Toss the turkey. Fish Up Your Holiday Dinner!

fish and vegetables
The Schooner's Stuffed Flounder Filet

Swap Stuffed Turkey for Stuffed Flounder

In Port Arthur, we give thanks for our abundant waterways and the seafood that flavors our holiday tables. Sabine Lake is known for flounder, and we have guides to get  you to the fish. Catch your own or go to market so you can warm up for the holidays with this twist on a traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas treat.


  • 2 flounder fillets, about 1/2 pound
  • 1 box of blended cornbread meal
  • 1 cup sauteed crab meat
  • 1 cup sauteed shrimp
  • 1 cup sauteed veggies of choice (onions, garlic, bell pepper, celery)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for cooking and dotting
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 container of broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika, TexJoy (made in Southeast Texas), or any other preferred seasoning
    Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, celery (or any mix of vegetables), crab meat and shrimp; cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal blend and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix in the vegetables and seafood from the skillet. Stir in as much of the broth as you like. Form generous, filet shaped patties.
  3. Place 1/2 cup of the mixture on top of a lightly seasoned filet, then add the other filet on top, forming a stuffed filet like sandwich. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the fish becomes cooked and flaky.
  4. Finished the stuffed flounder with a pan sear on either side to give it a “finished” look. Dot butter and squeeze lemon to taste. Yummy!

Stuffed flounder fillets are easy enough, but just in case you are short on time, The Schooner Restaurant offers their in-house stuffing by the pint to take home and add to your own dishes, or you can bring your loved ones to this family-owned establishment to enjoy their famous fish dishes the old fashioned way. The stuffed flounder is also served bone-in and takes a bit longer to enjoy safely! Besides flounder, they also serve salmon, snapper, catfish, tilapia and mahi with different finishes like Pontchartrain, opelousas, blackened, broiled, fried – you name it. The doors opened in 1947, and the motto is “if it swims, we have it.” In other words, their bookish menu is sure to offer something delicious for every appetite.

A special thanks to the Megas family for offering up just a bit of the stuffed flounder cooking process. The specifics of the recipe as well as their special TexJoy proprietary blend are trade secrets. We did our best and hope you’ll do the rest. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and you’ve got a delicious, locally inspired, swap to dress up your Thanksgiving feast!

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