The Italian Christmas Eve tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes is not only delicious, but incredibly celebratory. In honor of the food-centric holiday, we’ve put together some of our favorite fish and seafood recipes (make sure you try our Mussels Recipe) fit for family and friends. We’re breaking down the recipes by course, but feel free to mix and match any of these recipes for your Christmas Eve Dinner. Or, check out our fish and seafood recipe archive for more ideas!

New to Feast of the Seven Fishes? It’s an Italian tradition celebrated by Italians and Italian Americans. Many menus feature anchovies, mussels and/or calamari as early courses. Scallops, crab, squid, salt cod, octopus, and lobster are also popular fish and shellfish to serve throughout the meal. Many Italian immigrants serve Lobster fra diavolo as well.

Along with all the seafood dishes and different types of fish, be sure to offer our Marinated Olives, a variety of cheese, fresh bakery bread, salted butter, olive oil, and capers on the table.

First Course

large in-shell shrimp coated in spices and in a green glass serving bowl with orange glassware set around and a dipping sauce in a white bowl

1

Smoky Peel and Eat Shrimp + Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Peel ‘n eat shrimp are a great game day or summer BBQ appetizer. They also make a great dinner when served with a quick slaw and cornbread.
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Photograph of oysters on the half shell set on rock salt in a metal pan on a marble surface, topped with a red mignonette sauce.

2

Oysters on the Half Shell with Beet Mignonette
Serve oysters on the half shell with a roasted beet mignonette for an easy and festive holiday appetizer. Vibrant in color, this recipe can easily be served for a small party or multiplied for a large get-together.
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creamy crab salad on an oval colorful plate with a spoon, crackers and celery leaves on top

3

Crab Salad Recipe
A fresh and flavorful recipe for crab salad. It's creamy yet light and features layers of flavor!
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Second Course

creamy salmon dip topped with herbs in a green glass bowl with a gold spoon set in it

4

Quick & Zesty Smoked Salmon Dip
A fresh, zesty and savory smoked salmon dip that’s great for any season and any occasion. 
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large white platter filled with smoked salmon, mini buckwheat pancakes, dill cream cheese, chives, and caper. Set on an orange table with mimosas and a bottle of sparkling wine

5

Smoked Salmon Platter with Blini
This smoked salmon platter makes an elegant appetizer or gorgeous brunch spread. Mix and match the toppings by using what’s in season and what you have on hand. 
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creamy white dip in a green glass bowl with a wood knife set on the bowls edge

6

Smoked Trout Dip with Crème Fraîche & Herbs
Bold yet fresh in flavor, this smoked trout dip is made with strained yogurt (to make it ultra-creamy), crème fraîche, lemon, chives and dill.
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Third Course

caesar salad with salmon and croutons in a large white bowl with two silver serving spoons

7

Simple Salmon Caesar Salad
A simple, straight-forward Salmon Caesar Salad that is perfect for lunch or quick weeknight dinners. It's easy, healthy and so satisfying.
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large bronze platter filled with cooked potatoes, tuna, cucumber chunks, halved cherry tomatoes, green beans, olives, soft-boiled eggs and fresh dill.

8

Simple Tuna Nicoise Salad
A simple recipe for a flavor-packed Tuna Nicoise Salad. This dinner salad will feed a hungry family!
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Overhead photograph of lentil and spinach salad with flakes of salmon in a dark blue bowl with a gold fork. Dressing set off to the side in a bowl with a spoon.

9

Salmon Spinach French Lentil Salad with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Savory French Lentil Salmon Spinach Salad with crispy pan seared salmon, a simple toasted cumin vinaigrette, and dried cranberries for some chewy sweetness. This lentil salad is hearty, full of flavor and healthy.
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Fourth Course

mussels, shrimp, scallops and chunks of white fish in broth with herbs and croutons in a white bowl set on a wood table

10

Seafood Soup
Light and delicious, this brothy fish soup is surprisingly easy to pull together. Make this for a cozy night in, fun dinner parties, or the holidays! Depending on how many you’re serving, this soup can easily be doubled or halved. 
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shrimp bisque in a white bowl set on a black plate

11

Shrimp Bisque Recipe
A rich and creamy shrimp bisque that’s just as decadent as the classic while still be fairly light. This recipe features a homemade shrimp stock and whole milk.
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If you’re looking for a Fish Stew, we’ve got that too! It’s reminiscent of a Cioppino.

mussels in a large white bowl with chunks of bread sitting in the broth, glasses of white wine set around it

12

Mussels Recipe
This easy and elegant mussels recipe is a must-try! Made with a buttery white wine sauce, loads of garlic and fresh herbs. It's a delight!
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Fifth Course

spaghetti with clams, breadcrumbs and diced red bell pepper and parsley in a large white bowl with serving spoons set in it and wine in short glasses set around

13

Spaghetti with Clams a la Casino
This clam pasta recipe takes the delicious components of Clams Casino and transforms it into an easy weeknight (almost-one-pot) meal. Smokey bacon, sweet garlic and peppers, savory oregano, and the crunchy breadcrumbs all come together to create a clam pasta worthy of company.
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Sixth Course

14

Perfect Pan Seared Salmon
3 ingredients, 1 pan, and 15 minutes is all you need to make the best pan seared salmon! Crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside, this salmon recipe is best out there!
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Serve this perfectly pan-seared salmon with our Fennel Salad for an impressive course.

open-faced sandwich topped with fish and lettuce set on a blue plate on a brown wooden table

15

Coriander-Crusted Halibut Toast with Fennel Aioli
Chewy toasted ciabatta gets topped with a delicious fennel aioli, lemony spring greens and fennel, and a gorgeous coriander-crusted halibut. This open-faced sandwich, aka halibut toast, makes a delicious weekday lunch or dinner. 
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Pan-seared cod is also a great option for both of these recipes.

Seventh Course

pan seared fish set on a bed of sauteed vegetables

16

Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Chorizo Maque Choux
Buttery Chilean sea bass with a crispy crust served over a flavor-packed maque choux with crispy bits of chorizo.
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fresh cilantro, chili crisp, and shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce in a sauté pan

17

Shrimp Fra Diavolo
A modern take on the classic shrimp dish—this Shrimp fra Diavolo recipe will become a favorite!
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And finally, check out our archive of Fish and Seafood Recipes for more ideas!

Ready to fill out the menu? For dessert, check out our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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