21 Best Seafood Recipes for Beginner Cooks
Even seasoned cooks can feel intimated about cooking seafood. But there's really no secret knowledge required to prepare seafood properly. In fact, with many seafood recipes, less is more. These top-rated recipes celebrate simple seafood preparations and limited ingredients. You'll find terrific recipes for shrimp, tuna, scallops, salmon, tilapia, and more.
Spaghetti with Tuna and Capers
Tuna in olive oil, capers, thinly sliced red onions, and crushed red pepper flakes combine with spaghetti and fresh parsley. "With a few simple ingredients, you can have a delicious meal!" says Kim's Cooking Now, the recipe submitter. "My husband came up with this recipe while we are on 'stay at home' orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was quick, easy, and delicious!"
Scallops with Pesto Cream Sauce
Elegant but super easy to make, "This delicious scallop dish only takes a few minutes to make and is to die for," says nt_bella. "Serve the scallops as they are or with some crusty bread, rice, or pasta."
Easy Tuna Casserole
"Tuna, macaroni, creamy soup, cheese and fried onions are all you need to make this super easy tuna casserole that I learned from my roommate," says LMCDEVIT. "It's great as leftovers, too."
Panko Parmesan Salmon
Combine panko, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a bowl and sprinkle over the salmon. "It's made with panko (Japanese bread crumbs), which are very light and crunchy, mixed with Parmesan cheese," says Dianne. "Bake in the oven until the panko is nice and toasted."
Sheet Pan Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp with Asparagus
Drizzle olive oil over asparagus spears, sprinkle with garlic, and arrange on one side of the pan, with shrimp on the other side, and top with olive oil and smoked paprika. Top asparagus and shrimp with cubed butter, bake, and drizzle with lemon juice. "Have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes with this quick and easy one-pan roasted lemon butter shrimp and asparagus seasoned with garlic," says Fioa.
Mediterranean Tuna Capellini
Tuna, cannellini beans, and capellini pasta in a bright lemon juice, zest, and olive oil sauce. "Not far from Tampa, Florida, is a waterfront city rich with Greek influence called Tarpon Springs. This is a dish based on a dish I once tried at a local eatery," says thedailygourmet, the recipe submitter. "It really gives a Mediterranean taste."
Super Simple Salmon
Sprinkle salmon fillets with seasonings and sear in melted butter for 5 minutes per side. So easy! Angela Sing Huey Looi says, "This is a very simple but delicious way to prepare fresh salmon using just a few ingredients from your pantry."
Simple Shrimp Tostadas
Ready in 20 minutes! You'll combine finely chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and red onion in a bowl. Smear crispy tostada shells with a little mayo, top with the tomato mixture, cooked shrimp, and avocado slices. Shisafest says, "My aunt wowed me with her simple, yet delicious shrimp tostada recipe. It is very simple to make and everyone asks for more! I use garlic salt for the salt!"
Chef John's Spaghetti al Tonno
This super-simple but tremendously flavorful tuna sauce is the perfect choice for busy weeknights, when Italian comfort food is what you crave. A flavorful foundation features minced garlic, capers, white wine, red pepper flakes, and a briny anchovy. You’ll add tomatoes, simmer the sauce briefly, and then toss in the tuna and some chopped fresh parsley. That's it!
"Spaghetti al tonno is one of my all-time favorite go-to pasta dishes. I love a classic meat sauce as much as the next half-Italian, but when I want something quick and easy for a weeknight meal, I reach for the tuna. What if you don't like fish? Then this is perfect. The taste and texture is really closer to a veal sauce than one made with fish."
Marinate salmon fillets for just 10 minutes in balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, fresh cilantro and basil. Broil on both sides, brushing occasionally with the sauce, until the salmon is easily flaked with a fork. "Both my boyfriend and myself really loved this marinade," says Kilyth. "It works just as well on swordfish and is so quick and easy that I will definitely make this again."
Quick Fish Tacos
You'll pan-fry tilapia fillets in jalapeno-infused olive oil and serve as tacos with a simple cabbage slaw. "This is one of my all-time favorite recipes for a weeknight meal," says Val. "Easy to make and really, really tasty! The whole family loves these!
Tilapia fillets are baked in a simple lemon juice and butter sauce. "My husband and I love shrimp scampi," says JasnsWif. "Since tilapia is usually cheaper than shrimp at the store, I concocted this easy recipe to enjoy the flavor of scampi at the price of tilapia!"
Pan-Seared Lemon and Garlic Scallops
Sea scallops are brushed with clarified butter, garlic, and lemon juice and quickly pan-seared over high heat. "Scallops have a reputation for being hard to cook correctly, but this recipe is really fast, easy, and oh so tasty," says Brian Genest. "The key is high heat for the sear, a good nonstick pan, and clarified butter. Pairs well with risotto."
Pan-Poached Alaskan Salmon Piccata
Another easy but impressive dinner, salmon filets are poached in lemon juice and chicken bouillon, then topped with butter and capers. "This is a delicious, creative way to serve salmon. You can serve the salmon on a bed of cooked noodles — I enjoy fettuccine — or on its own with a side of vegetables," Ann says.
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
Quick and easy shrimp fajitas in one pan! "Talk about a winning weeknight meal," says LazyFoodieGirl. "I was amazed how EASY this was to do -- not to mention delicious! After long hours at work, I didn't have energy for too much prep or clean up. This satisfied all my needs."
Chef John's Salmon Cakes
Capers, canned salmon, and saltines are the keys to these simple salmon cakes. Chef John says, "I'm using canned salmon for this delicious recipe. Every grocery store carries it, and canned salmon is almost always wild salmon. I'm not going to go into the wild-versus-farmed salmon debate here, but wild is not only more eco-friendly, it tastes better and is more nutritious. You could use fresh cooked salmon for this recipe if you have leftovers, but since we are mixing this up with eggs and cracker crumbs, fresh salmon just isn't necessary, so why spend the extra cash?"
Cabbage Patch Halibut
"This is one of easiest and most delicious ways you can cook fish," says Chef John. This cabbage-wrapping technique should work no matter what fish you choose. "The leaf not only keeps the halibut moist, but also holds all your assorted garnishes and seasonings tight against the meat, which creates an even more intensely flavored result. The lovely aroma of cabbage will mask those fishy smells that usually linger in the kitchen. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves."
Citrus Salmon with New Potatoes
Here is a complete meal with new potatoes, broccolini (or asparagus), and steamed salmon. "Light but bursting with flavor," says NPet. "The perfect summer salmon recipe. Salmon and broccolini are steamed on a bed of lemon, ginger, and garlic with orange juice and served with new potatoes."
Creamy Shrimp Pasta
"If you don't have much time for dinner, try this creamy shrimp pasta recipe," says nch, the recipe submitter. You'll cook garlic and shrimp, add wine and cream, and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, then stir in basil. Spoon your creamy shrimp over cooked spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese. "It's quick and easy to make and my whole family loved it."
Easy Salmon Avocado Salad
Another simple recipe featuring canned salmon. You'll flake the salmon and combine with creamy avocado, crunchy cucumbers, and capers. "The perfect light salad for lunch," says bd.weld. "I agree with the submitter that celery would work well as an addition."
Shrimp Scampi Bake
This simple baked scampi starts with a quick pan sauce made with butter, Dijon mustard, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and parsley. You'll pour the sauce over shrimp and bake. It's just that simple! Kimber calls it, "An easy version of this classic with the wonderful 'zip' of Dijon-style mustard."