10 Fish Recipes for People Who Don’t Like Fish

Fish, while extremely nutritious, can be a bit controversial within the foodie world. It’s one of those things that people tend to either love or hate, with very few people residing in the middle. However, we firmly believe that if you’ve never found a fish recipe that you like, you haven’t tried enough of them!

We’ll look at ten of the best fish recipes for people that say they don’t like fish on this list. Fish comes in all shapes and sizes, after all. If you don’t like oily fish, try a fresh, bright recipe that minimizes oiliness. Similarly, if you don’t like fish that tastes “fishy,” you might consider a spice-heavy recipe that masks the tastes you don’t like. 

With any luck, you’ll find a recipe on this list that makes fish more palatable to you. If so, consider using similar recipes to add more fish to your diet, as it’s excellent for your health!

Top 10 Fish Recipes for People Who Don’t Like Fish

In the sections below, we’ll introduce you to ten of our favorite recipes that might just convince you to eat more fish. While we could only fit ten of our favorites on this list (plus a few runner-ups), consider doing some research to find similar recipes that you might like!

1. Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos

If you’re looking for a way to get your fish-phobic friend to try some seafood, the absolute best way to start is to make up some fish tacos! Not only do fish and tacos pair beautifully, but you can top them however you want, and the toppings help mask any flavors or textures that you wouldn’t usually like. 

To make these Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Mahi Mahi fillets (cooked or fried to your preferences)
  • Tortillas or taco shells of your choice
  • A fresh, punchy salsa or pico
  • Optional toppings such as queso fresco and cilantro

2. Crispy Cod Fish Sandwiches

Fish sandwiches are great for getting picky eaters to try fish. Not only is the crispy fish breading delicious, but you can add whatever burger toppings you want, and those extra toppings help camouflage any fishy flavors. 

To make crispy cod sandwiches, you’ll need the following:

  • Fried or baked cod fillets (we recommend fresh, but frozen will work in a pinch)
  • Fish-friendly burger toppings, such as lettuce, cheese, tartar sauce, tomatoes, and pickles
  • Burger buns of your choice

Serve your cod sandwiches with a side of fries for extra deliciousness.

3. Baked Whitefish with Lemon

While “Whitefish” sometimes refers to one specific species of fish, in the context of this guide (and many stores and restaurants), “whitefish” (or white fish) is a broad category that usually refers to several species of mild fish with white flesh. Whitefish are a great place to start for picky eaters because they’re tender, mild in flavor, and inexpensive. 

The first thing you should do is visit your local market and find the freshest fish possible. Look for species like cod, perch, grouper, haddock, and tilapia. Fresh fish always taste better than frozen, and picky eaters will be able to tell the difference.

To top things off, buy a lemon or two and squeeze the wedges over the cooked fish for extra flavor. To make baked white fish with lemon, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • Seasoned or marinated white fish fillets of your choice, oven-baked until cooked 
  • Butter and herbs
  • Lemon slices or wedges

4. Garlicky Grilled Salmon

While salmon tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it variety of fish, the moist, oily flesh can be incredibly flavorful if you treat it right. One of the best ways to make salmon irresistible is to dredge it in a strong-tasting sauce, such as garlic butter, honey, or maple whiskey. 

We like garlic butter because it pairs well with salmon, and while the intense garlic flavors might not be ideal for date night, they’ll surely make your mouth water. Consider pairing it with a healthy side, such as fresh or baked foods, to avoid getting an oily palate. To make this dish, you’ll need the following:

  • Salmon fillets, coated in the sauce or marinade of your choice
  • Complementary herbs and spices to heighten the flavor
  • Butter
  • Milk (optional)

5. Homemade Fish Sticks

What better way to win over picky eaters than to make healthy, delicious fish sticks right at home? Fresh fish sticks will taste leagues better than the frozen variety, and by making smart recipe choices, you can cut down on fats and calories, too. A great way to do this is to bake them instead of frying them in oil. 

It’s a good idea to start with fresh white fish fillets to make good homemade fish sticks. Make sure you have your favorite breading on hand, too. Your full list of ingredients should include:

  • Whitefish pieces (either small fish or large fillets cut to proper sizes)
  • Breading of your choice, such as Panko, corn flakes, or a prepared fish-fry breading, plus a binder
  • One or more dipping sauces, such as ketchup or barbecue sauce

6. Fried Cod Cakes

If you have a friend or family member that won’t touch anything that even looks remotely like fish, try slipping them a few of these fried cod cakes. These round, golden balls look deliciously appetizing and taste incredibly mild. You might not even realize that they’re made with fish!

To make the cod cakes, you’ll first have to cook the cod and potatoes until they’re both tender. Then, mash the cod, mashed potatoes, chopped onions, herbs, and spices together. Shape the mixture into balls, bread them, then fry to perfection. 

This recipe is a bit more complicated than the others on this list so far, but once you’ve made the cod cakes, you can freeze them for convenient eating whenever you want. To make them, you’ll need:

  • Cod fillets
  • Potatoes of your choice
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Onions (both green and yellow)
  • Herbs and spices of your choice for flavor
  • Ketchup or tartar sauce for dipping

7. New England Fish Chowder

Chowder is another excellent way to introduce fish to picky eaters since it masks the appearance as well as much of the flavor of fish. While many people are familiar with clam chowder, fish chowder can be just as delicious.

This recipe uses a mild white fish, like cod or grouper, as the main protein. Consider serving the final product in a bread bowl to really send it home. 

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Whitefish fillets
  • Bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
  • Crushed saltine or oyster crackers
  • Evaporated milk
  • Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Chopped vegetables of your choice (such as potatoes, onions, carrots, and garlic)

8. Jazzed-Up Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Tuna – at least the canned variety – also tends to be one of those things that you either love or hate. However, it’s an incredibly nutritious food, and some mayonnaise and spices help mask the flavor of canned tuna. It’s incredible on sandwiches with a few fresh toppings, too. The sweet relish changes the flavor profile and makes it palatable even for picky kids.

To make the best tuna salad sandwiches, get the following:

  • Canned tuna of your choice
  • Mayonnaise (or a similar dressing of your choice)
  • Sweet relish
  • Chopped celery
  • Bread of your choice
  • Fresh sandwich toppings, such as cheese or lettuce

9. Tuna Noodle Casserole

Another excellent use for canned tuna is tuna noodle casserole. Any pasta lovers that you know will especially enjoy this dish. For extra flavor, make your own creamy mushroom sauce instead of a high-fat cream sauce, as this will lighten the dish and make it even healthier. 

To make this simple dish – it only requires one skillet – you’ll need:

  • Egg noodles
  • Vegetables, such as chopped onions, chopped mushrooms, and peas
  • Canned tuna
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Milk

10. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

Every fish lover has had the quintessential fish and chips. However, those who dislike fish have probably had poorly-prepared fish and chips in the past that may have turned them against fish altogether. By using fresh ingredients and not over-cooking or under-cooking the fish, you can show them that this dish is worthy of its popularity. 

Fish and chips are a breeze to make, and we like to oven-bake them to cut down on oiliness, but you can fry them, too. You’ll only need the following ingredients:

  • Large white fish fillets (traditionally cod)
  • Breading (we like crushed cornflakes) and a binder
  • Oven-baked potato wedges or fries
  • Coleslaw on the side, if desired

A Few Other Great Recipes for People Who Don’t Like Fish Worthy of Mention

Did the recipes above not satisfy you (or your picky friends)? If so, try these honorable mentions:

(At least, give a try to find many of the recipes according to your taste in these Best Fish Cookbooks)

Wrap-up

No matter your reason for disliking fish, it’s always a good idea to go back to foods you once didn’t like and give them another try. Not only do our tastes develop and change as we grow older, but fish, in general, are incredibly healthy, too. More than that, there are so many different ways to prepare fish that we can’t imagine not liking a single one!

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