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Seafood is Simple—Quick and Healthy Recipes for Families on the Go!

August 17, 2021

Seafood is a healthy and sustainable choice for easy weeknight meals.

Quick and easy fish tacos. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood. Quick and easy fish tacos. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

For families in many parts of the country, August is Back-to-School month and life is busy once again. It’s the perfect time for quick and easy dinners! Seafood can be a healthy and delicious basis for simple weeknight meals. Choosing U.S.-produced seafood ensures an environmentally sustainable option that supports U.S. fishermen and seafood farmers—and their families. Here are some suggestions for simple seafood suppers.

White fish, like cod and haddock, with rice and vegetables.
White fish, like cod and haddock, are easy to cook in a variety of ways. Photo courtesy of Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

Seafood Cooks Quickly

Did you know that most seafood cooks in 15 minutes or less? A good rule of thumb is the 10-minute rule: measure your fish fillet at its thickest point, and cook it on medium-high for 10 minutes per inch, turning halfway through. 

Whether your go-to white fish is cod, pollock, rockfish, or snapper, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership has a great tutorial for three ways to quickly cook white fish. They can be adapted to whatever fresh fillets you have on hand.

Shrimp is another favorite that takes only a few minutes to cook, whether you pan fry, grill, boil, or bake. And they make a great protein addition to a convenient ramen dinner! For a step up from instant ramen that’s still fast and easy, try this take on homemade flavoring.

> How to Cook White Fish: 3 Simple Techniques

> New England Baked Haddock

> Easy Ramen with Shrimp 

Cod, tomatoes, and orzo.
It’s quick and easy (and tasty!) to cook fillets from frozen. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

Shop Ahead, Plan Later

Because frozen and canned seafood keep for so long, they provide a great solution to last-minute meal planning. These quick and versatile recipes suggest ideas for combining frozen or canned seafood with ingredients at hand. You can dress them up or down as time allows. 

Quick Meals from Frozen Seafood

Despite what you may have heard, there’s no need to take time to thaw in advance! There are plenty of strategies for cooking frozen seafood right from the freezer. 

Pair frozen cod or salmon fillets with tasty sides and sauces for a more formal meal. Or, turn breaded Alaska pollock fillets into fun fish tacos that the whole family will love.

> Pan-Seared Alaska Cod with Lemon-Parsley Orzo

> Honey-Soy Alaska Salmon with Scallions

> Alaska Pollock Street Tacos

Tasty salmon burgers made from canned pink salmon. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.
Tasty salmon burgers made from pink salmon. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

No Plan? Deploy a Can

The variety of seafood available in cans and pouches has increased significantly in recent years, as have the ideas to turn them into quick and healthy meals. U.S. wild-caught pink salmon is a widely available and affordable option for canned fish. Well-drained, it’s a practical substitute for fresh salmon in many recipes. And, of course, canned tuna allows for easy but creative takes on the classic tuna salad and sandwich. You can mix it with peas, carrots, cucumbers, and Italian dressing for a Mediterranean flavor, or with apples and yogurt for kid-friendly sandwiches. 

> Alaska Salmon Burgers

> Mediterranean Albacore Tuna Salad Pita Pockets

> Apple Tuna Salad Sandwich

Remember to Eat Seafood, America!

You might be shopping for fresh fish and shellfish to cook this week, or stocking up on frozen and canned options for any time. Either way, check the label for country of origin to ensure you are selecting seafood that was caught or raised in the United States. Our fishermen and seafood farms are subject to some of the most rigorous environmental regulations in the world. Consumer support is key to keeping our fisheries both environmentally and economically sustainable.

Learn more about U.S. seafood and get up-to-date information on the status of harvested marine fish and farmed fish at FishWatch.gov.

Last updated by Office of Communications on July 25, 2023