Mackerel, a prized catch of the sea, is renowned for its distinct flavor and impressive nutritional profile. When paired with a flavorful tomato sauce, it transforms into a mouth-watering dish that’s not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or someone looking to diversify your meal options, this recipe for Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce is sure to become a household favorite.

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Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce

Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce

Mackerel, a prized treasure of the ocean, is celebrated for its distinctive flavor and remarkable nutritional value. When harmoniously paired with a flavorful tomato sauce, it undergoes a culinary transformation, evolving into a mouthwatering dish that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also provides essential nutrients. Whether you're a seafood aficionado or someone eager to diversify your dining experience, this simple recipe for Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce is poised to become a cherished staple in your culinary repertoire.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Prepare the Mackerel Fillets:

  • Rinse the mackerel fillets under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Sear the Mackerel:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mackerel fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  • Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

Prepare the Tomato Sauce:

  • In the same skillet, add chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until they turn translucent.
  • Stir in minced garlic, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute, allowing the flavors to meld.

Simmer with Tomatoes:

  • Add the can of diced tomatoes (with their juices) to the skillet.
  • Stir well and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken and flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine and Serve:

  • Gently nestle the seared mackerel fillets into the tomato sauce.
  • Simmer for an additional 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges.


Cooking tips for the best results:
  1. Fresh mackerel: Opt for fresh mackerel fillets whenever possible, as they have a superior flavor and texture compared to frozen ones.
  2. Crispy skin: Achieve perfectly crispy mackerel skin by ensuring the fillets are completely dry before searing them.
  3. Adjust spices: Tailor the red pepper flakes to your spice preference. Add more for a kick or omit them for a milder dish.
  4. Fresh basil: Use fresh basil leaves for garnish to impart a burst of aromatic freshness to the dish.
  5. Serve with care: Be gentle when nestling the mackerel into the sauce to prevent breaking the fillets.

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FAQs about the Recipe for Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce

Can I use canned mackerel instead of fresh fillets?

While fresh mackerel is recommended for the best flavor and texture, canned mackerel can be used as a convenient alternative. Simply drain the canned mackerel before adding it to the sauce.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the tomato sauce in advance and sear the mackerel just before serving. This allows you to enjoy a fresh and hot meal.

What sides pair well with Easy Mackerel in Tomato Sauce?

This dish pairs wonderfully with steamed rice, crusty bread, or a simple green salad.

Can I use other types of fish for this recipe?

Absolutely! You can substitute mackerel with other firm-fleshed fish like salmon or cod.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover mackerel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave for a quick and tasty meal.

Related Recipes and Culinary Articles

Read more here for additional info about mackerel recipes. Also, I recommend other interesting articles and recipes related to mackerel in tomato sauce, including baked mackerel in tomato sauce, one-pot mackerel in garlic tomato sauce, mackerel in tomato sauce with olives and capers, Italian mackerel in tomato sauce with pasta, Spanish mackerel in tomato sauce with rice, and more (see below.)

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