The Mediterranean region is renowned for its vibrant and robust flavors, and this Mackerel in Tomato Sauce recipe perfectly encapsulates that culinary essence. Mackerel, known for its rich, oily texture, marries beautifully with the salty tang of olives and the zesty punch of capers, all enveloped in a luscious tomato sauce. This dish not only tantalizes the senses but also offers a hearty serving of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you’re hosting a special dinner or simply craving a taste of the Mediterranean, this recipe promises an unforgettable dining experience. So, let’s cook Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Olives and Capers!

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Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Olives and Capers

Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Olives and Capers

Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Olives and Capers is a harmonious fusion of flavors that brings together tender mackerel fillets, briny olives, and zesty capers in a tomato-based sauce. It's a dish that captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine and delivers a burst of complex tastes with every bite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Sear the Mackerel:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mackerel fillets and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side until they develop a golden crust. Remove the fillets from the skillet and set them aside.

Sauté the Aromatics:

  • In the same skillet, add chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
  • Stir in minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

Create the Mediterranean Base:

  • Add the diced tomatoes, sliced olives, and capers to the skillet.
  • Sprinkle dried oregano over the mixture and season with salt and black pepper. Stir well.

Simmer and Combine:

  • Return the seared mackerel fillets to the skillet, nestling them into the tomato mixture.
  • Let the dish simmer for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors and cook the fish through.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with fresh parsley leaves for a burst of color and freshness.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges to add a zesty touch to each bite.


Cooking tips for the best results:
  1. Quality ingredients: Use high-quality olives and capers for the best flavor. Kalamata olives are a popular choice for their rich, briny taste.
  2. Mackerel fillets: Ensure the mackerel fillets are fresh and properly cleaned. You can ask your fishmonger to fillet them for you.
  3. Adjust salt: Be cautious with the salt as olives and capers are naturally salty. Taste before adding additional salt.
  4. Balance flavors: Adjust the ratio of olives and capers to suit your personal preference for saltiness and tanginess.
  5. Serve with Mediterranean sides: This dish pairs wonderfully with couscous or a simple Mediterranean salad for a complete meal.

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FAQs about the Recipe for Mackerel in Tomato Sauce with Olives and Capers

Can I use canned olives instead of fresh ones?

Yes, canned olives can be used, but rinsing them thoroughly to remove excess brine is recommended to control the saltiness of the dish.

Are there any alternative fish options for this recipe?

While mackerel complements the Mediterranean flavors beautifully, you can also use other firm-fleshed fish like salmon or cod.

Can I make this dish in advance for a dinner party?

Yes, you can prepare the tomato base in advance and sear the fish just before serving to ensure it remains fresh and flavorful.

Is this recipe suitable for a gluten-free diet?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free. Just be sure to check that your capers and other ingredients don’t contain gluten additives.

How should 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 delicious 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, easy mackerel in tomato sauce, one-pot mackerel in garlic tomato sauce, Italian mackerel in tomato sauce with pasta, Spanish mackerel in tomato sauce with rice, and more (see below.)

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