Even if you make a habit of going fishing in a local pond instead of playing in a muddy, early morning football game, it’s likely that fish isn’t the very first thing you conjure in your mind when thinking about Thanksgiving. While turkey and all the trimmings rule the day on most American tables during Thanksgiving, pescatarians prefer finding other sources of protein on Turkey Day. That’s why having a few reliable and delicious pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes is so important, to ensure that everyone in your family is well respected and well fed! Because traditional Thanksgiving foods often take a lot of time and space on the stove and in the oven, the best pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes need to be relatively easy and low stress. Here are a handful of delicious recipes you can sink your pescatarian teeth into, and be thankful for, this Thanksgiving!
1. Grilled Trout Bruschetta
This fish appetizer is super easy to make on the grill, and the result is super tasty too! Using a main ingredient you likely already caught and other staples you probably have in your kitchen right now — mayo, oil, salsa, lemons — plus some fresh crunchy bread, our grilled trout bruschetta is one of the pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes you’ll be able to produce in minutes, just as hungry guests arrive ready to gobble up what you are serving!
2. Instant Pot Lemon Pepper Salmon
The turkey at the center of the table gets most of the plaudits, but Thanksgiving food is so much more varied than the dry bird that needs carving. Our instant pot lemon pepper salmon is one of the pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes that you’ll come to rely on during the holidays and any day of the year! So easy to prep and cook, and incredibly healthy too, once you learn to cook this salmon recipe, you will be able to enjoy watching the football games with family and friends while your trusty instant pot does most of the work!
3. Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash
Of course, all pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes don’t have to involve fish! This maple-glazed acorn squash is bursting with seasonal flavor and aromas that will make your entire home a feast for the senses! Serving this side dish with your turkey AND fish during Thanksgiving will have everyone — vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores — singing your praises.
4. Fish Chowder
Whether you’ve been out fishing or tossing the pigskin around in the morning, chances are you arrive back at Thanksgiving headquarters chilly and exhausted, and in need of some warmth and sustenance. Our fish chowder recipe provides both, and thanks to it being the easiest chowder you’ll ever make, and perfectly suited for any kind of whitefish, like cod or haddock, whipping it up for your pescatarian family and friends is a breeze. Learn how to make this delicious fish chowder, and then read over the easy fish chowder recipe to get started.
5. Tilapia Fish Cakes
Being one of the more affordable fish at the store, tilapia makes a great replacement for crab when wanting to pre-make pescatarian Thanksgiving recipes to make preparing dishes on the day quicker and easier. These tilapia fish cakes, with breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, herbs, and spicy brown mustard, need only a few minutes of sautéing on each side, meaning this is one stress-free dish to make your Thanksgiving a little more meatless this year!
Check out even more fish recipes and turkey alternative meals to try on Thanksgiving!
Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion