Give turkey and prime rib the day off and impress your guests this year with a seafood Christmas menu featuring elegant scallops and lobster. This is one tradition you won't mind breaking.

By Sydney Price

If you live by the coast, don't eat pork, or just love seafood, this seafood Christmas menu will be a hit at your holiday table. The Italians originated the idea of the Feast of the Seven Fishes, but we recommend that you serve as many fish courses as you like—and round out the meal with complementary flavors like citrus and fresh herbs.

A seafood holiday meal might just become a tradition you'll return to year after year.

Appetizer: Citrus and Smoked Almond Salad

Fish and citrus flavors are a quintessential combo. Start things off on a light and fresh note with this mix of orange and grapefruit wedges, plus tender mixed greens and tart pomegranate seeds. Smoked salty almonds round out the well-balanced starter.

Salad: Toasted Couscous and Chard Salad

No boring greens here! Toasted couscous and earthy chard balance each other in this holiday salad. Toss with pomegranate seeds, beets, and mint to make this light recipe extra Christmasy. A simple olive oil and red wine vinaigrette rounds out the dish.

Bread: Two-Cheese Garlic and Herb Biscuits

Don't forget the Christmas rolls! These biscuits are reminiscent of the cheddar biscuits you might find at the seafood restaurant down the street, but our version doubles up on cheesiness with chevre in the dough and a shredded Parmesan topping. Basil and garlic hint at the main course to come.

Entree: Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach

Seared scallops are a tasty and elegant addition to your holiday meal. Plus, with the festive red and green colors courtesy of sauteed spinach and a sweet pomegranate glaze (which also features honey, lemon, coriander, and cinnamon), this quick-cooking meal is made for Christmas.

'Tis the season, indeed.

Scope out the best scallops! You'll find two varieties of scallops at the fish counter: bay and sea. Bay scallops are smaller, making them easier to overcook. Sea scallops, which you'll purchase for this recipe, are larger and easier to grill.

Bonus Entree: Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic-Chili Butter

If you don't think your guests will be satisfied by the scallops alone, add this fancy restaurant-style dish to the seafood Thanksgiving menu, too. Thoughts of buttery bites of lobster will stay with your friends and family long after the meal is over!

While this may not be the tidiest meal, it is tender and decadent when dipped in clarified butter. Raise the bar by coating lobster tails with a tangy garlic and chili mixture before broiling.

How to butterfly lobster tails:  

  1. With the hard top shell up, hold a lobster tail in one hand and a pair of kitchen shears in the other hand. 
  2. Cut through the top of the shell and through the meat but stop just before the bottom shell.
  3. Spread the cut top shell apart and loosen it from the meat.
  4. Separate the meat from the bottom shell, keeping it attached near the back end, and pull the meat upward so it is slightly on top of the shell halves. 

Dessert: Orange Cornmeal Cake

This unique and refreshing cake is baked in a cast-iron skillet. Think of it as a modern take on pineapple upside-down cake.

Cornmeal, orange zest, and thyme come together in this Christmas cake for a rustic flavor finale to this delicious dinner—and a stunning look on your holiday table.

Get the recipe: Orange Cornmeal Cake

Technique Tips: How to Cook Seafood

No need to be intimidated by cooking fresh seafood at home. Follow these Test Kitchen-approved tricks to make the most of every dollar you invest in the high-quality catch of the day.


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