Here’s the part you probably know: Fish is one of the healthiest proteins on the planet. (Sorry, chicken breasts!) It’s heart-healthy, thanks to its wealth of omega-3s, and studies show eating plenty of fish can reduce risk of strokes and heart disease. It also contributes to brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention.
Here’s the part you probably don’t know: How the hell to cook it! It may feel like a fraught path from fish market to fish tacos, but have faith, because these recipes prove just how simple it is to jump into the unchartered waters.
Now, what to buy and where to buy it? For starters, go for the freshest fish you can find from a place that sells a lot of it—high turnover is your friend. Then, fearlessly head to the kitchen. From the grill to the oven to the steamer basket and beyond, we’ve rounded up the best recipes for fish that’ll both demystify the process and also yield delicious results.
Raw Monkfish may look like it was hit several times with the ugly stick, but after it’s baked with this lemony mustard sauce, it becomes a beautiful, tasty dinner. Never judge a fish by its cover (or uncooked appearance)!
This recipe is a twofer: Not only will you learn a great way to prepare salmon, but you’ll also master the art of teriyaki sauce from scratch. Trust us, you’ll never go back to the bottled stuff!
One of the simplest on the list, this fish recipe is perfect for post-work meals and when you’re tempted by takeout. Hold strong long enough to preheat the oven, and you’re already halfway to a scrumptious, seared fillet.
Think fish is bland? This recipe will make you question all your culinary assumptions. The miso glaze packs a flavorful punch and is perfectly paired with a touch of soy sauce and sake. It also tastes great with a squirt of Sriracha, or any hot sauce.
Leave it to the French to bring together butter, white wine, and salmon in a union of pure pescatarian heaven. Biting into these simple, roasted salmon fillets will make you proclaim, Bon Appetit! (Julia Child impression, optional.)
Overdosed on heavy sauces? Here’s an antidote: A simply roasted salmon with a summer-inspired fruit salsa. Fresh and full of antioxidants, this recipe brings warm weather to your plate (even in the dead of winter).
When craving a cozy dinner, turn to white fish fillets. Tucked a savory blanket of feta, olives, onions, and peppers, this recipe will have you saying sayonara to lobster mac and cheese and hello to a healthier dinner.
This recipe couldn’t be easier (or healthier)! Take a salmon fillet, cover it with veggies, and roast for about 25 minutes. It’s the perfect quick fall dinner, and is stunning enough to be presented to company. (The picture above is proof!)
This is a great, simple dish made with fish fillets abd Greek flavors’ greatest hits: lemon, feta, and yogurt. To keep it low-carb, feel free to scrap the polenta. (But trust us, you’re gonna want it!)
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter. Which is great news for your kitchen—this recipe in particular. Lemon and capers give the dish a bright, fresh flavor and the cod provides a filling dose healthy fats and protein. Winter suddenly feels much more tolerable.
If fancy fillets feel too formal, we have two words for you: fish sandwich. Made with an addictive sauce, these sammies make a great lunch (and a dinner, too). Feel free to leave utensils in the drawer. Eating with hands is more fun anyway!
Once you roast a whole fish, you’ll never look back. Not only does it have high “ta-da!” factor, presentation-wise, but it’s also makes gauging the freshness much easier—and freshness is key to great flavor. Meet your gateway recipe.
This recipe is fast and endlessly adaptable to any herbs kicking around the kitchen. Ready to choose your own herb adventure? Experiment away! (Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to clean out those upper shelves.)
Here, whole fish is slathered with homemade sambal, a fiery Malay spice paste, before being wrapped in banana leaves to protect it from the grill’s grates. Perfect for those suffering from FOFFA (fear of fish falling apart).
The secret weapon in this recipe is a lemon-infused oil made by mixing fresh-squeezed lemon juice with olive oil until it becomes a frothy, delightful sauce. It not only tastes great with the fish, but also makes for a great pre-meal dip.
No vacation days on the calendar? Grill up this mahi-mahi, top it with mango salsa, throw on a Hawaiian shirt, and enjoy some island bliss.
Though once thought of as “trash fish,” hake is actually a nice alternative to cod or halibut. And its low-brow status means you can buy it for a nice price! Any vegetable works here, but leeks are hard to beat for their rich, sweet flavor.
You stay classy, poached trout. That could be the tagline of this recipe. All that elegance is thanks to the Champagne sauce that’s creamy without being too heavy.
All Wrapped Up
Don’t be intimidated by a little parchment paper. Bundling fish into packets actually builds up awesome flavor! (Bonus: the paper makes it practically impossible to overcook the fish.) This recipe shows the best way to steam fish along with whatever veggies float your boat—in this case bok choy.
For those yearning for warmer weather, turn to this zucchini recipe. The steamed fish-and-veggie combo is light, healthy, and perfect for nights when you’re feeling lazy and uninspired. (BYO Rosé.)
The cooking technique of wrapping fish “en papillote” may come from France, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the continent’s classic flavors. Here, the parchment method is perked up with Southeast Asian flair: ginger, soy sauce, and palm sugar.
If tuna makes you think of the canned stuff, you’re in for a treat. In this recipe, tuna steak (not from a can) is paired with roasted tomatoes for a dinner that’s nothing short of gorgeous. (FYI: This “grilled” recipe actually comes together on the stovetop.)
Cilantro and lime take this fish dish to the Gulf of Mexico. The recipe calls for swordfish, but any fish steak or fillet can be topped with this tart, tomato-based sauce. It’s perfectly paired with a cold cerveza.
Question: What’s faster than a stir-fry? Answer: a stir-fry with fish, which has the fastest cooking time of any meat! Toss dried chilies, fresh ginger, and fish sauce into a wok (or skillet) with sole and you’re already in the final lap of the dinnertime sprint.
This dish is eaten during Persian New Year’s and it’s easy to see why: Simple, pan-fried fillets paired with fragrant, herbed rice will fill you with both protein and optimism for the months to come.
This crispy almond crust is so delicious, you’ll want to nibble it right out of the skillet. It also comes together in a snap: cover the mustard-covered fillet with an almond mix, pan-fry on each side for three minutes, and dinner is served!
Perfectly seared salmon is mixed with kale, leeks, broccoli, and a tart mustard sauce to create a protein-packed meal that tastes fresh and light. To make it even lighter, double the greens and save quinoa for another time.
33. Simple Fish Stew
This recipe includes shellfish and white fish fillets, bringing the best of Under the Sea straight to your tastebuds. With white wine, clam juice, shrimp stock, and scallops, it’s a meal that truly floats our boat.
This takes a bit more prep and planning than other recipes on this list, but the results are worth it. A little bit of chopping leads to a hearty, flavorful soup that is eaten with either a spoon, crisp baguette, or both. (Note: This is not a true bouillabaise, but delicious all the same.)
If you find yourself yawning at the typical fish pairings, this Colombian stew will rock your world. Plantains and yucca bulk up the broth, but fish is still the star.
Seafood stock is expected with a fish stew, but this Brazilian version uses an unexpected base: coconut milk. It’s a great make-ahead option for rainy day dinners.
The name of this dish tells you everything: Fish is cooked until it falls apart, or “runs down,” right into the spicy broth. As the song goes, “You put the lime (juice) in the coconut (broth) and drink it all up.”
38. Basic Fish Tacos
As the recipe creator explains, “Once you gather all the ingredients for the tacos, you’ll conveniently have everything you need to make margaritas to go with them.” Sold!
This spin on fish tacos comes with a refreshing citrus salsa. It’s so summery and tropical, you’ll want to stick a little paper umbrella in it. We say: Go for it.