The first thing that comes to mind when many of us think of Thanksgiving is that of comfort. The comfort of food, family, and friends combined to become a warm memory to carry us through the holidays into the coming year. The second thing that usually comes to mind when considering Thanksgiving is the traditional foods—turkey first, cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so on. And while a turkey is a classic centerpiece we as American's often go to this holiday, why not consider sharing the spotlight with some of the other meats that deserve a place on your table, too?
We're talking about the fantastic, flavorful, nutrient-packed, deliciousness of seafood this Thanksgiving! If you aren't ready to move the turkey to the number two position of main dishes, there are also plenty of mouth-watering seafood side dishes to incorporate with your traditional meal fixings. You may not think it, but seafood dishes pair exceptionally well with many of our Thanksgiving favorite sides, like green beans, potatoes, even Brussels sprouts, and rice, for a small example.
Not sure where to start looking for seafood Thanksgiving ideas or sidedish inspiration? Don't worry! We're here to help!
Buttery Lobster Bacon Stuffing
Merge a touch of decadence with semolina bread to make this year's stuffing a dish your family won't be able to stop talking about for years to come. Buttery lobster with bacon stuffing dotted with perfectly sauteed onions, a hint of garlic with the sweet chunks of rich lobster is a small piece of heaven in a baking dish.
We recommend thick bacon pieces, with at least 7 oz of cooked lobster meat of your choice, tails or claw, and knuckle meat. A splash of chicken broth, some eggs, and unsalted butter baked for 30 minutes should come out moist and flavorful in the center, crunchy and delicious on the top and sides. Not a fan of bacon? Feel free to ditch it if you like. This simple recipe is easy to experiment with, or a quick search online can give you further ideas and inspiration for this succulent stuffing dish.
Tortelli di Zucca – Pumpkin Ravioli
Pumpkin Ravioli or Cappellacci di Zucca are recipes mentioned in cookbooks from the Renaissance. This signature Italian pasta is filled either with winter squash or pumpkin, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and nutmeg and generally served wither with a rich butter and sage sauce or a meat ragu. There are few flavors as iconic as a pumpkin for fall and Thanksgiving, but serving this with a twist on the sauce makes it a surprisingly perfect fall seafood Thanksgiving side dish.
Consider a creamy crab sauce in place of the traditional. This sauce is light yet flavor-packed with simple ingredients such as canned crabmeat, dried thyme, light cream, salt, and pepper. Add a bit more richness to it by sprinkling in some more Parmigiano-Reggiano to the sauce for a delectable creaminess.
Stir-Fried Garlic Green Beans and Shrimp
There's always a place for green beans on many American Thanksgiving tables, but this season, why not shake up the casserole for something a little different? A Vietnamese-inspired side dish that can be doubled and served with rice to become the main course later, or as is for a perfect Thanksgiving seafood side dish. Garlic, large shelled, deveined, chopped shrimp, green beans, chicken stock, a splash of Asian fish sauce, and freshly ground pepper bring a unique taste to your holiday dinner table.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Seared Scallops, and Crispy Pancetta
Toss aside the usual starting salad and open with a head-turning, simple to make elegant dish such as this. Deep golden brown scallops settled on a bed of shaved-cut Brussel sprouts, fried in the same pan as the thinly sauteed and browned pancetta and shallots cooked in butter. To make a sigh-worthy sauce, add some white wine to the pan after the scallops are removed, deglaze, add a dash of fresh thyme and extra butter while whisking. Remove from heat and drizzle it over your plated Brussels sprouts, scallops, and crunchy pancetta.
Seafood Mac 'n' Cheese
Mac 'n' cheese is another go-to side dish for nearly every family gathering occasion. Adding seafood, pasta, and delicious cheese seems to elevate already favorite comfort food to the next level. Baked to perfection with a crunchy, buttery panko bread topping, 3-cheese decadent blend surrounded by shrimp and crab meat, it will taste sinfully good! Try a combination of Parmesan, Swiss and Sharp cheddar for a tangy flavor, or use your preferred trio—just make sure to try and shred it from the block for the cheesiest, perfect melt.
Crabmeat and Corn Easy Potato Bake
Easy to make and tasty no matter what type of crabmeat you choose—Snow Crab, Alaskan King, canned Lump, this is another perfect cheesy side dish to add a new twist to two traditional Thanksgiving vegetables. Combine thinly sliced potatoes and onion, layered with fresh or canned corn, sweet crab, and topped with parmesan, asiago cheese, fresh thyme, and basil baked with a splash of vegetable broth result in a gorgeous and simple side dish that your family and guests will love.
Poached Cod with Citrus Salad
If you're attempting to put a tropical touch to your Thanksgiving this year or want to add a burst of exciting and different flavors, a citrus salad with poached cod may be the ideal side dish for you. This dish will have you and your guests feel like you're dining at a tropical seaside escort. Dressing made from orange and lime peel and juice, with gently poached, flakey fish settled on a bed of thinly sliced, peeled orange and lime coated with citrus dressing all resting on a bed of arugula is a bright, sunshine-laden dish perfect for the taste of tropics.
When it comes to merging traditional with something different enough to wake the tastebuds and create an exciting meal, seafood is a light, easy to prepare, packed full of nutrient choices that complement your Thanksgiving this year. This year, don't struggle with the crazy crowds at your local grocery store getting everything you need when you order with Wholey! Wholey delivers the freshest, most delicious cuts of meat and seafood right to your doorstep, making your meals more effortless than ever.