Lean, nutrient-rich wild-caught seafood is an ideal healthy protein to use when meal prepping. It’s easy to cook, enjoyable hot or cold, and can be used in a variety of dishes that are amenable to being portioned out and stored in the refrigerator for your convenience throughout the week.
There are lots of meal prep-specific blogs out there, but it’s really easy to adapt “regular” recipes for your meal prep needs. One thing you want to consider when using wild-caught seafood for prepared meals is that you’ll only want to make enough to last you for four days for the sake of freshness. Conveniently, many recipes are written to make four servings, so if you’re cooking for yourself, all you need to do is divvy things up evenly at the end for a complete set of prepared meals. If you’re cooking for two or more, you’ll obviously may want to double or triple any recipe you come across.
Here are a few pointers in meal prepping with wild-caught seafood to get the most out of that exquisite stack of containers you have waiting for you in the refrigerator.
Cohesive, Filling, and Ready-to-Eat Seafood Bowls
Seafood bowls are a no-brainer when you are meal prepping. They’re cohesive, filling, and often ready-to-eat as cold meals. Keep in mind that seafood bowls made with rice will need to be reheated with a splash of liquid since rice dries out quickly when stored in the refrigerator.
Noodles, however, retain their moisture for longer, giving you the option to eat your prepped meals warm or cold. Omnivore’s Cookbook has an Asian-inspired salmon noodle bowl that’s sweet, salty, tangy, and easy to make. You have the option to either grill or bake the salmon, which allows you to decide which flavors and textures you are in the mood for this week. The real time saver here is the sauce, which is used as a marinade for the salmon fillets, as a dressing for a slaw, and as a sauce for the noodles; keep the sauce on the side until you’re ready to eat these bowls so that the noodles don’t get soggy.
Or skip the starches altogether. This Whole30 fish taco bowl from Eat This, Not That! is as colorful as it is flavorful, with pan-seared salmon (leave the skin on while you’re cooking it so that it stays moist), guacamole, mango salsa, a crunchy cabbage slaw, and cauliflower rice that’s been simmered in a bit of coconut milk. Since the taco bowl is composed of several different components that are made separately, it’s actually a recipe where meal prepping — as opposed to making just one serving of it — is the most efficient way to enjoy this dish.
Mix and Match Sheet Pan Meals
A godsend for those weeks when you know you won’t have time and energy to spend in the kitchen, sheet pan meals are a streamlined way to cook and are practically tailor made for meal prepping. You can mix and match your proteins and veggies on the pan, making multiple options at once that will ensure your prepared meals for the next few days are equally mix and matchable.
Slender Kitchen’s recipe for sheet pan blackened cod, roasted with sweet potatoes and zucchini, makes for a healthy and flavorful meal prep trio to enjoy throughout the week. As the recipe suggests, you can make this with halibut, salmon, or rockfish, and switch up the veggies depending on what looks good at the market.
Seafood Salads for Lunch or Dinner
Salads, whether made with greens or grains — or even a mix of the two — are a fresh take on meal prepping that you can customize to be as light or as filling as you like. Depending on your preference, you can enjoy these salads hot or cold. One thing to keep in mind is that fish poached in oil or in a poaching liquid have a particularly nice texture straight out of the fridge and are a luscious protein to accompany your salad.
For a perfectly elegant lunch, this salad from Food & Wine made with butter beans and poached salmon can be divided up and left undressed until you’re ready to serve so that your leafy greens don’t wilt before you get to them. Feel free to add a soft-boiled egg to each of your containers if you want to add an appetizing pop of color or change up the greens to suit your taste.
If you want something less leafy and more substantial, Martha Stewart has a meal preppable salad made with poached salmon and pearl barley, which can be served chilled, at room temp, or warmed.
More in line with what you’d want for dinner, this halibut, sweet potato, and lentil salad from Real Simple can be dressed as soon as it’s made — the dijon mustard sauce will just make everything in the salad taste more delicious over time. It’s best served warm.
Versatile Fish Cakes
There’s so much to love about using fish cakes in your prepped meals. They can be enjoyed on their own, over salad greens, with a side of veggies, or even on a bun — so even if you’re enjoying them each day, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste for variety. Fish cakes are also very easy to make in large amounts, so you can double or triple any recipes as needed without having to work much harder in the kitchen.
Made with already-cooked salmon, these quinoa cakes from Little Broken are rich in protein and filling, with a classic dijon and herb flavor profile. Eat them on their own as a meal, or prep them with roasted veggies (maybe roasted on a sheet pan alongside your salmon) to get you through the week. These happen to freeze quite well, so go ahead and make a big batch of them if you have the freezer space to spare. All you have to do to revive the cakes is defrost them overnight, then reheat them in a skillet when you’re ready to eat.