This easy fish stew recipe comes together in a flash. It’s a perfect recipe for frozen tilapia, cod, whiting, or haddock. Piment d’Espelette transforms this easy meal into a Basque fish stew.
I was busy as a bee in the kitchen yesterday since my parents came over for dinner today. My husband was peckish, but we had no leftovers. I remembered I had thrown some cod in the freezer a few weeks prior. I poked around my kitchen, saw I had some potatoes and olives, and immediately went to a Basque-style fish stew.
What makes this a Basque fish stew?
One little ingredient transforms this ordinary fish stew into a celebration of the Basque region. Basque Country consists of three provinces in northern Spain and three in southwest France; the region is known for its grilled meats, stews, cod, and bean dishes. Piment d’Espelette is prepared using chilies from the region and is named after the village of Espelette in France’s Nive Valley.
For this recipe, I used Piment d’Ville, Boonville Barn’s take on the classic Basque specialty. If you can’t find Piment d’Ville, use paprika and smoked paprika to help approximate the flavor.
How to make this easy fish stew recipe
You will absolutely love how easy it is to make this recipe.
Step 1: Start with the onions and potatoes. Fry them in oil until the potatoes develop golden edges.
Step 2: Next, prepare the broth base. Melt butter into the potatoes, add the piment d’Espelette, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant. Toss the paste into the potatoes until it deepens in color.
Step 3: Add the chickpeas and water or stock and bring it to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are just under fork-tender, and then add the pitted olives.
Step 4: Cook the fish! Throw the fish into the pot, cover, and simmer until cooked.
To serve it up, I break the fish up gently with a spoon and then ladle it into bowls. Garnish with something green, like minced chives or parsley. It would never be a bad idea to serve with a slice or two of crusty bread to sop up that gorgeous broth!
What fish should I use for this stew?
A mild, white fish is ideal for this stew. Try it with:
You can mix and match with other types of seafood as well. Try it with a mix of shrimp, clams, or mussels in addition to the fish.
Looking for more fish recipes? Check my archives!
Easy Fish Stew Recipe
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 pound baby gold potatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon piment d’Espelette or use 2 teaspoons paprika and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 15- ounce can chickpeas
- 5 cups water or stock (chicken, vegetable, or seafood)
- 1 pound white fish, such as tilapia, cod, or haddock
- 6- ounce can pitted green olives, halved
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
- Minced fresh parsley, lemon juice, or chives
- Crusty bread
Cook the onion and potatoes:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook for 2–3 minutes until they begin to sweat. Add the potatoes and cook, occasionally turning, for 6–8 minutes until they develop golden edges. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Prepare the broth:
- Create a well in the middle of the pot and melt the butter. Once melted, add the piment d'Espelette and stir into the butter. Add the tomato paste and mash it into the butter. Cook for 45 seconds or until fragrant. Toss to coat the potatoes and onions in the mixture and cook for 3 minutes until the paste deepens in color. Add crushed red pepper to taste.
- Pour in the chickpeas and the water or stock. Season with salt and pepper (liberally, if using water) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just shy of fork-tender.
Cook the fish:
- Add the olives to the pot and stir to incorporate. Place the fish on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 8–10 minutes or until the fish is cooked and flakes easily with a fork. Depending on the thickness of the fish, you may need to simmer up to 12 minutes.
- Before serving, gently break the fish up. Add parsley and lemon juice if you like. Ladle into bowls and garnish with more minced parsley or chives and serve a slice of crusty bread if you like. Enjoy!