An easy recipe for gluten-free and keto baked catfish. Baking is so much easier than deep-frying, and the result is crispy and delicious.
Whenever I visit the American South, I enjoy lots of fried catfish. I love this fish's delicate, white flesh. But at home, I actually prefer to bake it. It's so much easier for me as a cook to bake than to deep-fry.
I love baking - it's an easy hands-off cooking method. While frying forces you to stand right next to the skillet and keep a constant eye on the food, baking allows you a bit more freedom.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this baked catfish recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Almond meal: Blanched almond flour works too if that's all you have. You can also use the same amount of breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs) if you prefer.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper. Please make sure your spices are fresh. A stale spice can easily ruin a dish. Speaking from experience!
Butter: I use it for dipping the fish fillets prior to coating them in almond meal. I love using creamy European butter. But any butter will be great.
Catfish fillets: I use skinless filets. Try to get similar-sized fish pieces if you can. The fillets I got were very different in thickness, so I ended up slicing one of them.
Avocado oil spray: This oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
How to bake catfish
It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to mix together the almond meal, salt, pepper, and spices in a shallow dish.
2. In another shallow dish, melt the butter.
3. Now dip each fillet in the melted butter, then dredge it in the almond meal mixture.
4. Place the coated fish fillets on a greased roasting rack. Spray them with oil.
5. Bake the fish for about 15 minutes in a 450°F oven, until crisp and golden on the outside and tender and opaque inside.
Where to buy catfish
I buy frozen fillets at Whole Foods. As you can see in the video, the bag I got had two fillets - one of them thin, the other very thick. This is such a pet peeve of mine. How can they expect us to cook these very different fillets? I solved the problem by slicing the thick fillet into two thinner ones.
What to serve with baked catfish
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- Avocado oil spray
- ½ cup almond meal
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 (6 oz) catfish fillets
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a roasting pan by lining the bottom with foil and spraying the roasting rack with oil.
- Mix together the almond meal, the salt &pepper, and the spices in a shallow dish (such as a square 8-inch baking dish).
- In another shallow microwave-safe dish, melt the butter in the microwave.
- Dip each catfish fillet in the melted butter, then dredge in the almond meal mixture, pressing to make sure the coating adheres.
- Place the coated fish fillets on the prepared roasting rack.
- Spray the fillets with oil. Bake 15 minutes, until crisp and golden on the outside and tender and opaque inside. Serve immediately.