A mackerel fillet on a bed of orzo pasta with a tomato sauce and rocket leaves

Mackerel puttanesca with orzo

  • serves 2
  • Easy

This colourful, low-calorie mackerel dinner calls for seared mackerel fillets, a quick puttanesca sauce and orzo pasta, and it's all ready in 20 minutes


Make this mackerel puttanesca with orzo, then try our smoked mackerel salad, mackerel curry, Spanish mackerel and more mackerel recipes.



  • olive oil ½ tbsp, plus 1 tsp
  • garlic 2 cloves, sliced
  • anchovies 2, finely chopped
  • dried chilli flakes a pinch
  • chopped tomatoes 400g tin
  • black olives 8, pitted and halved
  • capers 2 tsp
  • flat-leaf parsley ½ small bunch, finely chopped
  • orzo 100g
  • mackerel fillets 2
  • rocket a handful, to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat ½ tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the garlic, anchovies and chilli flakes for 2 minutes until fragrant and the anchovies have dissolved. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until thickened and saucy, then stir in the olives, capers and parsley. Season.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, cook the orzo until al dente following pack instructions. Drain well.

  • Step 3

    Brush 1 tsp of oil over the mackerel fillets and season. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat until really hot, then sear the mackerel, skin-side down, for 3-4 minutes until the fillets start to curl up at the sides and release from the bottom of the pan. Turn with a fish slice and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the fish is golden and cooked through.

  • Step 4

    Spoon the orzo onto plates, top with the mackerel fillets and puttanesca sauce, and serve with some rocket on the side.

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 540
  • Fat 26.9g
  • Saturates 5.2g
  • Carbs 47.3g
  • Sugars 8.3g
  • Fibre 4.5g
  • Protein 24.9g
  • Salt 1.3g