Bacalao Fish Stew | Cook for Your Life
Recipe for Bacalao Fish Stew

Bacalao Fish Stew

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 13 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 13 ingredients

This Bacalao Fish Stew, popular in Puerto Rico, is easy, and brimming with complex flavors. White fish is a delicious source of Omega-3 fatty acids and B-vitamins. Capers and oregano suggest a Mediterranean twist while...


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Poblano or Anaheim chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 whole branches of cilantro, washed well, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 pound white fish fillets, such as haddock, tilapia or cod, skinned and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 lime, quartered
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Nutrition Facts


272 cals


16 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

11 g


15 g


5 g


7 g


21 g


659 mg


  1. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook for a minute, stirring until the onion starts to soften. Turn the heat down to medium low and sweat, stirring occasionally, until softened for, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Turn the flame up to medium-high and add garlic and poblano pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes. Cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the olives, capers and oregano. Mix well. Lay the cilantro sprigs on top, cover and turn the flame down to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add up to ½ cup of water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste stew for salt. At this point, you can set the stew aside until you are ready to add the fish.
  3. Add the fish chunks and mix them into the stew. Cook until the fish is opaque and just flakes with a fork; it should take no more than 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the soup sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This will blend the flavors and finish cooking the fish. Remove the cilantro sprigs. Serve with the chopped cilantro, avocado and lime wedges on the side. To add heartiness, serve the stew with something to sop up the sauce such as crusty wholegrain bread, or our Baked Whole Wheat Tortillas.

Chef Tips

You can use your favorite firm white fish for this stew; just remember to buy fillets and not steaks. Your fishmonger will skin and cube your fish for you – just ask.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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