Written by Anna Pashkova, MS, RDN, LD, ACSM-EP / Reviewed by Chef Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD, FAND
Fish and seafood are packed with vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good health. All varieties - from scallops to salmon to shrimp to cod - are a lean source of protein that should be a regular part of a heart healthy diet.
While most people know they're a nutritional powerhouse, fish and seafood can be a little intimidating if you're a newbie in the kitchen. Compared to other sources of protein, fish and seafood have a unique flavor and deciding on a cooking method and flavor pairings can be overwhelming.
That's why we've put together this guide on easy ways to eat more fish and seafood, with tips on using fresh, frozen and canned, recommended preparation methods for different varieties and delicious recipes that'll knock your socks off!
7 Simple Ideas to Eat More Fish & Seafood
Add fish or seafood to a salad or sandwich
Seafood may not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about salad and sandwich options, but it can be a fun way to mix things up. For example, you can use it as a protein and/or healthy fat source in a salad for a balanced meal.
Or you can substitute fish like tuna and salmon in sandwiches in place of deli meat. This Mediterranean Chickpea & Tuna Salad can work as either option - as a standalone salad or as a sandwich filling!
A Salmon Nicoise Salad is a seemingly boujee way to get in a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids from perfectly sauteed salmon. The entire salad looks like a work of art, but it's actually super easy to throw together. If you're not a salmon fan, swap in canned or pouched tuna for an easy peasy lunch.
Include it in pasta or taco night
Pasta and tacos are two types of meals that create easy opportunities for more fish and seafood to be included in your life. If you normally eat chicken, pork, beef or plant-based tacos, try mixing it up with shrimp or fish tacos occasionally.
Similarly, seafood like clams, shrimp, lobster and scallops pair well with pasta. This Tuna Noodle Potato Chip Pasta is absolutely worth trying if you love pasta as a comfort food.
Make fish into a patty or cake
If you're looking for a family- or kid-friendly way to eat more fish or perhaps have yet to find a way to enjoy it yourself, this is a great starting point. Even though they may sound hard to make, fish cakes or patties can actually be super quick and simple.
For example, these Pepita-Crusted Tuna Cakes are ready in just 20 minutes. You can enjoy fish patties or cakes by themself as a protein source, on a bed of greens, or in between a bun similar to a burger!
Cook seafood with a crispy crust
Almost anything is better when it's crispy, and the same applies for fish and seafood! Similar to patties and cakes, this is a good option for those who may be pickier with seafood or to make dishes more kid-friendly.
A pistachio-crust works well for different types of seafood, including the tuna cakes above, scallops and cod. Or, for a more traditional crispy breading made from flour, Panko and egg that can be baked in the oven.
Include fish or shrimp in a sheet pan dinner
Sheet pan dinners are gold for quick, easy, and minimal preparation dinners. Simply season your fish of choice (salmon makes a great option) and cook it in the oven.
Throw in some non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or green beans and include a starchy veggie like potatoes or sweet potatoes to make it a complete meal.
Add fish or seafood to a bowl meal or meal prep option
Bowl meals are amazing because you can truly customize them to your preferences. You can either take a creative approach by pairing your favorite foods with the seafood you enjoy most, or you can go with a flavor theme.
If you're someone who meal preps ahead of time, bowls can be easily put together with different components. If you need some inspiration, check out these recipes for an Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl or a Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Salmon.
Keep frozen and canned seafood on hand
Lastly, keeping frozen, canned, and pouch options readily available is an easy way to eat more fish and seafood. These options can be more cost-effective and save you the worry of having to cook it soon after purchasing.
On top of that, canned salmon, tuna, sardines, and clams make cooking a breeze. You can also use them as a quick healthy mid-day snack. Similarly, frozen seafood can be cooked any time either after thawing or immediately from the freezer.
Looking for more recipes & tips for fish and seafood?
If shrimp is your jam, you may want to try these recipes for Firecracker Shrimp Lettuce Cups and Shrimp & Vegetable Spring Rolls. And for tips on how to cook and source fish, check out this blog post for fish tacos.
What are your favorite ideas for eating more fish and seafood?