Main Course/ Recipes/ Seafood

Spicy Pecan Crusted Catfish

For some reason, I lack fish recipes on this site.

I don’t know why—I love fish! Growing up in South Florida, we ate fish (and other seafood) many nights out of the week. It was just quick, easy and fresh. So fish fans, rejoice! More seafood recipes are in your future. I think I got my groove back.

In my opinion, this is the perfect fish dinner. As much as I love good grilled salmon, there’s just something about pecan crusted catfish that will always have my heart. It’s just so tasty and easy to prepare! You seriously can’t go wrong with catfish. Whenever I eat it, I think of home. Well, not home exactly…but the South in general. I also think of those terrible noodling videos on YouTube (I’m not linking for a reason, folks…you’ll spew your coffee on your computer screen).

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re better off for it. Save your soul!

Here, catfish (or other firm white fish) is generously coated with pecan crumbs and spices, then baked to perfection.

It’s delicious.

It’s healthy.

It’s ready in only half an hour, start to finish! Helloooooooooo easy weeknight meal! Nice to see ya again.

I like to use roasted and salted pecans in this because the extra salt really makes a difference, in my opinion. I also really just love salt. You can use whatever you want! I won’t judge. Well, maybe just a little bit.

I made this the other night for myself. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty making such delicious dinners for just me when Adam and I don’t get to see each other, but then I think “it’s for the blog!” and I continue to chow down. The Internet is my boss….what can I say? I ate my spicy pecan crusted catfish alongside some maple and cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes and a salad with honey balsamic dressing (honey, white balsamic, olive oil, garlic, S&P). I literally took these photos about .7 seconds before I licked my plate clean.

I think this would also be super fab over a a salad for lunch. If you try it that way, let me know what you think!

In terms of seafood recipes, here’s a couple others that I really love and recommend: Sweet & Spicy Glazed Salmon Sandwiches, Shrimp Enchiladas Verde and Linguine with Shrimp and Tomato Cream Sauce (<—I posted this recipe exactly two years ago today! it’s a sign)

Spicy Pecan Crusted Catfish

serves 2

Print this Recipe!


2 catfish fillets, about 5 oz each

1/2 cup finely ground pecans (about 3/4 cup pecan halves- you can grind in a food processor, high speed blender or just whack the heck out of them in a plastic bag with a meat mallet)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a shallow dish or pie plate, mix together the finely ground pecans, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dry mustard, pepper, cayenne and salt.

Place the catfish fillets in another shallow dish. Pour buttermilk over the fish fillets. Dip each buttermilk-soaked piece of fish into the nut mixture, dredging completely. Place crusted fish on a parchment paper or silpat-lined sheet tray.

Bake catfish for 30 minutes. When done, fish should be white and flake easily. Crust should be golden.


35 minutes

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  • Laura
    August 3, 2012 at 3:38 am

    this looks delicious. i’ve never crusted my own fish. it looks simple and perfect.

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    August 3, 2012 at 3:45 am

    I take all of my recipe photos about .5 seconds before I eat my creations! 😉 This looks delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever tried catfish, but anything smothered in spicy pecans has to be good!

  • heather
    August 3, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Now you have me craving seafood! This sounds delicious-reminds me of my favorite beach meal. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    August 3, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Ahh yes!! When I saw the title of this post in my reader I thought “YAY! It’s a fish recipe” because I’m a seafood-a-holic. Having said that though, catfish is probably one of the fish I eat least often because it doesn’t seem to be available at the grocery stores where I shop very often. I’m going to look harder this weekend though! Happy Friday Jenna!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    August 3, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Would this work for mahi mahi?

    • kyla
      August 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

      I think that would be delicious!

  • Marissa@ohhhsolovely
    August 3, 2012 at 5:24 am

    so funny…you totally have a good reason to cook great meals for yourself! it’s just a perk of your job!!

  • Devon | the food bitch blog
    August 3, 2012 at 5:37 am

    It never ceases to amaze me the dumb stuff that bored Southern boys come up with. Noodling is a fine example though.

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    August 3, 2012 at 5:42 am

    OMG – NOODLING! I’ve seen those videos! My ex made me watch one right before we went on our first trip to New Orleans and I almost died of laughter (and being grossed out) haha it was strangely fascinating.

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    August 3, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I could eat this for breakfast Jenna. Seriously sounds soooo good right now!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    August 3, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Mmm…love the pecan crusted coating.

  • DessertForTwo
    August 3, 2012 at 6:02 am

    One of my favorite dinners, hands down. Yay!

  • Cait's Plate
    August 3, 2012 at 6:40 am


  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    August 3, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I think that pecan rub would be fabulous on most anything!

  • Laura @FoodSnobSTL
    August 3, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I’ve been wanting to try to cook catfish at home for a long time now, and this has inspired me to finally do so!

    p.s. I cannot wait to read your book!

  • Keira MacDonald
    August 3, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Is there a substitute that can be used for the buttermilk? I am dairy free and would love to try this recipe!

  • Gabby (Quest for Delicious)
    August 3, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Seafood is my favorite! That catfish looks perfect!

  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia
    August 3, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I would definitely take the “whack the heck out of them with a meat mallet” approach to the pecans–stress relief, haha! This sounds great, though. Bookmarking!

  • Jessica
    August 3, 2012 at 7:22 am

    This looks SO delicious and super easy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    August 3, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I love catfish but have never even tried preparing it at home. Glad to know it’s actually pretty simple to make. Great recipe!

  • Elisabeth
    August 3, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I hate to say it, but I don’t like pretty much any fish or seafood… I will eat tuna & when I was a kid I would eat a little of my mom’s catfish – guess I’ll have to try this recipe! 🙂

  • Jenny Leigh
    August 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I just made your sweet and spicy glazed salmon sandwiches the other night and absolutely loved them! Even my carnivore bf ate every last crumb. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    p.s. I mixed in sriracha with the mayo on the salmon sandwiches and it totally worked. I know you’re a fellow spice lover so thought you’d want to try!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    August 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I’m always up for a good fish recipe! This looks delicious 😀

  • Heather
    August 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Yayy for more seafood based recipes! We’ve got a family of (ammature) deep sea fishermen so we’re pretty fish rich in the summertime. Tuna recipe next? We’ve done ahi poki and rolls so far: and I’m craving more ways to make it.

    Love your blog!

  • Cassie
    August 3, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Love this Jenna! I was just thinking about your (Adam’s) grilled salmon this morning…think we are having it tomorrow night, but now I’m tempted to crust it in pecans instead!

  • Caroline L.
    August 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I love fish! This sounds so delicious!

  • Jacqueline
    August 3, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Seafood is a good theme for today – my dad went salmon fishing in Alaska last week and got some shipped to our house so we’re grilling it tonight. Love fish, and I’ll be trying this recipe soon!

  • Kimberly @ Kimberly's Treats
    August 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    That fish looks amazing! I will definitely have to try making this sometime next week!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    August 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I love fish but have never had catfish. It’s one of those fish that I rarely see at the market so I always get my usual of salmon, cod, or haddock.

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks
    August 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Now THIS was made for my tongue and belly.

  • kim@hungryhealthygirl
    August 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I’m definitely going to be giving this a try! I agree with you….I love my salmon, but catfish is so tasty!

  • Alyssa
    August 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I just made this–SO GOOD!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    August 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I’m glad you’re finally tasting more beers. 🙂 Especially Deschutes — such a great brewery.

  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See
    August 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Love that this is baked rather than fried. Sounds delish 🙂

  • Jenn
    August 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    You deserve to make yourself lovely meals Jenna!! Besides – you need to ‘test run’ it first before serving to Adam right? 🙂

  • Alicia
    August 4, 2012 at 6:46 am

    This looks fabulous! My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in Key West and literally ate fish every day for 2 weeks. We couldn’t get enough of it. Now that we’re back home in the south, I think this would be the perfect transitional meal for us!

  • Anna
    August 4, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I tried catfish for the first time when I traveled to Nashville. I don’t see catfish to often in Toronto. It was soooo delicious! I am totally going to try out this recipe when I get my paws on some fresh catfish! Thanks for the great story and recipe,


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    August 10, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Made this for my sisters and parents tonight and it was a big hit! Thank you : )

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