seafood plate istock green


In addition to cooler weather, fall brings plenty of opportunities to celebrate eating seafood. October is National Seafood Month and National Pescatarian Month, both of which give a nod to enjoying more fish and shellfish for their deliciously comforting taste and bountiful health benefits. Plus, seafood features heavily in traditional heritage diets! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Mediterranean, Asian, African and Latin American Diet Pyramids all encourage eating seafood at least two times per week.


Seafood contains several essential nutrients that are important for to help keep people healthy all across the lifespan. Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in seafood, reduce blood cholesterol levels, reduce the body’s inflammation responses, and promote the health of many body systems such as the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Many fish are also good sources of protein, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium.

While fish and seafood consumption has been happily increasing, two big reasons that more people don’t eat seafood are: lack of knowledge about how to prepare it, and lack of meal inspiration! 

There are many ways to prepare seafood and you can enjoy it at any time throughout the day. Here are some easy recipes, and several cooking methods that will help you incorporate more seafood into your diet.


Grilling is great for hot weather when you don’t feel like turning the oven on, but grilled fish isn’t exclusive to the summer months! Enjoy the year-round flavors with a little help from a grill pan!

grilled shrimp and vegetable skewers served with whole grain orzo

Firm thick fish, like salmon, sea bass, halibut, and snapper hold up well on the grill. Brush your grill with oil, then place your marinated fish skin-side up on the grill and let cook, undisturbed, for about 6-8 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for another 6-8 minutes on the opposite side, until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. You can also grill fish in a foil packet for about 14-20 minutes total (no need to flip).

Try this recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers over Cheesy Whole Grain Orzo


a small piece of white fish in a decorative orange painted platter

Roasting fish and seafood in the oven couldn’t be easier; marinate in extra virgin olive oil, lemon and herbs (or another marinade of your choice….North African chermoula is one of our favorites) and pop in the oven for 15 or 20 minutes.

Cooking in parchment paper or aluminum foil allows for a simple no-mess meal. Take a piece of parchment paper for each person you are serving, place a vegetable in the middle of the paper, put a 4-ounce piece of fish on top, add extra virgin olive oil, lemon and herbs of choice. Voila! Place the unopened parchment package on individual plates, and you will have a beautiful presentation for each person at your table. 

Try this recipe for Baked Cod in Parchment; or Sheet Pan Salmon with Roasted Carrots and Oranges  


Seared Scalloops Gremolata

Stovetop cooking also works well for seafood and there are several methods from sautéing, steaming or even frying in extra virgin olive oil.  Delicate, thinner cuts of white fish, like sole or tilapia, as well as shellfish like shrimp or scallops, turn out beautifully when pan-seared or sauteed on the stovetop. Warm oil in a skillet, then cook marinated fish for about 3 minutes (undisturbed) on each side, until fish is opaque and cooked through.

Try this recipe for Lemon Grass and Basil Mussels—if you’ve never tried cooking mussels at home, you may be surprised at how quick and easy they are to fix. This recipe, which features lively Thai flavors, also works well with clams. Mussels are also a sustainable food. As the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), points out, “Mussel farming can be done with no or minimal greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts. Cultured filter feeders (e.g., bivalves, such as mussels and oysters, and some echinoderms, such as sea cucumbers) and algae do not need external feeds. They can live on carbon and other nutrients in the environment.”

Canned and Pouched Seafood

5 New Ways to Jazz Up Your Tuna Sandwich

Canned and pouched seafood and fish are convenient and affordable options.  Tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines and herring are ready to eat, and perfect for sandwiches, salads, main dishes and more.  For more, see this earlier blog post about canned seafood

Try this recipe for Sardine Patties with Dill Yogurt Sauce, or Tomato Salad El Alfama or check out these three in our 12 Great Ways to Use series:  salmon, shrimp, canned sardines.  

We hope these suggestions have inspired you to eat more seafood and have convinced you that cooking it at home is simpler than you think!


For even more ideas, look for recipes through the Oldways recipe search. Plus, feel confident cooking fish with this how-to guide created in partnership with the National Fisheries Institute. Preparing, cooking, and thawing seafood is made easy with this printable handout!

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