When you’re a beginner in the kitchen, cooking seafood can seem intimidating. Shrimp has to be peeled and deveined, crab cracked, oysters shucked, and mussels de-bearded. If scallops and salmon aren’t seared just so, your perfect piece of fish can get horribly stuck to the pan. How about ahi tuna? A quick distraction like an incoming text message can cause it to overcook in seconds. However, with a reliable recipe and a little practice you can master the art of seafood at home. To inspire you to do so, here are 13 mouthwatering seafood recipes that feature everything from tilapia to tuna.
Easy Seafood Recipes
Dylan + Jeni for Cooking Light
Roasted Salmon With Honey-Mustard and Thyme
The easiest way to cook any type of protein is to place it on a sheet pan and throw it in the oven. Simply place the salmon on a bed of fresh thyme, cover with a tangy sweet mixture of honey, mustard, and vinegar and bake. The resulting piece of fish is elegant enough to be the centerpiece of your Easter dinner.
Being a San Francisco-native, cioppino, an Italian-style fisherman’s stew with a tomato base that’s native to the city, is something I make often. It’s hearty, delicious, and makes the ideal rustic entree for a casual and cozy dinner party. What I love about cioppino is you can use whatever seafood you want. I usually do what is in season or what happens to be on sale at the fish market that day. Clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, white fish, salmon, scallops—it all works in cioppino.
Although some people make a heavy variation of pasta with clam sauce that requires lots of butter and cream, I prefer a lighter version like this recipe with white wine and plenty of aromatics. Think lots of fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, minced parsley, and just-squeezed lemon juice. Parmesan cheese is optional, but I love adding a generous shower of finely grated parm to a bowl of linguine con vongole.
Don’t be scared of cooking with raw fish. The key is to buy the best most fresh piece of ahi that you can afford. Experiment with raw tuna by partaking in the poke craze. The Hawaiian comfort food is having a moment on the mainland and for good reason. A bowl filled with raw veggies and just-caught fish is delicious and healthy.
If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you’ve probably tried Cajun-style fish fillets. The fresh catch of the day is coated in a dry rub of mixed herbs and spices (ingredients may include cayenne, paprika, onion powder, and dried oregano), then flash-cooked in a hot pan or oven. The resulting fish has a rich flavor that pairs wonderfully with a tangy tartar sauce.
For a long time I was afraid of cooking scallops. My father is allergic to them, so I wasn’t very familiar with the circular plump mollusk. However, one day I decided to get over my fear and make them. I’m glad I did because scallops are a rich and decadent shellfish. Use this recipe to make an entire meal out of scallops by placing them on top of a pile of parmesan risotto alongside garlicky sautéed kale.
Who could turn down a bowl of finger-licking good, garlicky shrimp? Classic shrimp scampi is a crowd pleaser and the dish comes together quickly in a matter of minutes. Want to serve it at a dinner party? Have your mise en place then simply sauté just before serving.
The old-fashioned tuna melt get a modern makeover in this recipe that completely omits mayonnaise. Instead, canned tuna is tossed with marinated artichoke hearts, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s pressed onto toasted Italian bread and topped with mozzarella cheese. Bitter arugula adds a pop of green to the finished open-faced sandwich.
Sole is an incredibly mild white fish that is affordable and quick-cooking. It’s a great gateway fish for people who are new to eating seafood. When it’s coated in a decadent browned butter and served alongside a tender herb salad—with a wedge of fresh lemon—it’s impressive enough to serve to guests. Pair with a citrusy Italian white wine.
Lemon, garlic, and capers are ingredients that are often paired with fish. The lemon adds a bright acidic quality, while garlic favors the fish, and the capers provide a touch of brininess. Serve with spiralized zucchini for a gluten-and-carb-free meal that’s satisfying and nutritious.
This spring get in on one of the food industry’s biggest trend, poke, by hosting a poke party. Set out bowls filled with avocado chunks, shredded carrots, diced cucumber and mango, fried shallots, and cilantro leaves. Place cubes of sashimi-grade salmon and tuna in chilled bowls alongside a soy-sauce dressing then let your guests mix and match elements to make their own poke bowls. Serve with icy cold beer and steamed edamame.
One culinary technique you should master, because it’s ideal for cooking fish, is en papillote. It simply means to steam fish, with aromatics like herbs and citrus, in a parchment paper packet in the oven. I love to serve this at a dinner party because everyone gets to open their own present of perfectly cooked scallops at the table.
You can’t go wrong with a recipe that has you place a bunch of ingredients on a sheet pan and roast in the oven. Exhibit A: this lemony fish and potato dish. Thinly-sliced potatoes serve as a bed for sole; both the potatoes and fish are seasoned with butter, garlic, and fresh thyme. It’s a simple dish that is rustic and scrumptious.