Blackened Catfish

One of my favorite weeknight dinners is blackened catfish and pairing it with roasted broccoli or brussel sprouts. I love the flavor of the spicy cayenne, smoky paprika, herbal basil, thyme, and oregano, with savory onion and garlic, all seared to a buttery perfection with light flaky fish. It’s so satisfying and fulfilling, and it’s healthy! I wanted to make my own blackened seasoning instead of using store-bought, and after making this, I will never buy store bought again! It has the perfect ratio of seasonings and spice and just the right amount of salt. This batch recipe yields leftovers, so you can save in a jar for the next time you make it!

I also enjoy learning about the history of certain cuisines and recipes. This one without a doubt has strong cajun/creole roots, a perfect reflection of Louisiana culture! I loved reading about Chef Paul Prudhomme, the original inventor of “blackened” fish. Read more here!

Homemade Blackened Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika (or use regular paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne powder (use more for a spicier blend)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until they are well combined. Store the seasoning blend in an airtight container. 

Ingredients for Blackened Catfish

  • 2 large catfish fillets
  • 2-3 tbsp homemade blackened seasoning
  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 2-4 lemon wedges


  • Heat a large cast iron skillet (recommended) or heavy aluminum skillet over high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Coat both sides of fish with spice mixture, using about 1.1.5 tbsp spice mixture for each fillet.
  • Melt butter in skillet, then place the 2 fillets in the hot skillet.
  • Cook until the spices are burned onto the fillets and the catfish is opaque and flaky inside, about 3 minutes per side. 
  • Serve with lemon wedges!

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