8 Healthy Seafood Recipes Even Beginners Can Cook
Of all the proteins, seafood can feel like the most daunting. It cooks quickly, meaning it can be challenging to not overcook it. It’s highly perishable, so if not properly handled, it can backfire on you. Plus, the flavors are often delicate, so they can be overwhelmed by too much seasoning. And of course, many seafood options don’t come cheap, which can turn simple mistakes into costly waste. Despite these difficulties, it’s also surprisingly simple to do seafood well. In fact, it’s so simple that we’ve gathered together eight different healthy seafood recipes suitable for those with even the most basic of culinary skills.
Whether you’re a fan of fish and chips but want a healthier, easier take on the classic fried dish, or you’ve always dreamed of making your own cioppino but thought it’d be too tricky to time everything, we’ve got a few healthy seafood recipes for you that you can succeed with on the first try.
1. Easy Steamed Mussels
Taking only twenty minutes from start to finish, this healthy seafood recipe for steamed mussels is quick to prepare and contains all the flavors that make mussels a favorite at restaurants everywhere. Some recipes for steamed mussels employ as well, but that adds cooking time, complexity, and saturated fat. So we’ve selected instead one that focuses on classic, bright flavors: fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped parsley, and white wine. Mussels are finished as soon as they open, so if you’re worried about overcooking, have your serving platter at the ready and use your tongs to move the cooked mussels onto it one at a time, as soon as they pop wide open.
Try the recipe from Rasa Malaysia.
2. Quick and Healthy Fish Tacos
Like all fish taco recipes, these quick and healthy fish tacos have numerous components, but don’t let that scare you. They’re all incredibly straightforward and only require you to mix ingredients together. Rather than frying fish for tacos, this healthy seafood recipe has you season it with cumin and chili powder, then briefly saute. Not only is this method much healthier than frying, but it also lets you take the fish out of the pan the moment it’s done, something that’s very hard to discern in a vat of oil. Opt for Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for the crema, which will add protein to the dish to make it extra satiating.
Try the recipe from Gimme Delicious.
3. Sheet Pan Clam Bake
If you’ve ever been to a clambake, you know how fun they are, and how flavorful the freshly cooked full-meal dish is. Thanks to this sheet pan clam bake recipe, everything fabulous about a clambake is available right in your oven! All the seafood bakes directly on the pan, and you could boil the potatoes and corn ahead of time if you’re concerned about doing everything at once. Just let them come to room temperature before assembling all of the ingredients. Featuring the classic Old Bay seasoning, freshly minced chives, and plenty of garlic, this modern take on a clam bake turns an occasional festive treat into an easy weeknight meal.
Try the recipe from Damn Delicious.
4. Thai Sweet Chili and Orange Scallops
Pairing citrus with seafood is about as common as it gets, but using orange instead of the standard lemon or lime is a minor switch with major results. This Thai sweet chili and orange scallop seafood recipe has a taste reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce, but it’s a healthier, fresher take on those flavors. You’ll use both orange juice and zest, so opt for organic oranges to avoid pesticide residue. Scallions and cilantro round out the sweet and spicy elements, adding an herbaceous quality to the dish, and grated ginger provides a touch of heat. Serve over quinoa, brown rice, or another whole grain for a nutritious and inventive main dish that’s ready in only twenty minutes.
Try the recipe from My Gourmet Connection.
5. Fresh and Easy Salmon Burgers
Burgers are undoubtedly one of humanity’s great inventions, but they aren’t always the healthiest. Fresh and easy salmon burgers are pretty darn healthy, though, and you can get them on the table in just 25 minutes. We suggest you swap out the breadcrumbs for a healthier option like Cauli Crunch, which adds fiber instead of bread. This healthy seafood recipe keeps things simple with just Dijon mustard for added flavor, which will be sufficient if your salmon filets are high quality. If you’re working with frozen or lower-grade salmon, add a tablespoon of mixed herbs into the food processor with the other ingredients to round things out.
Try the recipe from Laughing Spatula.
6. Quick and Easy Shrimp Creole
What’s a little spicy, pretty saucy, and extremely freezer-friendly? This quick and easy shrimp creole; a vegetable-laden shrimp dish that also works with crab or crawfish. We love the variety of vegetables including onions, green bell peppers, and tomatoes. You probably have the bulk, if not all, of the sauce components on hand. Cornstarch is used and is a great alternative to white flour — in addition to keeping things safe for people who don’t eat wheat, you don’t have to make a roux. Those can be complex, and many Creole dishes require them, so this version of shrimp Creole gives you a chance to get used to the Cajun flavors without having to take on a difficult culinary task.
Try the recipe from Meal Planning Magic.
7. Easy Oven Baked Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are a pub staple, and they’re definitely delicious — but they’re far from a healthy choice, and they’re tough to make. Skip the frying in favor of a single sheet pan for a healthier and simpler take on the dish with this easy oven-baked fish and chips recipe. The fish stays moist throughout baking thanks to a dip in buttermilk, and just the salmon burger recipe, you could opt for a cauliflower substitute for the bread crumbs. We love that the potatoes get cooked first, then you add the fish to them for the end of their cooking process so that the entire meal is ready at once — less than an hour from when you begin prepping.
Try the recipe from Well Plated.
8. Easy Shellfish Cioppino
Invented in San Francisco in the late 1800s, cioppino is a seafood stew that has a fragrant tomato broth. It can take quite a bit of time to prep and cook, which means that this thirty-minute start-to-finish recipe for easy shellfish cioppino is a bit of a marvel. You likely don’t keep fresh tarragon on hand, but it adds a key flavor to cioppino, providing a light, anise-y vibe. If you want to swap out any of the shellfish used in this healthy seafood recipe, just be sure to check cooking times in advance. While the steps to follow are simple, this recipe is all about timing, and things move along quickly.
Try the recipe from The Suburban Soapbox.
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