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+ servings
3 golden crusted fish fillets garnished with lemon wedges and parsley leaves.

Crispy Air Fryer Catfish

Healthy, crispy, and delicious Air Fryer catfish cooked quickly and conveniently. Seasoned with flavorful cajun spice and coated with a golden cornmeal crust. An easy 30-minute meal!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Soak Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 3 people
Calories 362 kcal



  • 3 fillets catfish about 1.25 lbs, cleaned, skinned and deboned
  • 1 cup milk or substitute with buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice omit if you have buttermilk
  • ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1.5 tablespoon Louisiana Cajun Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • In a large shallow container, combine milk and lemon (or buttermilk). Add catfish fillets making sure it is submerged in the milk mixture. Let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • In a large plate, add cornmeal, flour, and pepper. Combine well.
  • When fish is done soaking, shake off excess milk coating then season each side evenly with cajun seasoning.
  • Dredge each fillet into the cornmeal mixture, making sure to coat each side evenly. Place coated fillets on a plate and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
  • When the air fryer is HOT, spray the top side of the fillets with oil. Place the fillets face down into the air fryer basket. Make sure the fillets are in a single layer, a little overlap is okay. Cook in batches as needed.
  • Airfry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • After 10 minutes, check if the coating is crispy to your liking or if your fillets are thicker, add 5-10 minutes more. Remove filets carefully with a spatula when done.


  • Keeps well overnight in an airtight container. To heat up, preheat the air fryer to 400 Farenheit for 10 minutes and air fry for 5-6 minutes. You’ll achieve a crispy crust!
  • I found that there is no need to flip the catfish when air frying. 
  • Make sure your air fryer basket, tray, and pan are clean, residual oils and crumbs may smoke up the air fryer. 
  • Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your fillets as well as different air fryer models and sizes. Adjust cooking time accordingly.


Serving: 3peopleCalories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 35gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 112mgPotassium: 881mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1941IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 3mg
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