(BPT) - From casual gatherings to formal parties, the holidays are full of opportunities to elevate your meals with seafood. Whether you're an experienced home cook or you prefer to throw meals together on the fly, it helps to have affordable, easy-to-prep culinary tricks up your sleeve so you're ready for anything the holidays bring your way. Fortunately, keeping appetizer favorites handy in your freezer will give you what you need to prep delicious, next-level food in a hurry - or to whip up tasty recipes that are sure to please a holiday crowd.
Find these popular SeaPak selections in the frozen seafood aisle at your local grocery store. Prepare them in a conventional oven, toaster oven, or air fryer (depending on package instructions), or follow one of the recipes at the end of this article for more flavor inspiration:
- Shrimp Scampi - This whole tail-off shrimp scampi comes expertly seasoned in delicious garlic-butter sauce with a hint of red bell pepper and herbs for extra flavor.
- Shrimp Spring Rolls - Tender shrimp and fresh vegetables hand-wrapped in a delicate crunchy wrapper will help make entertaining easy and exquisite.
- Popcorn Shrimp - With crispy breading everyone loves, these easy-to-bake (or air-fry!) shrimp are perfect for everything from holiday parties to festive meals.
Next, try these recipes to help you make the most of your SeaPak favorites.
Mini Shrimp Scampi and Spinach Quiches
These tasty bites are the ideal appetizer, infused with traditional scampi flavors of lemon and garlic.
1 (12-ounce) package SeaPak Shrimp Scampi
2 (1.9-ounce) packages frozen mini phyllo cups
1/2 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat oven to 375F. Arrange phyllo cups in mini muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add SeaPak Shrimp Scampi and cook for 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook just until it wilts, about 1 minute.
Set aside a few whole shrimp to garnish the top; keep warm. Cut remaining shrimp into smaller pieces. Use a slotted spoon to divide shrimp mixture evenly among the phyllo shells.
Whisk together eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour egg mixture carefully into shells. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until eggs are set.
Garnish a few mini quiches with reserved shrimp. Drizzle quiches with additional pan sauce before serving, if desired. Makes 12-15 servings (30 mini quiches).
Ultra Shrimp Mac and Cheese Bites
Store-bought mac and cheese makes this tasty appetizer easier than ever. Try using macaroni and cheese right out of the fridge - it'll make it easier to roll into balls.
1/2 (18-ounce) package SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp
Vegetable oil for frying
1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated macaroni and cheese (about 2 3/4 cups)
4 large eggs
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Marinara sauce, warmed
Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in Dutch oven and heat to 350F. Spoon prepared macaroni and cheese into a medium bowl. Stir in 1 egg and 1 cup panko. Add shrimp.
Scoop mixture into 2-inch balls using cookie scoop. Whisk remaining eggs in a shallow dish. Place remaining panko in a separate shallow dish. Dip mac and cheese balls in egg and then panko, rolling to coat completely.
Fry balls in batches, 2-3 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired, and serve with marinara sauce. Makes 8-12 servings.
Note: If using thicker refrigerated baked macaroni and cheese, you won't need to add egg and panko to the mixture before rolling.
Crispy Shrimp Wonton Cups
These Asian-inspired, crunchy wonton cups are almost too pretty to eat - almost.
1 (12-ounce) package SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp
3 cups shredded coleslaw mix
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
24 square wonton wrappers
2 green onions, chopped
Place coleslaw in a bowl. Whisk together sesame oil, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Pour over coleslaw and toss to coat. Let stand for 10-15 minutes or until coleslaw wilts slightly.
Heat oven to 350F. Press wonton wrappers into 24 lightly greased mini muffin cups. Brush with vegetable oil.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Increase oven temperature to 450F and bake popcorn shrimp according to package directions. Spoon coleslaw into baked wonton cups. Top evenly with shrimp and green onions. Drizzle with any leftover coleslaw dressing. Makes 24 servings.
Find more recipes and locate SeaPak products at a store near you by visiting SeaPak.com.