Easy, Healthy Seafood Dinner Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy
If you ask us, everyone should prepare more seafood at home. Fish and shellfish are healthy and cook quickly, and there are so many ways to make them the central ingredient in an easy meal. Sautéed and fried fish may be your go-to recipes, but it's time to widen your horizons. Our goal is to encourage you to try a few different types of readily available fish and cook your current favorites in different ways. (And if you're not sure how to start cooking fish at home, check out our helpful guide to fish cooking techniques.)
The easiest way to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes is to sauté fish fillets. You should look for translucent flesh that is free of unappetizing odor. Flash-frozen fish fillets are a good choice, especially for fish with a short harvesting season. You'll want any flaky white fish with a thin skin that will get super-crispy in the pan; be sure to slash the skin's underside so when it's placed into the pan, it'll cook evenly without curling up. For the sea bass pictured here, the skin was scored in two-inch intervals to allow uniform heat to gently cook the filet.
Shopping for good fish might be the most challenging aspect about preparing it at home. Heading to a local fishmonger for domestic, sustainably caught seafood is the best option, but you could also strike up a conversation with the staff at your grocery store's seafood department: Ask them how the fish was caught, and be sure to describe the recipe you have in mind to make sure your purchase is a good fit. When buying whole fish, look for clear eyes, red gills, and shimmering skin, which are all signs of optimal freshness. And always check Seafood Watch for guidance on sustainable seafood choices.
Broiled Shrimp Tacos
If you prefer not to do it yourself, purchase shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined. Frozen shrimp are also a good option; thaw them in the bag in a bowl of water. Broilers vary in heat intensity, so if you plan to cook them this way, be sure to adjust the rack as necessary to cook the shrimp through.
Baked Salmon with Creamy Orzo
Roasted Cod with Potatoes and Olives
Mixed Seafood Chowder
This Scottish-style chowder is made with smoked salmon. Use other hot-smoked fish, like trout or haddock, if you prefer but don't forgo the clams for this hearty, creamy dinner.
Spaghetti with Shrimp and Bacon
A departure from the ordinary bowl of spaghetti, this quick pasta dinner boasts bacon, shrimp, and scallions. Chopped tomatoes are a great addition, too.
Grilled Fish Sandwich with Cabbage Slaw
A dressing of mayonnaise, red-wine vinegar, and caraway seed seasons the cabbage, red onion, and celery slaw that adorns these sandwiches. Choose any kind of firm-fleshed fish you like, such as bass, tuna, tilapia, or salmon.
Seared-Tuna Taco Bowl
This is a power bowl meal that's healthy and economical, too; one tuna steak serves four when accompanied by black beans, rice, and a delicious red-cabbage slaw.
Broiled Striped Bass with Cauliflower and Capers
Another firm-fleshed fish, such as halibut or salmon, can be substituted for the striped bass. Broilers vary in heat intensity; move the rack to a lower position if the cauliflower or fish is browning too quickly, or to a higher rack if too slowly.
Mexican Seafood Salad
A brilliant (in terms of taste and color) dinner salad. Red snapper and shrimp are quickly cooked on the stovetop in the same pan used to cook the corn. Everything is piled atop tender lettuce leaves with tomatoes, corn, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime.
Linguine with Clams and Peppers
Try this tasty riff on the classic linguine with clam sauce. Adding mild cubanelle peppers brings a touch of spice and sweetness.
Salmon with Spicy Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa
Bacon-Wrapped Cod with Frisee
Bacon seasons the cod fillets while they sauté. (Other mild-tasting fish, such as halibut, haddock, or striped bass, would work here, too.) A side salad of slightly bitter frisee and pink grapefruit strikes a balance of flavors.
Broiled Coconut-and-Lime-Crusted Shrimp With Rice-Noodle Salad
In just 25 minutes you can have this crispy, crunchy, totally delicious shrimp dinner on the table.
Grilled New England Seafood "Bake"
If you can't fit in a trip to Maine's sunny coast this year, making a meal from foil packets of shrimp, cod, potatoes, and corn may be the next best thing. You can fill the packets up to a day ahead, refrigerate, and throw onto the grill just before it's time to eat—a boon to low-key summer entertaining.
Tilapia with Arugula, Capers, and Tomatoes
Economical tilapia gets dressed up with a buttery caper sauce. Serve with a spicy side dish of sautéed arugula and cherry tomatoes.
Baked Flounder with Roasted Tomatoes
Crispy, breadcrumb-coated baked flounder fillets with tarragon mayonnaise and halved plum tomatoes are made rich and sweet when seasoned with tarragon, sugar, salt, and pepper, then roasted in a hot oven.
Cod with Fennel and Potatoes
In this one-dish dinner, sautéed onion and garlic combine with tomato paste, fennel, potato slices, and orange zest, and then simmered in chicken stock. Arrange cod fillets on top of the vegetable mixture and cooked just until opaque.
New Orleans-Style Barbecued Shrimp
No barbecue required to prepare this Louisiana favorite of shrimp sauced with butter, Worcestershire, celery, scallion, garlic, and Creole seasoning. Serve the shrimp over steamed rice and garnish with sliced scallion greens.
Salmon Salad with Parsley and Capers
Toss poached salmon with red onion and lots of fresh parsley in a vinaigrette of capers, olive oil, and red-wine vinegar. Serve this salad with crusty bread, or combine with cooked, cooled penne for an out-of-the-ordinary pasta salad.
Scallop, Orange, and Cucumber Kebabs
Thread orange wedges, scallops, Kirby cucumber, and thin slices of fresh ginger onto skewers and baste with honey and orange juice before cooking these colorful seafood kebabs on the grill or under the broiler.
Tuna Salad Nicoise
Tuna, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, arugula, and roasted red potatoes dressed in lemon vinaigrette make for a satisfying main-dish salad. Choose tuna packed in olive oil; it has more flavor than the kind packed in water or vegetable oil.