A Seafood Lover’s Guide: How To Make Budget-Friendly Meals
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A Seafood Lover’s Guide: How To Make Budget-Friendly Meals

Hello, Seafoodies! 

We get it… eating well on a budget can feel like trying to walk a tightrope! Balancing delicious and nutritious meals while staying within a financial plan is not always easy. Not to mention finding ingredients for recipes that are easy to make, while also satisfying the challenging palates of hungry little seafoodies!

Well, fear not! Dish on Fish is here to help you into the kitchen with ease! We’ve done our homework on how to stretch your dollars with seafood, starting at the grocery store and ending with our family-favorite affordable recipes. 

First stop on our budget-friendly seafood adventure is to meal plan and prep. By sitting down to plan your meals in advance, it will be easier to buy only what’s needed at the grocery store—which equals money saved! Another affordable planning trick? We love using recipes that are easy to make ahead of time and reheat—if you have tasty and easy options, you’re less likely to buy breakfast or lunch out. Leftovers from last night’s dinner can also be remixed by adding extra protein or a new veggie as a side.  

With your shopping list in hand, let’s hit the grocery store. First, we’ll head straight to the freezer case, where a treasure trove of affordable seafood options await. Shrimp, salmon, tilapia, cod and more are frozen at their peak freshness, ready for you to grab, portion out and cook up a storm. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for sales and opportunities to buy in bulk, which can lower your overall cost per pound even more.

Now, for some center-aisle magic. Make your way over and snag a few pouches or cans of tuna, crab, salmon, anchovies or clams. These pantry staples, combined with a sprinkle of easy kitchen know-how, are your ticket to becoming a true affordable eats champion. It’s always a great idea to add an extra serving to your cart for those nights when you need to whip up something quick! 

And speaking of fast and fabulous meals… To help you get started, we’ve gathered some of our best budget-conscious recipes that taste expensive but won’t break the bank. From quick and easy salmon sheet pan dinners to delectable canned tuna pasta creations, consider these seafood favorites your secret weapon for eating well while watching your hard-earned dollars.

Happy saving, happy eating!

Spicy Sheet-Pan Salmon 

Serve this mouthwatering sheet-pan salmon with brown rice and wilted spinach for a nutritious, heart-healthy meal—that’s also affordable!

Mediterranean Tuna and Pasta

With canned or pouched tuna being the star, this 25-minute recipe will bring a taste of the Mediterranean right to your kitchen table!

Lemon Tilapia Piccata

Lemon Tilapia Piccata 

As a simple answer to that persistent question “What’s for dinner?,” we put together a nourishing and easy dish, featuring the ultimate flavor pairing of tilapia and lemon.

Cod and Corn Chowder

Cod and Corn Chowder 

For a seafood soup that promises to be a family hit—look no further! And if (and that’s a big if!) you have any leftovers, we can also attest that it also makes a delicious lunch. 

Cheesy Pimento Tuna Melt 

Easy, cheesy and sure to please even the pickiest of palates, our 15-minute tuna melt recipe is your new after-school MVP!

Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Tilapia with Black Bean and Mango Salsa 

Savor tropical vibes as tilapia takes center stage, complemented by a vibrant black bean and mango salsa for a delightful burst of flavors in every bite!

Crunchy Air Fryer Fish Sticks Recipe

Easy Air Fryer Fish Sticks 

Got just 20 minutes? Then you can make this crunchy, cravable white fish meal, with just a little help from your handy-dandy air fryer! 

Mediterranean Salmon Bowl, Two Ways

The versatility of this dish keeps it on constant rotation in the Dish on Fish kitchen! Mix it up with whatever affordable grains and veggies you prefer.

Tuna Puttanesca 

Tuna Puttanesca is an ultimate Italian classic that you can make at home—resulting in an aromatic, flavor-forward dinner that is pasta-tively amazing and can be ready in minutes.

Instant Pot Seafood Risotto 

A small serving of decadent seafood risotto goes a long way—especially when paired with a side salad or hunk of hearty bread!

Mediterranean Tuna Pizza

In our humble Seafoodie option, the flavor combo of arugula, red onion, mozzarella and tuna is perfect—but you can substitute with whatever cheese or greens you have on hand. 

gluten-free crab cakes

Gluten-Free Crab Cakes

Whether you regularly eat gluten-free or just occasionally, these off-the-charts-tasting crab cakes will earn their spot on your list of family favorites for sure!

Air Fryer Crispy Mac-and-Cheese Tuna Bites

Warning: These crispy bites are so delectable, it’s hard to only eat one! Make them for your kiddos and then be sure to save a serving (or two) for yourself.

Italian tuna and brown rice salad is wonderful, easy lunch using basic pantry items such as tuna, brown rice, capers and good quality chopped olives plus some frozen mixed vegetables and fresh lemon juice.

Italian Tuna and Brown Rice Salad

Who’s ready for a pantry party?! Crafted from staples like tuna, brown rice, capers and chopped olives—”Riso e Tonno” ( AKA Italian Tuna and Brown Rice) is a bowlful of fresh flavor!

Overhead view of a Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowl with sriracha and sesame seeds sprinkled over top.

Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowls

No matter the season, these filling 15-minute tuna bowls can be enjoyed warm or cold to fit into your meal plan (and your busy schedule) all year long!


Smoked Bluefish and Potato Salad

Thrown together for an easy meal or as your go-to potluck side, try this rustic smoked fish potato salad anytime you need an affordable and comforting bite to eat!

Overhead view of a bowl full of pesto shrimp pasta with a black fork in the middle

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

Originally designed for raw shrimp, whether frozen or fresh, you can also use pre-cooked shrimp for this pesto pasta. Just toss them in with the noodles towards the end of their cooking time.

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