9 Fish and Seafood Dishes for Christmas Eve

Is it Christmas yet?

Easter Menus for Every Palate

Whether you're serving Sicilian-style Feast of the Seven Fishes or just want a lighter Christmas Eve dinner, here are nine fish and seafood dishes worthy of a special occasion.

1. Side of Salmon

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tamarind, Ginger and Chipotle

A whole salmon fillet can easily serve a crowd and is delicious hot, at room temperature or even cold. This dill marinated one with a mustard sauce takes its cue from Scandinavia. If you want something more boldly flavored, rub the fish with a mix of spicy chipotle chiles, tamarind and maple syrup.

2. Whole Fish

Salt-Baked Whole Fish

For an intimate Christmas dinner, pack one or two whole fish (such as branzino, striped bass or black bass) in a salt crust and bake. Bring to the table and crack the crust to reveal the fish inside.

3. Mussels

Broiled Mussels with Hot Paprika Crumbs

For a casual gathering, serve bowls of mussels with a flavorful, fragrant broth, like one with tomato sauce and sausage or ginger and lemongrass. Alternatively, serve mussels on the half shell as an hors d'oeuvre.

4. Stone Crab

Smoky Seafood Cocktails
© Frances Janisch

Stone crab is a winter delicacy from Florida that you can often find shipped up to other parts of the country this time of year. Serve it chilled, perhaps with a simple cocktail sauce.

5. Lobster

Chili Lobster
© John Kernick

It might scream summer, but lobster has a place on the holiday table. Serve it with a crisp fennel salad as a starter. Or make something unexpected, like a spicy ketchup sauce.

6. Shrimp

Vermouth-Poached Shrimp with Ginger Remoulade
© Paul Costello

Splurge on domestic wild shrimp and poach them in vermouth. Serve them with a ginger remoulade sauce as a riff on shrimp cocktail.

7. Scallops


These luscious morsels are the perfect Christmas Eve ingredients if you're looking for something that cooks fast. Serve them with a luxurious French-style butter sauce or a simple salted yogurt.

8. Oysters


For a light, bright starter, pickle oysters with lemon juice and Champagne vinegar and serve in a salad. Or go the old-school route and bake them with a crisp bread crumb topping.

9. Stew

Greek Fish Stew

If you want to cram several types of fish and seafood into one dish, a stew is your best bet. You can go Italian-style, with a tomato-y broth and tons of shellfish; Greek-style, with white fish, mussels and the simplest lemon broth; or Catalan style, with tomatoes, olives and ham.

Lemony Shrimp Salad Recipe

Or go in an entirely different direction by making a spicy kimchi broth to serve with lobster and clams.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles