Fish & Hush Puppy Skillet with Ketchup Tartar Sauce

Lunch / Dinner

Fish & Hush Puppy Skillet with Ketchup Tartar Sauce

Turn a traditional Southern duo — catfish and hush puppies — into a one-dish dinner fit to feed the whole family and then some. A southern “delicacy,” hush puppies are deep-fried cornmeal dumplings served with ketchup or tartar sauce. With this recipe try both in one sauce.

Hit any rural restaurant in the southern United States on a Friday night and you’ll probably find all-you-can-eat fried catfish and hush puppies on the menu. But all that frying takes preparation, is more than a little messy, and isn’t going to fall into the healthy dinner category. With this skillet meal, you can skip the fryer full of grease and achieve the same crispy coating with just a few tablespoons of oil.

Instead, you’ll sear lightly coated fillet pieces in hot oil and top them (no flipping required) with a thinner-than-usual hush puppy batter that resembles cornbread batter. The heat from the cast-iron skillet, plus the hot oil, creates the same crispy crust of individual hush puppies without having to stand over a fryer, frying batches and batches. With this skillet meal, you get one big hush puppy “cake” in just minutes.


10 servings

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tip

Look for a fish-fry coating that’s cornmeal based and used for dredging rather than for batterdipping. You’ll find them near the other crusting or coating options in the baking aisle.


Preheat oven to 450°.

For the hush puppy, combine cornmeal mix, scallions, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Whisk together beer, buttermilk, and egg; stir into cornmeal mixture.

For the fish, heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet until it shimmers.

Dredge each fish piece in fish-fry mix, then fry, on only one side, in hot oil, 2 minutes.

Pour hush puppy batter over fish in skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until hush puppy is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 minutes. Let hush puppy rest 5 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife. Top skillet with a serving plate, and flip both the plate and skillet over together quickly. (Use caution, skillet will still be very hot.)

For the sauce, whisk together ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, and horseradish.


Dredging the fish in the fry mix forms a crispy coating and makes seasoning the fish unnecessary.


The batter is thin so it will cover and fill the areas between the fish. There’s no need to spread it.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 306

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 15g 23%

Saturated Fat 2g 10%

Cholesterol 42mg 14%

Sodium 879mg 36%

Carbs 29g 9%

Fiber 2g 8%

Protein 11g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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