Seafood cooks so quickly and offers so much nutrition. These easy seafood dishes make it easy to add fish & shrimp to your weekly meal plan!
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Seafood can be intimidating. So many people love ordering seafood at restaurants but never cook it at home. I want to change that!
I include a variety of seafood in the meal rotation at my house (and on our Prep Dish meal plans!) for a few reasons. First of all, I think it's totally delicious 🙂 I find myself dining out less since having kids and I would be sad to never get to enjoy seafood!
Second, it has tons of nutritional benefits like Omega-3s and lean protein. I love knowing my kids are getting plenty of Omega-3 for their growing brains!
Finally, seafood is the perfect weeknight protein! Both fish and shrimp cook SO quickly, which I'm all about on those busy nights. I'm sharing 15 EASY seafood dishes perfect for weeknight dinners. If you're new to cooking seafood, read my tips first and if not, skip right to the recipes!
Quick Tips to Make the BEST Seafood Dishes
If you're new to seafood, here are a few tips to help you feel confident in your culinary adventures.
1. Choose Quality Fish
No matter what you do to it, fish is not going to taste good if you don't start with high quality fish. I highly recommend befriending the head of the seafood department at your local grocery store but you can also check out my 5 Tips for Choosing the Best Quality Fish!
2. Keep it Fresh
If you're a Prep Dish subscriber, you've likely noticed that we generally include seafood as the first item on our weekly meal plans. That's because fresh seafood does not stay fresh for nearly as long as other proteins. It's generally best to cook it within a day or so of purchasing, although you can check the expiration date. You of course have more flexibility if you purchase frozen seafood!
3. Don't Overcook
The main reason people struggle to replicate restaurant-quality seafood dishes at home is the tendency to overcook. Fish and shrimp cook so quickly, you definitely have to keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking. For shrimp, watch for when they turn pink and for fish, it should easily flake when fully cooked.
Food and Wine also has a great tip for knowing when fish is done – use a cake tester. If the fish is done, it should go in easily. If it's not, you'll meet resistance.
4. Quick Marinade
Marinades are one of the best ways to add deep flavor to fish and shrimp. But don't marinate too long! Seafood will start to break down if left in a marinade for a long time. 30 minutes is generally long enough to add plenty of flavor while maintaining the best texture for your seafood. My Zesty Citrus Marinade is a great one on fish and shrimp!
5. Be Patient
If your first fish dish doesn't turn out well, don't give up! There is so much variety both in terms of type of seafood and cooking method. Try cooking seafood once a week until you're more comfortable with it. In time you'll find the dishes you're most comfortable cooking at home.
Easy Seafood Dishes
And now, on to the recipes! Each of the below easy seafood dishes came straight from our meal plans, which means they're meal prep friendly! If you'd like tasty meal prep recipes on the regular, make sure to sign up for a Prep Dish free trial to try our healthy meal plans for free!
Easy Healthy Shrimp Recipes
If you're new to seafood, shrimp might be the best place to start. Why? It's so easy to tell when they're done!
For many, the challenge with seafood is not overcooking it. It cooks so quickly that it's easy to overdo it. With shrimp though, they turn that beautiful pink color when they're done and it's clear they're ready to eat! Below are some of my favorite ways to prepare them.
1. Cajun Shrimp
This is pretty much the easiest recipe ever and it's so good! Using a seasoning blend, like the Cajun seasoning here, means the shrimp have a ton of flavor with very little work on your part.
2. Shrimp Cobb Salad
I love a good salad but it has to be hearty if it's going to serve as a main dish! With shrimp, hard boiled eggs, avocado and bacon, this one fits the bill.
3. Grilled Coconut Shrimp w/ Lime
This dish is so fresh and bright, I love the tropical flavors. If you haven't tried grilling shrimp, I urge you to give this one a try.
4. Shrimp w/ Mushrooms Over Noodles
You can serve the shrimp and mushrooms over noodles or over zoodles for a lower carb / paleo-friendly alternative. Both versions are delicious!
5. Mexican Jicama Shrimp Saute
I have a serious love for jicama. It's just as good raw as cooked and lends such a nice crunch to dishes like this Mexican Shrimp Saute.
6. Gluten Free Gumbo
Want to know how to make dishes like this one weeknight-friendly?
Meal prep! All of our Prep Dish meal plans include detailed meal prep instructions. When you do things like wash and chop the veggies ahead, meals like this one come together much more quickly!
For dishes like this one, you may even consider making the whole recipe ahead of time. I think it tastes even better the second day!
7. Sheet Pan Pesto Shrimp
This is a truly hands-off way to cook shrimp! Toss everything on a sheet pan for a super easy dinnertime and very little cleanup. My homemade pesto brings everything together!
Quick Fish Recipes
All of the below quick fish recipes are flexible. I urge you to check what kind of fish looks best at the seafood counter. Quality fish will absolutely result in a tastier meal! Or, you can do what I do, and outsource the selection process to Vital Choice Seafood. I live in semi-rural Texas and quality seafood is not exactly a hallmark of my local grocery store. Vital Choice makes it easy for my family to enjoy the best seafood every week!
Here are some of my favorite ways to prepare it:
8. Paleo Fish Taco Bowls
These fish taco bowls are fresh, bright and perfect for anytime you want a dinner that's equally light and satisfying. The dairy free cilantro lime slaw in this recipe is so good!
9. Salmon w/ Acorn Squash & Mushrooms
I developed this recipe for those adhering to an alkaline diet. That said, this simple and delicious dinner is perfect for anyone looking to incorporate more seafood in their meal plan.
10. Honey Ginger Salmon
Ginger, garlic, coconut aminos and honey come together for the perfect sweet and savory marinade. This dish is also AIP-friendly!
11. Teriyaki Salmon Bowls
This dish is frequently listed as a favorite with our subscribers and it's easy to see why! Not only is the homemade teriyaki sauce delicious, these bowls are easy to customize with whatever toppings you wish.
12. Oven Baked Cornmeal Crusted Catfish
This healthy take on a southern favorite is sure to be a hit with the whole family. If you can't find catfish, feel free to use with other white fish.
13. Caesar Salmon Wraps
If you have family members who aren't totally sold on seafood, these wraps are a great way to make it more approachable. Definitely make extra homemade caesar dressing. It makes an excellent veggie dip!
14. Red Snapper in Crazy Water
This one is just plain fun! The fish is poached in a flavorful broth for a ton of flavor. This gentle cooking method also makes it easy to avoid overcooking!
And a bonus!
I couldn't compile a list of easy seafood dishes without these crab cakes! They're a bit of a splurge, but so worth it for special occasions.
15. Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab is expensive but if you're looking for a dish to serve for a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary or date night, these are perfect!
We frequently include an easy seafood dish on our meal prep meal plans here at Prep Dish. It's a great way to incorporate more seafood into your meal rotation without getting in a rut or constantly searching for recipes. Click the button below to try the meal plans for free!
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