A spectacular spread for your Christmas Eve table, all made with our favorite canned fish and seafood.

Justin Chapple and Kelsey Youngman
December 22, 2017

We’re not afraid to admit we love tinned fish! Our declaration is just in time for Christmas Eve, when many Italian-American families celebrate with a Feast of the Seven Fishes. Featuring anywhere from seven to nine courses—each highlighting a different fish or seafood—this celebration calls for the very best you can find. Seek out high-quality canned varieties, like tender but firm sardines from Italy, beautifully packed octopus from Spain and wild Sockeye salmon from Alaska. With a little guidance from our own Test Kitchen, your feast can be as delicious and impressive as your nonna expects. Here, our favorite recipes and canned seafood picks for the ultimate fish feast.

 

© Con Poulos

1. Rye Crisps with Tomatoes and Sardines

Add a burst of color and flavor to the table with these Rye Crisps with Tomatoes and Sardines. They are the perfect small bite that comes together in minutes and can easily scale up or down depending on the number of guests. Our fish pick: Pollastrini di Anzio Olive Oil-Packed Sardines

 

Abby Hocking

2. Smoked Trout and Apple Salad

This crunchy and refreshing salad combines smoky flakes of trout and spicy arugula with matchsticks of tart green apple. Use canned smoked trout in olive oil for a tender bite and rich flavor. Our fish pick: Smoked Rainbow Trout from Cole's Trout

 

Abby Hocking

3. Spaghetti with Garlic, Hot Pepper and Anchovies

No Feast of the 7 Fishes is complete without pasta. This spaghetti highlights umami-rich anchovies with spicy garlic and hot pepper flakes. The anchovies melt into garlicky olive oil, which coats every strand of spaghetti. Our fish pick: Agostino Recca Anchovies in Pure Olive Oil

 

Eva Kolenko

4. Tuscan White Bean and Escarole Soup with Tuna

This riff on a classic Tuscan soup is nourishing and hearty. Bitter escarole balances the rich olive oil-packed tuna. Be sure to serve crusty bread alongside for sopping up the flavorful broth. Our fish pick: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Packed Wild Albacore from Wild Planet

 

Abby Hocking

5. Spicy Chipotle Salmon Cakes with Lemon Mayonnaise

Dolloped with a bright, lemony mayonnaise and sprinkled with scallions, these salmon cakes are subtly spicy and perfectly crisp. Our fish pick: Natural Sea Wild Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon

 

Abby Hocking

6. Smoked Oyster Empanadas

Smoked oysters wrapped in flaky crescent dough will make you a canned fish convert. These puffy bites are great on their own but are even better with a dash of Louisiana-style hot sauce. Our fish pick: Ekone Oyster Company Smoked Oysters

 

Abby Hocking

7. Crispy Octopus and Potatoes

Braising octopus is an all-day affair. Enter: tinned octopus!  A few minutes in hot olive oil transforms a combo of canned octopus tentacles and baby potatoes into tender but crisp morsels good enough for any celebration. Our fish pick: Ramon Pena Octopus in Paprika Sauce

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