Catfish in parchment paper with olive tapenade

Southern Kitchen
Catfish in Parchment Paper with Olive Tapenade

About the recipe

Cooking meals in a parchment paper pouch (or aluminum foil if origami isn’t your thing) is great for convenience, but it also allows all the flavors inside to come together as they gently cook. One of the benefits of using catfish is that it’s almost impossible to overcook in a moist environment, so all you really need to check for doneness are the potatoes. To save time, make the tapenade while the fish cooks.

Serves: 2

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes



1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup store-bought basil pesto sauce

2 tablespoons capers

3 anchovy fillets


3 large red potatoes, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into rings

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

10 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves only

2 large catfish fillets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, sliced into wheels

4 tablespoons white wine


To make the tapenade: Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until olives have completely broken down, but mixture is still slightly chunky.

To make the fish:  Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place two large pieces of parchment paper on a work surface.

Evenly divide potatoes among each piece of parchment, placing them on one side of the paper while still leaving 3 inches of space. Top potatoes with layers of pepper, onion, tomatoes and parsley. Season catfish with salt and pepper, and place fish on top of vegetables. Scatter butter around fish and vegetables, then drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon slices. Fold edges of parchment together to form a seal and crimp to completely enclose. Before package is fully sealed, add white wine to each package, then seal completely.

Place on a baking sheet and bake until potatoes are soft and fish is cooked through. Tear open each package and spoon some of the olive tapenade over each piece of fish. Serve immediately.