Our Best Seafood Recipes

Our Best Seafood Recipes

Our Best Seafood Recipes

Whether it’s the season for a warm bowl of cioppino or a platter of crispy, honey-drizzled tuna croquettes, we have seafood recipes for every occasion and whatever your fishmonger has fresh. Try making classic ceviche at home or a batch of this coconut shrimp ASAP (seriously, it’s that good). Explore a new preparation or species of seafood with our favorite recipes for mussels, monkfish, tuna, and trout — the list goes on and on.

Sauvignon Blanc-Steamed Mussels with Garlic Toast

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Add this steamed mussels recipe — inspired by the ubiquitous specialty in Belgium — to your repertoire of elegant, flavor-forward dishes that are table-ready in a flash. 

Roasted Branzino with Caper Butter

Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Whole branzino roasted with lemon and rosemary is a foolproof way to ensure flavorful, perfectly cooked fish. Steve Corry takes the dish over the top with a caper compound butter.

Crispy Crab Cakes with Tomato Butter

Jennifer Causey

The late chef Patrick Clark’s crab cakes at Tavern on the Green were legendary, taking on a pop of flavor from chopped fresh jalapeño and a crispy exterior from panko.

Seared Tuna with Soy and Red Chiles

Photo by Morgan Hunt Glaze / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Soy sauce, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, and dried chiles are combined with chicken stock to make an intense and delicious sauce for the seared tuna.

Mussels with Harissa and Basil

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Toasted walnuts are a surprise addition to the creamy, smoky red pepper puree that gets swirled into these harissa-spiked steamed mussels. Anisey Thai basil and salty-sour pickled onions compliment the sweet, plump mussels.

Buttery Shrimp with Peas and Potatoes

Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Kathleen Cook Varner

Unlike their larger, late-season siblings, baby veggies are supremely quick to cook. Creamy new potatoes add substance to this quick one-pan skillet dinner of tender shrimp, fresh shelling peas, and dill, which come together in a sweet and buttery broth laced with cream.

Maine-Style Lobster Rolls

Victor Protasio

Former F&W editor Mary-Frances Heck refers to these lobster rolls as “knuckle sandwiches” because they showcase the knuckles — the segments that connect the claws to the carapace — which are the sweetest, most tender meat on a lobster. Dressed simply with mayo, the cold salad sits in a hot, buttered bun. Her tip for tackling the admittedly tedious work of cracking the shells? Do it with a friend and a cold beer.

Monkfish Piccata

Greg DuPree

Monkfish, with its tender, springy bite reminiscent of lobster, is firm and sweet enough to stand up to this lemony butter sauce enriched with white miso. Plenty of briny capers and caperberries help balance the richness.

Venetian Shrimp with Polenta

Victor Protasio

David McCann developed this recipe to replicate Schie con Polenta in Venice. Make a batch of polenta, and while the polenta simmers away, cook some garlic and white wine and stock, add butter, and, literally two minutes (at most) before you want to serve, toss in the shrimp. 

Cajun Seafood Boil

Diana Chistruga

The secret to a seafood boil packed with perfectly cooked shrimp, king crab legs, and clams? Taking it one step at a time. First, simmer a flavor-packed mixture of lemons, Cajun seasoning, onions, garlic, and chiles with small new potatoes to give them a head start. Then add your clams and gently spicy andouille sausage and simmer a few minutes more. Finally, toss in the faster-cooking shrimp and king crab legs, along with frozen corn on the cob, which cools down the boil without diluting it like ice would. A warm bowl of butter sauce spiked with more Cajun seasoning makes the perfect dipping partner for every delicious bite.

Herbes de Provence–Crusted Branzino and Fingerlings

Greg Dupree

Herbes de Provence, a blend of spices including lavender, thyme, and fennel, is a classic French ingredient. Williams Sonoma makes a particularly aromatic blend, which, when combined with softened butter and spread over fish and potatoes, helps to create a simple and flavorful weeknight meal.

Carolina Fish, Shrimp, and Okra Stew with Black Rice

Kelly Marshall

Chef and cookbook author Alexander Smalls builds rich flavor into this Lowcountry stew with a quick homemade stock using shrimp shells. Worcestershire adds an additional hit of umami, while fresh okra helps thicken the broth. Read more about Alexander Smalls and his epic Harlem dinner parties in “To Dine, with Love.”

Classic Ceviche

Julia Hartbeck

Though Peruvians claim ceviche as their national dish, chilled, citrus-dressed seafood is a mainstay in homes and restaurants in Central and South America almost anywhere the ocean meets coastline. A knockout ceviche is the result of a delicate balance of heat, salt, acidity, freshness, and crunch. Although it’s widely believed that soaking raw fish in an acidic liquid “cooks” the seafood, it actually just denatures the protein. As with any seafood recipe, it’s essential to use the freshest, most sustainably sourced fish and shellfish you can get your hands on, both for flavor and for the sake of food safety.

Cold Poached Salmon

Julia Hartbeck

Chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern developed this recipe to teach a basic cooking skill — how to poach salmon — that also delivers complex flavors. The technique is simple: Gently simmer a salmon fillet in water seasoned with wine, onion, celery, peppercorns, and parsley, then let it sit on a platter to finish cooking.

Thai-Style Shrimp Cocktail

Aubrie Pick

Chef Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market invites a quick garlic aioli and super spicy fish sauce–based dipping sauce to the shrimp cocktail party. Using a fork to crush the garlic for the aioli leaves it sweeter and less pungent while still breaking down the fibrous cloves for a creamy dipping sauce. Serve the shrimp alongside ramekins of aioli and nam jim seafood sauce for dipping, or arrange the shrimp around the rim of a coupe glass filled with nam jim for more intense flavor.

Clams in Garlic Sorrel Cream

Emily Kordovich

Chef Eric Adjepong’s steamed clams get a burst of bright flavor from green, tangy sorrel. If you can’t find sorrel, or it’s out of season, Adjepong recommends using fresh basil and adding a little extra lemon juice to mimic its tart, lemony flavor. Don’t skip the warm crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Squid Ink Mafaldine Pasta with Uni Butter

Photo by Andrew Bui / Food Styling by Max Rappaport

Briny, savory uni butter makes a delicious way to dress freshly cooked pasta — especially when you finish the dish with chef Brandon Boudet’s extra-smoky take on the nutty Egyptian condiment, dukkah. If you can’t find uni at your favorite fishmonger, it’s also available online. And if you can’t find any squid ink pasta, use any pasta shape you’d like. The dukkah makes more than you’ll need for this recipe, so save the extra to sprinkle over grilled or roasted vegetables, or enjoy as a topping for any green or grain salad.

Shrimp Scampi with Garlicky Miso Butter

Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This garlicky pasta includes a touch of miso added to the white wine base for extra-briny depth. There’s no searing the shrimp or other fuss: They cook to a lovely, delicate state in just a couple of minutes. 

Salvadoran-Style Pescado Frito

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Inspired by her mother’s cooking, food writer and recipe developer Karla Vasquez’s recipe celebrates this popular style of cooking fish in El Salvador. Many families use mojarra, a fish found in agua dulce (fresh water), but trout makes a great substitute. Salsa inglesa, or Worcestershire sauce, is a frequent find in Salvadoran condiment drawers and teams up with the mustard to create a punchy, umami-packed crust. Delicate, meltingly tender whole trout gets crispy skin from a quick sear in a cast-iron skillet.

Classic British Fish and Chips

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Brining cod in salted water ensures it is flavorful and moist throughout for this classic fish and chips recipe. While the fish soaks, you can prepare the traditional Tartare Sauce, Triple-Cooked Chips, and Mushy Peas.

Smoked Trout with Roasted Radishes and Fennel–Stone Fruit Salad

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

At Racines in New York City, Diego Moya served confit trout with an almond oil, apricot kernel vinegar, and honey vinaigrette with tart underripe peaches. This homage leans on store-bought smoked trout and aged sherry vinegar for a weeknight-friendly dish. Pascaline Lepeltier pairs a dry, powerful, but nervy white: Jurançon Sec. “The aromas are unique, a mix of delicate passion fruit, freesia, lemon verbena, sage, dry honey, and so much smoked salt.”

Kwame’s Escovitch Snapper

Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop styling by Christine Keely

Inspired by his travels in Jamaica, chef Kwame Onwuachi shared this recipe for escovitch snapper. In Jamaica, escovitch fish — fish that’s fried and then topped with pickled, thinly sliced vegetables — is everywhere. In chef Kwame Onwuachi’s version, a garlicky marinade forms a crust as the fish cooks, adding flavor and keeping the snapper moist and tender, and a pickled tangle of thinly sliced chiles, carrot, and onion­ makes a punchy, crunchy topping for crispy fried whole snapper.

Grilled Grouper

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika, mild grouper fillets pick up lightly smoky, savory flavor in scallion, lemon, and butter stuffed packets on the grill. These packets leave the fish perfectly moist and flaky, and avoid potentially sticky grill grates. The built-in sauce cooks as the butter and lemon melt into the fish, and pair perfectly with fluffy cooked rice or crusty baguettes for sopping.

Smoked Fish Dip

Greg DuPree

Smoked fish dip is a summer staple on the Georgia coast. This creamy mayonnaise and whipped cream cheese dip, seasoned with lemon juice, mustard, horseradish, and Old Bay, is inspired by Griffin Bufkin’s smoked fish dips at Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island.

Cioppino with Fennel and Saffron

Photo by Andrew Bui / Food Styling by Max Rappaport

An abundance of seafood and three types of fennel (bulb, seed, and pollen) infuse chef Brandon Boudet’s version of this San Francisco fish stew with remarkable flavor, while Calabrian chile paste and crushed red pepper add a subtle layer of heat. Because the West Coast is famous for their Dungeness crab, a large orange crab with meaty claws, it makes a dramatic showing in this seafood-packed dish. Dungeness crab are available fresh from November through June, but this dish can be made any time since many fish markets have cooked and frozen crabs available year round.

Fried Oysters with Remoulade

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

These crunchy fried oysters are an elegant, fun appetizer. They are served with a creamy remoulade made with mayonnaise, horseradish, capers, hot sauce, and Creole mustard — the perfect dipper for the crispy oysters. Even better, this recipe adjusts easily; for a smaller group just cut it half. Or turn this into a meal and make oyster po’ boys: Cut 6 (6-inch) French rolls crosswise, and toast the rolls. Spread the rémoulade evenly on bottoms of the rolls, and top with the fried oysters, chopped lettuce and tomatoes, and dill pickles. Serve immediately.

Squid and Shrimp Fideuà with Allioli

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

In this one-skillet main course inspired by winemaker Mireia Taribó’s homeland of Catalonia in northeastern Spain, slowly sautéed squid and shrimp nestle into a bed of short, thin noodles. The fideuà noodles soak up the seafood stock and onions as they cook, their flavor intensifying as they crisp on the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to overcook the seafood — especially the squid — during the initial sauté. Taribó loves to serve this at dinner parties at her California winery, Camins 2 Dreams.

Louisiana Lump Crab Cakes

Denny Culbert

“My aunt Christine taught me how to make crab cakes over the phone,” Melissa Martin of Mosquito Supper Club says. “And what I learned is that you can use leftover boiled shrimp as a binder instead of breadcrumbs. When you grind shrimp in a food processor, it becomes sticky, and just a small amount will hold crabmeat and smothered vegetables together well enough to form into patties.A seasonal salad made with cucumber and tomato or corn on the cob is the perfect accompaniment for crab cakes.”

Lobster Thermidor

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Classic lobster thermidor stuffs gently cooked lobster meat back in its shell with a wine-based sauce and a touch of cheese before coming together under the broiler. The natural sweetness of lobster still shines through the rich, but not heavy, cremini mushroom and dry Sherry laced creamy sauce. A touch of cayenne adds warmth, not spice, that brightens the whole dish, while Parmesan cheese gets bubbly and brown under the broiler to finish each impressive stuffed lobster tail.

Shrimp Toast

Aubrie Pick

In this Night + Market dish by chef Kris Yenbamroong, blending fresh shrimp with pork fat creates a juicy, tender paste to spread on springy milk bread. Pork fat, from the back or belly (not rendered, like lard), can be easily chopped after freezing until quite firm, about 20 minutes.

Seafood Gumbo

Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Tiffany Derry’s recipe for Seafood Gumbo includes chicken breasts and thighs, andouille sausage, succulent blue crabs, shrimp, and a generous amount of okra.

Whole Fish Drizzled with Hot Ginger-Scallion Oil

Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The Chinese word for fish (yu) sounds similar to the Chinese word most closely translated to “abundance,” so for her Lunar New Year celebration, Lucky Chow producer Danielle Chang serves fish to usher in prosperity and abundance in the new year. Chang uses light soy sauce in this dish — it is lighter in color and higher in salt than dark soy sauce, making it ideal for imparting flavor in steamed seafood.

Summer Crab Carbonara with Lemons and Capers

Michael Piazza

2020 Best New Chef Douglass Williams’ method for carbonara allows you to hold the cooked pasta before adding it to the garlic–oil–pasta cooking liquid emulsion. It makes for a simple, creamy carbonara without the stress.

Hot Crab Dish

Photo by Will Dickey / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey

A close cousin of casseroles, hot dish is a staple on family dinner tables and potlucks across the Midwest United States. This version channels the flavor and fun of a crab boil, with Old Bay seasoning, dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauce, and a hint of lemon, adding layers of flavor to sweet fresh lump crabmeat. Frozen potato tots add crunch to this creamy casserole, making it a hearty and filling dinner.

Tuna Croquettes

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

These irresistibly crispy bites transform a grazing board into a hearty supper; a drizzle of honey takes them over the top. Begin frying these breaded croquettes immediately after removing them from the freezer to help them hold their shape. To accompany the croquettes, sommelier Fahara Zamorano recommends Etna Rosso, a multifaceted wine with red fruits and floral, herbaceous notes. “It can match the most intricate of spreads,” says Zamorano.

Tuna Melts with Pickled Chicories

Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Pickled chicories amp up this tuna melt, a lunchtime classic, and are a great use for leftover mixed chicories. The pickles can add a pop of tangy sweetness to salads or be served as a condiment with grilled or roasted meats.

Honey-Pepper Coconut Shrimp

Photo by Greg DuPree / Prop Styling by Christine Keely / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer

Although his breading technique at Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack in Asheville, North Carolina is top secret, chef Rich Cundiff was kind enough to create this special riff on his coconut shrimp exclusively for us. A drizzle of syrupy honey glaze, infused with black pepper and lemon, adds a tart-sweet bite.

New Orleans-Style Jambalaya

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

This hearty Creole jambalaya is smoky, aromatic, and just a little bit spicy. As a bonus, shells from the shrimp in the recipe yield a shrimp stock that goes in towards the end.

Spice-Roasted Halibut with Herbs and Tahini Salad

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Heather Claire Spollen

Chef Reem Assil’s custom khalta hara blend from the spice company Burlap & Barrel includes toasted coriander, cumin, chile, and black lime. Those spices infuse halibut with layered, mild heat; sliced serrano, cilantro, and parsley add a fresh finish.

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Citrus-Olive Relish

Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This easy dish of silky, slow-cooked roast salmon fillets is downright dinner party-worthy. The low roasting temperature ensures juicy, perfectly cooked salmon every time.

PEI-Style Smoky Clam Chowder

Graydon Herriott

Finnan haddie, or cold-smoked cured haddock, gives this brothy chowder a deep, clean, smoky foundation that highlights sweet clams without overwhelming them. Using a mixture of lightly mashed potatoes and half-and-half to thicken and enrich the soup gives it a silky, but not heavy, texture.

Roasted Soy-Citrus Chilean Sea Bass

Photo by Jacob Fox / Food Styling by Lauren McAnelly / Prop Styling by Jessica Thomas ; Susan Mitchell

This tender, flaky oven-roasted Chilean sea bass is the headliner on musician Patrice Rushen’s holiday table. To make it, Rushen bakes butter-rubbed fillets in a citrus-forward mixture of freshly juiced oranges, ponzu, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, which infuses the fish with a lovely flavor without overwhelming it. Seek out Chilean sea bass with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification label to ensure it was caught sustainably, or substitute salmon or halibut, which are also good choices for this preparation. Timing will vary depending on thickness of your fish; for thinner fillets, begin checking fish after about 12 minutes into the cooking time.

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Walnut-Olive Vinaigrette

Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

A vinaigrette bolstered with chopped olives, toasted walnuts, and fresh parsley is a bold finishing touch for roasted salmon basted with smoked paprika and lemon. The combination of basting and slow roasting yields incredibly tender salmon; the walnut-olive vinaigrette adds a briny, buttery crunch. Source skinless salmon for a prettier presentation. To coax the most flavor from the walnuts, toast in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes.

Saffron Spaghetti with Santa Barbara Spot Prawns

Aubrie Pick

Spot prawns are incredibly sweet, with plump, tender tails reminiscent of lobster. Be sure to remove the prawns from the pan before finishing the sauce to keep them from overcooking.

Pescado con Sofrito

Whitney Anderson

In this recipe for Pescado con Sofrito, chef Katie Button uses an aromatic, slow-cooked sofrito to add vibrant flavors to an otherwise quick dinner of white wine-poached white fish fillets.

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes

© Greg DuPree

In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: “This is the best crab cake recipe you will ever find. If you don’t overmix, and don’t pack your mounds too tightly, you will experience pure, unadulterated crab cake heaven,” Andrew Zimmern says.

Anchovy Toasts with Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette

Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

The Anchovy Bar, sister restaurant to State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, celebrates the tiny, humble fish in a host of ways, including this made-to-share snack board of quality Spanish anchovy fillets, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh Japanese cucumbers. “The build-your-own aspect of this dish makes the simplicity work so well,” says co-owner Nicole Krasinski, who opened the restaurant with her husband, Stuart Brioza, a 2003 Food & Wine Best New Chef. “Everything is meant to be clean and fresh and offer a great balance to the salty anchovies.”

Shrimp Creole

Greg DuPree

On a visit to New York City in 1984, world-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse visited the Food & Wine test kitchen and shared several recipes, including his Shrimp Creole (another one of our 40 best). The spicy Creole sauce has layers of flavor built on a foundation of the Cajun flavor trinity — onion, celery, and green bell pepper — mixed with garlic and sautéed in butter until tender. The Creole sauce can be made through step 4 and chilled for up to four days, or can be frozen for up to a month. This recipe makes more Creole seasoning than you’ll need; save the remainder in an air-tight container.

Grilled or Roasted Whole Red Snapper

© Yunhee Kim

One of our all-time most popular seafood recipes is this whole snapper prepared with a paste of parsley, capers, garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt, then grilled or roasted, and served with lemon juice.

Spaghetti with Clams and Garlic


Chefs Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo’s exquisite, super-simple version of linguine con vongole is packed with garlic and a judicious amount of crushed red pepper. If you prefer, shell the clams before tossing them with their juices in the pasta.