We couldn't resist stuffing cup-shaped avocado halves, here gently seared until lightly caramelized. Sweet crabmeat dressed with zingy lemon and tarragon is a nice complement to the buttery avocado; chopped cooked shrimp or shredded chicken breast would also work. You could also fill the halves with a fresh summer squash salad or black bean salsa.
Sesame Shrimp With Smashed Cucumber Salad
A bright and tangy Asian cucumber salad makes a crisp compliment to quick sauteed shrimp. Gently smashing fresh cucumber slices helps them absorb more vinaigrette, almost as if they've been marinating overnight. It’s a popular technique in many parts of Asia because cucumbers take on sweet, sour, and spicy flavors so well.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Cilantro-Celery Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise may not be the most common sauce for scallops, but perhaps it should be. Mixed with celery and cilantro to make a sort of high-class tartar sauce, it's a perfect match for the crispy breadcrumb-dredged scallops. Serve with something starchy, whether that's bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes.
Crispy Potato Cakes With Smoked Salmon
Go ahead and get the frozen shredded potatoes—they're a fast cook's friend: They need no draining or thawing. Serve for brunch with a side of fruit.
Shortcut Shrimp Paella
Fresh shrimp stars in this fast take on paella; you could also use chicken thighs. We swap expensive saffron for turmeric to achieve the yellow color.
Sautéed Scallops with Shaved Celery Salad
Celery is an underrated vegetable, often used as a flavor accent for soups or Thanksgiving stuffing. But it shines as the star in a salad, thanks to its fantastic crunch and naturally salty flavor. For ease and speed, we advise slicing thinly on a mandoline. To cut by hand, line up 3 stalks and slice all at once instead of slicing each stalk individually. The crisp texture of the salad provides a nice contrast to the creamy-meaty scallops. Golden raisins are a surprising and delicious addition, offering a pop of sweetness and chewy texture; you can substitute regular raisins, dried currants, or dried cranberries.
Sausage, Shrimp, & Quinoa Skillet
This 20-minute quinoa skillet is a play on dirty rice, and it uses only five ingredients (not counting cooking oil). Precooked quinoa keeps it superfast, but you can cook quinoa from scratch and still have dinner ready in less than 45 minutes. Spicy chicken sausage is lean and adds lots of flavor; you can swap in a chicken or turkey andouille sausage if you prefer. To round out the meal, serve with roasted asparagus or green beans, or opt for a crunchy romaine salad tossed with a bright, tart vinaigrette.
Seared Scallops with Bacon and Oranges
Serve this company-worthy platter with a green salad, and you're set for an elegant, fuss-free meal that's ready in less than half an hour. Cooking the scallops in bacon fat imparts a salty sweetness and helps them crisp on the outside while cooking slowly on the inside. A dressing of orange juice, vinegar, and salt drizzled over the simply seasoned scallops imparts even more sweet flavor. Top this 5-ingredient dish evenly with bacon, orange sections, and thyme. For a more affordable (but equally tasty) option, try using shrimp in place of the scallops.
Grilled Salmon With White Bean and Arugula Salad
Ask for salmon fillets from the head end of the fish—the tail end is much thinner.
Lemony Roasted Salmon with White Wine Couscous
The tangy herbed yogurt sauce also moistens the salmon during cooking.
Salmon in Smoky Tomato Broth
This delicate broth is a grade-A example of how to build big flavor—fast. Keep this recipe on deck for last-minute company.
Mussels with White Wine and Leeks
Be sure to grab a loaf of crusty bread to serve with the mussels. Silky, savory broth like this is made for sopping.
Prosciutto and Sage-Wrapped Mahimahi
When in doubt, wrapping anything in prosciutto and drizzling it with browned butter sauce is a solid plan. You can easily substitute a different meaty fish. Serve with fresh green beans.
Thai Green Curry Mussels
Mussels aren't usually cooked with strong flavors so their own taste can shine through, but here the heat and spice of curry paste, moderated by creamy coconut milk, elevate the shellfish. Adjust the spice to your own taste by using more or less of the paste, or try a different variety: red curry paste is somewhat less spicy than green, and yellow curry paste is quite mild, with lots of ginger.
Chipotle-Lime Crab Crisps
An easy crab salad that has tons of flavor―it includes tangy lime, fiery chipotle, creamy avocado, and crunchy vegetables―is baked on tortilla chips for a unique appetizer. To make it a meal, omit the chips and bake the crab mixture in a baking dish, then serve over lettuce as a main-dish salad, or fill warmed flour tortillas for chipotle-lime crab tacos.
Cioppino-Style Seafood Stew
This is the ultimate meal for shellfish lovers, with shrimp, scallops, and mussels in a simple broth that highlights their natural flavor. Mix and match with whatever is freshest at the seafood counter: clams, lobster, or firm-fleshed fish like halibut all make great additions, and none change the less-than-15-minute cooking time.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Bell Pepper Relish
This relish also works well with grilled chicken. Be sure to purchase wild Alaskan halibut for a sustainable choice; avoid Atlantic halibut.
Steamed Clams with White Wine and Tomatoes
Cook clams within 24 hours of purchasing in order to ensure freshness. Be sure to throw out any clams that don't close their shells when tapped.
Spanish-Style Cod in Tomato Broth
When stirring the shallot and broth mixtures, be careful not to break up the fish. Look for wild Atlantic cod from Iceland, Maine, or the Arctic to ensure a sustainable choice.
Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto
If you don't like the bite of raw garlic, drop the clove in boiling water for 1 minute to blanch, then proceed with the pesto.
Pan-Fried Trout with Tomato Basil Sauté
A tomato sauce moistens the fish, making this company-worthy recipe foolproof.
Salmon and Bok Choy
This super flavorful salmon is made into a complete meal with delicious bok choy.
Quick Shrimp Chowder
When preparing this chowder, make sure to buy U.S. wild-caught or farmed shrimp for the best sustainable option.
Scallops with Spinach and Paprika Syrup
Seared scallops and spicy paprika syrup make for a light and flavorful combination.
Snapper in Tomato Broth
This recipe pulls together in a flash with a short grocery list to boot. To make this meal a sustainable choice, look for Hawaiian gray snapper or Northwest Hawaiian ruby snapper at the seafood counter.
Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo
Searing over high heat is the best way to cook scallops―it caramelizes the surface to bring out their natural sweetness while keeping the inside from getting rubbery. The orzo cooks in lemon juice and wine for deep citrus flavor that stands up well to the scallops. For a nice variation, try rice or couscous cooked the same way.
Mussels with Tomato-Wine Broth
This recipe's made for two, and it's easy to turn it into a romantic meal: Eat with your fingers, sharing the mussels directly out of the cooking skillet, with a loaf of crusty bread nearby to sop up the sweet-and-briny broth. Of course, you can easily double or triple the recipe and serve in bowls to feed a hungry crowd (don't forget the bread!) as well.
Sautéed Clams Parmesan
Littleneck clams are easily found at most supermarket seafood counters, and can be quite inexpensive. They're also quick to cook, which makes them an excellent but unexpected choice for a weeknight dinner. Seasoned simply with lemon, fresh herbs, and Parmesan cheese, the clams' natural flavor is on display here. Serve over any sort of long pasta, such as linguine, fettuccine, or angel hair.
Wasabi Seafood Salad
The wasabi-mayonnaise dressing in this recipe adds creamy texture and the unique nostril-tingling heat of horseradish. Cooking the clams and shrimp takes just four minutes, making this unbelievably fast to make, and one serving provides a full day's supply of iron with only 220 calories.
Seared Scallop Salad
The velvety tenderness of lightly cooked scallops and the crunch of fresh lettuce and cucumber creates contrast, while pungent raw onion and sweet-sour vinaigrette balance each other in this dish. Bottled dressing is perfectly fine, but it's almost as easy to make your own. Serve the salad with crusty bread, or try a whole grain like bulgur, barley, or wild rice on the side.
Steamed Mussels in Saffron Broth
Mussels make any meal a special occasion, but they're so easy and quick to cook: This recipe, rich with cream and earthy saffron, takes about eight minutes total. Serve with a loaf of the best-quality French bread you can find for sopping up the sauce and briny juices.
Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
Crab is an elegant and luxurious ingredient, but it doesn't have the high-fat heaviness of foie gras or rich butter sauces. In fact, it's downright delicate in this light salad, served cold. It's perfect for an outdoor lunch or brunch, or as part of dinner on a steamy summer night, with less than 250 calories and six grams of fat per serving.
Almejas con Tomates (Clams with Cherry Tomatoes)
Every coastal cuisine has a quick-and-easy recipe for steamed shellfish in broth; this one comes from the Basque region of Spain, and uses sweet tomatoes, pungent garlic, and bright lemon to flavor clams. It's also rich in protein and iron, low in fat, and comes in at about 300 calories per serving.
A hallmark of Asian recipes is creating deep flavor with a few simple ingredients, and this one is no exception. After searing the scallops, deglaze the pan with honey, lemon, soy sauce, and ginger to create a simple sauce whose sweet, salty, and sour flavors meld with the subtle sweetness of the scallops. A lightly cooked fresh vegetable―steamed green beans or broccoli, or sautéed bok choi or spinach―makes a perfect side.
Chorizo-Mussel Noodle Bowl
For this filling dish, mussels are joined by big chunks of smoky Spanish chorizo (don't use spicy Mexican chorizo) and lots of noodles in a big bowl of goodness. It's a fine meal by itself, but a small salad or garlic bread would make great sides.
Spicy Fish Cakes
Flaky halibut and tender scallops combine here for a unique dish. Panko gives the cakes a crispy exterior, but they're cooked quickly, leaving the inside moist. Ginger adds a hint of Asian flavor, while chile paste kicks up the heat. Serve atop a simple salad or on a bun dressed with Dijon mayonnaise.
Linguine with Clam Sauce
In Italy, the pasta partner of clams is almost always linguine. That's probably because the long noodles with a little al dente bite make such a great counterpoint to the plump, chewy clams. The basic and ridiculously easy cooking liquid/sauce will also work with any kind of shellfish, from shrimp to scallops to mussels.
Scallops in Champagne Sauce
Tangy and rich with sour cream and pungent with Dijon mustard, this elegant sauce is at home atop many shellfish beyond scallops: Try shrimp, lobster, even crawfish. Make the sauce and scallops at the same time, and the whole dish takes three minutes. Serve with a fresh green salad for the fastest company-worthy meal you'll ever make.
Steamed Mussels with Cardamom, Orange, and Mint
Cardamom, orange, and mint sounds like a combination you'd find in a dessert, but they add a warmth and a citrusy sweetness to mussels that can't be beat. This recipe serves eight as an appetizer, but just double the serving size to make it a main course.
Panzanella with Crab
The key to a great panzanella (a.k.a. bread salad) is a mix of textures: Crunchy onion, juicy tomato, flaky crabmeat, and chewy bread are brought together in each bite here by an herbal vinaigrette with hints of licorice-like fennel. There's no cooking involved, so the salad is fast as can be, but don't assemble until just before serving―you don't want the bread to get soggy.
Linguine with Garlicky Clams and Peas
Fresh pasta has a substantially different flavor from dried, but you can find it easily in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Try it in this easy dish and you'll be hooked―the delicate pasta combines with the slightly chewy clams for textural contrast in a briny sauce finished off with the savory flavor of Parmesan.
Salmon with Spinach Salad and Miso Vinaigrette
The gingery vinaigrette is also delicious with a steak salad. Wild Alaskan salmon is a sure sustainable choice. Avoid farmed salmon.
Seared Scallops with Wilted Watercress and Bacon
Watercress offers a refreshing change from spinach and other greens. Scallops are a sustainable buy, but for the best choice, pick diver-caught scallops from Mexico.