Healthy Fish and Shellfish Recipes
Cooking Light is working with the Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA’s MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to thousands of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa
Before you sear the tuna, be sure to get the pan screaming hot–this gives you a deep crust without overcooking the interior. Look for yellowfin tuna caught using the troll or pole-and-line technique.
Halibut and Shrimp with Minted Broth
The fish fillets should fit rather snugly in the pot with enough room for some shrimp to slip between the crevices. The braising liquid is a nifty mixture of chicken broth, white wine, and Thai green curry paste--available in most supermarkets these days. Fresh, never frozen, halibut is best; if you can't find it, sub another meaty white fish or Alaskan salmon.
Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
Tilapia is a sustainable freshwater fish that's widely available and offers mild flavor. You can use a more assertively flavored fish, such as mackerel, if you prefer.
Bayou Catfish Fillets
The spicy cornmeal breading stays crispy when the fish is baked on a ventilated broiler pan. You can also use yellow cornmeal. Try this breading on other white fish fillets.
Maple Grilled Salmon
The sweet-sour marinade is cooked down to a syrupy glaze that's brushed on the salmon as it cooks. The citrus and maple flavors would also be tasty with pork. Garnish fillets with orange slices, if desired.
Shrimp and White Bean Cakes with Roasted Garlic Sauce
A little bit of cooked bulgur helps to bind the ingredients and make the cakes heartier–plus, it adds some whole grain.
Tangy tomatoes, sweet oranges, and briny olives bring lively color and bold flavor to this simple dish.
Our version of this classic starts with a base of homemade marinara with garam masala and hot paprika peppering this Indian-inspired entree.
A pan-fried coating of ground nuts and panko yields crunchy texture. Although we loved the taste of pecans with trout, the breading would also be delicious with cod, halibut, or catfish.
Shrimp Fettuccine with Spinach and Parmesan
You can also use penne, linguine, or any other pasta shape your family prefers to create this simple, savory dish.
Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa
A fresh fruit salsa is a lovely accompaniment to grilled fish in the summer; try it also with striped bass or arctic char. Here, the season's juiciest peaches pair with fiery habanero pepper for a sweet-spicy flavor. Leave the peaches unpeeled for more color and texture.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Classic and delicious. Pour a fresh seltzer with lime and agave syrup, or, of course, a perfect margarita for a complete Mexican meal.
Hazelnut-Crusted Halibut with Roasted Asparagus
Fish is a great choice for quick dinners–most fillets cook to perfection in less than 10 minutes. You can use pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts in place of hazelnuts. To streamline prep, roast the asparagus together with the suggested potato side dish.
Swordfish Skewers with Cilantro-Mint Pesto
Although imported swordfish is endangered, the population for North American species is healthy. Check with your fish seller to make sure the fish you purchase was caught in the United States or Canada.
Roasted Salmon with Soy-Marmalade Glaze
There are a number of sustainable salmon options available; look for U.S.-caught and U.S.-farmed fish. Serve this delectable dish with snap peas or a side of quinoa.
Spicy Chipotle Shrimp Salad
Shrimp salad is an easy make-ahead meal. For a kid-friendly twist, substitute diced red bell pepper for the chiles.
Blackened Tilapia Baja Tacos
Make food truck-style fish tacos at home using fresh tilapia, avocado, cilantro and corn tortillas. Top with a creamy onion-jalapeño sauce for amazing flavor.
Mango Shrimp Kebabs
These fresh-flavored mango shrimp skewers are a great option for warm-weather entertaining.
Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish
Fresh pineapple chunks, now widely available in supermarkets, speed the prep for this relish. Round out this tilapia dish with a romaine lettuce salad tossed with lime dressing.
Cornmeal-Dusted Catfish with Quinoa Sauté
Farmed catfish is an inexpensive, sustainable option. For a kid-friendly dish, omit the jalapeño in the quinoa.
Mediterranean Striped Bass
Poaching is a simple and foolproof method to cooking fish, provided you maintain a constant, moderate temperature as the fish cooks.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa Salad
Quinoa, shrimp, and chickpeas pack a triple punch of protein into this tasty dish.
Seared Scallop Salad with Prosciutto Crisps
Be sure to pat the scallops dry to ensure an even sear. Also, if serrano ham is available, it makes a tasty substitute for the prosciutto.
Spicy Shrimp Sliders with Celery Mayonnaise
If you prefer a milder sandwich, omit the ground red pepper.
Halibut with Bacony Corn Sauté
Be sure to buy fresh, never-frozen fish, summer corn on the cob and in the husks, and your favorite bacon. Applewood-smoked bacon is more subtle than hickory or mesquite and won't clobber all of the other ingredients. Just a spritz of fresh lime juice brings the flavors into perfect balance.
Shrimp Tacos with Corn Salsa
Tossing the shrimp in a little honey before cooking helps to create tasty grill marks.
Fish Stick Tacos
We're happily finding healthier convenience products at the supermarket, and the frozen fish section is no exception. Look for sustainable varieties.
The original version of this recipe called for Chilean sea bass—although you can sometimes find a sustainable type of that fish (longline-caught in the McDonald and Falkland islands), sablefish (also known as black cod) and white sea bass are consistently good choices with a similarly rich, buttery texture. It's worth the tiny bit of effort to toast and grind your own cumin seeds—the flavor payoff is huge.
Grilled Tuna and Broccolini with Garlic Drizzle
Look for Atlantic bigeye or yellowfin tuna caught using the troll or pole-and-line method.
Salmon with Polenta and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
This meal is not just a pretty plate. It's quick, delicious, and will no doubt become a family favorite.
Roasted Side of Salmon with Shallot Cream
This dish is as simple as it gets, and yet it's very impressive for company. Shallots, dill, and lemon are classic flavorings for salmon. If you can't find crème fraîche, use sour cream.
Coconut Curried Mussels with Cauliflower
Look for kaffir lime leaves at Asian markets, or substitute a teaspoon of grated lime rind. Shrimp paste is also available at Asian markets and freezes well. The homemade curry paste is worth making: It offers the best flavor and is much lower in sodium than commercial pastes.
Coconut Curry Halibut
Pacific halibut (often labeled Alaskan halibut) is a good choice for sustainability. Less-expensive options include most U.S.-farmed tilapia and Atlantic/Icelandic cod.
Browned Butter Flounder with Lemon Snap Peas
This small flatfish is a delicate fish with a mild sweet flavor. We paired it with browned butter, lemon juice, and parsley to balance and brighten the fillet.
Seared Salmon Fillets with Orzo Pilaf
While fresh dill adds a bright and herby flavor, you can also use fresh thyme as a substitute.
Garam masala, a warm Indian spice blend, makes a simple and flavorful rub for fish, chicken, pork, or lamb.
Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill
A killer savory marinade of shallots, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and turmeric permeates the fish and gives it a beautiful golden color. When you sear the fish in a hot-hot pan (go for stainless steel or cast iron here), it gets fantastically browned.
Tilapia with Lemon-Garlic Sauce
Incredibly simple, remarkably delicious--this is an entrée that's elegant enough for entertaining and fast enough to brighten weeknight dinner doldrums. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.
Tilapia Cakes with Mango-Coconut Curry Sauce
Boasting big, bold global flavors, these crunchy cakes are a fun alternative to salmon croquettes or crab cakes.
Shrimp-Mango Stir-Fry and Rice Noodles
Fresh, ripe mango adds a refreshing, slightly sweet contrast to the spicy stir-fry. You can also substitute fresh pineapple chunks, if you like.
Saffron Rice with Tilapia and Shrimp
This paella-inspired dish starts by infusing purchased chicken stock with shrimpy goodness; it's an easy step that makes full use of shrimp shells that would otherwise be discarded.
Crab Cakes with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Bibb lettuce is velvety soft and tender, yet strong and sturdy, making it the perfect vessel for crab cakes. Crispy, fluffy, and stuffed with lump crabmeat, enjoy these lightened-up cakes for a scrumptious weeknight meal.
Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad
You just can't beat a crisp breaded fish fillet. This one, with its cornmeal crust, is reminiscent of Southern-fried catfish (but with a sweeter fish at the center).
Clam Shack-Style Broiled Fish
This dish would go great with a side of old-school boiled red potatoes. For the salsa variation, serve with rice or tortillas.
Glazed Salmon with Couscous
Fresh dill, lemon zest and juice bring a burst of bright flavor this beautiful fillet of salmon. Glazing the fish before cooking keeps it moist. A second coat later lets the sweet-tangy sauce shine.
You can let the pepper paste sit on the fish up to two hours. The fish will stick to the pan, but preheating the pan to high will help it release.
Seared Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bacon Sauté
The corn sauté makes a sweet, tasty bed for the fish and almost makes this a complete meal. Let the fillets cook undisturbed over medium-high heat for a beautiful sear.