Baked crappie

Crappie fishing is a favorite late-winter and early-spring pastime in the South.

The crappie is a white-flesh fish caught in lakes and ponds. The meat is not easily frozen, so it is best cooked fresh.

If you do decide to freeze it, I recommend it be vacuum-packed and not frozen in water. Only freeze fillets, not scaled fish. If your only option is to freeze it in water, dissolve a little salt in the water first. This will firm up the meat a little, so that when it thaws, it is not so mushy.

Crappie tends to be a very mild fish in taste and lends itself very well to casseroles and stews. It is best fried or baked.


  • 6 fresh crappie, scaled, gutted and headless
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 half lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp Cajun spice
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary


First, score each fish on both sides (make small cuts in each fish across the skin,  to the bone) Coat the bottom of an ovenproof pan with cooking spray. Place crappie in pan, pour melted butter over fish and sprinkle with all spices. Bake in a 400-degree oven until the fish is done, about 20 minutes. The meat should flake easily with a fork and pull away from the bone. When you remove fish from the oven, squeeze the fresh lemon liberally on fish. Place the rosemary sprig on the fish. Serve immediately.

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