magine a delectable blend of succulent sea scallops, tender lobster meat, and juicy shrimp, all embraced in a creamy sauce and topped with a golden brown crust of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Welcome to the world of the New England Seafood Casserole, where coastal flavors and comforting textures come together in a single dish that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
The easy seafood casserole recipe I’m about to share with you is a surefire hit for a cozy family dinner or an impressive gathering of friends. Bursting with the essence of the sea, this dish brings the freshest catch to your dinner table, capturing the essence of New England’s culinary heritage.
Gathering the Sea Offerings
The first thing you’ll need is a trip to your local fish market. Look for the freshest sea offerings available, such as sea scallops, large shrimp, firm white fish, and sweet lobster meat. Feel free to explore other varieties based on your preferences, but always aim for the best quality at a good price.
Preparing the Seafood
Once you have your seafood treasure trove, it’s time to get down to business. Start by preheating your oven and greasing a casserole dish. Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. Add the shrimp, scallops, and lobster meat, cooking them for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and the seafood is cooked through. Set them aside for now. If you want to switch out the white fish for salmon or tuna, be sure to check out some of my seafood safety tips regarding salmon.
Crafting the Creamy Sauce
Now, it’s time to create the heart of this delicious casserole—the creamy sauce. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt a few tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add a medium onion, finely chopped, and cook until it turns translucent. Sprinkle in some all-purpose flour, stirring constantly to form a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, dry white wine, and a splash of dry sherry, letting the mixture thicken to a velvety consistency.
Adding Flavors: Assembling the New England Seafood Casserole
To elevate the flavor profile, season the sauce with garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. For a touch of freshness, finely chop some fresh parsley and dill, adding them to the sauce. Stir in grated Swiss cheese, allowing it to melt into the creamy concoction. Once the sauce is ready, gently fold in the cooked seafood, ensuring every morsel is coated in the luscious creaminess. Don’t be afraid to pair this dish with a tasty side, such as a crisp cucumber salad.
The Irresistible Topping
No casserole is complete without a tantalizing topping that adds crunch and enhances the overall texture. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and melted butter, mixing until you have coarse crumbs. Sprinkle this delectable mixture evenly over the seafood and sauce, creating a tempting layer that will turn irresistibly golden in the oven.
Baking to Perfection
Carefully place your assembled casserole into the preheated oven and let it bake until the top is beautifully golden brown and the sauce is bubbly. Cover the dish with aluminum foil if it browns too quickly. As the aromas fill your kitchen, anticipation builds for the moment you’ll finally savor this tantalizing creation.
Serving and Storing
Once your New England Seafood Casserole emerges from the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with a fresh dill sprig and a lemon slice for an extra touch of elegance. Accompany it with oyster crackers or a slice of crusty bread to soak up every last bit of the creamy sauce. For dessert, try this casserole out with a slice of Guyanese sponge cake. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring you can enjoy this delightful dish even on the following day.
Get ready to embark on a seafood adventure that combines the best flavors of New England in one mouthwatering dish. This creamy seafood casserole will transport you to coastal shores, where the freshness of the ocean meets the warmth of a homemade meal. So gather your loved ones, indulge in this unforgettable feast, and let the New England Seafood Casserole become a favorite on your dinner rotation. If you find yourself enjoy this delicious dish, be sure to check out my recipes for Hobo casserole and sweet potato casserole as well.
- 1 pound fresh white fish fillets (such as cod or haddock), cut into chunks
- 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound fresh sea scallops
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups buttery cracker crumbs (such as Ritz)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a large baking dish and set it aside.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion and garlic mixture, stirring constantly for about 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
- Gradually pour in the milk, heavy cream, and white wine, stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Cook the mixture until it thickens and starts to bubble.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the fish chunks, shrimp, and scallops to the skillet. Gently stir to combine everything. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until the seafood is just cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the seafood.
- Stir in the frozen peas, corn kernels, chopped parsley, and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Transfer the seafood mixture to the greased baking dish, spreading it out evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine the buttery cracker crumbs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top of the seafood mixture in the baking dish.
- Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the casserole is bubbling.
- Once done, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Serve the New England Seafood Casserole hot as a main dish. It pairs well with a fresh green salad and some crusty bread on the side. Enjoy the delicious flavors of the sea!
Please note that these cooking times are approximate and can vary based on individual cooking speed and kitchen setup. It's always a good idea to read through the entire recipe and gather all the ingredients and tools needed before starting to cook to ensure a smooth and efficient cooking process.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 714Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 355mgSodium: 1094mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 71g