When it comes to starting a meal off right, you’ve got to have something that can get the taste buds working and a little filling, while still being light enough to leave you wanting more, prepping you for the main course.
This might be why there are so many great seafood appetizer recipes out there, as they can often be full of flavor, while still being light enough to leave enough room for your main meal.
However, many people simply don’t know that many seafood appetizers, and are often a little apprehensive when it comes to preparing new types of dishes with this very delicate type of food.
This is why we have helped to do some heavy lifting for you, by compiling this list of some of the tastiest seafood starter dishes that you can make, either just for yourself or for a party of guests you may have come later.
We’ve covered a wide range of foods and ingredients that you can work with, as well as included some other important factors that you should be keeping in mind when preparing the following dishes.
Starting this list with a deliciously smooth seafood starter, we have this amazing mousse dish for you to make for yourself or your guests!
A beautifully smooth dish, this is the perfect fancy food to add to a starter course when you have a party in the works.
Plus, with this starter only taking 5-10 minutes to prepare, it can be whipped up as quickly as a flash!
If you’re looking for notes on the presentation, a good salmon mousse like this is smooth enough to be piped, allowing you to create a delightful swirl on top of a slice of cucumber or cracker.
2. Hot Crab Dip
Dips are always a great appetizer to have, either as a snack to have at a buffet or as a great appetizer for the main meal.
This particular crab dip recipe adds a little extra heat to the mix, for those who love a little extra tanginess in their food.
However, leaving the extra spice out is also an option.
Plus, this is an incredibly easy recipe to make from scraps, so it’s also a great recipe to have handy if you need to make an appetizer quickly!
Crab cakes are a classic when it comes to seafood dishes.
So if you’re looking to make this favorite a great little appetizer to put in front o your guests, this recipe might be just the thing for you.
The crispy outside is just what you’d expect from a quality crab cake, as is the delicious fish meat inside. Only now, it’s pocket-sized!
Crabbies are pretty similar to a classic crab cake, only noticeably flatter.
They used to be quite popular only a few years ago, but seem to have fallen out of popularity recently.
While that might be sad for some, for others, it also means that this is the perfect obscure recipe to whip out for events that will surprise and please everyone!
Ah, who doesn’t love a good taco recipe? They can be either a great side or the perfect appetizer, depending on the situation.
However, if we’re talking about what to fill a good taco with, our money is on something like this fish taco recipe.
With a slightly tough coating protecting the soft and tender fish meat inside, this will be the perfect way to start a meal!
Stuffing mushrooms is a classic recipe concept that can yield a large variety of different-tasting dishes.
Here, stuff your chosen mushroom with a healthy dollop of crab and spinach mix to create the perfect little capsule of tasty and nutritious filling that is a great way to start any meal.
7. Shrimp Dip
Ah, the shrimp. Perhaps one of, if not THE most popular seafood out there.
As you’ll see later in this guide, shrimp can be used in a massive variety of different ways.
Here, a batch of fresh shrimp goes excellently into this dip recipe that is perfect for some freshly prepared vegetables, or perhaps some breadsticks or crackers instead.
The shrimp recipe is coming fast and hard now!
In this recipe, the shrimp makes the perfect accessory to cap off a tasty appetizer made from crescent rolls, cream cheese, and plenty of finely chopped vegetables that make the bed for this seafood to lie on top of.
Artichoke dip is already a pretty popular option when it comes to dips you can bring to a dinner table.
And, as this recipe shows, if you throw a little extra cheese in there, as well as some crab meat for good measure, you have a dip that will be the undisputed king of the appetizers.
Just make sure you make plenty. This stuff goes quickly!
Rangoons are a staple side dish of many Chinese American restaurants and households, so you’d better believe that we’ve got an excellent example of this dish for you in this list!
For the best results, we recommend air frying them for that extra crunchy texture on the outside.
In the same way that shrimp make for an excellent dip, they can also make an incredible spread to use as part of an appetizer course as well.
As with many of the recipes, this is also a relatively easy dish to throw together, so there’s no excuse for you not to try this one!
Time for a fruity and fresh appetizer now!
These margaritas utilize plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, from mangos to orange juice to salad greens.
And, of course, there are a few fresh shrimp thrown into this recipe for good measure.
13. Bagels & Lox
If we’re talking about appetizers and snacks, it is probably difficult to find a dish as popular as the classic salmon and bagel combo.
So, if you’re a fan of this staple of lunches and starter dishes around the world, this particular recipe will be perfect for your tastes.
14. Chive Crab Cakes
Can you have enough crab cake recipes in your life?
Well, we’ve yet to find the upper limit if there are!
Combining chives into the base ingredients for a good crab cake makes for a great combination of textures and flavors as you bite into this one!
15. BBQ Shrimp Bites
There’s a reason that shrimps on the barbecue are such a popular option for grill outs across the world, and this recipe is all the proof that we need of that!
The trick for this recipe, outside of getting a good glaze on your shrimp, is to get just the right amount of charring on them.
16. Salmon Patties
Time for a slightly different way to prepare salmon!
These patties make for a good change for those who aren’t fans of mousses.
Shrimp and pasta are an excellent flavor combination, especially with the right sauce to drizzle over them.
Which, you’ll be happy to know, this recipe delivers!
18. Baked Crab Toast
Get the perfect crisp on your crab toast, and this recipe will practically fly from its plate and into people’s bellies!
19. Crab Cakes
If the crab cakes, miniature or with extra ingredients, haven’t been to your liking so far on this list, then check out this classic take on the classic dish.
Crescent rolls are the perfect way to make pretty much any dish feel like a special occasion.
Don’t believe us? Well, try these crab and crescent roll pieces out for yourself, and come back to us with your answer!
You’ll be surprised just how well shrimp goes with a sweet and spicy flavor like this mango dip!
22. Shrimp Cocktail
If there is a favorite way of serving shrimp as an appetizer, it might just be in a classic shrimp cocktail like this one!
We’ve already talked quite a bit about how great of an appetizer salmon mousse is.
So, if we want to sneak in a way to talk about it again, we’d best get creative, shouldn’t we?
Fortunately, this recipe adds a little something extra, having a pastry cup that can be prepared to just the right crispiness to compliment the smooth texture of the fish mousse.
We really can’t get enough of these good shrimp recipes, can we?
Then again, with so many ways for this delicious crustacean to be presented and eaten, can you blame us?
Take this recipe, for instance. Succulent and juicy, and grilled to perfection, this is a great appetizer that pretty much every seafood lover can appreciate. Especially with the right glaze!
Just make sure that your bamboo skewers have been soaked before using them.
25. Clam Dip
Clams are a versatile dish, aren’t they? Especially when they are used in delicious dip recipes like this one!
Make sure that you have plenty of cream cheese and minced garlic to make this exquisite dip, as well as enough items to dip and make full use of it too!
In some examples of shrimp, you may find that the back of a batch that you have recently purchased has split open.
While this might make them less visually appealing to some, for others, it is the perfect opportunity to stuff this tasty seafood with even more flavor, such as with this blue cheese mix that this recipe uses!
When it comes to food items to serve with appetizers, flatbread is an incredibly versatile option.
Take this appetizer recipe, for example.
With a little garlic and butter on this spongy and delicious bread item, coupled with the appetizer’s favorite food shrimp, you have a clean and presentable starter that your guests (or yourself, for that matter) just won’t be able to get enough of!
For the final dish on this list, we have a fantastic roll recipe that is equal parts delicious to eat, and satisfying to make!
These crescent rolls combine the texture and flavor of flaky pastry, with the smooth and savory mix of both crab and cream cheese complimenting the pastry beautifully.
If you’re looking for the perfect way to help these cousins of the rangoon stand out, don’t be afraid to brush the pastry with a little melted butter for a glorious golden color, as well as a beautiful smooth texture on your pastry shell.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is a crucial piece of information to keep note of, as kinds of seafood like fish and shellfish that are not prepared correctly or not fresh enough can cause digestive issues and sickness.
Generally speaking, fresh seafood that has been stored in a low-temperature environment will stay okay to eat for only 2 days at most, making it quite a delicate food item to handle.
Once it has been cooked and chilled, however, seafood tends to last slightly longer, usually around 3 to 4 days, before bacteria start breaking down and rotting your prepared appetizers.
Generally speaking, seafood appetizers should be prepared relatively quickly after buying the ingredients for the best results.
Sometimes, seafood appetizers aren’t just served as the first taster to a three-course meal, but can also be served alongside side dishes in a buffet-style meal.
So, if you are served or are serving a seafood platter in this style, what sort of side dishes will go best with this meal arrangement?
Well, vegetables are a common side dish that goes very nicely with seafood, especially if they have been grilled or steamed during preparation.
The same goes for potatoes and salads as well.
If you’re looking for a different type of side dish, we would also recommend serving your seafood appetizers with a pasta side, or even quinoa, if you’re looking to keep your meal on the healthier side.
With all this discussion of what makes a good appetizer, many people may be wondering what even the point is of a good appetizer, and what all the effort and fuss are about.
Well, as we mentioned in our opening paragraph, appetizers are generally supposed to compliment the main dish in some form, as well as wet the appetite just a little before the rest of a multi-course meal’s contents, are brought to you.
Without filling you up too much before they arrive, of course, which is why appetizer portions are often so much smaller than main meals.
(On a separate note, the size of appetizers also makes them ideal foods to enjoy as a light lunch option all on its own, if you’re looking to add some variety to your midday snack.)
If you are preparing your appetizers in advance for when they are needed, you are probably going to need to be stored them in some way to keep them fresh.
Generally speaking, seafood appetizers will need to be kept in an airtight container, and if possible, make sure that your appetizers are kept in a single layer across your container or plate.
Freezing your appetizers is also an option, but this can also change the texture of your food once it is defrosted for eating.
Smoother appetizers like dips and mousses may be more suited to thorough freezing.
On a similar note, be careful when chilling and storing appetizers that are supposed to be served warm or hot, as not only can the texture of this food be changed when it is reheated, but you also run the risk of not eradicating any harmful bacteria that cold seafood and fish meat sometimes carry.
So, which of these recipes will you try out for yourself first?