When I think of the holidays, one of my most beloved traditions is a New Brunswick seafood casserole on Christmas Eve surrounded by our family.
Growing up, every Christmas Eve, we would head to my aunt and uncle’s after Christmas Eve mass for the traditional réveillons.
If you’re new to this French-Acadian tradition, the food and dishes served at réveillons are often considered to be exceptional or luxurious, and typically will include fresh seafood such as Atlantic lobster and meat pie or tourtière. Dessert often includes a Yule log, or a bûche de Noël.
Christmas Eve with the Richard family was always one of my favourite Christmas traditions. In fact, I was so gosh darn excited at my first réveillons that at eleven months old, I stood up and walked across the room while everyone was enjoying their dinner.
And while traditions have changed over recent years as my cousins and I have all grown up and started new families and traditions, it’s not the holidays without a classic New Brunswick seafood casserole with the family around the holidays!
This recipe is the one that my aunt, my mother, and hundreds of other New Brunswickers have come to love as it’s the classic Cy’s Seafood Restaurant recipe, but with a few modifications. So if it looks a little different than the one in your family cookbook, don’t panic. This one is just as tasty and a serious crowd pleaser!
Want to learn more about the famous Cy’s Seafood Restaurant and their recipes? There’s an excellent post all about this Moncton classic here.
New Brunswick Seafood Casserole RecipeCourse: MainCuisine: SeafoodDifficulty: Easy
2 cups of chopped onion
3 cups of chopped celery
2 diced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of NB Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon of pepper
5 cups of whole milk
¾ cups of Speerville Flour
½ cup of butter
1 pound of Velveeta cheese, chopped into cubes for easy melting
2 Market Size Bay of Fundy Lobsters, deshelled.
¾ pounds of NB Coldwater Cooked Shrimp
1 pound of cooked NB Scallops, quartered
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch Oven, sauté onion, celery, and garlic in butter and add salt & pepper. Cook until translucent and then remove from your saucepan.
- Add milk to your saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir continuously to ensure that you don’t burn your milk!
- Mix in flour and ½ cup of butter and cook until it is thick. If your flour forms clumps, use a whisk or fork to break up!
- Add your onion, celery, and garlic mixture.
- Add in the cheese and cook until the cheese is melted.
- If you’re not using a Dutch Oven, add your mixture to a large casserole dish and add your seafood. Dutch Oven? Just add your seafood and stir.
- Pop in the oven and heat until bubbly and brown. This should take about 30 minutes.
Every family has a different tradition for how they serve their seafood casserole, but we’re a big fan of serving it in a warm and flaky vol-au-vent, with a side of rice and a fresh-baked roll. On Christmas Eve growing up, we’d also serve with a slice of fresh homemade meat pie!
Whatever you serve it with, it’s the company around you that counts. Enjoy this dish with those you love this holiday season!
PS: It’s not too late to download my New Brunswick Holiday Food & Drink Guide and be inspired for the holidays!
Created in partnership with New Brunswick Food & Beverages, it includes 12 delicious recipes sure to impress this holiday season featuring NB ingredients where possible!
Download the guide today by clicking here.