18 Kid-Friendly Summer Seafood Recipes To Make While You're Missing The Beach
One of the best things about summer is all of the food that comes along with it: barbecues, ice cream trucks, and, of course, beachfront restaurants. Restaurants located on or near the beach serve some of the most classic warm weather food that will instantly make you think of long days spent by the ocean, but it's going to be harder than usual (even impossible in some areas) to grab your favorite hushpuppies and shrimp. The good news? There are plenty of beach restaurant meals you can make at home.
These summery meals are relatively simple (most just require some fresh seafood), and they're basically made to eat outside while enjoying the fresh air. The best thing about them, though, might be that they're almost all kid-friendly. Most of it is fried, full of delicious flavor, and they're fun to eat since kids can just use their own hands. You can also have fun making these with your kids and teaching them a thing or two about cooking. It's a great way to make memories together, even if you can't go to the beach. Just turn on the sprinkler and pretend you're oceanside with your homemade crab sandwiches and a cold drink.
1. Hush Puppies
Hush puppies are a classic Southern food best served by the beach. These deep-fried cornmeal cakes are typically served with other deep-fried foods and go especially great with seafood. Try this spicy take on them with this recipe for jalapeno hush puppies from A Spicy Perspective.
2. Low Country Boil
Made with Old Bay seasoning, hot sauce, smoked andouille sausage, potatoes, shrimp, and fresh corn, this classic beach dish is packed with flavor and basically screams "summer." Damn Delicious has an excellent and simple recipe that allows you to make the whole thing in your Instant Pot.
3. Fried Crab Sandwiches
A Maryland favorite, fried crab sandwiches are delicious and make the perfect warm weather meal. This take by Dinner Then Dessert uses Maryland-style crab cakes as the star of the meal. A fresh tomato and soft bun completes the sandwich.
4. Clam Chowder
Clam chowder is ideal for those chilly summer nights when the beach is particularly windy. Popular New England clam chowder is made with rich cream and plenty of flavor. This recipe from Foodie Crush is a copycat of a clam chowder dish from a restaurant in Salt Lake City.
5. Shrimp Po'Boys
What's better than fried shrimp on a hot dog bun? A shrimp po'boy is a simple and delicious beach meal that even kids will love. This recipe from Mom On Timeout is simple and straightforward.
6. Fish Tacos
Fish tacos always taste fresh and summery and are one of the best meals to eat by the water. You can easily make them at home using lightly fried tilapia and a few summery vegetable toppings with this recipe from Natasha's Kitchen.
7. Lobster Roll
In the Northeast, few things scream "summer" more than a fresh lobster roll. Chunks of buttery lobster sit in a toasted hot dog bun with just a few other add-ons, and it's the perfect meal. This recipe from Baked By Rachel keeps it simple.
8. Fish & Chips
Fish and chips might be a classic English pub meal, but the mixture of fried white fish and crispy french fries also happens to be the ideal summer meal. You don't need to go out to eat to enjoy this one either. This recipe by Dinner Then Dessert is for beer battered fish — add fries to complete the meal.
9. Onion Rings
Onion rings are a fried favorite by the beach and can be paired with a lot of other items on this list (think fried crab sandwiches, lobster rolls, or even as a side for a low country boil). This recipe from Damn Delicious has you baking the onion rings to make them healthier, less oil-soaked, and much easier.
10. Steamed Clams
Few things are more satisfying than a summer day eating steamed clams while sitting by the ocean. Make your own instead of buying them or going out to eat — it's much easier than you'd think! Get your hands on some fresh clams, then try this simple recipe from Foodie Crush, which uses lots of garlic and fresh herbs for added flavor.
11. Conch Fritters
Fried conch is a more unique at-home approach to fried seafood and makes the perfect meal with french fries (although it's also great as an appetizer). This recipe from Brown Eyed Baker keeps it simple, and you'll be surprised at how great they turn out.
12. Chargrilled Oysters
If you're a fan of oysters, then you probably don't need to be told how delicious chargrilled oysters are. This recipe from Feed Me Phoebe uses very few ingredients — you probably don't even need anything other than fresh oysters — and it's easy and delicious. These are great as an appetizer or a light meal.
13. Peel & Eat Shrimp
If you have memories of sitting on the beach sharing a bucket of peel and eat shrimp with family, don't worry — you can definitely make this beachy favorite at home and bring it outside with you. This recipe from Foodie Crush uses beer, but if that's not your thing, she offers an easy substitute.
14. Corn Dogs
Corn dogs are a summer food: they're good at barbecues, street fairs, and on the beach. They're also surprisingly easy to make at home and make a great kid-friendly meal. Damn Delicious has this recipe for mini corn dogs that would go great with a vegetable side.
15. Crab Cakes
Crab cakes are good whether you're eating them plain, on a sandwich, or even over a salad. This recipe from Cooking For Keeps is a pretty classic one, with options to pan-fry the crab cakes or bake them to keep them a little bit healthier and less heavy. Either way, they're delicious.
16. Fried Fish Sandwiches
Like fried crab sandwiches, fried fish sandwiches are a beach restaurant classic. Crispy, salty fish sits on a soft bun with some lettuce and tartar sauce to boot. It's perfect with french fries or onion rings. This recipe from Foodie Crush is definitely going to be a kid-favorite.
17. Fried Shrimp
Crispy fried shrimp is a classic beach restaurant meal that can be served so many different ways. Eat it with french fries or onion rings, put it on a sandwich, or toss it over a salad. Basically any way you eat it, it's delicious. This recipe from Dinner Then Dessert is simple and so good.
18. French Fries
French fries may not be a meal in themselves, but they can be paired with anything else to make a full meal — and, let's be real, they're a family favorite. They also happen to taste even better when eaten on the beach, if that's possible. This recipe from Love and Lemons is for air fryer fries, which are healthier, easier, and faster.