These fall-inspired, fish-based recipe ideas are fit for any Thanksgiving spread, whether you’re building a menu to accommodate pescatarian guests or are simply hungry for a new Thanksgiving tradition that doesn’t revolve around an obligatory turkey. From sides to mains, this roundup of recipes will have you convinced that wild-caught and sustainable seafood ought to have a place at the table over the holidays.
Cranberry Crusted Salmon
Fish and fruit are an unexpected but totally sensible pair in this recipe for cranberry crusted salmon from Ricardo Cuisine. The meatiness of wild salmon is flavorful enough to complement a sweet and tart cranberry-and-mustard topping; as a bonus, the cranberry topping will actually help to keep the salmon fillets moist while the dish is baking in the oven. The recipe itself is incredibly simple and easily scalable to accommodate any number of guests, but festive and beautiful enough to fool everyone into thinking you broke a sweat while making it.
Smoked Salmon Mashed Potatoes
A little luxury goes a long way in this recipe for smoked salmon mashed potatoes. The addition of smoked salmon, capers, and chives to the potatoes elevates the humble side dish to something fit for a tsar. And if you’re anything like us, we’ll sure be pouring it, oops we mean pairing it, with lots of gravy. Even if you’re not looking to mess with a classic for fear of causing an uproar at the Thanksgiving table, this is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket for a weekend of leftovers.
Salmon and Rockfish Stuffing
Feeling adaptable? If you’re a home cook who is comfortable with tweaking recipes to fit the Wild Alaskan ingredients you have on hand, you’re going to love this recipe for a seafood stuffing (aka dressing) from Goodie Godmother. The original dish calls for Atlantic crabmeat and shrimp, but replace these ingredients with rockfish and wild-caught salmon for a chowder-like, Pacific twist. Trust us! The mild, slightly sweet flavor of the rockfish and its medium-sized flakes make it a fitting stand-in for the crab meat.
To adapt the recipe for salmon and rockfish, the only change you’ll really need to make is how you initially cook the fish, before it gets flaked and added into the bread mixture. Rather than cooking the salmon and rockfish on the stovetop where you’ll risk the fillets sticking to the pan, bake the fish at 450 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt after you’ve toasted the bread in Step 1. Cook until the fillets are just done enough to flake with a fork; depending on the thickness of the fillets, this can take anywhere between 8-9 minutes for salmon and 5 minutes for rockfish, so start checking it at the 5-minute mark. Reserve any liquid released from fillets, adding it to the bread mixture to build depth of flavor.
Cod Pot Pies with Dill Biscuit Crusts
A substantial white fish like cod, with its big, meaty flakes, is a match made in heaven for a fish pot pie. This recipe from Epicurious for cod pot pies, topped with a dill biscuit crust, is prepared in individual ramekins and can be served up either as a side or as the main event in your Thanksgiving meal. Having a biscuit as the crust ensures that you’ll be scraping up every bit of sauce you have left in the ramekin — because honestly, the pie filling is so good and rich that you won’t miss having a gravy boat on the table. By the way, don’t be intimidated if you’ve never baked biscuits from scratch before; they’re actually pretty easy to make, with a lot of room for error.
Seared Halibut with Brussels Sprout Hash
A fillet of seared halibut is a hearty accompaniment to Brussels sprout hash in this recipe from Food Network Kitchen, which could practically stand on its own as a complete, minimalist Thanksgiving meal. The best part about it is that it takes just over half an hour to make, with the help of the microwave to expedite cooking the potatoes and sprouts.
Wild Alaska Pollock Gratin
A mild white fish like wild Alaska pollock is the perfect protein to use in a rich gratin, where its firm texture can handle being in a bubbling hot bath of creamy deliciousness without falling to pieces. This no-fuss recipe from Food Network’s UK division combines wild Alaska pollock with cream cheese, roasted red peppers, spinach, herbs and potato gnocchi in a pan that gets topped with nutty parmesan, baked and browned under a broiler. Note: There are a couple of British English words and ingredients that might throw you off in this recipe, including “low-fat soft cheese” which is synonymous with cream cheese here in the U.S. (and by the way, feel free to use the full-fat version). Additionally, “griddle” means “broil.” Lastly, you’ll need to do a simple conversion of some of the ingredient measurements.
Cod and Sweet Potato with Pumpkin
This cohesive dish of pan-seared cod from Men’s Health UK is served alongside a healthy and harvest-inspired mix of roasted pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and toasted seeds. Ginger, soy sauce, and curry give it a subtle pan-Asian flair, which is perfect if you’re looking to match non-traditional flavor profiles to classic Thanksgiving ingredients. Note: The recipe features the imprecise Britishism “glug” in its ingredient list, which is what we might consider a casual “splash.”
No matter what you decide to cook up this Thanksgiving, we hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and loved ones. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for this year, and that includes building a wonderful community who cares about wild-caught fish and sustainable food systems as much as we do.
*Now that you know how easy it is, if you’ve decided to make seafood a part of your Thanksgiving spread this year, be sure to place your order with us or renew your monthly box by November 18th at 3pm EST to ensure it arrives with plenty of time to prepare.