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.

Baked Goodness

1. Baked Monkfish with Lemon, Rosemary, and Mustard

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)!

2. Simple Teriyaki Salmon

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!

3. Herb Roasted Salmon

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.

4. Roasted Miso-Glazed Salmon

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.

5. Salmon in Buttered White Wine 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.)

6. Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

Ginger plus honey plus toasted sesame seeds equals an irresistible sauce you’ll want to eat right off the spoon. But it’s even tastier on this oh-so-easy broiled salmon.

7. Salmon with Apricot Basil Salsa

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).

8. Baked White Fish with Onions, Peppers, Olives, and Feta

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.

9. Stacked Side of Salmon

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!)

10. Lemon Fish with Grilled Corn Polenta

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!)

11. Cod with Lemon Caper and Relish

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.

12. Spicy Thai Fish Sandwiches

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!

13. Whole Roasted Branzino

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.

Get Grillin’

14. Grilled Fish with Citrus and Herb Crust

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.)

15. Malaysian Grilled Fish

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).

16. Grilled Red Snapper

Go back to basics with fish, salt-n-pepa, olive oil, and a grill. Dinner doesn’t get easier. Tip: This recipe calls for snapper, but any fish will work well.

17. Perfect Grilled Fish with Lemon Oil and Mint

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.

18. Mahi-Mahi and Mango Salsa

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.

Perfectly Steamed

19. Steamed Hake with Leeks

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.

20. Poached Halibut with Sweet Garlic, Parsley, and Lemon

Poaching has a bad rap for producing bland results, but in this recipe, the garlic-and-parsley perfumed poaching liquid leaves you with moist, tender, flavorful fish.

21. Poached Ocean Trout with Tarragon, Lemon, and Champagne Sauce

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

22. Steamed Fish and Bok Choy in Parchment

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.

23. Fish Baked in Parchment Paper

Fall flavors extend far beyond pumpkin (even though we deeply love the gourd). Here, kale and rosemary combine for a hardy, autumnal dinner.

24. Fish in Parchment with Zucchini

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.)

25. Thai Fish Fillets “en Papillote”

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.

Simply Sautéed

26. Grilled Tuna Steak with Roasted Tomatoes

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.)

27. Veracruz-Style Fish

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.

28. Stir-fried Fish Fillet with Black Bean Sauce

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.

29. Persian Herbed Rice with Fish

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.

30. Asian Salmon Burgers with Grilled Scallions

This is what burgers wanna be when they grow up. Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and ginger come together in a salmon patty that’s decidedly adult. Serve on a bun or over a nice salad.

31. Dijon Almond-Crusted Tilapia

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!

32. Sesame-Seared Wild Salmon Quinoa Bowl

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.

Souped Up

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.

34. Provencal Seafood Stew

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.)

35. Tapao de Pescado (Colombian Fish Stew)

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.

36. Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew)

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.

37. Jamaican “Run Down” Stew

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

We wouldn’t dream of doing a fish recipe list without tacos! Here’s a perfectly simple but satisfying way to make them. Don’t forget the Greek yogurt and Sriracha!

39. Lettuce Wrap Fish Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw and Avocado

Looking for a low-carb taco option? Replace tortillas with lettuce wraps for a lighter version shell that doesn’t skimp on flavor. A crispy cilantro slaw also ups the veg-ariffic benefits.

40. Tequila Lime 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!

41. Citrus Fish Tacos

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.