Baked Stuffed Catfish Fillets

Fish fillets filled with bread stuffing
Juanmonino / Getty Images
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Cream cheese and herbs flavor the bread stuffing for these catfish fillets. The fillets are stuffed, rolled, and then wrapped in strips of bacon and baked to perfection.

Feel free to vary the stuffing with the addition of chopped shrimp, crabmeat, or lobster.


  • 4 catfish fillets (fresh or frozen and thawed, about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For the Stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon celery (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (fresh and soft)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese (light, softened)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (more or less as needed)

Steps to Make It

  1. Lightly grease a baking dish.

  2. Season fish with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

  4. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of drippings from the skillet. Add the chopped celery and onion and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 2 to 4 minutes.

  5. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked celery and onion with the bread crumbs, cream cheese, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, parsley, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  6. Divide stuffing into four equal portions. Place 1 portion of stuffing on end of each fillet. Roll fish fillets around stuffing. 

  7. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each rolled catfish fillet. If desired toothpicks to secure the stuffed fish rolls.

  8. Arrange the catfish rolls in a lightly greased baking dish and sprinkle with paprika.

  9. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

  10. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

The fish is good with rice or roasted potatoes and broccoli, or serve it with cauliflower rice and peas.

Tips and Variations

  • Add 1/2 cup or more of flaked crabmeat or lobster to the stuffing mixture.
  • Sole, flounder, or similar white fish fillets may be used instead of catfish.