Meet your new budget-friendly freezer superstar

By Stacey Ballis
September 14, 2020
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You might think that frozen fish sticks are just for the kiddies, but actually, they are a really convenient way to have fast access to fish and are versatile as an ingredient for surprisingly grown-up dishes! And while there is no shame in serving up a fish stick next to some fries and tartar sauce for a traditional fish and chips situation, there are some simple things you can do to zhuzh up the sticks to make them even more fabulous! Here at 13 easy ways to turn that freezer classic into a whole bunch of new dishes.

Spice them up!

You won’t believe you didn’t think of this before. Whether you are tossing fish sticks in chili crisp for a spicy take, piling into corn tortillas with shredded cabbage and pickled jalapenos for fish tacos, using chopped fish sticks as the protein in a fried rice, or simmering in a curry sauce, frozen fish sticks are actually a terrific vehicle for amazing global flavors. Don’t hesitate to explore the international aisle of your grocery or the wonderful markets of your community for simple condiments and sauces to take your fish stick game to the next level.

Sub them in for chicken!

Anywhere chicken can go, fish can go! If you have a recipe you love that features chicken, especially fried chicken cutlets or tenders, you can often swap in fish sticks for that main ingredient. Think fish stick parmesan with marinara and melted mozzarella over pasta, or fish stick marsala with mushrooms, or fish stick piccata in a lemon and white wine butter sauce.

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Pair them up with your favorite carbs!

Fish sticks can be great in casseroles, especially as the top layer so that they get nice and crunchy—look for casseroles with a fairly simple recipe, like mac and cheese or a baked hash brown casserole. Fish sticks are also a terrific way to get some fast protein added to any carb-based dish. Serve on top of your favorite pasta, rice, or potato side dish to convert it immediately into an entrée!

Sneak them into salads!

This can be a great way to introduce any little ones in the house to fish without making a big deal out of it. And salads are a healthy, easy way to do it. Swap out fish sticks for the tuna on a Niçoise salad or chop them into fish croutons for a Caesar salad. It’s a little bit of protein and a fun bunch of crunch.

Up your sandwich game!

Melt some cheese on top and put them in a soft bun for a home version of a drive-through fried fish sandwich or roll them in a wrap with some vegetables for a fast, healthy lunch (or easy dinner). It's literally off-the-hook delicious!