This Pineapple Honey Bourbon Grilled Catfish Recipe makes a simple yet flavorful summer grilled fish recipe made with just a few ingredients! The honey bourbon marinade adds plenty of flavor turning catfish into something special! It’s easy enough for work days but nice enough for weekend entertaining!
We are talking fresh from the Mississippi delta catfish that we pick up from a farm when we visit my grandparents. We are that serious about catfish. And we fry it to golden brown spiced perfection for all to feast on.
Because we are so used to fried catfish and even my oven fried catfish, it was difficult to introduce a grilled catfish recipe to my family. However, the words pineapple honey bourbon definitely made them change their minds pretty quickly.
The two secrets in this grilled catfish recipe are the marinade and the foil packets. All the amazing flavor of the marinade infuses the fish and the foil packet keeps it inside, surrounding the fish during the cooking process. It also steams the fish from the inside resulting in lots of moist tender flakiness.
Why You’ll Love This Grilled Catfish in Foil
- Great flavor! Grilled catfish recipes are a dime a dozen but this one is seriously one of the most flavorful catfish dishes I have ever had.
- Healthier catfish recipe! This grilled fish recipe is much healthier and leaner than frying it! counterpart.
- Only a handful of ingredients! It doesn’t take much to really let the flavor of the fish stand out.
- Perfectly moist fish. You will never need to worry about dry fish when you cook with a foil packet, and they couldn’t be easier to create.
Ingredients to Make This Grilled Catfish Recipe
Just a quick 30-minute marinade of a few simple ingredients is all you need to penetrate and infuse the fish. Here’s a look at what you need to have on hand to make this recipe.
- Catfish fillets: Choose even-sized fish fillets so they all cook in about the same amount of time.
- Marinade: We’re using Lawry’s Honey Bourbon Marinade as the perfect foundation for starting this recipe. It’s packed with so many additional ingredients like garlic, so you don’t have to add much to really take this over the edge. The essences of this marinade pair perfectly with the mildness of the catfish.
- Crushed pineapple with juice: Adds fruity flavor to the catfish along with marinade creating a flavorful dish. Using canned pineapple allows you to make this recipe year-round but you can cut up fresh pineapple if it is in season. The pineapple is a lovely compliment to the honey bourbon.
- Seasoning and spices: Seasoned salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper bring all the flavors together.
How to Make Grilled Catfish
In this recipe, I simply used heavy duty foil to fold over the catfish fillets creating somewhat of a fort. Next, I added the ingredients and closed the packets so all the goodness and flavors stayed inside.
Here’s a look at the main steps but you can check the details in the recipe card before getting started.
- Add the honey bourbon marinade along with crushed pineapple and juice to a large plastic bag. Give it a shake in order to blend all the ingredients together.
- Add the catfish to the plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While the fish marinates, you can prepare the grill outside.
- Place each catfish fillet in the center of the pieces of foil. Season them with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. Lastly, add a tablespoon of the leftover marinade to the top of each filet.
- Fold up sides of the foil so that each piece of fish is sealed completely. Keep it in the shape of a loose tent, leaving a small gap for steam release.
- Add the fish in the foil tents to the grill and cover. Grill for 20-25 minutes or until fish is opaque, tender and flakey.
PRO TIP: The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the size and thickness of your catfish fillets.
Tips for Making the Best Catfish in Foil
- Too cold outside for grilling? Pop it in the oven when the weather gets cooler.
- Allow the fish to marinate. It doesn’t need long, just 30 minutes but it tastes so much better when you give the marinade time to infuse the fish.
- Don’t wrap the catfish up tightly. You want to tent the top of the foil up and over the fish to allow for steam to form inside the foil which will gently steam the fish.
- Cook just until the fish is flaky and opaque to keep it plenty moist and delicious!
Popular Substitutions & Additions
- Use a different kind of fish. Tilapia, flounder and cod will also work great with this catfish marinade for grilling and also the foil packet method.
- Swap the fish for shrimp. Place 6-8 shrimp, depending on the size in each foil packet and cook on the grill. Adjust the cooking time about 10 minutes.
- Add some veggies. You can also add some chopped veggies such as onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes to the packet along with the fish. They will cook up tender along with the fish.
What to Serve with Catfish in Foil
- Serve these grilled catfish fillets with my mama’s fried corn and fried green tomatoes for a lovely Southern summer meal.
- Add a grain such as dirty rice or jollof rice. If potatoes are more your thing we love this baked potato salad.
- Don’t forget dessert. In the summer peach pie ice cream or a pina colada smoothie make a refreshing end to any meal.
How to Store & Reheat Grilled Catfish
Store leftovers once they’re fully cooled in an airtight container. For best results, keep the fish inside the packet.
To reheat, return the fish in the foil packet to a baking tray and heat in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350° F or until heated through. Alternatively, you can also enjoy this fish leftover cold with a salad.
How long will grilled catfish last in the fridge?
Grilled catfish will last in the fridge for up to three days when stored properly.
Can I freeze catfish marinade for grilling?
Yes, you can! Store it in a freezer safe container or bag for up to two months. Thaw it out in the fridge before reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most commonly catfish is deep fried but it actually works great pan-fried, grilled, and baked.
Catfish will flake easily with a fork and the inside will opaque white rather than pink and glassy.
When I first made this grilled catfish, I figured it would be difficult to convince my family to try it. Old habits die hard.
However, they absolutely adored it!! We just might be turning a few of our family fish fries into fish grills in the near future. I hope you and your family enjoy as much as we do!
More Great Grilling Recipes
Looking for more grilling inspiration, I think you’ll love these!
- Grilled Ribeye Steak with Tequila Glaze
- Grilled Proscuitto Arugula Pizza
- Tequila Lime Chicken
- Carne Asada
- Skirt Steak Marinade with Chimichurri
*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!* Post a photo of how your version of the recipe came out on Instagram (using #grandbabycakes)!!
Pineapple Honey Bourbon Grilled Catfish
- Add honey bourbon marinade along with crushed pineapple and juice to a large plastic bag and shake to blend well. Add catfish to the plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare grill.
- Cut off pieces of foil for each fillet. Place each fillet in center of individual foil pieces then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Next add both paprika and cayenne to a small bowl and whisk together. Evenly sprinkle on all fillets.
- Lastly add a tablespoon of the leftover marinade to the top of each filet then fold up sides of foil so that each is sealed completely creating a loose tent but leaving a small gap for steam release.
- Once the grill is hot, add foil tents to the grill and cover.
- Depending on the thickness of your fillets, grill for 20-25 minutes or until fish is opaque, tender and flakey.