Dolly Parton’s Pan-Fried Catfish

READY IN: 20mins
Recipe by Julesong

In this recipe from From “Dolly´s Dixie Fixin´s,” she says “There was always catfish at the all day singing gatherings and it was mostly pan-fried.” She suggests you serve this delicious and simply-prepared catfish with hush puppies, corn on the cob, and cole slaw.

Top Review by Marsha D.

Wonderful southern fried catfish, best I have made! :) My fillets were pretty thick so I fried them longer than what this recipe called for. The shortening really makes a difference when frying fish or french fries even. Thank you for sharing one of Dolly's recipes :)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the catfish fillets in cold water and pat dry.
  2. Melt enough lard or shortening in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat to reach 3/4-inch deep.
  3. While the lard/shortening is melting, pour the cornmeal into a large, shallow plate or dish.
  4. Season both sides of the catfish fillets (remember to pat them dry, first) with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the cornmeal and shake off any excess.
  5. When the melted fat is hot but not smoking, carefully slide the fillets into the pan (careful not to splatter, and don’t crowd the pan because you want the fish to fry and not steam). Fry the fish in batches if necessary.
  6. Fry the fillets about 4 minutes per side, until crisp and golden brown.
  7. Put paper towels on a platter and transfer the fried fillets to the platter with a slotted spatula or spoon.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite catfish sauce (tartar, cocktail, etc). Make sure to have plenty of napkins, hush puppies, corn on the cob, and coleslaw, too!
  9. Makes 6 servings.

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