Crispy 20-Minute Air Fryer Southern Catfish Nuggets Recipe by 30Seconds Food

Seafood Dinner Appetizers
3 months ago

Crispy 20-Minute Air Fryer Southern Catfish Nuggets Recipe

Catfish is a southern thing. The bottom-dwelling fish with long whiskers (thus the name) is often coated in a cornmeal crust and deep fried. Catfish nuggets are simply smaller pieces of the fish that you can pop into your mouth or dip into a creamy sauce. This easy air fryer fish recipe is the perfect recipe for busy weeknight dinners or during lent.

This fish recipes starts with cutting catfish into 1-inch pieces. A dredging station is made by putting flour and cornmeal into one bowl and beaten eggs into another bowl. The fish is tossed with garlic powder and lemon juice to give it some added flavor. The fish nuggets take a dip into the flour-cornmeal mixture and then into the eggs, then back into the flour mixture. The catfish is then air fried for about 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes.

Serve these crunchy fish nuggets with remoulade sauce, creamy Old Bay remoulade sauce, ranch, Cajun dipping sauce, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce for lunch, dinner or as an appetizer.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound catfish, cut into 1-inch pieces (or your favorite fish)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

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Recipe Notes

  • You could substitute cod for the catfish. 

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper, to taste, in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. 
  3. Put the fish into a bowl and add salt, pepper, the lemon juice and garlic powder. Toss to coat. 
  4. Dredge the fish into the flour-cornmeal, then into the egg, then again into the cornmeal mixture. Put the fish into an air fryer basket that's been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Mist the tops of the fish lightly with the cooking spray. 
  5. Bake for about 5 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily. 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 227

Total Fat: 9.1g

Saturated Fat: 2.7g

Cholesterol: 206mg

Sodium: 150mg

Total Carbohydrate: 22.3g

Dietary Fiber: 1.6g

Total Sugars: 1.1g

Protein: 13.4g

Vitamin D: 18mcg

Calcium: 42mg

Iron: 2mg

Potassium: 236mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Love fried catfish! Great idea to air fry it. 😍
Cornmeal and catfish are a great flavor combo. This recipe is delicious!

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