm

I really hope you enjoy it, Angie!


35 Chanda February 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

This is such a great recipe. I have made it three times now. I divide everything in half and make two fillets for my husband and myself. We both love it. Thank you so much for sharing this easy and delicious recipe!


36 Lana Stuart February 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

So glad you like it, Chanda.


37 Becky February 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

My husband made this tonight!! It was excellent!! Very flavorful and looked just like the picture!


38 PseudoPal March 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I have picky eaters. Fish is not allowed on the menu unless is salmon cooked in brown sugar and butter. HOWEVER my family LOVED this recipe and it is now on our regular dinner menu. This is so simple and delicious, it’s perfect for a “don’t have time to cook”. Hang up the phone, don’t order pizza, this is easier and a lot less expensive. I even made up the seasoning to keep in the pantry so I am not mixing it each time- just pulling out the jar of seasonings. **We have dairy allergies so I replaced the butter with hemp milk and sometimes almond milk. Catfish is generally a little on the oily side anyway. The hemp/almond milk give this a rich flavor with out the butter and it’s still very yummy!


39 Lana Stuart March 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

So happy to hear that! This is one of our favorites, too.


40 Laura Nguyen April 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Thank you for this fabulous recipe! I halved the ingredients, subbed 1 tsp dried parsley for fresh, and used unsalted butter for two fillets. Delicious and a definite keeper!


41 Ursula May 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Thank you for this recipe. I bake catfish all the time but more basic with my seasoning. So I was excited to put a twist on my catfish tonight. My husband and my two boys loved it. I will continue to bake my catfish according to your recipe in the future. Thanks again!


42 Bryan November 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Wow! Just made this for my parents and I. It was great. I’d use a little less salt next time but it turned out. Made it with fried asparagus seasoned with garlic, salt, and lemon pepper and some lemon juice.


43 big "C" January 25, 2015 at 6:28 pm

I replaced the lemon juice with fresh squeezed orange juice. Came out “Fabtabulous.


44 Lana Stewart February 20, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Lana Stuart, thanks so much for the delicious recipe.

Lana Stewart


45 Maria McDade March 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I’d agree with the less salt comments, but this recipe was amazing ! Definitely going to be a repeat for me .


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