Catfish Head Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup sliced andouille sausage
  • 1 tablespoon fish stock concentrate or 2 cups seafood stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained, such as Ro-Tel
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dark roux, such as Rox's Roux
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 pounds catfish heads
  • 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice, such as Supreme
  • ½ cup green onion tops
  1. In a cast-iron pot with lid over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, and bell peppers, and sauté until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, and sausage, and cook for 3 minutes. Dissolve the fish stock concentrate in 2 cups of cold water and add to the pot. Add the wine, along with the tomatoes, Ro-Tel, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the roux and bay leaves. Season with salt, white pepper, cayenne, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Toss in the lemon slices. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes on the stovetop.
  3. Uncover and stir, and using the edge of the spoon, break up any large pieces of whole tomato. Add the catfish heads and cover them in the sauce. Let cook on simmer for another 30 minutes.
  4. Lift the lid and inspect to make sure the catfish is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. If not, let it cook another 10 to 15 minutes until done. Sample the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  5. Serve in bowls over cooked white rice and garnish with green onion tops. Serve with crusty French bread and hot sauce on the side.
If catfish heads are unavailable where you live, feel free to substitute thick-cut fillets, steaks, or whole catfish (skinned and cleaned). Feel free to use a store-bought roux or make your own with Rox's Roux recipe here.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at