Last updated on March 29th, 2023
Lemon pepper catfish fillets require two ingredients and only take seven minutes to prepare. Try this easy, tasty weeknight meal tonight!
This post is sponsored by The Catfish Institute. The opinions contained within are my own.
In the rush of trying to get a healthy meal on the dinner table in a short amount of time, I frequently feel like I get stuck in the chicken or beef rut. At least twice a month, I try to mix things up with a fish or seafood dish. A meal of U.S. Farm Raised Catfish is always a crowd pleaser in my family.
Is Catfish Healthy?
You bet it is! Catfish is high in protein, low in fat and calories and loaded with amino acids that promote heart health. If you’re trying to get more vitamin B into your diet, one serving of catfish provides 40 % of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-12, which is essential for red blood cell formation and metabolism. It’s also low in mercury, making it safe for pregnant mothers.
What to Look for When Choosing Catfish Fillets from The Store.
In recent years, the news media has brought to light some of the unsanitary conditions of overseas catfish farms. Believe it or not, fish imported from foreign countries aren’t held to the same strict quality standards as U.S.- based fisheries; therefore, there are no regulations monitoring the condition of the ponds the fish are raised, how the fish are transported and if the processing facilities are clean.
That just doesn’t sit well with me. That’s why I never purchase catfish that doesn’t have the U.S. Farm Raised Catfish logo on the packaging. Several years ago, catfish farmers in the United States pushed for stricter monitoring regulations and guidelines within their industry. That little seal assures that the fish you are eating was raised in fresh, aquifer-fed ponds, hormone free and is a safe, sustainable and environmentally safe seafood choice for your family.
Lemon Pepper Catfish Fillets: Two Ingredients. Seven Minutes.
This recipe for lemon pepper catfish fillets is definitely going on regular rotation at our house. Not only was is delicious, but it only requires two ingredients – lemon pepper seasoning and catfish fillets – and took a total of seven minutes to prepare. Quick and easy weeknight meal for the win!
My New Favorite Hack for Preparing the Perfect Fish Fillet Every Time.
Two problems I frequently run into when preparing fish — it either sticks to the bottom of the skillet, or it falls apart as I’m transferring it from the skillet to the plate. The folks at The Catfish Institute recently introduced me to this neat little fool-proof trick that has become my new favorite kitchen hack.
Started by cutting down several pieces of aluminum foil into 9 x 12-inch rectangles. If you have parchment paper on hand, this will also work. Lay one of the pieces down flat and lightly coat one side with cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle one teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning over the coated side of the foil. Then spray it again with the cooking spray to hold the seasoning in place.
Gently place a fish fillet on one side of the foil. Carefully fold the other half of the foil over the fish. Pat the foil to get all the lemon pepper seasoning onto the fish. The fold up the edges of the foil.
How to Cook the Catfish Fillets
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. No need to coat the skillet with spray first. We are cooking the fillets right in their foil packets. Once the skillet is heated, add the fillets. I had to work in batches. The bottoms of the foil packets need to be touching the surface of the hot skillet, so I could only fit two fillets in the pan at a time.
Cook the fillets for seven minutes. I found I did not even have to flip the fish. As the fillets cook, steam trapped within the foil cooked the fish through entirely. The catfish was flavorful, flaky and not dry at all.
Leave the fillets in their foil packets to keep them warm as you cook the rest of the fish. Just before serving, unwrap the foil and transfer the fillets to a plate or eat them straight from the packet. No dishes to wash!
This hack would be great for preparing single serving meals for the freezer. In addition to lemon pepper seasoning, you could also try this BBQ Dry Rub that I used in my recipe for Blackened Catfish with Creole Sauce. Freeze the fillets in their foil packets and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
More Catfish Recipes:
- Blackened Catfish with Creole Sauce
- Southern Fried Catfish
- Cornbread and Shrimp Stuffed Catfish Fillets
- Sautéed Catfish Fillet with Creole Mustard Sauce
- Skillet Grilled Catfish
- Caprese Baked Catfish Fillets
Lemon Pepper Catfish Fillets
- 4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
- 4 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cut several pieces of aluminum foil or parchment paper into 9 x 12-inch rectangles.
- Lay each piece down flat and lightly coat one side with cooking spray.
- Lightly sprinkle one teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning over the coated side of the foil. Spray the foil or parchment paper again with the cooking spray to hold the seasoning in place.
- Gently place a fish fillet on one side of the foil. Carefully fold the other half of the foil over the fish. Pat the foil to get all the lemon pepper seasoning onto the fish. The fold up the edges of the foil.
- Working in batches, place the foil packets into the heated skillet. The bottom of the foil packets need to touch the bottom of the skillet, so be sure not to overcrowd the skillet.
- Cook the fish fillets for seven minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. You do not have the flip the fish.
- Remove the fish from the foil and serve.