Pecan Crusted Oven “Fried” Catfish with Creole Tartare Sauce

Makes 4—5 servings

Skip the deep fryer, keep the crunch! Savor the bold Creole flavors in every bite of this oven-baked version of a Southern classic.



  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 ½ tbsp. blackening seasoning
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 4—5 catfish filets
  • nonstick cooking spray

Creole Tartare Sauce:

  • 1 cup light or olive oil-based mayo
  • 1/2 cup Wickles Relish (if you can’t find the Wickles brand, regular relish will do just fine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill
  • 4 tbsp. Creole (or stone-ground) mustard
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Finely chop pecans with a food processor or smash them using a rolling pin and a ziplock bag.
  3. Combine ground pecans, cornmeal and seasoning in a wide, shallow bowl.
  4. Pour buttermilk into a separate bowl.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray foil with nonstick spray.
  6. Dip the catfish filets first into the buttermilk, then coat with the pecan-cornmeal mixture using one hand for the wet ingredients and the other for the dry ingredients.
  7. Once your catfish is breaded, lay them on your sheet tray and give them a light spray with nonstick spray.
  8. Bake  in the oven for 15 minutes or until the crust starts to brown and the fish is cooked through.
  9. While your catfish is cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
  10. Serve the catfish with a side of tartare sauce and pair with coleslaw or a fresh green salad to round out your plate. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Rob Varner of Sheepshead Eats.