Seafood saute makes an easy, quick, delicious meal out of frozen seafood mix. Your only task as a chef is to avoid overcooking the seafood!
I have quite a few fish and seafood recipes on this blog, but I am always on the lookout for more interesting recipes. This one is a keeper - it's so easy to make and it's delicious.
If you happen to have a bag or two of frozen seafood mix in your freezer (mine came from Trader Joe's), this tasty seafood saute is a great way to turn them into an easy, delicious meal. We had it for lunch this weekend with steamed broccoli and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Perfection!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty seafood recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Frozen seafood mix: The one I like to use has shrimp, calamari rings, and bay scallops. This recipe should also work with a comparable amount of just shrimp.
Butter: I use melted unsalted butter.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Spices: Paprika and red pepper flakes. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
To serve: Lemon and parsley.
How to make seafood saute? It's easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Defrost the seafood: Place the frozen seafood in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Allow to defrost for about 5 minutes, stirring gently to separate the pieces, and replacing the water once during the process. Place the defrosted seafood on a clean kitchen towel or on paper towels to dry.
Cook: Melt the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add the seafood and the seasonings. Stir-fry just until opaque, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the seafood, or it could become tough and gummy.
Serve: Transfer to a serving platter, spooning the pan juices on top. Squeeze lemon juice on top and garnish with chopped parsley.
This is a saucy dish. It's best to serve it with crusty bread for dipping in the sauce (if you eat bread). Or serve it atop rice, cauliflower rice or microwave spaghetti squash. Of course, you can always do as we do, and simply serve it with soup spoons in addition to a knife and a fork!
Variations and substitutions
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- You can use olive oil instead of butter. I must admit, though, butter tastes really good in this recipe!
- Change up the spices you use. For a different flavor profile, omit the paprika, and add onion powder and dried thyme.
- You can sprinkle the finished dish with bacon bits or with dry-grated parmesan prior to serving it.
Storing the leftovers
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 3 days. Reheat them very gently, though. It's best to use the microwave on 50% power and to reheat them covered.
These buttery baked scallops are phenomenal. They're one of the most popular recipes on this blog and for good reason. And shrimp scampi is a classic dish that's so easy to make, I don't order it in restaurants anymore. It's one of my favorite ways to prepare shrimp.
Frequently asked questions
Generally, the answer is yes, though you'll need to cook it for a longer time and ensure it's fully cooked. But in this particular recipe, I highly recommend that you defrost the seafood first. Otherwise, the pieces won’t cook uniformly, and they will also release too much water into the dish while they cook.
There's no one way to cook seafood! This recipe uses sauteing as its cooking method, but I also have recipes that use baking, such as baked shrimp. Broiling is also good - check out this recipe for broiled scallops.
I find that one of the easiest ways to do that is to keep frozen fish and seafood in the freezer, especially sustainable and wild-caught. Whether a mix such as the one used here, bags of shrimp, scallops, or salmon fillets, it's a convenient way to always have it available.
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Sauteed Seafood Mix Recipe
- 2 lb. frozen mixed seafood*
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ small lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Place the frozen seafood in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Allow to defrost for about 5 minutes, stirring gently to separate pieces, and replacing the water once during the defrosting process. Place the defrosted seafood on a clean kitchen towel or on paper towels to dry.
- Melt the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add the seafood, kosher salt, minced garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry just until opaque, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the sauteed seafood to a serving platter, spooning the pan juices on top. Squeeze lemon juice on top of the seafood saute and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.