Succulent seafood bathed in a creamy sherry sauce with shallots, garlic and mushrooms, topped with crispy potato sticks and parmesan, then baked until bubbly and golden. It's the perfect baked seafood casserole for dinner parties, Sunday family dinner, or the holidays. Simple and easy to prepare with a fantastic flavor payoff.
Seafood casseroles come in different shapes and styles. This one is creamy and savory, with extra flavor and crunch from a delicious potato stick topping. Depending on the seafood you include, it can also be as decadent or budget friendly as you like!
With a simple combination of white fish and shrimp, you can make a luxurious recipe at a good price.
And if you're celebrating a special occasion, head to the fish market and spring for a more upscale combination including lobster tails or lump crab and the same perfect sherry cream sauce will have everyone begging for your recipe.
Ingredients for New England-style Seafood Casserole Recipe:
Seafood: every seafood casserole deserves a healthy portion of white fish. I used hake, but cod, haddock, snapper and even tilapia are all great options. Ling fillets are less common in the US, but if you can find them, a great firm fish solution. Along with the white fish, I like to add a shellfish like shrimp, sea scallops, bay scallops or lobster meat. Even crab meat could be a light and flavorful addition.
Veggies & aromatics: seafood is light and mild and pairs well with flavor bombs like shallots and garlic. Cremini mushrooms add meaty texture and flavor to the mix. Substitute yellow or red onion for shallots. Use the mushroom of your choice. If fungi isn't your favorite, skip the mushrooms and add finely diced celery, carrot or even green pepper to your fresh seafood casserole.
Broth, wine and cream: seafood stock, (or clam juice, or chicken stock for non-pescatarians) sherry or white wine and cream create the body of our delicious seafood lovers sauce. It's simple but satisfying and builds the perfect base for the seafood components of the dish.
Finishing touches: just a handful of seasoning elements go into our light sauce, including salt, pepper, lemons (for zest and wedges for serving) and diced fresh chives. Diced fresh parsley or the green part of the scallions are great substitutes if you don't have chives.
Crunchy topping: the holy trinity of potato sticks, parmesan and paprika make up our crazy delicious crispy topping. If you don't have any crispy potato sticks on hand, you can use crushed up potato chips, Ritz crackers or oyster crackers. Homemade bread crumbs would add a little crunch to the topping, or even panko crumbs. Keep in mind if using crackers or bread crumbs, you may want to add more salt to the topping to create the same craveable crunch as potato sticks.
Full ingredient list and measurements included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions:
To begin, preheat your oven to 375°. Use one tablespoon of butter to generously grease four oven-safe individual casserole dishes. Arrange on a baking sheet and set aside.
Next, melt butter (remaining 3 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallot to the melted butter. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic and sherry (or white wine) and cook until liquid is reduced, about 1 minute.
Add flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring until smooth, for 2 minutes.
Then whisk in stock and half and half. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Stir in fish and shrimp, lemon zest and chives. Stir to combine thoroughly, then remove from heat.
Next mix potato sticks, Parmesan cheese, and paprika in a bowl.
Divide the creamy seafood mixture evenly among each baking dish, ensuring a balanced mix of seafood and sauce in each dish. Sprinkle crunchy top mixture evenly over each casserole dish. Transfer sheet pan with casseroles into oven gently.
Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Top your delicious casserole with diced chives and serve with a lemon wedge.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions:
Most flaky white fish will work in this recipe, including cod, hake, turbot, haddock, snapper and even tilapia. Ling cod is a lovely firm white fish, if you can find it in your local grocery or fish market.
A simple Mediterranean Tossed Salad or Gazpacho Salad or light and flavorful options. Garlic Almond Green Beans or Sweet Carrots would be two more great options. And I love to serve this with a baguette. That creamy sherry sauce deserves a warm and crusty bread so we don't waste a single drop.
A dry white wine is a good option in place of sherry. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic option, try a splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. For non-pescatarians, chicken stock can be another good substitute for wine, but I recommend pairing it with a touch of acid (vinegar or citrus) to create balance.
To store leftover casserole, move to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place fish casserole into a small saucepan and heat gently over medium-low heat until just warmed through. Alternately, you can warm in the oven at 350℉ and broil the last few minutes to re-crisp the potato sticks.