When you envision your holiday spread, seafood might not be the first thing that comes to mind—unless, of course, you’re Italian. Then, it’s hello Feast of the Seven Fishes—as it should be.
Not only is seafood delicious, but it’s also super versatile. While it certainly can be a lighter choice—particularly welcome amidst the endless platters of glazed ham, turkey, and brisket—there are plenty of seafood dishes that are rich, hearty, and satisfying. And remember that rule about not mixing fish and cheese? One bite of caprese shrimp fonduta is enough to convince even the most steadfast separatist.
Whether you’re welcoming a number of pescatarian guests, looking for some lighter fare, or just want to try out a new recipe, these under the sea delights deserve a spot on your holiday menu.
Oyster Stew Chili
Winter nights call for a bowl of warm, hearty stew. Instead of beef with vegetables or Tuscan white bean (although both are tasty), treat your guests to a comforting and indulgent combination of oysters, brie, cream, bacon, and herbs.
Get the recipe on F For Food.
Caprese Shrimp Fonduta
Looking for an elevated twist on traditional fondue? This Italian-inspired caprese shrimp fonduta—packed with Parmesan, mozzarella, pesto, and prawns—proves that seafood and cheese are a match made in culinary heaven.
Get the recipe on Culinary Hill.
Crab Cakes with Homemade Tartar Sauce
Who doesn’t love crab cakes? These crustacean-packed patties are an awesome appetizer. Plus, you can make them mini, and then serve them as a canapé.
Get the recipe on The Hungry Waitress.
Salmon with Cranberry Ginger Mustard Sauce
Cranberries are synonymous with the season. These bright berries get a boost from zesty ginger and Dijon mustard, and the result is a sauce that perfectly complements sous vide salmon.
Get the recipe on The Daring Gourmet.
Brown Butter Scallops with Polenta
Definitely not diet fare (but who cares?), this deliciously rich dish stars brown butter scallops and creamy polenta.
Get the recipe on Gastrosenses.
Luxury meets comfort when it comes to lobster bisque: This restaurant-worthy recipe is a super satisfying starter. You can also double up on the lobster meat and make it a main.
Get the recipe on Sweet and Savory by Shinee.
Pasta with Alici Sauce
What’s better than a bowl of pasta? A heaping serving of spaghetti tossed with the rustic flavors of Italy—parsley, olives, garlic, capers, anchovies, pignoli nuts, and olive oil.
Get the recipe on Bazaar Lazarr.
Need a party nibble? Crab Imperial is a timeless classic. This bite-sized version makes for a splendid hor d’oeuvre.
Get the recipe on Life Currents.
Smoked Salmon and Dill Mini Pancakes
This is holiday brunch done right! Inviting your dearest over during the day? Pair these petite smoked salmon and dill pancakes with a glass of champagne or seasonal Bellini.
Get the recipe on Imagelicious.
Scallops with Cranberry Bacon Jam
These seared scallops, topped with cranberry bacon jam, will have your friends and family asking just one question: “Why didn’t we think of that?”
Get the recipe on Caroline’s Cooking.
Vol Au Vent with Shrimp and Broccoli
For those not familiar with vol au vent, it’s basically a puff pastry shell with some sort of savory filling (in this case, shrimp and broccoli), and it’s downright delectable.
Get the recipe on Abbey’s Kitchen.
Beet and Carrot Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Horseradish Sour Cream
Inviting the family over for Hanukkah? Latkes are a must. This year, swap potatoes for root veggies—the earthiness of beet and carrot pairs perfectly with smoked salmon, and the horseradish-laced sour cream pulls it all together.
Get the recipe on Coley Cooks.
Mini Crab Tartlets
Wonton wrappers loaded with a creamy, fresh-cracked, wild Alaskan snow crab filling? So clever.
Get the recipe on Happy Mothering.
Cajun Seafood Bisque
This soulful bisque brings Louisiana flair to any fete with crawfish, shrimp, crab, and cajun spices. Plenty of heavy cream and butter rev up the richness.
Get the recipe on The Modern Proper.
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