Catfish Sloppy Joe Sliders

Catfish Sloppy Joe Sliders

This recipe takes a childhood classic and transforms it into something deliciously unexpected. Catfish sloppy joe sliders

Catfish Sloppy Joe Sliders 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Rick MoonenPublished

Rick Moonen suggests you choose (or make) a not too smoky, fairly simple, tomato-based barbecue sauce without much vinegar.

Catfish Sloppy Joe Sliders


  • 1 ¼ pound cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 1 carrot (finely shredded)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning catfish)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 8 ounce skinless catfish fillet (cut into ½‑inch chunks)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 small onion (diced) about 3/4‑cup
  • 1 small green bell pepper (seeded and diced) about 3/4‑cup
  • 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (either homemade or store bought, see note)
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
  • 8 soft slider buns
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (sliced) choose tomato size to fit buns


Prepare the cole slaw: Combine shredded cabbage and carrot in a large bowl; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice and vinegar until well blended; toss with vegetables. Cover and chill until ready to use. This recipe makes more than you need to top these sliders. It will keep refrigerated about 3 days.

Prepare the sloppy Joe mixture: Season the catfish with salt. Heat a medium non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is quite hot, add the oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the catfish and cook, stirring often, until the fish is opaque. Add the barbecue sauce and lower heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes.

Assemble the sliders: Brush melted butter on the slider tops and bottoms. Lightly toast them, buttered-side down, in a hot skillet. 

Lay the buns, toasted side up, onto a clean work surface. Place a tomato slice on each of the bun bottoms, top with sloppy Joe mixture and cole slaw (be generous). Close the sliders with the bun tops; serve immediately (with napkins).