Quick Easy Fish Recipes

cooked fish

Fish is the ultimate fast food; here are some quick, easy fish recipes for you to try. I’m sure you will love them.

We know that we should all be eating more fish. But how do you cook it and what can you make with all the different kinds of fish available? Here are some easy recipes for cooking fish that I hope you will love to try.

Smoked Fish Pate

This is a quick and easy pate, it takes just minutes to make. Good enough to serve as a first course at a dinner party. Serves 4.

200g smoked fish (salmon, trout, or mackerel)
250g soft cheese (such as Philadelphia)
The juice of half a lemon
Black pepper

Remove any skin from the fish and flake it into small pieces.  Add to the cream cheese in a bowl, season with pepper – you may not need to add salt as the fish is already salty – then squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly (the pate should be quite coarse) then cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve with thin slices of toast.

Prawns in Garlic Butter

Garlic prawns

This is a real treat – prawns in their shells swimming in hot garlic butter. Make sure you have lots of paper napkins to hand, as this is one of those messy-but-tasty meals that you just have to eat with your fingers. Serves 4.

800g  prawns in their shells, preferably fresh, not frozen
50g salted butter
2 – 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Salt and black pepper
Lemon (for squeezing over and to garnish)
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley (optional)

First of all, peel the garlic. This is easy to do if you cut off the root end and then press down on the garlic clove with the side of a knife blade. The skin should come off easily. Use a garlic press or a fine grater to pulp the garlic cloves.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and when it’s hot, tip in all the prawns. Add the garlic and stir everything around over a medium heat until the prawns are heated through and the butter is sizzling. Squeeze over some lemon juice and sprinkle with the fresh parsley, if using. Serve with extra lemon wedges and plenty of warm fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices.

*To peel the prawns before eating, grasp the head with the finger and thumb on your left hand and the body with the right hand. Twist the head and it will come off cleanly. Then, starting underneath, carefully peel off the shell and legs. The tail might still be on so just give it a sharp tug and your prawn is ready to eat.

Prawn Cocktail

I couldn’t resist adding this retro fish recipe. In the 1970s you would find a prawn cocktail on every restaurant menu. Properly made, it’s really good. The secret is to use really fresh prawns and thick, good-quality mayonnaise. Serves 4.

500g peeled fresh prawns
150 ml good quality mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
A teaspoon of paprika and lemon wedges to garnish
One shredded Little Gem or half an Iceberg lettuce

Place the prawns in a bowl. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, except for the lettuce, paprika, and lemon wedges, then add this to the prawns. Mix thoroughly. Put some shredded lettuce into the base of 4 serving dishes or glasses then top with the prawn cocktail.

Dust each serving lightly with paprika and serve with a lemon wedge and some buttered wholemeal bread.

Fisherman’s Pie

Fish pie

A simple dish of white fish in a creamy sauce topped with cheesy mashed potato. Lovely on a cold winter’s evening. This is food that sticks to your ribs. Serves 4.

500g filleted white fish (cod, haddock, or hake)
400 ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
Salt and pepper
3 black peppercorns
A slice of onion, skin removed
1 bay leaf
25g butter
25g plain flour
50g of grated cheddar cheese
2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and sliced
500g potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
25g butter
1 tablespoon of milk
25g grated cheddar cheese

Place the fish in an ovenproof dish in a single layer. Add the milk, peppercorns, onion, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil and bake in the oven at gas mark 4/180C/350F for about 15  minutes until the fish is tender and will flake easily with a fork. Strain off the liquid from the fish and set it to one side.

Peel and cut up the potatoes and put them into a pan of water, add some salt, and put a lid on the pan. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes until tender when pierced with the blade of a knife. Drain them in a colander then tip them back into the pan. Add butter, milk, and seasoning and mash vigorously until all the lumps of potato have gone. A potato masher is the best tool for this job but if you don’t have one you can use a fork instead.

To make the white sauce (known as bechamel sauce) melt the butter in a non-stick pan then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so that the flour is properly cooked. (Uncooked flour doesn’t taste very nice.) Add the reserved cooking liquid from the fish a little at a time, stirring well until the milk has been absorbed by the butter and flour to make a stiff paste. Keep doing this and don’t worry if the sauce looks too thick, it will smooth out and emulsify after a few minutes.

Once all of the liquid has been absorbed, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes then slowly bring it to the boil, keeping an eye on it so that it doesn’t boil over. Add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, and stir the sauce until the cheese has melted.

Pour the sauce over the fish then arrange the slices of hard boiled egg on top. Cover with the mashed potato and draw the prongs of a fork across the surface to roughen the texture. This will help the topping to go brown and crispy. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Bake the pie in the oven at gas mark 6/200C/400F for about 15 – 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve it straight from the baking dish with some green vegetables.

Plaice with Cream and Mushroom Sauce

Another simple fish recipe, but very elegant in taste and appearance. It’s also very quick to make. Serves 4.

Butter for frying
250g mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
4 plaice fillets, skin removed (ask the fishmonger to do this for you)
Plain flour for coating
Salt and black pepper
150 ml dry white wine
150 ml double cream
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Melt half of the butter in a non-stick pan. When it’s melted add the mushrooms. Lower the heat and fry for 3- 4 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside.

Put the flour on a plate, season it with salt and pepper and use this to coat the plaice fillets. Just lay the fish on the floured plate, press down gently then turn and do the same to the other side. Melt the remaining butter in the same pan you used to cook the mushrooms and when it’s melted, add the fish. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side.

Pour the wine into the pan and simmer gently for about 10 minutes before adding the cream. Double cream shouldn’t separate but be careful not to have the heat up too high.

Return the mushrooms to the pan, stir and check if the sauce needs any more salt and pepper. Serve the plaice with the sauce poured over and sprinkled with the parsley. This is nice served with buttered new potatoes and some green vegetables such as broccoli or green beans.

Halibut Catalan

This is a very simple fish recipe with bags of flavour. Popular in the Mediterranean where tomatoes are sweet, ripe, and plentiful. Serves 4.

4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
4 slices filleted halibut or halibut steaks
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
250g ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (or a tin of chopped plum tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
300 ml dry white wine
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the halibut and leave it in a cool place for a couple of hours, turning the fish in the marinade a couple of times.

Heat the remaining oil in a deep frying pan then add the onion and garlic. Fry gently until the onions are golden and soft. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, and wine. Bring to the boil. Add the marinated halibut and lower the heat. Put a lid on the pan or cover with foil and transfer to the oven.

Cook at gas mark 4/180C/350F for about 20 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with parsley and accompanied by lots of fresh, crusty bread.

*If using fresh tomatoes, the easiest way to peel them is to put them in a bowl and cover them completely with boiling water. Leave for 10 minutes then carefully pour off the hot water and cover the tomatoes with cold water. After 5 minutes the skins should peel off easily.

Spaghetti with Sardines

Sardine spaghetti

This is a lovely, fresh-tasting pasta dish. The flavours are reminiscent of Sicily. Ask your fishmonger to bone and fillet the sardines for you so all you have to do is give them 5 minutes to cook at home. Serves 4.

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
15g parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
400g tin chopped tomatoes
4 fresh sardines, boned and filleted
1 lemon
350g spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and parsley and fry for 2 minutes. Tip in the tomatoes, season, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Stir, then lower the heat and cook for 8 – 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and dress with some extra virgin olive oil.

Place the sardine fillets on top of the tomato sauce, cover the pan with a lid (or a sheet of kitchen foil if you don’t have a lid) and cook for 5 minutes.

Tip the cooked spaghetti into the sauce pan and stir to coat thoroughly, ensuring the sardines are evenly distributed (they will break up when you stir the sauce) and everything is piping hot.

Serve in warmed bowls with some crusty bread spread with black olive tapenade.

I hope you enjoy trying out these recipes, and discovering just how versatile and tasty fish can be. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

For some delicious salmon recipes please visit best ever salmon recipes

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8 thoughts on “Quick Easy Fish Recipes”

  1. Thank you very much for this valuable detailed post about easy fish recipes. I really like to eat fish. But they are not that good at making them. I really like this Smoked fish recipe. I will definitely try it. It will be very easy for me because you have shown the method. Keep posting like this. I will definitely share this.

    • Hi Pasindu, the smoked fish pate is very delicious. You can use any smoked fish you want, or you can use several kinds. The lemon juice is very important as the pate is rich. Serve it on toast, in a baked potato or inside a mini Yorkshire pudding! 

  2. Hi…Great website and information contained!

    Do you provide any reviews on recipes or cookbooks (maybe I just overlooked them)?  In addition, but do you offer links to sites like Amazon or other merchant sites in order to buy associated products or cookware?  Maybe you should also consider adding cooking videos if you have not already done so?

    Thank you, some great recipe ideas!

    • Hi Mike and thanks for getting in touch! I’m glad you liked my website. It’s constantly evolving so do pop back now and then to see what’s new. 

      I only started building my website at the beginning of the month, so I need to generate more traffic in order to qualify for an affiliate program. Having said that, I can certainly recommend some good cookbooks. 

      Anything by Delia Smith – she is very detailed in her recipes and methods, and her recipes work every time. I have several of her books. My favourite is The Complete Illustrated Cookery Course.

      Jamie Oliver- I would recommend Save With Jamie, Jamie’s Ministry of food, and Just 5 Ingredients. His recipes are simple, delicious and Jamie’s sheer enthusiasm shines through in all of his books.

      Ainsley Harriott – I love Ainsley’s recipes, he’s fond of spicy food but so am I! I like his Friends and Family Cookbook, Good Mood Food, and Meals in Minutes. His barbecue books are good too.

      I may do videos at a later stage, but right now I’m writing lots of content. I hope you found my recommendations helpful. Thanks again!

  3. I love fish and seafood and am always looking for new recipes I can try. I was a teenager in the seventies and I can clearly remember prawn cocktail on all the restaurant menus. It was always one of my favourites. 

    The Halibut Catalan looks like the perfect recipe to try with all our homegrown tomatoes. And I love the combination of fish with cheese. We have a family member who is allergic to dairy, so can the milk in the recipes be substituted for coconut cream or milk? And the same with the cheese, can vegan cheese like cashew cheese be used? Thank you. 

    • Hi and thank you for your comments! I think your Halibut Catalan will taste extra-special with fresh, ripe tomatoes. I also love prawn cocktail, it’s one of those simple but oh-so-good recipes that stand the test of time. 

      If you want to use an alternative to cow’s milk that would be fine. Coconut might affect the flavour but oat or almond milk should work. Vegan cheese will also be suitable. The combination of fish with cheese is very tasty. I love the melty, crunchy bits of cheese on top of a fish pie.

      I will be adding more recipes for fish as time goes on so pop back occasionally and hopefully find more inspiration!


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