Beer Battered Catfish

Beer Battered Catfish Dinner – Tex/Mex Style

How about a Tex-Mex style Beer Battered Catfish dinner, complete with tortilla chips, salsa, and beer? It might sound far-fetched, but give this crunchy and spicy catfish a try.


The fresh catfish fillets are marinated in a mixture of beer and lime juice, with a few spicy ingredients thrown in. Then it’s coated in a mixture of crushed tortilla chips and cornmeal and baked until flaky and crunchy.

Your favorite style salsa is stirred into hot melted cheese and spooned over the baked fish as a finishing touch.

Customize the spices and adjust the heat as preferred by your family, then sit back and accept the accolades!

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Queso Catfish - Beer Battered Catfish Recipe
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Southern fried catfish with a twist! A really different catfish dinner that your family will love. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 195 kcal
  • 4 fillets 6 ounces each fresh catfish
  • 1 cup tortilla chips finely crushed
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup beer regular or light
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 ounces processed cheese such as Velveeta, cubed
  • ¼ cup salsa spicy or mild, your choice
  1. Combine the ¼ cup lime juice with the beer, then add the chopped cilantro and jalapeno.
  2. Put the catfish fillets in a shallow dish or glass baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Turn the fish to make sure they are completely coated. Cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray or a little olive oil.
  4. Combine the cornmeal and crushed tortilla chips. Stir in the kosher salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder and the ground cumin.
  5. In a separate shallow dish, combine the 2 tablespoons lime juice with the olive oil.
  6. Remove the catfish from the marinade and shake it to remove any excess. Discard the marinade.
  7. Dip each fillet first in the lime juice and oil mixture, then press them firmly in the tortilla chip and cornmeal mixture. Lay the fillets in the prepared baking dish side by side.
  8. Bake the catfish in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The thickness of the fillets will determine the total cooking time, so check the fish after 25 minutes to see if it flakes easily with a fork.
  9. While the fish is cooking, heat a small saucepan and combine the salsa and the cubed cheese. Stir the mixture until it melts.
  10. When the fish has finished cooking put 1 fillet on each dinner plate and spoon some of the cheese and salsa sauce over each portion. Serve Beer Battered Catfish hot.

Food For Thought – Some people like more Mex than Tex – you can spice up the queso by putting the minced jalapeno in the melted cheese rather than the marinade. You can also save some of the cilantro as a garnish over the melted cheese just before serving.

Good To Know – If you have cheese other than Velveeta on hand, use that instead. Cheddar, Jack or Monterey Jack can be diced and melted in a little milk over a low flame. Stir it regularly to keep it from sticking, then stir in the salsa.

Jazz it up and make it your recipe! Enjoy this Beer Battered Catfish.

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