Bacalao, salted dried codfish, is the defining ingredient in traditional Puerto Rican fish stew, but salt cod requires overnight soaking and several rinses in cool water before it can be used, so we opt for fresh fish in this quick version. Serve with crusty rolls to soak up the juices.

Scott Rosenbaum
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2007


Recipe Summary

45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

  • Add fish, tomatoes and their juices, chile pepper, cilantro, olives, capers, oregano and salt; stir to combine. Add up to 1/2 cup water if the mixture seems dry. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with avocado (if using).


Tip: Opt for firmer hook-and-line-caught haddock or U.S.-farmed tilapia. Cod also works, but will be more flaky. For more information about sustainable seafood visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch at

Nutrition Facts

189 calories; protein 20.2g; carbohydrates 8.5g; dietary fiber 2.4g; sugars 3.8g; fat 8.3g; saturated fat 1.2g; cholesterol 61.2mg; vitamin a iu 704.1IU; vitamin c 43.6mg; folate 31.3mcg; calcium 66.9mg; iron 1.2mg; magnesium 42.5mg; potassium 616.5mg; sodium 758.3mg; thiamin 0.6mg.

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This is a very tasty recipe. Easy to make and even tastes good the next day if you have left overs. Works well for a crowd. Can make everything but adding the fish the day before. Buy fish the day you are serving it and it is a last minute meal. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Even the Picky Eater liked it! I wasn't sure about this one because the ingredient list was so short and because it was well... fish and a stew. I was able to throw this meal together in minutes. We don't like avocado unless it's in a chocolate pudding but I did add carrots at the beginning with the onions to add more veggies to the stew. My 2 year-old and picky eater husband both liked it. I had two helpings and will be making it again and again! Pros: Quick few ingredients delicious! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great way to eat fish. I would add cilantro olives and capers the last 3-4 minutes. Pros: No fishy taste Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Good fish stew I have some fish stock I have been trying to use up but all I have made with it have turned out too fishy. This did not (used the stock instead of water). Loved the flavors. I added in some extra veggies per another Bacalao recipe (red bell peppers and celery) plus instead of salt I added i the juice from the capers for more flavor. I think I would add some if not all of the capers and olives at the end though as the flavors boiled out (I did add some fresh cilantro on top with the avocados) Pros: No fishy flavorful easy to make Cons: Some of the stronger flavored items get lost in cooking Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Missing extra virgin olive oil Another bacalao stew recipe I used calls for a lot of extra virgin olive oil--at least a half cup to be added before simmering the stew. Less oil can be used but the oil adds a rich depth of flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We had friends over for dinner and this was great. I left out the olives and did not use avocado. With those two additions next time I am sure it will be even better. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy! This stew was so easy to make and was absolutely delicious! I made this for my boyfriend and we ate the entire pot between the two of us! I will definitely make this again! Pros: Easy to make Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This is a great fish soup but it is not Bacalao at all. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Fresh Delicious and Balanced I've made this stew a number of times and am always blown away by how delicious it is. The flavors work in total harmony with one another and the stew is extremely satisfying. Easily my favorite recipe on the site! Pros: Easy quick full-flavored Read More