Simple oven-roasted Spanish Mackerel recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with garlic, fresh herbs, and extra virgin olive oil. Add a side of Greek roasted potatoes or Greek lemon rice and some fresh salads to go along! I've got all sorts of ideas for you at the bottom of this post.
Working on this Spanish Mackerel recipe reminded me of childhood visits to Port Said’s Souk El Samak (fish market). The souk was basically an entire square of narrow streets lined with small seafood stands and bins upon bins of fresh fish.
Exploring the day’s catch, my dad and I would visit with several fishmongers before we made our decision. Our choice often landed on beautiful, large whole fish--similar options to snapper, trout, or -- which the fishmonger happily, and hurriedly, cleaned, gutted, and wrapped up in brown paper parcels.
Spanish Mackerel Recipe, the Mediterranean Way
Mom, a very practical cook, didn't fuss much with whole fish. If it came home in one piece, it often took on a little seasoning and a generous drizzle of olive oil. In the oven it went--whole.
I followed mom's no-fuss approach with this simple Spanish Mackerel recipe. Here, the fish is stuffed with crushed garlic, herbs and lemons. Then, roasted in foil with quality olive oil (I used our Greek Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil, it's rich flavor complimented the fish with all the herbs and garlic!)
And, because Spanish Mackerel is a flavorful, oily fish, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the perfect finish to this whole roasted fish recipe.
What to serve with this Spanish Mackerel recipe
When I make this Spanish Mackerel recipe, I often prepare a side of Greek lemon rice and a zesty fresh salad like Greek Salad, Fattoush or this easy Mediterranean salad. This time, I also added a new Mediterranean potato salad with capers. When tomatoes are in season, I like to start this whole meal with a little Gazpacho soup!
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Mediterranean Baked Halibut and Vegetables
Simple Mediterranean Olive Oil Pasta
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Mediterranean Oven Roasted Spanish Mackerel Recipe
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
Easy all-star whole roasted Spanish Mackerel Recipe. Prepared Mediterranean-style with a stuffing of garlic, fresh herbs and lemons. Roasted in foil!
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt, more for later
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 ½ lb whole Spanish Mackerel, cleaned and gutted (but with head)
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Optional Sides to Serve
- 3-Ingredient Mediterranean salad recipe, or Fattoush salad recipe, Mediterranean Potato Salad or simple sliced garden veggies, salted and drizzled with olive oil
- Tahini sauce
- 1 Lebanese rice recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set a roasting sheet pan inside to warm.
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with salt until smooth. Add coriander and cumin and continue crushing. Mix in parsley and dill.
- Pat the fish dry, inside and out. Remove the dark vein that runs along the back of the cavity, if it's still there. And if needed, run your knife along the cavity to open it up some more. Salt generously inside and on both sides outside, then place on a lightly oiled piece of foil that is large enough to enclose the fish.
- Stuff the fish cavity with lemon slices and the garlic and herb mixture you just prepared. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Fold the foil over the fish lengthwise, tightly closing the top seam to trap the steam. Place the foiled fish on top of the hot sheet pan and bake in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Serve immediately with suggested sides and salads (see ingredient list).
- If you plan to serve this fish with Lebanese rice, cook the rice first before you work on the fish and set aside covered and undistributed until ready to serve. It's a good idea to do as much of the prep for sides and salads as possible before you place the fish in the oven.
- Recommended for this Recipe Our Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil; organic coriander; organic cumin.
- SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle, or create your own 6-pack or 3-pack of our all-natural and organic spices!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Spanish mackerel recipe, Mediterranean seafood
*This post was republished with an updated recipe in May 2017.
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Mediterranean Foil Baked Salmon
can this be put on the grill ?
in the foil packet or on a foiled sheet ? does it have to be flipped ?
Does the fish have to be turned as in other recipes on open foil ?
Hi, Tony. The fish does not need to be turned in this recipe.
Made it using red snapper, worked perfectly, reminded me of Egyptian fish, very similar ingredients, only finished on a grill. I'm making it every weekend, so easy!
Yay! Thanks, Tarek!
We loved your recipe so much that we blogged it. Come and visit us in Madison GA USA. We will save you a parking place.
I do not recommend salting generously. Great recipe, but we found it very salty 🙁 I would definitely give this another go but skip all the salt after patting it dry, and maybe only half a teaspoon of salt. Otherwise, this was great!
Thanks for the feedback!
Hi there! Thanks much for receipt. It was really tasty......
Glad you enjoyed it!!
Was delicious 🙂 can I try this recipe with whole sea bass?
Hi, Parul! Sure! The recipe will work with other whole fish options.
I tried this last summer on some mackerel I caught and it was absolutely heavenly! For me, one of the best fish recipes I've tried. Sadly, I didn't manage to catch much more mackerel last summer, but now, literally after waiting a year (because store-bought just doesn't taste the same), I've caught more and will definitely be doing this recipe again! The only alteration I've made is to skip the dill because I don't like dill. Thanks for sharing! =)
I believe that this site is using your photo withour your permission.
Oh, no! Thank you so much for the heads up, Adina! We'll look into it!
My mackerel turned to mush. Did a search and turns out if you could oily fish for longer than 30mins this may happen. Funny as I’ve often enough cooked salmon in foil with some wine or lemon and never had this. Taste was fine but texture disgusting. Afraid it went in the bin...
Amazing recipe! Only thing that was a little strange to me, is that the pictures are not of a spanish mackerel at all - Im not sure what that fish is, but we catch spanish macks off Port Aransas, and whatever it is you bought isn’t a spanish mackerel. This is a great universal recipe for oily fish though, absolutely 5 stars.
Hello I really like your recipe and I wanna try this but wonder if it'll be okay to use barbeque grill instead oven?
Hi, Daisy! I personally have not tried that before with this recipe, but I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. If you go for it, please let us know how it turned out!
Excellent and informative
Thank you, David! So glad you enjoyed it!
The issue was not the recipe but the mackerel, now i know why it is regarded as a "bait fish" and so hard to find here.
Thanks for sharing, Steve. The recipe will work with other whole fish options.
I do not wish to subscribe ...
Okay. That is not a requirement here 🙂
I didn’t even use a pestle, I just chopped all the ingredients together and mixed it up.
Wonderful, Leslie! Thanks for giving it a try
This was delicious! I just moved to the Outer Banks of NC and wanted to try something new with the wonderful fresh seafood available to me now. Thank you!
I'm so excited to hear it! Thanks for trying this recipe.
Can you make this with filets? Any specific tips?
Natalia, I could point you to a couple different baked fish fillet recipes that would work well for you:
Greek Baked Cod: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/baked-cod-recipe-lemon-garlic/
Mediterranean Baked fish with Tomatoes and Capers:https://www.themediterraneandish.com/mediterranean-baked-fish-recipe-tomato-capers/