Catfish Provençale Recipe from France with Tomatoes and Black Olives

Catfish Provençale

Catfish Provençale Recipe from France with Tomatoes and Black Olives
Region / culture: France | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Catfish Provençale
Catfish Provençale

Catfish Provençale is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines tender U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets with a savory tomato-based sauce infused with Mediterranean herbs and olives. This dish is easy to prepare and perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion.


Catfish Provençale is a variation of the classic French dish, Chicken Provençale. The Provençale region of France is known for its use of fresh herbs, tomatoes, and olives in cooking. This recipe takes inspiration from the traditional Provençale flavors and combines them with the mild and delicate taste of catfish.


How to prepare

  1. Dust the catfish fillets with flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Set the fillets aside on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Fry the fillets, two at a time, in the hot oil for 3 or 4 minutes on each side or until they easily flake when tested with a fork.
  5. Place the fried fillets on a serving platter and keep them warm.
  6. In the same skillet, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, tarragon, and thyme.
  7. Stir the wine and cornstarch together in a small bowl until well combined.
  8. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  9. Spoon the sauce over the fillets, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.


  • Substitute the catfish fillets with another type of white fish, such as tilapia or cod.
  • Add capers or sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce for extra flavor.
  • Use fresh basil or parsley instead of dried herbs for a brighter taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to dust the catfish fillets with flour before frying to create a crispy and golden crust.

- Fry the fillets in batches to ensure they cook evenly and maintain their texture.

- Use fresh herbs whenever possible for the best flavor.

- Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more herbs or spices if desired.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Catfish Provençale with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Frying the catfish fillets creates a crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender and flaky.

- Thickening the sauce with cornstarch helps to create a rich and velvety texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use olive oil instead of peanut oil for a different flavor profile.

- Replace the black olives with green olives or Kalamata olives for a unique twist.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat the sauce and fry the catfish fillets when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Catfish Provençale with fresh parsley or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for a pop of color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve Catfish Provençale with a glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, to complement the Mediterranean flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat the dish in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

280 per serving


15g per serving


12g per serving


25g per serving

Vitamins and minerals

Catfish is a good source of vitamins B12 and D, as well as minerals like selenium and phosphorus.


This recipe contains fish and gluten from the flour.


Catfish Provençale is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for a balanced diet.


Catfish Provençale is a delightful dish that combines the delicate flavor of catfish with the bold and aromatic flavors of the Provençale region. With a crispy exterior and a savory tomato-based sauce, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends. Enjoy this recipe for a taste of the Mediterranean right in your own home.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw this recipe for Catfish Provençale. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Marie in the south of France. Marie was an incredible cook, and she always seemed to effortlessly whip up the most delicious meals. On this particular day, she was preparing a dish that I had never tried before - Catfish Provençale.

As I watched her move around the kitchen with ease, chopping vegetables, sprinkling herbs, and searing the fish, I couldn't help but feel inspired. I asked her if she would teach me how to make the dish, and she happily agreed. She explained that Catfish Provençale was a traditional dish from the Provence region of France, known for its bold flavors and vibrant colors.

Marie guided me through the steps, showing me how to sauté onions and garlic until they were soft and fragrant. She then added diced tomatoes, olives, capers, and a splash of white wine to create a rich and savory sauce. The aromas that filled the kitchen were intoxicating, and I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish.

Once the sauce had simmered and the flavors had melded together, Marie gently placed the catfish fillets on top and allowed them to cook until they were tender and flaky. The final touch was a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, I took my first bite of Catfish Provençale and was immediately transported to the sun-soaked streets of Provence. The combination of the tender fish, tangy tomatoes, and briny olives was a revelation. I savored every bite, knowing that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen.

When I returned home from my trip, I was eager to recreate the flavors of Catfish Provençale for my family. I gathered all the ingredients and set to work, channeling Marie's guidance and expertise. As I chopped, sautéed, and simmered, I felt a connection to her and the culinary traditions of Provence.

When I finally served the dish to my family, their eyes lit up with excitement. They marveled at the vibrant colors and rich aromas, eagerly digging in to taste the flavors of the south of France. As they took their first bites, I knew that I had successfully captured the essence of Catfish Provençale.

Over the years, I have continued to make this recipe for Catfish Provençale, each time adding my own twist and flair. I have shared it with friends and family, passing on the tradition and flavors of Provence to those I love. And with each bite, I am reminded of that warm summer day in the south of France, when I first learned the magic of this delicious dish.

As I sit here now, recounting the story of how I came to know and love Catfish Provençale, I am filled with gratitude for the experience and memories that have shaped me as a cook. I am forever grateful to Marie for sharing her knowledge and passion with me, and for inspiring me to create meals that bring joy and connection to those around me.

And so, as I continue to cook and explore new recipes, I carry with me the lessons and flavors of Catfish Provençale, a dish that will always hold a special place in my heart and in my kitchen.


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