Seafood is the ultimate ingredient for holiday recipes. It’s elevated and elegant by nature, which is exactly what you want for a once-a-year celebration. But unlike so many holiday favorites, crab, clams, oysters, and sardines are also light and delicate—or they can be, at least. (Don’t worry: We have a few downright indulgent recipes to share, too.) These are our absolute favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season with seafood.
How about some brunch?
If your family’s holiday celebrations include brunch in some form, try one (or all!) of these recipes this year. We have a feeling they’ll be making repeat appearances for years to come.e brunch in some form, try one (or all!) of these recipes this year. We have a feeling they’ll be making repeat appearances for years to come.
The name gives it away, but this recipe is for the true seafood lovers. A hearty quiche filled with succulent oysters, crab meat, and clams makes for a perfect holiday brunch centerpiece. Serve with pastries, coffee, and fresh fruit to take your menu to the next level.
Smoked paprika and avocado add a different flavor profile and lots of creaminess to this take on Eggs Benedict. It’s not super spicy, so if you’d like more heat, try adding thinly sliced jalapeños to the garnish. A little extra crunch will contrast nicely with the delicate crab and soft eggs.
Looking for a totally different kind of breakfast sandwich? These open-face sardine sandwiches on hearty rye are a complete departure from the usual bacon egg and cheese, in the best way. We like them topped off with cucumbers, dill, and sliced hard-boiled eggs, but you can add any other garnishes you like.
Little bites for big parties
No holiday party is complete without appetizers—and plenty of them. Our favorite party snacks are small enough to eat in two or three bites, but not so small that your guests will go home hungry.
This streamlined version of white clam pizza is an easy to make, slightly unexpected appetizer your guests will adore. The base is made from frozen naan, which takes all the stress out of prep work; garlicky cheese sauce, crispy bacon, and tender baby clams add layer upon layer of rich, savory flavor.
Bring back a total classic this holiday season. Our oven-baked version of Oysters Rockefeller has everything but the shell: Butter, garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan, and of course, plenty of crispy breadcrumbs.
Individual soufflés are admittedly on the fussy side for a big crowd, but if you’re keeping things intimate this year, you can’t go wrong with this absolute classic. These fluffy, savory, cheesy soufflés studded with sweet crab meat are as delectable as they sound—and easier to make than you’d think.
Dips on dips
What’s a holiday party—or a pre-dinner appetizer table—without dips? Not much of a party, if you ask us. Any of these three recipes can anchor an appetizer spread and would make an amazing addition to your holiday lineup.
Let’s start things off with a true classic: Creamy, cheesy, bubbling hot crab dip. There’s not too much to distract from the crab here, just a little cream cheese and mayonnaise to bring everything together. If it’s been awhile since you had crab dip, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
For something a little different, try swapping the crab for clams—and adding more cheese. This hot, cheesy skillet dip is both familiar (thanks to the cheese) and unlike anything else you’ve had before (thanks to the baby clams). We know you and your guests will absolutely love it.
Salsa verde is more than just a dip—you can put it on just about any dish that needs a dose of fresh, briny, savory, herbaceous goodness. But as a dip, it’s hard to beat. It’s equally delicious with crudités as it is with bread, and it easily brightens any cheese board or charcuterie plate with its bright green color and zingy flavor.