These yummy Air Fryer Southern Fried Catfish Nuggets are the newest addition to our Weeknight Meal Plan repertoire. Three ingredients is all I used and we were quite pleased with the flavor and texture of these fried catfish nuggets.
This the first recipe, and I use that term loosely, that I am sharing which was prepared in my Air Fryer. I have cooked a few things in the Air Fryer so far and we have enjoyed all of it.
Also See: Air Fryer Cheesy Chicken Tenders recipe
Look how meaty and golden brown these Catfish Nuggets turned out. It is entirely possible that I may have nibbled on a few before I set the table for our meal.
I cooked the Catfish Nuggets at 380° for 17 minutes in my Air Fryer with no preheating.
We rarely ever fry food in our kitchen. I am a lazy cook who doesn’t enjoy cleaning up the mess. When we are in the mood for fish, we usually go out to eat. We know where all of the good local fish restaurants are!
Now that we know how good fish is when ‘fried’ in the Air Fryer, we have created our own Weeknight Fish and Shrimp Menu. Cooking at home is always cheaper on the budget and the Air Fryer makes the cooking and clean up easy!
Weeknight Fish and Shrimp Menu
- Air Fryer Catfish Nuggets
- Fried Shrimp
- Hush Puppies
- Homemade Creamy Cole Slaw
- Homestyle Oven Baked French Fries
As you can see the Catfish Nuggets look deep fried. They are the only thing on the plate which was not deep fried except of course the Cole Slaw.
We prefer Catfish Nuggets to whole Catfish because they become a finger food with much less bones to deal with. They are almost boneless but not quite so you still have to be careful. I bought our Catfish Nuggets is the seafood department at the grocery store.
Kitchen Tools Used for this Meal
Printable Recipe Below
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How many fish to add at one time?
I did not put too many Catfish Nuggets in the basket at one time to avoid overcrowding. They shrink while they are cooking so now I do realize that I can add more to shorten cook time for an entire meal.
The amount you add will depend on the size of your basket but it is okay to place them next to each other and get the basket very full because they do shrink while cooking.
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Skillet-vs-Air Fryer Basket
The truth of the matter is that a normal 10 to 12 inch skillet won’t really hold more than an Air Fryer Basket. If we were cooking a meal for a crowd, we would still have to cook in multiple batches using a skillet.
Only three ingredients are needed to make Southern Fried Catfish Nuggets in the Air Fryer.
- 2 lbs. Catfish Nuggets
- 1/4 Cup Oil
- 1 (10 oz. ) Box Fish Fry Mix (I used McCormick)
Rinse fish and set aside.
Pour half the box of Fish Fry Mix into a large Ziploc bag.
Add the Catfish Nuggets a few at a time into the bag with the fish fry mix.
Seal the bag and shake well to coat.
Using the tongs, remove the nuggets one at a time, shaking off excess batter.
Add the catfish nuggets to the basket of the Air Fryer. Follow the directions of your Air Fryer for filling the basket. Most say to leave a little room and don't over fill.
Pour the oil into a small bowl.
Dip your basting brush into the oil and Baste a small amount of oil onto the top of each catfish nugget. No need to baste both sides of the fish. We do not turn the fish over while cooking.
Turn the Air Fryer on to 380 and set timer for 17 minutes. Begin checking at about 12 minutes. (All Air Fryers do not cook the exact same.) I did not shake while cooking.
Remove from basket when done and drain on paper toweling.
Add the next batch to the basket and repeat. Total cooking time will depend on how many batches you do.
I used a Gourmia Digital Air Fryer for this meal.