21 Healthy Recipes for Sustainable Fish and Seafood

Crispy Fish Taco Bowls

Choosing sustainable seafood can be tricky, so we pulled together these recipes to help. These recipes include fish and seafood that are harvested in a more environmentally-friendly way. Using resources such as Seafood Watch, to help identify more sustainable options, we pulled together recipes including Maryland Oyster Stew and Crispy Fish Taco Bowls. Whether it is a simple main or an impressive appetizer, these are delicious, healthy recipes you can feel good about.

01 of 21

Smørrebrød with Herring, Beets & Arugula

Smoked salmon isn't the only flaky fish made for breakfast breads. This pickled herring arrangement makes a delicious smørrebrød with all the fixings. Or lay the ingredients out on a board and let everyone top their own!

02 of 21

Mussels with White Beans & Tomatoes

Cooking mussels may seem intimidating, but here we've made it quick and easy. We've added white beans to turn this classic mussels-in-white-wine-sauce dish into a heartier weeknight meal. Serve with whole-grain crusty bread to sop up the flavorful broth.

03 of 21

Crispy Baked Catfish

a recipe photo of Crispy Baked Catfish with sauce and lemon beside it
Alexandra Shytsman

This baked catfish has a crispy cornmeal coating with a hint of spice from the Cajun seasoning, while the interior stays flaky and moist. Serve with tartar sauce, lemon wedges or your favorite hot sauce and with a green salad on the side.

04 of 21

Maryland Oyster Stew

This delicate oyster soup recipe sets the tone for celebration at any meal. We made this stew healthier by primarily using low-fat milk and increasing the amount of vegetables. Don't worry about shucking the oysters--most supermarket seafood departments carry shucked oysters. Serve with crusty bread to sop up all the delicious bits at the bottom of the bowl.

05 of 21

Black Bass with Sautéed Vegetables & Cioppino Jus

Black bass has a delicate flavor that begs to be paired with something bold, like the cioppino-inspired jus in this healthy seafood recipe. The jus takes some time to make but we promise it's worth it. You'll have some left over: do as our editor-in-chief did and try it as a bloody mary base. Or use it to make risotto or a seafood stew.

06 of 21

Fried Porgies

Porgy, also referred to as scup or bream, is a medium-fatty, firm-fleshed white fish with a mild flavor and edible skin. It takes very well to battering and frying, as in this recipe. If you can't find porgy, any medium-size, firm-fleshed white fish will work in this delicious recipe (skinned if desired). Buttermilk helps the cornmeal coating stick to the fish and keeps the fish moist, while seafood seasoning adds a nice kick. Ask your fishmonger to clean the fish and remove the heads and fins.

07 of 21

Grilled Oysters with Garlic-Herb Butter

If you've never cooked oysters on the grill, you're in for a treat. Grilling oysters whole saves you the trouble of shucking them--they magically pop open when cooked. A simple garlic herb butter adds richness and a bright pop of flavor to this impressive appetizer. To pretty it up use Irish butter, which is extra-golden because Irish cows typically enjoy an all-grass diet.

08 of 21

Black Bass Packets in Curry-Coconut Broth

Tender blanched Savoy cabbage leaves make a wrapper for the bass and julienned vegetables. The packet traps the steam inside to keep the fish moist while it cooks and makes for a stunning presentation when nestled into the broth.

09 of 21

Oysters au Gratin with Spinach & Breadcrumbs

These succulent baked oysters thrill with spicy spinach and a crispy cheese topping.

10 of 21

Crispy Cod with Charred Snow Peas & Creamy Herb Sauce

This crispy cod recipe shows you how to make golden fish that's not deep-fried, to put a healthy twist on a classic. Pat it dry and dredge it with a bit of flour before sautéing in a hot pan.

11 of 21

Herby Cod with Roasted Tomatoes


Oregano, thyme and paprika flavor the cod in this 15-minute, Mediterranean-inspired meal. Olives, capers and roasted cherry tomatoes add color and zest to each bite.

12 of 21

Spicy Tamarind Stewed Fish & Okra

This healthy fish curry recipe showcases the complex flavors of Singapore. Soak up the sauce with rice noodles or brown rice. For eco-friendly fish choices, visit seafoodwatch.org.

13 of 21

Scandinavian Pickled Herring Bites

This Scandinavian-style appetizer is a good way to try pickled herring if you've never had it. The potent flavor of the herring is balanced by a dollop of sour cream and the potato slice it's served on.

14 of 21

Gochujang-Glazed Grilled Mackerel


Oily fish, such as mackerel, are strong-flavored and pair well with boldly seasoned glazes made from gochujang chile paste. The red, rich paste is so common in Korea that it is sold in virtually every supermarket in plastic containers ranging in size from about 2 cups to about 2 quarts. Normally the main ingredients are fermented soybeans ground with red chiles and powdered rice, plus a little salt and sweetener.

15 of 21

Crispy Cod Sandwich


Skip frying but keep all the crunch with this healthy baked fish sandwich recipe. The wire rack ensures both sides of the baked cod get crispy.

16 of 21

Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine

Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine for Two

Even sardine skeptics will enjoy this lemony pasta with crispy breadcrumbs. Substitute two 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna for the sardines if you prefer. If you are using tuna or can't find sardines packed in tomato sauce, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste in Step 4 with the lemon juice. Serve with a salad of bitter greens tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

17 of 21

Pan-Seared Cod with Radish & Lentil Salad

Seared Cod with Radish & Lentil Salad
Jason Donnelly

This pan-seared cod pairs with a whole-grain mustard vinaigrette for a pop of tangy flavor that elevates this simply cooked piece of fish.

18 of 21

Spicy Sardine Linguine

spicy sardine linguine
Johnny & Charlotte Autry

Rather than drain away the flavorful oil packed with the sardines, we stir it into the pasta along with the fish. Look for brands with the blue Marine Stewardship Council logo. Buying sardines with this certification ensures they're sourced from fisheries that keep fish populations and environmental impact in mind.

19 of 21

Alaskan Cod Chowder


In this healthy fish chowder recipe, heavy cream is replaced with milk and flour-thickened fish (or seafood) broth and we keep sodium amounts reasonable with lower-sodium broth. By making your own homemade fish chowder, you'll save up to 300 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 500 milligrams of sodium per serving compared to many store-bought or restaurant chowders.

20 of 21

Walnut-Stuffed Black Sea Bass

Walnut-Stuffed Black Sea Bass
Photography / Nico Schinco, Food Styling / Frances Boswell, Prop Stylist / Paige Hicks

This preparation is common in Georgia (the country, not the state), where it's traditionally made with freshwater trout. Fenugreek leaves and seeds have a complex flavor that's a little nutty and almost maple-y. Look for them at well-stocked grocery stores and online.

21 of 21

Crispy Fish Taco Bowls


The adobo sauce in a can of chipotles lends earthy heat to the crema that tops these bowls. Don't toss out the unused peppers! Freeze them in an airtight container and pull them out to add to sauces, marinades or chili.

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