Make your Christmas Eve special by throwing a Feast of the Seven Fishes! This Italian tradition celebrates the holidays with seven different seafood dishes!
What is Feast of the Seven Fishes
Growing up Italian, most of my childhood memories are centered around good food and family. Christmas time was always made super special by all the festive dishes at the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Each table is lined with seafood themed dishes, family is crammed into every room, and the Christmas tunes are cranked up high. I promise you that you won’t leave the house without smelling like fried fish!
This Italian Christmas tradition takes place on December 24th, Christmas Eve. Feast of the Seven Fishes is also commonly called The Eve.
Typically, one or two different kinds of seafood or fish is prepared in 7 different ways. Why stop at seven? Go ahead and make as many (or little) dishes as you want!
Where did the Feast of the Seven Fishes originate?
Ancient Roman Catholicism prohibits the consumption of meat and dairy products on the eve of holidays, including Christmas. Fish is commonly consumed on Christmas Eve to replace meat.
The seven dishes has some deep rooted meanings in religion as well! It is believed there are seven dishes because the seven days of the Creation, seven sacraments, seven deadly sins, and how often the number 7 shows up in the bible (over 700 times!).
In my family, we have every dish displayed on the table, and everyone serves themselves buffet style. It’s a very laid back and casual vibe and allows everyone to mingle freely. Of course, you can make this a much more formal idea and serve the seven dishes in courses.
Whether you choose to do your Feast of the Seven Fishes buffet style or in courses, make sure there is plenty of wine and room for desserts!
What to serve at Feast of the Seven Fishes
Rhode Island-style calamari is battered in a flour mixture, deep-fried to crispy perfection, then tossed with butter, garlic, cherry pepper, and pepperoncini.
These Italian sausage and shrimp kabobs are grilled to perfection and are so easy to make! Talk about the best BBQ recipe out there!
New England clam chowder is creamy, rich, and chockfull of clams and crispy bacon! It’s the perfect winter meal!
Creamy garlic shrimp scampi is topped with fresh broccoli florets and crispy bacon. This easy 30 minute meal is effortlessly delicious!
Every good dish starts with butter, which is why this tortellini with shrimp and beurre blanc sauce is delicious!
This easy lobster pasta is coated in a creamy parmesan garlic sauce and tossed with fresh basil and tomatoes. Juicy lobster kicks this pasta dish up a notch!
Crab stuffed manicotti with homemade alfredo sauce is an easy Italian- American dinner that is hearty, creamy, and packed with cheesy deliciousness!
Linguine with littleneck clams in a delicious white wine sauce is the perfect, easy Italian dinner that will impress the crowd!
This creamy Tuscan salmon and pasta has a delicious, garlicky cream sauce with sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and savory parmesan cheese. This 20 minute meal makes for a fantastic, easy weekday dinner!
Salt crusted fish is an Italian classic and is ready in 30 minutes! Redfish is crusted in coarse sea salt and baked, making it tender and flavorful.
This one-pan baked herb and parmesan-crusted salmon with roasted lemon garlic broccoli and cheesy carrots is an easy, no-fuss weekday meal that is bursting with fresh flavors!
Italian stuffed whole pompano is made with white wine, parmesan cheese, fresh lemon, and Italian seasoning. In under 20 minutes, you’ll have the most tender, flaky, and delicious fish dinner!
This delicious salmon with fresh cranberry relish takes only 30 minutes from start to finish and is a perfect way to balance the holiday flavors and a healthy diet!
Feast of the Seven Fishes with a southern twist
I’m all about blending flavors- especially my two favorites, southern and Italian! Here are some fun ways to celebrate Feast of the Seven fishes with a fun southern twist!
This southern low country boil is loaded with all the best flavors of cajun seasoning, crabs, craw daddies, shrimp, potatoes, and corn. It’s a southern tradition that can be enjoyed year round!
These chorizo and shrimp quesadillas are pan-fried for an extra crispy crunch and go perfectly with the tequila-infused margarita guacamole!
Grilled bourbon glazed salmon is juicy, flakey, and so easy to make! The homemade BBQ sauce is tangy and so delicious!
Sweet, spicy, and a little bit tangy- this pan-roasted honey lime sriracha salmon is the best 30 minute meal!
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