A sophisticated twist on a Southern classic – Our grits-crusted catfish packs the satisfying crunch of perfectly pan-fried catfish paired with the fresh, vibrant flavors of grape tomatoes, basil and lemon.  

Serves 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


Photo is of raw ingredients

  • 2 Heartland Catfish Fillets 
  • 2 Eggs 
  • 2 Tablespoons Water 
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste 
  • ¾ Cup Yellow Grits 
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil, reserve 1 Tablespoon 
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved lengthwise 
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced 
  • ¼ Cup Basil, sliced, reserve 1 Tablespoon for garnish 
  • 1 Lemon, sliced  
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Capers 

Begin by beating eggs and 2 tablespoons of water and placing in a shallow dish long enough to fit the catfish fillet. In a separate shallow dish or plate, combine grits, salt and pepper and seasoning of your choice and place alongside the egg mixture.

Photo is of catfish fillet dipped in egg mixture

Pat catfish fillets dry with paper towels. Dip the catfish fillet in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Let the excess egg mixture drip off the fillet.

Photo is of catfish fillet dipped in grit mixture

Place the fillet in the grits mixture, allowing it to rest for 1-2 minutes on each side. Using your hands, gently pat the grits on all sides of the fillet to ensure complete coverage. Repeat with second fillet.

Photo is of cast iron skillet being heated

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium flame.

Photo is of catfish fillet being added to cast iron skillet

When the oil is shimmering, carefully place fillet in skillet one at a time.

Photo is of cooked catfish fillet in the cast iron skillet

Allow fillet to cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove fillets to a wire rack to maintain crispiness of crust. Wipe skillet clean.

Photo is of tomatoes added to cast iron skillet

Add reserved tablespoon of oil to skillet over medium flame. When oil is shimmering, add tomatoes to the skillet, cooking until they start to wilt and blister.

Photo is of garlic, basil, capers and lemon added to the skillet

Add chopped garlic, basil, capers and lemon slices to the skillet.

Photo is of caramelized vegetables

Cook until lemon starts to caramelize.


Photo is an overhead shot of plated dish

Serve fillets topped with tomato mixture and garnish with remaining fresh chopped basil.

Photo is a closeup of plated dish

This recipe was inspired by Grits-Crusted Catfish from the March/April 2018 issue of Taste of the South Magazine.