20 Kid-Friendly Fish and Shellfish Recipes to Add to Your Dinner Rotation

Crunchy Panko Salmon
Photo: Justin Walker

From breaded fish to chowder to shrimp pastas, kids will love these tasty meals featuring fish and shellfish.

01 of 20
summer smoked salmon chowder
Ren Fuller

Let's face it: Getting kids to try a new food (with the exception of a new flavor of ice cream!) isn't always easy. And seafood may be one of the hardest things to convince children to taste, which is why we're sharing fish and shellfish recipes that were designed with little ones in mind. The following dishes, such as the Summer Smoked-Salmon Chowder pictured here, are guaranteed to be kid-friendly and—as a bonus for busy parents—easy to prepare.

One of the best ways to introduce something new is by building off a dish that they already love. Kids devour macaroni and cheese, so elevate their palate by cooking fettuccine alfredo—it's a creamy comfort food that they're sure to enjoy. Then, mix in some shrimp and peas and they'll dig right in.

We also know that kids love anything that resembles chicken tenders, so why not give them a healthier option that introduces them to fish? We have a recipe that your little ones will love, panko-coated salmon. It requires just a few ingredients and doesn't need a deep fryer to achieve the crispy exterior! The salmon is breaded and baked in the oven until it turns a stunning golden-brown. Serve with a healthy side of vegetables or salad for a dish that's just as nutritious as it is delicious.

If you want to introduce your kids to a totally new type of cuisine, such as sushi, take it step-by-step. Bake salmon and roll it up with cucumbers, carrots, and avocado rather than serving them raw fish. Plus, the kids can help assemble the sushi, which engages the whole family with meal prep.

Your little ones will have no trouble finishing dinner (and getting to dessert!) with these delicious kid-friendly fish and shellfish recipes.

02 of 20

Cream-Free Shrimp Alfredo

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo recipe
Chris Simpson

Kids love all things cheesy, creamy, and totally delicious. This shrimp pasta gives them what they want, but makes it a little bit healthier. Instead of heavy cream, we've created a lighter alfredo sauce using just pasta water, Parmesan cheese, and unsalted butter. And it tastes just as good as the original.

03 of 20

Salmon-and-Corn Chowder

salmon-and-corn chowder
Armando Rafael

Kids are sure to spoon this stew up. It's packed with chunks of potatoes, flaky salmon, and ears of fresh corn cut into rounds. A light broth is made with heavy cream and clam juice, and fresh basil is added at the end for extra flavor. For easier, less messy eating, we recommend slicing the kernels off the cob and adding them back into the soup for your little ones.

04 of 20

Easy Steamed Salmon with Sweet Potatoes

Steamed Salmon and Vegetables
Paola + Murray

Salmon fillets, plus sliced sweet potatoes and broccolini (or sub broccoli) are simply steamed then served with a mixture of vinegar, miso, oil, and chives. If the sauce might be too much for their palates, serve it on the side and let your little one give it a try before drizzling it over their plate.

05 of 20

Shrimp Scampi with Yellow-Squash Noodles

yellow squash shrimp scampi
Armando Rafael

Looking to give your kids something that isn't pasta? Make this swirly-twirly dinner using spiralized squash noodles and a scampi sauce made with butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parsley.

06 of 20

Crunchy Panko Salmon

Crunchy Lemon Pepper Salmon
Justin Walker

Kids will love the gloriously crispy coating on these salmon fillets. Parents will love how much easier and crisper the panko coating is.

07 of 20

Lemony Orzo with Tuna

Johnny Miller

Pasta is a great way to introduce kids to fish. Here, flakes of canned tuna are mixed with orzo that's been dressed in pronounced flavors of lemon and mint.

08 of 20

Fish Chowder

Marcus Nilsson

This classic seaside soup has all the makings of clam chowder, but is a little bit heartier because we use white-fleshed fish instead of clams. It's perfect for when you and the family need a taste of summer.

09 of 20

Baked Salmon Sushi

salmon sushi
Joanna Garcia

If kids aren't ready to eat regular sushi, let them try this homemade version made with cooked salmon, cucumbers, and avocados.

10 of 20

Fried Fish

fried fish
Ryan Liebe

Young or old, who wouldn't love digging into this assortment of fried fish? The combination is up to you, but we're fans of shrimp, white fish, and clam strips. The key to a crisp, airy coating is using club soda, which helps the breading to become light and puffy.

11 of 20

Perfect Lobster Roll


The ultimate beachy bite, this simple lobster salad roll (served cold!) is fresh and fragrant thanks to lobster, a touch of lemon juice, and plenty of melted butter. Serve with French fries for the ultimate kid-approved dinner.

12 of 20

Broiled Shrimp Tacos

Joseph De Leo

Don't just wait for taco Tuesday to make these easy, family-friendly bites. Piled onto corn tortillas are broiled shrimp, diced white onion, and canned chipotle in adobo, plus plenty of classic fixings like shredded red cabbage, avocado slices, and sour cream. Hold back with the chipotles for anyone who isn't a fan of spicy.

13 of 20

Baked Cod with Tomatoes and Potatoes

Bryan Gardner

Here's a spectacularly simple one-pan baked fish dinner that both kids and adults will love. Start by roasting Yukon Gold potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, thyme, and lemon until they're fork-tender and super fragrant, then add the fish and finish cooking.

14 of 20

Soy-Glazed Salmon

soy-glazed salmon
Minh + Wass

This easy glaze is packed with flavor. Combine brown sugar, olive oil, soy sauce, white wine, and lemon juice in a bowl, pour over salmon fillets in a baking dish, and then bake until cooked through, which only takes 15-20 minutes.

15 of 20

Linguine with Shrimp and Spinach

Marcus Nilsson

Five ingredients, 20 minutes total, and a delicious dinner? Sign us up for this easy weeknight pasta that's made by tossing cooked linguine and shrimp with spinach and a simple no-cook sauce of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice.

16 of 20

Bacon-Lobster-Tomato Sandwiches

bacon lobster tomato sandwiches
Ryan Liebe

DIY a BLT-inspired spread with gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors, hard boiled eggs, lobster, avocado slices, and plenty of fresh herbs. Kids will love getting to pick and choose exactly what they want to go between two slices of white bread.

17 of 20

Baked Scallops

baked scallops
Bryan Gardner

Perhaps seared scallops with beurre blanc sauce isn't quite right for your six-year-old? Try this creamy, cheesy, and crunchy casserole instead as their route into eating scallops. Toss bay scallops with a combination of crème fraîche, wine (the alcohol cooks off!), and lemon zest, top with a panko-Parmesan mixture, and bake until bubbling and browned.

18 of 20

Clam Chowder

Marcus Nilsson

A tried-and-true favorite, you can make this summer favorite in less than an hour. Whether you serve it for lunch or dinner, kids and adults alike will spoon up every last drop of this creamy, clam-based soup.

19 of 20

Coconut-Crusted Shrimp

Johnny Miller

Sometimes, kids need a little something sweet and crunchy to entice them to try something new. Coat shrimp in shredded coconut and crunchy panko breadcrumbs and before you know it, their plates will be clean and smiles wide.

20 of 20

Shrimp-and-Basil Glass-Noodle Stir-Fry

shrimp basil glass noodle stir fry
Christopher Testani

You'll appreciate how easy this one-pan meal is to make, and kids will love its flavors and textures. Mild-mannered shrimp are stir fried in a hot wok along with glass noodles, shiitake mushrooms, snap peas, and eggs for a delicious dish that comes together in under an hour.

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