Quick and easy to make, this hearty One-Pan Spanish Fish Stew makes an excellent light weekend lunch or an easy weekday dinner. It doesn’t get much better than a lovely piece of cod cooked in a rich tomato sauce. Served with plenty of crusty bread, this Mediterranean fish stew makes for a very satisfying meal, with minimal washing up afterwards!
Fish cooked in tomato sauce always make me think of holidays in the Iberian Peninsula. It almost seems like an absolute must to go out and eat fish stew in a seafront restaurant when on holiday in the Mediterranean. And whilst those real authentic dishes normally have a variety of fish and seafood (think Cataplana or Caldeirada), we are sharing our simple version that you can make with just one type of white fish. It still hits the ‘holiday vibes’ spot for us!
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What Fish To Use in This Recipe?
For this one-pan stew recipe, you will ideally need a thin fish fillet that cooks quickly before it dries out. For this reason, we think that skinless cod fillets (not loins), skinless tilapia or basa work best in this Spanish Fish Stew. Pollock will work here too! Alternatively, you may use thick fish fillets, but I would suggest cutting it up into smaller bits rather than keeping it in one piece.
Cook The Vegetables
Start by preparing your vegetables. Thinly slice your celery sticks and cut peeled carrots into small pieces. Crush or finely chop a clove of garlic.
In a large pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and 20g of butter. Then add celery, carrots and half of the finely chopped garlic. Add two star anises, 1/2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, fry on low-medium heat for 8 minutes.
In the meantime, slice your olives (I normally slice each into three). Get your capers ready. Roughly chop your parsley.
Once the vegetables have softened, crumble in a stock cube. Add 3 large tablespoons of tomato paste, olives, capers and 500ml of boiled water. Stir well and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Then stir in the chopped parsley (reserving the best bits for decoration).
Cook The Fish in The Sauce
Add cod fillets to your stew. I normally use rather thin cod fillets (as opposed to thick loins) for this dish. They cook quicker and absorb all the flavours of the sauce in a short time of cooking. This dish also works with basa, tilapia and haddock. Cover the stew with the fish on top with a lid and cook for 6-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. There should be no translucent bits in your fish once it’s cooked.
Make the Turmeric Mayo Drizzle
Whilst the cod cooks, prepare your turmeric mayonnaise. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric with mayo, the rest of the garlic and 3 tsp of water. Mix well to combine. You can add more water to make it the consistency you can drizzle.
Before you spoon your stew into bowls, remove the star anise. Then divide between bowls. If you’re going for an impressive presentation, take care lifting your fish out of the pan, as it will break very easily. Drizzle with your turmeric mayo and scatter the reserved parsley. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to make it a substantial meal!
What to Serve With Spanish Fish Stew?
This Spanish-style stew is a light, low-calorie meal, so if you are looking for a bit of substance, we would suggest adding a couple of side dishes. We love this dish with crusty sourdough bread, that we use to mop up all the leftover sauce, but you may also want to try it with:
- Hasselback Potatoes | Alternative to Traditional Roast Potatoes
- Fluffy White Rice
- Smashed Garlic Potatoes
Other Delicious Fish Recipes
Not quite what you were looking for? Here are some other suggestions for quick and easy fish dishes:
- Zesty Herb-Crusted Haddock
- Homemade Fish Burger With Tartar Sauce (Without Relish)
- Smoked Haddock Gratin
One-Pan Spanish Fish Stew
- Large Wide-Based Pan With a Matching Lid
- 3 celery sticks sliced
- 2 large carrots chopped into small pieces
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 20 g butter
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 2 star anise
- 30 g black pitted olives sliced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 stock cube
- 5 g parsley finely chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric + 3 tsp of water
- 1 tsp vinegar cider or white wine
- 30 g mayonnaise
- 2 skinless cod fillets
- 2-4 slices of crusty bread
- In a large pan, add a tbsp of oil and 20g of butter. Once melted, add carrots, celery, star anise, a pinch of salt and ½ a teaspoon of caster sugar. Fry for 8 minutes on medium heat until softened slightly.
- Crumble in a stock cube, add olives and capers. Then squeeze 3 tbsp of tomato paste in the pan, add 500ml of boiled water and stir. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the liquid reduces by half. This will take 5-10 minutes.
- Mix in chopped parsley and add your cod fillets on top. Now cover with a lid and cook for another 8-10 minutes, until the fish is fully cooked through. It may take longer if your fish fillets are very thick.
- Whilst the fish is cooking, make your turmeric mayonnaise. Mix ½ tsp of ground turmeric, 3 tsp of water, mayonnaise and vinegar in a small bowl. It should be of the consistency you can drizzle, so add more water if rtequired.
- To serve, divide the stew into bowls, carefully lifting the fish fillets out of the pan. Drizzle with some turmeric mayo and scatter some more parsley. Serve with thick slices of crusty bread.