15 Easy Feast of the Seven Fishes Recipes
Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian Christmas Eve tradition. There are no hard rules about what to serve for this feast. Some people will tell you there should be seven courses. Others choose to prepare a couple types of fish in seven different ways. And some make 12 courses (in a nod to the 12 apostles). Families all likely have their own traditions, but one thing is for certain: seafood should be cooked and eaten.
If you're planning on cooking the feast, you may (or may not, it's up to you!) want to include something snackier (like a dip), a salad (for some greens!), something "meaty" (like swordfish), pasta (because), and seafood stew (you can eat a lot of seafood at once!). And no one would be upset if you ended the meal with cannoli.
Here, we pulled together 15 recipe ideas for a festive Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.
Chef John's Bagna Cauda
This dip has plenty of garlic, anchovies, and olive oil and is a great way to kick things off. Plus, it's easily customizable, and you can use more or less anchovies or garlic, but just be sure to serve it with plenty of bread and vegetables for dipping.
Italian Marinated Seafood Salad
Seven fishes may seem like a lot for one meal, but this salad has scallops, shrimp, mussels, and calamari all in one. "I also served it without the lettuces," says reviewer MomBun. "It was a hit." If you choose to keep the greens, you can use radicchio, romaine, spinach, or a mix of your favorites.
Fried calamari is a favorite of many — and for good reason. This recipe is ready in 20 minutes, comes out crispy, and is ready with just a squeeze of lemon or a dip into marinara sauce. "The only change I made, upon recommendation from my fish monger, was to soak the calamari in milk for 15 minutes after cutting it up but prior to dredging it in flour," says reviewer Lo.
Mussels in a Fennel and White Wine Broth
Served with crusty bread to mop up all of the white wine broth, these mussels make a great appetizer. Packed with fennel and cherry tomatoes, this mussels dish a bit more heartiness going for them. However, for more of an entree-sized portion, we suggest doubling the recipe.
Maggie's Clams Casino
What's better than a half clam shell stuffed with clams, bread crumbs, bell pepper, and red onions? Not much, which is why clams casino are such a surefire hit for your Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner. There is, of course, room for customization here, and you can leave out the bacon to make it more Feast of the Seven Fishes-appropriate. "Next time I will omit the red pepper, because the filling was not bread crumby enough for me," says reviewer Julie.
Sicilian Christmas Pizza (Sfincione)
This thick-crust pizza is topped with breadcrumbs, which might seem a bit unusual, but this this recipe has five stars, and that many people can be wrong. While lots of anchovies in pizza sauce may not always be universally loved, when it's Feast of the Seven Fishes, these little guys are not to be missed.
Cod with Italian Crumb Topping
When it comes to a main dish for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, cod is a good, basic option. Topped with breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and spices, these cod filets are straightforward and ready in 25 minutes (which is important when you're making a whole feast). "The best cod I've ever eaten," reviewer Melissa Rapoza Fragoza says.
Tomato Basil Salmon
Sometimes you just need a main that's simple, quick, and (most importantly) tastes great. This salmon does the trick. Here, the fish fillets are topped with dried basil, sliced tomato, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese. Reviewers have used fresh basil instead of dried, and found it delicious.
Chef John's Shrimp Fra Diavolo
"Fra diavolo" means "from the devil" or "brother devil." And true to the name, this shrimp recipe is spicy and packed with red pepper flakes and Aleppo pepper flakes (which are popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking). If you want, you can serve this over rice or pasta.
Grilled Rock Lobster Tails
For an unexpected main dish, head outside and grill lobster tails. Seasoned simply with lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, and garlic powder, they're ready in no time. "Make sure to baste constantly to keep it moist," says reviewer Kevin Naughton. "And watch out for flareups when the oil drips into the grill (keep a spray bottle handy)."
Swordfish a la Siciliana
For a memorable main dish, top swordfish steaks with a sauce made from onion, garlic, tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, and capers. "As the sauce is so flavoursome I think you could easily use a plainer (and cheaper) fish like cod," says reviewer Shmanda.
Scrumptious Shrimp Scampi Linguine
The recipe title says it perfectly: this pasta is scrumptious. While the ingredient list may seem a bit long, you most likely already have a lot of it in your pantry and fridge. Reviewer mudrogr suggests adding bay scallops to the pasta, which would make it even more appropriate for this feast.
Clam Sauce with Linguine
This recipe uses two cans of chopped clams, which makes this a super fast and easy recipe. You can use either fettuccine or linguine. Just serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese. "This was really good," says reviewer Mia. "However, I did add a splash of white wine which I think is key." So, if you like or happen to have an open bottle around, go ahead and add it to the sauce.
Italian Shrimp and Scallop Risotto
This risotto has scallops and shrimp in it and cooks the seafood and rice separately. The rice needs more time to cook, so this keeps the scallops and shrimp from overcooking. Make sure you use high-quality fish stock. (You can make try making your own, if you like!).
A good way to eat a whole lot of seafood at once? A stew! This cioppino has shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels, crab, and cod in it. "I simmered the broth for over an hour, until we were just about ready to eat, and then added the fish... first the clams for about 5 min, till they start to open, then the crab legs (about 1 minute) then the mussels, shrimp, squid, scallops and cod," says reviewer Roted.