Skip to main content

4 Red-Hot Recipes for Cold-Weather Crappie

When cold-weather crappie season is in full swing, there are a number of recipe ideas to help you enjoy those hard-earned slab fillets

4 Red-Hot Recipes for Cold-Weather Crappie
4 Red-Hot Recipes for Cold-Weather Crappie
Print Recipe

Here are a few recipes to help you turn a limit of cold-weather crappie into a red-hot dining experience.

Kevin VanDam's Fried Crappie

Skeeter's Fish Fry
Want to enjoy a great meal of fried crappie?
Then use Kevin VanDam's favorite mix, a light
fish fry batter made in Michigan.
(Photo courtesy of Kevin VanDam)

Kevin VanDam, also known as KVD, is the undisputed king of bass fishing, the so-called GOAT, or greatest of all-time to ever pick up a rod-and-reel.

But you probably already know that unless you've somehow been hiding under a rock for the past 20-plus years because in that span, KVD has won four Bassmaster Classics, seven BASS Angler-of-the-Year titles, an FLW Tour AOY title, two Major League Fishing Cups, 23 BASS tournament titles and more than $6 million in career earnings.

But when he's not fishing for bass, VanDam loves to fish for other species, including crappie near his Kalamazoo, Mich., home. And over the years, he's become fond of frying them up, KVD style.


What's his recipe? It's pretty simple, really, one that even a weekend warrior like yours truly can whip up after a day of crappie fishing.


"I just fry them in a Cajun-style fish fryer with Riceland fish fry oil," said VanDam. "And I batter the filets up in a local-made batter called Skeeters."

What's different about KVD's favorite batter mix versus the many others that are out there? Well, it's quite a bit lighter than many others are, something that the originator of the batter mix – former Michigan tournament angler Skeeter Warner – set out to do a number of years ago.

Is it good? If KVD says that it is good, well, you be the judge. By the way, if your local grocery or outdoor store doesn't carry KVD's favorite fish batter, you can check into it right here: http://www.skeetersbatteritup.com.

Chad LaChance's Coconut Fried Crappie

Chad LaChance Coconut Fried Crappie
For a hot meal with a tropical twist on a cold winter's night, give the Fishful Thinker's Coconut Fried Crappie recipe a try. (Photo courtesy of Chad LaChance)


Chad LaChance, host of WFN's popular show Fishful Thinker, might live in Colorado, but that doesn't mean that he's unfamiliar with the art of catching crappie. After all, he grew up in Florida and has fished in virtually every other corner of the country since as he continues his lifelong quest to learn more about fish and how to catch them.

He's quite handy in the kitchen as he preps dishes for the Camp Chef Somerset IV outdoor stove that graces his back deck in the foothills of the Centennial State.

So when I asked if he had a crappie recipe, LaChance said "You bet! It was originally done with bluegills on a show we did called Panfish Party, but it will certainly work for crappie too."


Here's the tasty recipe; one that will give you a tropical twist on a cold winter's day, straight from the Fishful Thinker (www.fishfulthinker.com) himself:

Ingredients:

  • Crappie filets
  • Corn starch
  • Eggs
  • Coconut flour
  • Flaked coconut
  • Panko
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Choice of cooking oil

Pina Colada Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • ¼ cup of flaked coconut
  • ¼ cup of Pina Colada mix

Prep and Cooking Instructions:

Filet the crappie and cut them into same size pieces. Coat the pieces in corn starch, then dip in egg wash.

Immediately roll the pieces in a mix of coconut flour, flaked coconut and Panko. For that mixture, try to use 1/3 each, or equal portions of each ingredient, plus add just a touch of salt and cayenne pepper.

Once pieces are breaded, you're ready to fry the crappie in 375-degree-F oil until they are browned, which should take about 2 minutes.

For the Pina Colada dipping sauce, mix of ½-cup of sour cream, ¼-cup of flaked coconut and ¼-cup of Pina Colada mix. Mix it all together, let it chill before you fry up the crappie and then enjoy.

This is a super tasty recipe!



The Pond Boss' Crappie Ceviche

Whitesboro, Texas, resident Bob Lusk has carved out a nice career over the years that has positioned him as one of the nation's premiere private-water fisheries biologists.

In his travels from coast-to-coast to help landowners develop, manage and enjoy the waters on their properties, Lusk has also had the chance to do a lot of fishing and to sample some of the best ways to prepare fish.

So when I asked Lusk for his best crappie recipe, he didn't blink for a second in telling me: "I've got one that I call Bob's Crappie Ceviche; it's my favorite ceviche recipe."

Here's the recipe, straight from The Pond Boss himself:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh crappie fillets
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 of a small yellow hot chili pepper, grated or finely minced (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of canned corn kernels
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley

Prep and Cooking Instructions:

Slice the fish fillets into strips about 1½ inches long and ¾ inches wide, but make them no thicker than 1/8 inch. Then place the fish in a bowl, pouring about 3/4 cup of lemon juice over the fish. Then mix it well.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for about one hour. Stir occasionally to let the marinade reach all of the pieces.

Meanwhile, prepare the other marinade by combining the remaining ¼ cup of lemon juice, the lime and the orange juices along with the ketchup, salt, onion and finely chopped red and green peppers. You want to reserve two slices of peppers for garnish, by the way.

Then add in the hot chili pepper, if you like, to give this an extra bite. Drain and toss out the first lemon marinade, covering the fish with the newly seasoned marinade. Use an airtight container and refrigerate all of this for four hours, turning the fish every hour.

After that, serve the ceviche over a bed of lettuce leaves on a chilled platter, including chopped vegetables. But be sure to drain most of the juice from the fish.

Garnish with sliced bell pepper circles, corn, chopped cilantro and parsley. Provide toothpicks for these 50 or so bite-size servings and enjoy a great way to prepare and eat crappie!

Casey Scanlon’s Crappie Tacos

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Scanlon has prowled the crappie-rich waters near his Lenexa, Kan., home for many years. And since Kansas and nearby Missouri are home to some great slab waters, it's no surprise Scanlon has a favorite way to enjoy a limit of sac au laits.

"I like to make crappie tacos after a good crappie trip," said Scanlon. "They are pretty simple to prepare, since you just fry them up with your regular fish batter. The only difference is that you want to add in some taco seasoning to the batter before rolling the fillets in it. Personally, I like the Andres seasoning. Just dip the fillet into either an egg wash or milk, then batter up the fillets and fry. Then serve the fried crappie in soft tortillas with lettuce and some sort of topping like pico de gallo."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?5 Great Lures For Bluegills Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time.10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers Striper & Hybrid

3 Proven Bait Rigs for Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use these proven bait rigs for stripers.

See More Trending Articles

More Fish

Award-winning chef Rob McDaniel pairs fresh pompano with some pickled peppers and toasted breadcrumbs for a little smoky goodness with just the right amount of sweet heat.Pompano with Pickled Peppers Recipe The Grill

Pompano with Pickled Peppers Recipe

Lynn Burkhead

Award-winning chef Rob McDaniel pairs fresh pompano with some pickled peppers and toasted...

If you're looking for a tasty, yet quick and easy meal, this Baked Margarita Walleye Recipe is the way to go.Baked Margarita Walleye Recipe Fish

Baked Margarita Walleye Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

If you're looking for a tasty, yet quick and easy meal, this Baked Margarita Walleye Recipe is...

For an original, Asian-inspired meal, try this quick and easy recipe for fried crappie with a soy, ginger and orange sauce.Crappie with Soy, Ginger and Orange Sauce Recipe Fish

Crappie with Soy, Ginger and Orange Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

For an original, Asian-inspired meal, try this quick and easy recipe for fried crappie with a...

Serve this Homemade Crappie Patties Recipe with a homemade garlic-butter sauce.Homemade Crappie Patties Recipe Fish

Homemade Crappie Patties Recipe

Raschell Rule

Serve this Homemade Crappie Patties Recipe with a homemade garlic-butter sauce.

See More Fish

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now