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Holiday Seafood Casserole

We're on the home stretch for the holidays now.  Our older boys will soon be home from college and there's lots of menus to plan.  They both have birthdays in December, we have our big annual Christmas Eve open house to plan for and then out of town guests coming right after Christmas.  There's a couple of favorites that I plan to include in the Christmas Eve buffet - Sicilian Arancine, Pine Nut Croccante and these wonderful Sparkling Cranberries that are so beautiful to put out in a big bowl.  Please look to the bottom of this post for some additional holiday links that I thought you might like.  They are worth checking out.

I've also been knitting and just finished these incredible Fiddlehead Mittens. Best. Mittens. Ever.  I lined them in purple mohair and they're incredibly thick. They were so much fun to make. I just had to show them to you:

With the holidays approaching and so much entertaining to do, I thought I'd share this easy seafood casserole with you.  I like things that I can just pop into the oven and free up the stove.  This dish is best served over rice or pasta - it has a lot of nice broth that you can sop up with some crusty bread, too.  You can change up the seafood that you use  in the recipe - you can use salmon or chunks of lobster.  Leftovers keep well.  

Holiday Seafood Casserole 


for a printable recipe, click here

serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 cup Sherry
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (or large shrimp, cut in half)
  • 12 ounces firm white fish (I used halibut), cut into one inch pieces
  • 10 ounces bay scallops (or sea scallops, cut in half)
  • 1 9-ounce box of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter together.  Add the leeks, fennel, salt and pepper and saute, over medium heat for about 5 or  6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the garlic and saute one minute more.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook the flour for a couple of minutes and add the bouillon cube, whisking til it dissolves. Slowly add in the milk, whisking.  Add the nutmeg, sea salt and pepper. Whisk until sauce is creamy and thick. Add the Sherry. Turn off heat and add the cheese. 

Add the sauce to the vegetables in the bowl and mix well together.  Add the seafood and artichoke and mix gently.  Pour into a baking dish (3-quart is a good size).  

Mix the chopped parsley, bread crumbs and cheese together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes.  Broil the top for about one minute, until it is golden brown.

Serve over rice or noodles.  There's lots of broth, so serve some nice crusty bread with it.  Leftovers keep well in the fridge and it firms up quite a bit the next day. 


Here are some holiday goodies from a few blogs that I like to read:    :-)

Pistachio Meringues from Chocolate Shavings
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares from Once Upon a Chef
Red Velvet Fudge from I Am Baker 
Nutella Chip Cookies from Ivory Hut
Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags from Whisker Graphics
And you really have to check out the incredible cookie and cupcakes ideas from Glorious Treats 



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Reader Comments (26)

Oh my this looks heavenly. We used to have a clam chowder on Christmas eve that I merely tolerated to be polite, but this is something I would dig into headfirst! I love the addition of sherry to seafood, it really compliments the sweetness of shellfish nicely. Have a wonderful Holiday!!

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline

I used to make a seafood casserole w/ lobster, shrimp, scallops and crab.
The sauce was mayo and rolled Ritz is so good and so decadent. I never make it because of the calories.
This version is calling my name! Beautiful!
Happy Holidays!

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstacey snacks

We are in the home stretch aren't we....this is the kids last day of school and I am feeling a little frantic. My boys are also December boys! The 28th and 30th great planning on our part ; P. This looks like a fabulous casserole. I can't wait to try it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sheila

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStrawberry CAKE

Beautifully delicious photos! As an Italian, I usually wouldn't include cheese of any sort in a seafood dish, but I must say it does look intriguing in this case. Just lovely!

December 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVivian Cardinale

This is a scrumptious dish!

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherine

This casserole looks like perfection! A dish like this just says "Christmas Eve"! And fennel,garlic, sherry...YUM

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUrMomCooks

you are so talented! do you sell the mittens on etsy? i want some! have a great christmas.

December 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjude

I love seafood, and my husband is a sucker for just about any kind of casserole. I think I have found tomorrow night's dinner. I can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing this great recipe

December 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCajun Remoulade

That casserole looks divine - BUT - I'm totally impressed by those mittens. You can knit like that? wow.

December 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterciaochowlinda

Bookmarked! I do seafood soup,seafood stew and never a seafood casserole. That's about to change - this is warming. And so are those fabulous mittens. Can you tell I live in a cold climate?

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

Do you have to cook the seafood prior to adding it to the casserole or will it cook while it bakes? Sorry if this is a silly question; I have never prepared anything like this before. I have made plenty of your other recipes though; I love this blog!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

From The Italian Dish:

Shannon: No, you do not have to cook the seafood beforehand. It should be raw. The fish and the shellfish are all delicate and cook quickly. Hope you enjoy!

December 20, 2010 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

I have just come across your blog. It is fabulous. I have the no knead bread rising on my counter and ingredients for more recipes. Thank you for inspiring a novice cook!

December 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

First: I LOVE the mittens! Simply adorable!

Second: This just became my New Year's Eve dinner. We're staying in to avoid the craziness, but still wanted a "nice" (and cozy) meal! I've never had a seafood casserole, but this looks to fit that to a T! :)

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristen |

Always beautiful! Your after Christmas out of town guests (-: are soooo lucky!

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeta

This looks so good! Was it Christmas eve dinner? Happy Holidays!

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaris (In Good Taste)

another great recipe and enticing photos.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterciaochowlinda

What an excellent recipe for the Seven FIshes meal!

January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Maffeo Creamer

The seafood casserole looks amazing; I will have to try it. I wanted to comment that your knitted mittens are beautiful and I wish I had your talent for knitting. But, since I don't, are the mittens for sale?
Thank you for a wonderful blogging site!


January 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLoretta

From The Italian Dish:

Loretta: Thank you, but I don't sell the mittens! It takes long enough just to knit a pair for me. If you like handknit things, you should jump on over to and lots of people are selling handmade items.

January 15, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Can this casserole be made a day ahead of time and if so, how would you adjust the baking time ?

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda N

Nice Article it provided me with essential information about online seafood.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMohit Jaiswal

Thanks for this recipe... I'll try it since I love sea food and Italian cuisine. Just perfect !!!

November 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhoneymoon in rome

How do you reheat leftovers the next day?

October 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

How do you reheat leftovers the next day?

October 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

From The Italian Dish:

Tamara: You can gently heat the leftovers in the oven or even on the stove with a lid on the pan, so the moisture doesn't evaporate. Add a little water if too dry. You can microwave for just few seconds, but make sure to cover with plastic wrap.

October 10, 2016 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

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