7 Delicious Panfish Recipes That Aren’t Fried

Picture this: you just got back from a successful fishing trip, with an abundance of panfish, and you can’t wait to cook up a scrumptious feast for family and friends. But, let’s be real, fried fish can become a bit monotonous, even when it’s fresh from your local lake.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Feast your eyes on these 7 mouthwatering panfish recipes that taste as good as fried dishes, with the added benefit of being healthier for you.

To help all the panfish enthusiasts out there, we’ve compiled a list of delightful dishes that skip the deep-fat frying method while still delivering incredible taste. Instead of settling for the same fried fare, try out these baked, sautéed, and grilled options to add variety to your culinary adventures. Keep reading to discover fabulous recipes that are sure to be a hit with your dining companions, your taste buds, and your arteries.

After all, life is short, so why not savor delicious panfish in a multitude of ways? Read on to explore these 7 extraordinary recipes that will never make you look at panfish the same way again.

Recipe 1: BBQ Grilled Panfish


  • 4 panfish fillets (any variety)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Season the panfish fillets with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, and beer.
  4. Brush the fillets with the sauce mixture, reserving some for basting during grilling.
  5. Grill the fillets for about 2-3 minutes per side, basting with the remaining sauce as needed. Cook until the fish flakes easily and is opaque.

Recipe 2: Pecan-Crusted Baked Panfish


  • 4 panfish fillets (any variety)
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a shallow dish, mix chopped pecans, panko breadcrumbs, and fresh thyme.
  3. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, then brush them with melted butter.
  4. Press the fillets into the pecan mixture, coating both sides.
  5. Place the coated fish on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until fillets flake easily.

Recipe 3: Herb-Marinated Panfish Skewers


  • 1-pound panfish fillets (any variety), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add panfish cubes to the bowl and stir to coat. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Thread the marinated fish onto skewers, four to six pieces per skewer.
  5. Grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes per side or until the fish is cooked through.
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Recipe 4: Lemon-Dijon Panfish en Papillote


  • 4 panfish fillets
  • 8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Prepare 4 pieces of parchment paper, approximately 12×12 inches each.
  3. Place one panfish fillet and two asparagus spears on each piece of parchment.
  4. Top each fillet with lemon slices, a dollop of Dijon mustard, and minced garlic.
  5. Season the fillets with salt and pepper.
  6. Fold the parchment to create a sealed packet, enclosing the fish and asparagus.
  7. Bake packets for 12-15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Recipe 5: Balsamic-Glazed Panfish with Ratatouille


For the Ratatouille:

  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Panfish:

  • 4 panfish fillets
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ratatouille ingredients for 8-10 minutes, until softened. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard. Simmer for 5-7 minutes until slightly thickened.
  4. Place the panfish on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Brush the fillets with the balsamic glaze and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
  6. Serve the panfish atop the ratatouille, drizzling with any remaining balsamic glaze.
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Panfish doesn’t always need to be fried to be delicious. These 7 delightful recipes offer a fantastic variety of flavors and preparation methods that will leave you craving more. Don’t be afraid to venture into new culinary territory and indulge in these mouthwatering panfish dishes.


Q: What types of panfish are suitable for these recipes?
A: Any panfish variety, such as crappie, bluegill, sunfish, or perch, are great for these dishes. Choose the variety based on availability and personal preference.

Q: Can I use frozen panfish for these recipes?
A: Yes, you can use frozen panfish, but ensure it is properly thawed and patted dry before use.

Q: How do I know when the panfish is cooked properly?
A: Panfish is considered cooked when it flakes easily with a fork and appears opaque.

Q: Can I adapt these recipes to other types of fish?
A: Absolutely, Feel free to substitute other types of fish, such as tilapia, cod, or trout, according to your preference.

Q: How should I store leftover panfish dishes?
A: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

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