30 Recipes To Celebrate The Feast Of The 7 Fishes In Style

Have you ever heard of the Feast of the Seven Fishes? According to Eataly, this Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition traces its origins to the Roman Catholic custom of abstaining from meat during certain holy times. (In addition to Christmas, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis shares these days include Fridays, Ash Wednesday, and during Lent.) On these occasions, many practicing Catholics turn to fish instead of meat for their meals. At some point in the early 1900s, the seven-course feast became a common way for Italian-Americans to sit down on Christmas Eve at eat a meal that connected them to their heritage. Today, the festive meal often features Italian and Italian-ish seafood recipes such as marinated anchovies, fried squid, cioppino, and shrimp pasta.

Want to treat your friends and family to your very own Feast of the Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve? You're in luck: we've gathered 22 fish-forward recipes for you, from easy poached salmon to crispy fried trout. Buon Natale to you and yours!

Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and with a mild taste that works well with a wide range of flavors and cooking techniques, salmon is a kitchen staple for good reason. We love to pair it with robust herbs and spices, as in this flavor-packed preparation featuring a sweet honey mustard glaze and an herby, crunchy pistachio crust. Served with fresh lemon wedges, it's an easy dish with big payoffs.

Recipe: Pistachio-Crusted Salmon

Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Looking for a shrimp recipe for your seven fish feast? Then you'll love this simple Spanish-inspired dish. Packed with garlicky flavor (and a bit of heat), this easy recipe takes peeled and deveined shrimp; nestles them in olive oil flavored with fresh garlic, paprika, and a minced red chili; and then gives them a quick bake in the oven. Spritzed with lemon juice and sprinkled with fresh parsley, the tender shrimp are delicious with a piece of crusty bread.

Recipe: Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Easy Fresh Ginger Salmon

Because it's a mild fish, salmon takes well to a variety of bold flavors, which is why we love it in this recipe utilizing fresh, spicy ginger. Featuring a simple glaze of soy sauce, ginger, honey, rice wine, and Sriracha basted over salmon fillets, the recipe yields tender baked fish coated in a shiny, sweet-and-salty sauce. Best of all? The whole thing only takes about 18 minutes from start to finish, making it the perfect fish to pair with some tougher, more labor intensive recipes for your seven course meal.

Recipe: Easy Fresh Ginger Salmon

Cioppino

An American-Italian classic, cioppino is an excellent choice for your Feast of Seven Fishes menu. Our version of this seafood-packed stew calls for clams, mussels, shrimp, and cod, though you can choose any fish you prefer (the dish was, after all, created by fisherman in San Francisco to use up any unsold seafood they had left at the end of their day).

This recipe takes cioppino's classic tomato broth to the next level with the addition of fennel and a semi-dry white wine. 

Recipe: Cioppino

Easy Coconut Shrimp

How about shrimp with a tropical flair this Christmas Eve? This tasty appetizer calls for peeled, deveined shrimp that are coated in a mix of breadcrumbs and shredded coconut.

Fried up crispy in a deep pan of hot vegetable oil, the shrimp are sprinkled with fresh cilantro and served with sweet chili dipping sauce. (You can buy this sauce at the store or make it yourself, the choice is yours!) Bet you can't eat just one.

Recipe: Easy Coconut Shrimp

Classic Fried Salt Cod

Who doesn't love fried fish? There's just something seafood coated in a simple batter, fried until perfectly golden, and then squeezed with a bit of lemon and dipped in tartar sauce.

This recipe calls for soaked salt cod, a traditional ingredient all across the Mediterranean region (via Fine Cooking). Served hot and crispy, it's a solid entry for any one of your feast's seven courses.

Recipe: Classic Fried Salt Cod

Easy Baked Pesto Salmon

Want another easy-peasy baked salmon recipe? This dish calls for just two ingredients — salmon fillets and jarred basil pesto — and yields tender fish smothered in a garlicky, herbaceous sauce.

If you've got a little extra time on your hands, you can always go the extra mile and whip up your own homemade pesto, but even if you take the shortcut route, we promise we won't tell.

Recipe: Easy Baked Pesto Salmon

Creamy Garlic Scallops

Featuring fresh, simple flavors, this recipe for creamy garlic scallops is sure to please. After a quick sauté in olive oil, which gives the scallops a lovely crust and nice caramel color, these scallops are bathed in a garlicky cream sauce and topped with chopped parsley for a pop of color. Serve immediately with crusty bread or atop pasta, as your guests won't want to leave behind a single drop.

You can use small bay scallops or larger sea scallops, whichever is easier for you to procure.

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Scallops

Easy Honey Baked Salmon

Here's another salmon idea that couldn't be any easier: take some salmon filets, mix up a dead-simple honey, soy sauce, garlic, and lemon glaze, pour said glaze over the fish, and bake for 15 minutes. The result? Tender fish with a sweet-salty sauce that everyone at your holiday table will love.

While you're at it, you may want to make a double batch of the marinade! It pairs beautifully with chicken and sea bass, too.

Recipe: Easy Honey Baked Salmon

Hawaiian Spicy Garlic Shrimp

It may be cold where you're celebrating the holiday, but these spicy Hawaiian garlic shrimp are guaranteed to transport you to warmer climates. Served at food trucks across the islands, but especially on Oahu (via Onolicious Hawaii), the dish features shrimp tossed in seasoned flour, pan-fried, and then smothered in a garlic packed butter sauce. Serve it over rice or with hunks of crusty bread.

Recipe: Hawaiian Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Air Fryer Salmon Patties

Looking for a quick and easy appetizer for your Feast of Seven Fishes party? These air fryer salmon patties check all the boxes.

Using only seven ingredients (eight, if you want to count the lemon slices), these crispy patties only take about 18 minutes in total to make. What's more, they can be eaten with your hands off cocktail napkins or plated up on fancy china, so they will fit in at almost any gathering — from the most casual family hangout to a super formal dinner.

Recipe: Air Fryer Salmon Patties

Breaded Pan-Fried Cod

A Midwestern classic, this flavorful recipe for pan-fried cod coats fresh filets in panko breadcrumbs flavored with celery salt and paprika for an ultra crunchy bite. After being fried 'til golden brown, the cod is served with lemon wedges and a tasty homemade tartar sauce made with mayo, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, pickle relish, and chopped fresh dill.

This dish is wonderful on its own or paired with a simple cabbage coleslaw.

Recipe: Breaded Pan-Fried Cod

Instant Pot Steamed Salmon

For a healthy, no-fuss way to prepare fish and other proteins, we love steaming in an Instant Pot. This salmon recipe seriously couldn't be any easier and reliably produces incredible results.

Just take some filets, drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and steam for two to three minutes. Served with slices of lemon and fresh dill, it's a straightforward and elegant way to enjoy salmon that your guests will love.

Recipe: Instant Pot Steamed Salmon

Simple Baked Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi is a tropical fish with mild, firm flesh that takes well to a variety of cooking methods — and best of all, it's a sustainable choice. This simple preparation calls for deboned filets that are bathed in butter with garlic, parsley, and chives, and then baked for about 12 minutes. Served with lemon wedges, it's an easy dish that's delicious on its own, over rice or pasta, or eaten with crusty baguette.

Recipe: Simple Baked Mahi Mahi

Easy Grilled Salmon

This grilled salmon recipe is simple but methodical, starting with a salt brine that ensures a tender, juicy outcome and adding a garlic butter sauce featuring lemon juice and dried parsley. Once nestled into little foil packets, the salmon filets get grilled over a hot flame.

Recipe developer Maren Epstein advises to err on the side of undercooking: "Once you overcook it, there's no bringing it back," and suggests you begin checking the filets for doneness frequently after 10 minutes on the grill. Using a butter knife, slice into the fish: if it's flaky, opaque, and the knife goes in smoothly it's done; if it "resists" and is still translucent in the center, check again in another minute or so.

Recipe: Easy Grilled Salmon

Crispy Fried Trout

You can't go wrong with trout. Described by the Food Network as a delicate-fleshed freshwater fish, trout can be enjoyed grilled, baked, or (as in this recipe) fried.

This simple recipe calls for filets, which are dredged in seasoned flour and then fried to crispy perfection in plenty of hot butter. Served with lemon wedges, it's a quick and easy option that will fit right in among your six other seafood dishes.

Recipe: Crispy Fried Trout

Easy Poached Salmon

Poached salmon is a dinner party classic for good reason: it's easy, flavorful, and nutritious. In this recipe, filets are poached in white wine, garlic, shallots, and lemon, then sprinkled with plenty of salty capers and fresh parsley. This dish can be served either warm or cold, making it an obvious choice for a multi-course meal.

Want to make this poached salmon the star of your Christmas Eve meal? Just slip the filets and a bit of reduced cooking liquid over buttered pasta for a filling main course.

Recipe: Easy Poached Salmon

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Who doesn't love grilled shrimp? This simple recipe owes its success to a flavor-packed marinade of olive oil, chili garlic sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, more garlic, cayenne pepper, and paprika. After soaking up all that deliciousness for about 20 minutes, the little critters are blackened over a hot flame 'til burnished and juicy, then garnished with chopped fresh parsley. They're sure to be a hit at your dinner table.

Recipe: Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Sheet Pan Garlic Salmon

Who doesn't love a good sheet pan dinner? Usually an assemblage of veggies and sometimes potatoes topped with a protein and then tossed in the oven to bake, sheet pan dinners are a great option for making a complete meal without having to stand over a hot stove.

In this recipe, chopped red peppers, zucchini, red onion, and baby potatoes are roasted alongside salmon filets smeared with plenty of lemony garlic butter, yielding a pan full of caramelized veggies and tender fish your whole party will enjoy.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Garlic Salmon

Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll

With so many of the same dishes showing up year after year on your Feast of Seven Fishes menu, why not branch out and include a sushi roll as one of your appetizers? This one is seriously simple, provided you have all the right tools to get the job done. Armed with a sushi rolling mat, nori sheets, and sushi rice, you'll be amazed at how quickly this dish comes together.

Filled with a mixture of canned tuna mixed with spicy mayo (you can always use fresh tuna if you prefer, or if you have some extra leftover from another dish on your seven course menu), these spicy tuna sushi rolls are sure to impress your guests.

Recipe: Easy Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll

Quick Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Love coconut shrimp, but don't feel like busting out a pan of sticky, greasy hot oil? Then this air-fried version of the crispy appetizer is sure to be a winner in your home.

To make these fried shrimp, simply batter your peeled, deveined shrimp before coating in a shredded coconut and panko mix. Then air fry for about 10 minutes before serving them up with Thai sweet chili sauce.

Recipe: Quick Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Ina Garten's Lobster Cobb Salad With A Twist

When you're faced with seven dishes, no matter how delicious they might be, you may want to add a little bit of greenery to the mix. That's where our take on Ina Garten's lobster Cobb salad comes in.

Made with all those classic Cobb salad ingredients (namely, bacon, avocado, tomatoes, and blue cheese), this recipe will offer guests a break from the rich and filling standbys, while keeping in the Seven Fishes tradition.

Recipe: Ina Garten's Lobster Cobb Salad With A Twist

Easy Jerk Salmon

If you've ever tried jerk chicken, you've likely fallen in love with the Jamaican seasoning blend that's typically made from bold flavors such as fiery Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, thyme, and nutmeg (via Taste of Home). This easy salmon recipe captures all those flavors using a bottled jerk seasoning mix.

Once coated in the spice blend and pan-seared, the filets are served with a simple but tasty mango cabbage slaw, the sweetness of which perfectly complements the spicy fish.

Recipe: Easy Jerk Salmon

Air Fryer Crispy Cod

The air fryer is an easy choice for this crispy "fried" cod, which owes its crunch factor to a double dip: the fish first bathes in a flour-and-milk batter and is next dipped in a parmesan-breadcrumb crust — and then the process is repeated again before the cod air-fries to crispy perfection.

The whole dish comes together in about 40 minutes and will be right at home on your Seven Fishes table.

Recipe: Air Fryer Crispy Cod

Easy Whole Grilled Tilapia

An impressive dish for your Feast of Seven Fishes table, this whole grilled tilapia couldn't be easier; with a mild flavor and stuffed with green onions, dill, and lemon, it's sure to be a crowd pleaser too.

If you're unable to access a grill (or if it's really cold where you live, and you simply don't want to brave the elements), you're welcome to roast this fish in the oven. While you'll want to roast the fish right on the rack, it would be wise to place a sheet pan or foil underneath for easier clean up.

Recipe: Easy Grilled Whole Tilapia

Best Bang Bang Shrimp

Bang bang shrimp — fried shrimp served with a creamy mayo-and-chili sauce dip — was created by Bonefish Grill. Luckily for fans of the Florida-based seafood chain, the recipe is simple to make at home: just soak shrimp in buttermilk, pass them through seasoned flour, and deep fry them. The tasty dipping sauce made simply of mayo, sweet chili sauce, and Sriracha perfectly complements the crispy shrimp.

Recipe: Best Bang Bang Shrimp

Gordon Ramsay's Tuna Tartare

There are few dishes that feel quite as special as tuna tartare. While sourcing high quality tuna may take a little more effort than running to your local grocery store and grabbing the first thing you see (you'll be eating it raw, so you want to make sure you're getting the best fish available), tuna tartare is worth it for the wow factor alone.

Based off a Gordon Ramsay dish, this tartare recipe features ingredients like mango, soy sauce, ginger, and chili crisp for a bright and refreshing flavor. And don't forget the fried wonton wrappers! They are a must-have for this fun starter.

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Tuna Tartare

Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon

An air fryer is one of our very favorite kitchen gadgets, as it can be used to cook everything from roasted potatoes to meatloaf to apple hand pies with little effort. This dead-simple teriyaki salmon recipe cooks perfectly in the handy appliance, allowing you to free up your oven for other dishes (you do have six more to prepare, after all).

The recipe calls for salmon filets marinated in teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes, then air-fried (skin side down) to juicy perfection before being sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Recipe: Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon

Quick Grilled Shrimp

This quick grilled shrimp recipe tosses the tiny crustaceans with an olive oil, butter, and garlic marinade, then grills them on skewers until hot and juicy. (Tip: soak wooden skewers in water for 10-20 minutes before grilling so they don't catch fire.) While the grilled shrimp make a wonderful appetizer all on their own, they can also be a protein-packed addition to other Seven Fishes dishes, such as seafood pasta.

This recipe takes just 15 minutes and is sure to please any shrimp lovers at your Christmas Eve table.

Recipe: Quick Grilled Shrimp

Easy Lobster Bisque

Perfect for filling large bowls or set out in small cups to be sipped while chatting with friends, this easy lobster bisque is a warm and filling option for your Feast of Seven Fishes menu. 

The recipe calls for tarragon, a subtle herb that pairs wonderfully with rich and buttery lobster, creating a more complex flavor than you might expect. The whole thing comes together in about 30 minutes, but can easily be made ahead of time and frozen till the big day.

Recipe: Easy Lobster Bisque