Classic Pan Fried Crappie & Pan Seared Crappie Recipe

Pan Fried Crappie
Pan Fried Crappie

Pan Fried Crappie

Anyone that has ever caught and cooked a crappie knows just how delicious a panfish they are. In fact, crappie is one of the most popular freshwater gamefish in North America, with countless anglers reeling in these delicious fish throughout the year.

The fact that crappie tastes good is only one of the reasons they are so popular to fish – they also happen to be great fun to catch. Of course, everyone that catches crappie knows just how delicious they taste when pan-fried, and there are several different ways to prepare this classic crappie dish.

Check out some pan-fried crappie recipes below!

Classic Pan Fried Crappie


  • 6 Crappie filets
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Potato

Start by fileting your crappie and then soaking them overnight in salt water. This helps to keep the meat of the fish nice and tender for cooking when caught fresh, otherwise, the meat can go soft and mushy if not soaked in salt water!

Place the crappie filets into a glass bowl and pour in the buttermilk and generously coat each filet. Cover the bowl and allow the filets to soak for a few hours in the refrigerator for between 2 to 4 hours.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and garlic powder into a smaller bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Take out the crappie from the refrigerator and dip each fillet into the flour mixture, giving a generous coating for each filet.

Heat the vegetable into a large skillet, heating to 350 degrees. Ensure the pan is deep enough to completely submerge each filet in oil.

Dip the filets into the skillet and fry for a few minutes on each side – only fry 2-3 at a time to ensure the oil doesn’t overspill.

Once fried for a few minutes remove the crappie from the skillet and place on a paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil.

Garnish with a slice of lemon and enjoy!

Pan Seared Crappie


  • 6 crappie filets
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Potato

While pan fried crappie are unquestionably delicious, there are other frying methods worth a try, including this pan-seared crappie recipe. It’s much lighter than pan fried and really brings out the rich flavour of the crappie meat.

Start by fileting the crappie before soaking them overnight in salt water if caught fresh – which hopefully most of you have done!

Once left overnight, remove the filets from the saltwater. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter into a heavy skillet over a high heat, allowing it to just begin to caramelise before reducing the heat to medium.

Cook the crappie in the skillet, sticking to 2-3 at a time for the best results. Cook for a few minutes on either side, turning several times if necessary.

You want the meat to take on a flaky texture – always monitor it to ensure it doesn’t overcook!

Once cooked, garnish the crappie with sliced lemon and fresh parsley!


Leave a Comment