The Best Oven-Baked Catfish Mediterranean Style: Catfish Marbella

Beautiful in presentation, intense in flavors, and moderately easy to prepare, this baked catfish dish will impress your family and friends. Everyone gives it a resounding 5-star rating.

There is no way to adequately describe Catfish Marbella’s unique, incredible, and delicious Mediterranean flavors. Beautiful in presentation, intense in flavors, and moderately easy to prepare, this baked catfish dish will impress your family and friends. Everyone gives it a resounding 5-star rating.

John Woods and his guest, Beverly Montgomery, will lead you step-by-step through this baked Mediterranean-style fish recipe, proving that US pond-raised catfish is the most versatile and delicious fish.

John Woods is known as “Mr. Catfish” and is a recognized authority on the subject of cooking US Pond Raised-Catfish. His catfish cooking career has spanned more than three decades. He has cooked catfish and accompanying side dishes for tens of thousands of people across the United States and Canada through his catering company. His restaurants, featuring pond-raised catfish, were highly successful and his recipes are still in demand.

Woods’ series, Fifty Ways to Love a Catfish, is a comprehensive series on the “How to” of deep-frying fish, baking fish, broiling fish, searing fish, steaming fish, smoking fish, stewing fish, grilling fish, air-frying fish, oven fried fish, and even sous-vide of cooking this wonderful and versatile fish. Some have called this series: the video Bible” of cooking catfish.



Skill Level: Easy

Equipment Needed

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Kitchen spoon for stirring
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Skillet and spatula for turning fish fillets
  • Baking sheet (optional)
  • Small pan for dredging catfish fillets in flour


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup pitted Spanish green olives, sliced. About four slices per olive.
  • ½ cup of capers with about two tablespoons of juice
  • Six bay leaves
  • 1tablespoon of fresh, finely chopped garlic
  • ½ cup of fresh Oregano, chopped or ¼ cup of dried Oregano
  • Two tablespoons of Kosher salt. DO NOT use iodized salt.
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

4-6 catfish fillets

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, lightly salted and peppered
  • Cooking oil for pan searing the flour dredged catfish fillets
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, or add a little more to taste
  • Two tablespoons of finely chopped, flat-leaf parsley


  • Combine the first 11 (eleven) ingredients in a large bowl, thoroughly mixing until well blended. Taste and make appropriate adjustments.
  • Preheat the oven to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dredge the catfish fillets in lightly salted and peppered all-purpose flour until thoroughly coated
  • In a preheated skillet, add about two or three tablespoons of oil. After the oil gets hot, add fillets to the frying pan with the presentation side down (cooked first).
  • Do not overcrowd your skillet. You may need to cook in batches.
  • Once the fillets have been thoroughly browned on both sides, set them aside on a plate of the baking pan, be careful when handling the fillets that you do not break them.
  • Take the mixture of the 11 ingredients and pour it into the hot skillet used to cook the fish. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Deglaze the pan with the mixture.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and place the fillets with the presentation side up on the liquid.
  • Sprinkle the fillets lightly with dark brown sugar. This ingredient is essential to the overall flavor of the dish.
  • It creates balance with the acid and salt from the other ingredients.
  • If your skillet is not big enough for all of the fillets, place some of the liquid in another skillet, then place the appropriate number of fillets on top of the mixture. Using a large baking sheet instead of a skillet is acceptable.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the catfish fillets flake in the middle.
  • Baste the fillets with the pan juices about two or three times during the baking process.
  • Transfer the fillets to a warm serving platter and top with the remaining juices before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve with roasted vegetables.

Bonus Tips

  • It is essential that you gather all of your equipment and ingredients.
  • Slicing the olives and prunes enhances the flavor and texture of the dish
  • Using a baking sheet is probably the easiest method for baking if you are cooking more fillets than will comfortably fit in your frying skillet.

This dish is fabulous paired with a lovely Mediterranean salad and roasted vegetables.