Let’s face it: Cooking dinner is hard work. Especially when you’ve got more than a couple mouths to feed. And especially when you’ve got picky eaters at the table.
Truth is, beyond frozen fish sticks and maybe popcorn shrimp, seafood can be a tough sell for youngsters with developing palates. Especially if they’re used to a steady diet of mostly chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, and pizza.
But if you’re trying to raise your kids to be seafood lovers—and we hope you are—we’re here to help. Not only do you have an excellent resource for fresh Gulf product thanks to our 53 miles of coastline as well as processors and markets across the state, you’ve got 150+ recipes to try courtesy of our friends. And while some of them might be intimidating for kids, lots of them would be excellent introductory dishes for seafood novices.
Check out our list of kid-friendly Alabama Gulf Seafood recipes, then cook up some genuine goodness for your next family dinner.
Cha Cha’s Crab Dip
Crabs can be tricky, especially if you’re cracking your own out of the shell. This thick and gooey crab dip will reel in your kids thanks to the bacon, Ritz crackers, and two kinds of cheese. Then when they ask what that delicious mystery flavor is, they’ll understand.
It might be hard to convince your kids to try a Gulf oyster—especially if you love them raw and on the half-shell. Try introducing cooked oysters first! This recipe is a fun one to put on the grill, and the butter and cheese should hook them in with familiar flavors.
Famous Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Gumbo Pizza
All kids love pizza. It’s a scientific fact. And if your children have never tried fresh Gulf shrimp before, this is a fun and delicious way to try a different spin on your standard pizza options. Not only does it include chicken, sausage, and bacon, it uses roux instead of tomato sauce!
Kowaliga Fried Shrimp
Frozen popcorn shrimp may be an easy fix when you’re short on time for dinner, but fresh Gulf shrimp are just so much better. This recipe won’t require too much effort on your part, and once it’s ready to serve (with fries and hushpuppies!), you’ll have a restaurant-quality shrimp basket.
Orange & Blue Oyster Poppers
Grilled oysters are great, but if your children love fried food (don’t we all?), these Oyster Poppers are a fun and flavorful appetizer. And if your children don’t love bleu cheese, or they’re too young for hot sauce, you can try your own favorite sauces for coating and dipping.
Pan-Roasted Grouper with Butter-Poached Fingerlings
If your kids still have a meat-and-potatoes palate, serve ‘em some meat and potatoes! Grouper is one of the most popular and accessible Gulf fish, and it pairs nicely with fingerling potatoes and basil cream. (Bonus points if you can get them to eat the spinach!)
Pan-Seared Redfish with Gulf Lump Crabmeat
Want to knock out two types of Gulf seafood in one dish? Red and blue go great together with these Redfish filets topped with Blue Crab, plus an excellent hollandaise sauce to add extra flavor. (Can’t find Redfish at your local market? Lots of different Gulf fish will do the trick.)
Shrimp, Sausage, and Chicken Jambalaya
Everyone loves a hearty jambalaya, right? If your children are big fans of chicken and rice dishes or red beans and rice, this recipe full of Gulf shrimp is a great stepping stone toward Alabama Gulf Seafood. And if your little ones pick out the peppers and onions, that’s okay for now. (Baby steps!)
We’ve got plenty more recipes where these came from. Browse our recipes list and pick out something else you might like, no matter the occasion.