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This spicy, buttery pan fried Cajun Blackened Catfish takes just 15 MINUTES to make! Melt-in-your mouth tender and coated with a flavorful array of herbs and spices, this fish should definitely be on your weekly menu!
I know what you're thinking, "who could possibly love catfish?" Well guys, that person is me. Because catfish is delicious. I feel like it is far more forgiving than other fish, and always comes out perfectly tender and juicy.
And the flavor of the fish is so mild, so it is perfect for an intensely flavored dish like this Cajun Blackened Catfish.
Plus it takes 15 minutes. Yes, 15 minutes to spicy, melt-in-your-mouth buttery perfection.
If you love Cajun flavors, don't forget to check out this Chicken Etouffee or this Louisiana Seafood Gumbo.
This Cajun seafood boil can be really fun too!
Is Blackened Catfish Spicy?
Blackened catfish typically is spicy due to the cayenne pepper, however, different seasoning blends can have differing spice levels.
Why This Recipe Works
The mild flavor of the catfish goes perfectly with the intense flavor of the blackened spices.
The use of butter to fry the catfish results in a rich, buttery flavor that is incredible.
It's a recipe you can have on the table in less than 20 minutes.
Catfish is easy to find. It should be available in just about every grocery store out there, either fresh or frozen. Obviously, the fresher fish you buy, the better your dish will be, which is what I recommend shooting for. And it's cheap. While usually not my concern while cooking (it is in every aspect of my life), I enjoy enjoy having a cheap, delicious meal that's not Taco Bell.
The blackened seasoning is also key in this dish (duh....the recipe is blackened cajun catfish.....).
What is Blackened Seasoning?
If you've never cooked with blackened seasoning, you have been missing out! It is an amazing flavor packed seasoning consisting of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, thyme and salt (among others).
I fry the catfish in butter because, well, butter is awesome. However, be aware that butter does not have a very high smoke point. Meaning you may get some smoking. Just use the fan while cooking and you should be fine.
Step By Step Instructions
Coat the catfish fillets in the blackened seasoning and sprinkle with salt.
Heat the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the catfish fillets and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
***If the pan starts to smoke, turn on the fan. Remove from heat and serve with this amazingly delicious Red Gravy.
You want to use enough blackened seasoning to coat all sides of the fish.
Mix the salt with the blackened seasoning to make application easier.
The blackened seasoning tends to smoke when cooking, so it is best to turn on a fan and/or open a window to prevent the smoke alarm from going off.
The catfish can be substituted with other types of fish if desired. However, I recommend using something mild in flavor like halibut or cod.
The seasoning may cause the fish to look slightly burned after cooking, but that's what gives it it's name. HOWEVER, if the pan starts to smoke too much while cooking, add an additional 1-2 tbsp. of butter and reduce the heat just slightly.
The catfish is great on it's own, but even better with served with New Orleans Red Gravy.
What Do You Serve With Blackened Cajun Catfish?
Serve with Cajun Dirty Rice and this Creole "Red" Gravy. Obliviously both are optional. Serve it with whatever makes you happy.
More Cajun Seafood Recipes
- Cajun Crawfish Egg Rolls
- Fried Alligator Bites
Shrimp and Sausage Quiche
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
Rate the recipe and leave a comment to let me know how it turned out!
Pan Fried Blackened Catfish
- 1 lbs. catfish fillets (about 4-6 fillets)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. Blackened seasoning**
- 1 tsp. Sea salt (more to taste if desired)
- Coat the catfish fillets in the blackened seasoning and sprinkle with salt.
- Heat butter in cast iron skillet over medium high heat. The pan may be smoking slightly - that's ok.
- Add the catfish fillets and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and serve. Add additional salt to taste if desired.
- You want to use enough blackened seasoning to coat all sides of the fish. This is typically between 2-3 tbsp. for me.
- Mix the salt with the blackened seasoning to make application easier.
- The blackened seasoning tends to smoke when cooking, so it is best to turn on a fan and/or open a window to prevent the smoke alarm from going off.
- The catfish can be substituted with other types of fish if desired. However, I recommend using something mild in flavor like halibut or cod.
- The seasoning may cause the fish to look slightly burned after cooking, but that's what gives it it's name. HOWEVER, if the pan starts to smoke too much while cooking, add an additional 1-2 tbsp. of butter and reduce the heat just slightly.
This is delicious Pan fried cajun Blackend catfish. I like this kind of simple recipes. I think fish taste really well when it is fried with seasoning.
Simple is the best! Thanks Swathi!
I love that this fish takes only 15 minutes to make. And I can imagine how tender it is once on the fork - super excited to try this recipe!
Hope you get a chance to try it Mimi!
I am putting this fish on my weekly meny now because this recipe is incredible! And the way it looks in the plate is so good that anyone can start loving fish feasts!
Yay! Thanks so much April - I hope you continue to enjoy it 🙂
Enriqueta E Lemoine
Great pictures and recipe! I'm pinning this! Thanks for sharing!
Kylie | Midwest Foodie
I am a catfish fan too, so this recipe sounds great to me! Love the simplicity of it - pinning for later!
Thanks Kylie! Hope you get a chance to try it 🙂
Cat fish is one of my fav and this one looks just delicious with that seasoning. Will try this sometime.
Thanks so much Geetanjali!
The catfish looks so juicy by the time you're serving it! I would love to eat that with some hot steaming rice.
It would be great with rice!
Healthy World Cuisine
Once you get those delicious blackening seasonings on there, any fish would be fabulous. That creole red gravy looks like a winner too!
Right? Blackened seasoning is so good!!
Mmmm this sounds and looks fabulous! I wish I would have had this for dinner tonight!
Thanks Alexandra! There's always tomorrow night 😉
Maman de sara
I don’t know about blackened seasoning until now. I may have used all the spices in it without knowing the name of the spice mix. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
It's a great spice!
Looks great!! Spent a little time in New Orleans and loved all the food from that area
New Orleans is so awesome!
OMG! Look at the sauce dropping from. This dish is very yummy. Mum you need to look this :/
This recipe makes me feel so hungry. Yummy! I love to make this recipe. Thanks for the share!
Whenever I hear of catfish, I always think about the south. I've never eaten catfish, blackened or otherwise, but I guess because of the influence of media, I just automatically associate it with the south. I'm heading to Florida in April. I think I'll seek out some good catfish and give it a go!
I hope you try it Byron! have fun in FL!
Binge on Basics
I have never eaten catfish before but I have tried other fishes. Judging from the pictures, I must say that this dish looks so delicious that I might as well give a try
Catfish is def a great fish, but you could also use other fish in this recipe if you'd like!
I love the look of blackened fish! And that sauce you had on top looks delicious too.
I could literally eat the sauce with a spoon (might have happened)!
I didn't grow up eating much seafood living in the midwest and catfish is definitely not something I have had much of but this recipe looks easy and enticing. Thanks!
Thanks so much!
An interesting cuisine as I have never tried catfish before. Heard of them but don't really know how to make them. Glad to learn it here and its not that hard at all. The end result looks super tempting, especially with the black coated seasoning.
It's very easy to make and such a great fish! Thanks for stopping by!
Looks like a very tasty recipe. I am a big fan of fish. I wonder how this would work with Swordfish.
I'll bet it would work great for swordfish! Thanks for stopping by Scott.
I died! The recipe looks DELICIOUS!!! I am definitely trying to cook it over the weekend, thank you.
Yay! I hope you love it Chad 🙂