The best way to kick off any party or gathering is with a show-stopping appetizer. This cheesy catfish bread recipe is certainly a crowd pleaser.  And the best part is, this recipe works perfectly with both fresh and frozen fillets. 

This recipe was developed in conjunction with the Viking Cooking School.   

Serves 12

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


    • 4 5-7 oz Heartland Catfish Fillets
    • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
    •  ¼ cup onion, chopped
    •  ¼ cup celery, chopped
    • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ½ teaspoon liquid crab boil
    • 16 oz cream cheese
    • ½ cup mayonnaise
    • ½ cup ounces black olives, chopped
    • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 loaf French bread

To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

MELT 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan. Add onions, celery and bell pepper and sauté until almost translucent, 5 min. Add garlic and sauté 1 min. Remove from heat.

MELT the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the crab boil. Lay the catfish in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Brush with the butter mixture.


BAKE at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until flaky.

MIX cream cheese, mayonnaise, onion mixture, olives, mozzarella and ¾ cup of the shredded cheddar in a stand mixer. Add parsley, salt and pepper. Flake catfish and gently fold into cheese mixture. Add parsley, salt and pepper. Flake catfish and gently fold into cheese mixture.


CUT the bread in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Spread the catfish mixture on each cut half. Top with remaining ¾ cup of cheddar.

BAKE for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into individual slices and serve immediately