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The holiday season is upon us, and when it comes to food, that often means the chance to spoil ourselves and our loved ones a little. What it doesn’t have to mean is spending hours preparing dishes in the kitchen, or being stuck with uninspiring leftovers.

Whether you’re hosting an intimate get-together, a larger family gathering, or simply contributing to one with a dish, here are our top three sustainable seafood suggestions for the holidays – complete with recipes by MSC Ambassador Chef Charlotte Langley that you’ll love for their ease, versatility and the wow factor they bring to any table.

With a little creativity, you can easily tweak them to accommodate dietary needs or reinvent them for a second party or meal.

Just remember to choose certified sustainable seafood with the MSC blue fish label - it’s win-win-win for you, your guests and the oceans.

1. Smoked salmon -  crostini with herbed cream cheese
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A staple at numerous parties and loved by many, smoked salmon is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Elevate the simple canapé with low-effort touches like adding your own fresh herbs to cream cheese (but the store-bought flavored stuff can be fine too in a pinch) and garnishing with quick and easy homemade pickled shallots.


  • Gluten free: Sub the crostinis for gluten free crackers, cucumber slices or endive leaves.
  • Breakfast or brunch: Serve with toasted bagels and dill scrambled eggs like this one from our friend @ChristieAtHome.

2. Cold water shrimp – pickled and served with garlic aioli

Pickled what you say? Don’t knock it til you try it. The delicate sweetness of wild cold water shrimp balances beautifully with a dash of tartness. Plus you’ll impress your guests by showcasing a trendy cooking technique served with an elevated twist.

Served with a beautiful homemade aioli (or store bought) and an assortment of small toasts and crackers, and you’ve got yourself a fresh new spin on the not-so-inspired traditional shrimp ring.

Pickling foods at home puts you in control of how lightly or intensely you like your pickle.

For just a whisper of acidity, soak the shrimp in the pickling liquid for 2-3 hours in the fridge. For a more intense pickle, up to 6 but no more than 8 hours. Remember, acidity also ‘cooks’ proteins so left too long the shrimp will become tough.


  • Gluten free: Make sure the mirin sauce for pickling and Worcestershire in the aioli are gluten free. Serve with gluten free crackers, wedges of oven-roasted red cabbage, sliced cucumber or endive leaves.
  • Devilled eggs: Reserve ½ cup of the pickled shrimp. Top your favorite deviled eggs with 2 or 3 shrimp, or try this recipe from Chef Charlotte.
  • Tacos: Bring the shrimp to room temperature and use for tacos, topped with all your favorite trimmings.
  • Quesadillas: Give your favorite quesadilla recipe a little punch and add this lean protein.
  • Fresh rolls: Pickled shrimp adds another layer of flavor to this healthy favorite.

3. Cooked lobster meat - the ultimate in holiday luxury

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Few seafood options scream celebration like delectable lobster. If buying and cooking live lobster isn’t for you, simply look for MSC certified cooked lobster meat. There are so many applications to this delicacy that’s ready-to-use once properly thawed. Here are two standout recipes from Chef Charlotte Langley, and a few ideas for alternatives.

Scout’s lobster rolls: Cut the rolls in half or thirds for appetizer sized servings

Green onion pancake with lobster dip: Also delicious on good quality toasted sourdough bread


  • Gluten free: Serve the lobster roll filling in picked leaves of your favorite leafy greens (delicate bibb lettuce is excellent)
  • Salads: add lobster to your favorite salad recipe
  • Mac & cheese: elevate this comfort food classic by folding in the lobster meat just before baking in the oven

There are many ways you can enjoy the bounty of the sea, sustainably, during the holidays! Check out the below recipes for more inspiration. Be sure to share your dishes with us by tagging @MSCbluefish and using #SustainableHolidays and #FeelGoodSeafood.




Chef Charlotte Langley

Charlotte Langley hails from PEI where she cultivated a ‘Maritime Chic’ style of cooking and a deep love for the oceans. She aims to nurture and inspire through food with consciously selected ingredients that celebrate season, terroir and the delicate ecosystems that sustain us. Constantly challenging herself and what it means to be a chef, Charlotte founded Scout Canning, North America's most trusted tinned fish company, and through her role as ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) she champions the importance of choosing seafood that is both sustainable and traceable.

Chef Charlotte Langley