Blackened Catfish Recipe

This blackened catfish recipe gives you juicy and flaky catfish fillets crusted with Cajun seasoning to bring out smokey and spiced flavors that perfectly complement the mild catfish taste. Imagine the flavors of the South put into one tasty dish. It’s a perfect meal to serve especially when your seafood picks are fresh. Serve the Cajun catfish with grits or pork and beans for a savory meal.

Tips on Making Blackened Catfish

One of the best ways to cook catfish is by pan frying it in high heat, which is what we did in this simple recipe. Cooking catfish this way gives it a slightly crisp crust while also keeping it moist. It’s technically just three ingredients if you already have a Cajun spice mix on hand. Here are must-know information and tips about making this Cajun catfish recipe:

  • Use the freshest catfish you can find. Louisiana catfish are pretty affordable in the wet market, and nothing beats the flavor of fresh catch. But in case you live far away from a market, you can always get the frozen ones.
  • Made a bit too much of the catfish seasoning? No worries! You can keep the excess Cajun dynamite dust in an airtight container at room temperature, and easily use it to season your soups, steaks, chicken, or stews.
  • Preferably, use a cast iron skillet and make sure it is very, very hot. A cast iron skillet is great for blackening because it heats up food evenly. Plus, food doesn’t stick so easily into it. By very hot, we mean smoking hot so that you get the best flavor.
  • You can make this blackened fish recipe using any white fish in place of catfish. Feel free to use cream dory, mahi-mahi, flounder, halibut, or tilapia.

Blackened Catfish Recipe

How To Make Blackened Catfish

The secret seasoning to this dish is the homemade Cajun dynamite dust that brings out a smokey and peppery flavor to complement the mild and slightly sweet catfish fillets.

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins


  • 4 catfish fillets
  • 4 tbsp butter

Cajun Dynamite Dust:

  • ½ cup paprika
  • 6 tbsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp basil
  • 3 tbsp filé powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp cayenne, reduce to 1 tbsp if you want it mild
  • 2 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme


  1. Preheat a cast iron skillet to high heat.

  2. Combine the ingredients for cajun dust in a bowl. Mix.

  3. Liberally coat each catfish fillet seasoning. Using your hands, rub the seasoning into the fish.

  4. Add butter into the pan and heat until sizzling.

  5. Add catfish to pan fry until blackened on both sides, turning once.

  6. Serve on a bed of grits, beans, or rice. Enjoy your black catfish!


  • Sugar: 2g
  • :
  • Calcium: 329mg
  • Calories: 1076kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Cholesterol: 522mg
  • Fat: 39g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Iron: 9mg
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 14g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g
  • Potassium: 3699mg
  • Protein: 152g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Sodium: 10996mg
  • Vitamin A: 2862IU
  • Vitamin C: 35mg
Nutrition Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

Is blackened catfish good for you?

Yes! Catfish is a good protein to add to any diet. It is actually rich in heart-healthy omega-3 acids, vitamin B, and potassium. For this recipe, the less butter you use for cooking, the better.

What does it mean when fish is blackened?

The fish doesn’t really turn black. Blackened fish means that the fish is seasoned with herbs and spices and then cooked at a very high heat with some butter. It gets a blackish color because the herbs, spices, and butter become slightly charred.

How do you blacken catfish on a griddle?

It’s easy to make blackened catfish using a griddle. Whether it’s a flat griddle or one with grills, all you have to do is to set it on high heat. Brush it with butter, then cook the fish for about 2 minutes each side or until it develops some color.

Seafood Recipes


You won’t believe how easy it is to make a restaurant-quality dish like this blackened catfish. It’s smokey and spicy, yet tender and juicy at the same time. Plus, it is done in just 15 minutes!
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