Spicy Baked Catfish

New Mexico has three species of catfish to fish for: blue, channel and flathead. Typically, the best eating size are those in the two to five-pound range. Those over five pounds tend to have a fishy aftertaste and could have higher levels of contaminants. I enjoy catching and eating catfish because they fight hard, are easy to fillet and taste delicious.

As a healthy alternative to fried catfish, I make the following recipe as often as I catch catfish.

Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 2-4 people (1 fillet per person)


  • 1-3 jumbo eggs (use 1 egg for 2 fillets, 3 for 4 fillets)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 8 ounces of panko flakes
  • 2-4 catfish fillets

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Rinse and clean catfish fillets, pat dry.

Cut fillets into approximately 1” cubes.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly with a fork in a bowl, transfer to paper plate or 9 x 12  x 3-inch Tupperware container.

Use empty bowl to whisk egg(s) with a fork.

Dip catfish cubes in egg, then roll in dry mixture until entirely covered.

Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or tinfoil.

Place coated catfish cubes on top of baking sheet.

Cook approximately 40 minutes or until coating turns golden brown.

Department photo by John Martsh.

About John Martsh

John Martsh is the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Program Manager for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.