Explore prep-free apps, standout ingredients and creative combinations.
We love entertaining with seafood during the holidays. It’s a simple, refreshing way to brighten up any spread. Start with quality ingredients, and they’ll do most of the work for you.
Here are some of our top picks, from effortless apps like cocktail shrimp to caviar and tinned seafood. We’ve also included some crowd-pleasing recipes and unique serving tips (ever had caviar on potato chips? Trust us on this one).
Five-Star Seafood Starters
Treat your guests to fresh, crowd-pleasing favorites. You can’t go wrong with cocktail shrimp, oysters topped with savory granita and ready-to-cook crab cakes.
Our cocktail shrimp are firm, vibrant and full of flavor. They’re carefully cooked in-shell with no additives, so every bite is perfectly succulent and naturally delicious. Available by the pound or on a platter with a side of The Fresh Market Cocktail Sauce for dipping.
2Ultimate Lump Crab Cakes
Our tender, flavorful Ultimate Lump Crab Cakes are a guest favorite for a reason! They’re made with a generous amount of real lump crab meat and just the right amount of simple seasonings. For appetizer-friendly sizes, simply cut each cake in half and roll into a small ball before cooking. Pair with Gardel’s Chimichurri Aioli.
Our Cold Smoked Salmon is made from thin slices of fresh (never frozen!) salmon fillets. Each fillet is fully trimmed by hand and cold-smoked over fruit wood to enhance its natural flavor. Try it in our smoked salmon dip—it’s tangy, creamy, addictively good and easy to make. Add triangles of dark, whole grain or pumpernickel bread, The Fresh Market Toasted French Rounds, Les Trois Petits Toasts or potato chips for dipping.
4In-Shell Chesapeake Oysters
Wild caught from the York River—one of the major tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay—our oysters are plump, hearty and fresh. Add an unexpected twist of flavor with Peppery Pink Grapefruit and Champagne Granita. We also love vibrant green Cucumber Cilantro Lime Granita, as well as Hot Sauce Granita, featuring a spicy kick from Red Clay Hot Sauce!
Pinkies up! Serving caviar is an easy way to elevate your spread with minimal effort. We offer a variety of options, from flavorful caviar like Farmed Osetra and Farmed Sevruga to different types of roe like salmon, trout, American sturgeon (hackleback) and paddlefish roe. Planning to serve it at your next soiree? Order ahead to ensure we have it on hand for your get together.
Caviar Serving Tips:
- Try something simple, yet unexpected. Ditch the traditional blinis and pop open a bag of chips. Yes—crunchy, lightly salted potato chips. They’re unpretentious and unbelievably good topped with fine caviar, a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream and fresh lemon.
- Serve your caviar with a mother-of-pearl or wooden spoon (even plastic will do). Just be sure to avoid stainless steel or silver (they’ll cause the caviar to oxidize, changing its flavor).
- If serving directly from the jar, arrange your caviar atop a bed of crushed ice to keep it cool.
- Caviar is best enjoyed with vodka or a dry champagne. These drinks nicely complement its buttery flavor.
Tinned seafood is making a serious splash as the latest food trend. It’s also a delicious option for effortless holiday entertaining. We love serving these artisanal delicacies as you would a charcuterie board. Pair your favorites with pickled vegetables, olives, mustards, crackers or bread, cheeses and cured meats. They add flavorful elegance to any spread!
Here are some of our tinned favorites, along with serving tips for each.
Patagonia Provisions: Inspired by classic coastal European flavors, Patagonia Provisions packs their mussels in a blend of organic Spanish olive oil, mussel broth, vegetables, herbs and spices. We love serving them on toast with aioli.
Porthos: These sardines are imported from Portugal and come in charming, colorful tins inspired by vintage labels. Try them on olive oil crackers with a dollop of whole grain mustard and fresh chives.
Matiz Octopus: While octopus may seem intimidating, this hand-packed, tinned delicacy is quite tender and flavorful. Try it marinated and served alongside crusty bread. Click here for our full recipe.
Serrats Fish: Owned by a fourth-generation company, these Spanish imported fish are packed in handmade preserves. Serve their Bonito del Norte on a toasted baguette with pickled onions and fresh parsley.