This simple recipe for Fish Veracruz takes a few shortcuts to get dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes. Veracruz Sauce infuses the fish fillets with, a rich, briny flavor to create a simple, yet extraordinarily flavorful, fish dinner.
What is Fish Veracruz?
Veracruz Sauce is a mild tomato sauce flavored with olives and capers that originated in Mexico. It is typically paired with fish, and with good reason!
The sauce is acidic and briny and works to infuse the fish with incredible flavor.
Typically the sauce is made with tomatoes that are simmered with onions, garlic, jalapeno and finished with olives, and capers. However, I take a shortcut and use a jar of salsa, which mimics the tomato base and makes this flavorful fish dinner in less than 15 minutes.
Fish Veracruz is an incredibly flavorful, fast way to prepare fish--without any overpowering fishy taste.
Key Ingredients Needed
- White Fish Fillets: Any mild white fish fillet works for Fish Veracruz. Tilapia, cod, and Halibut are all great options.
- Salsa: Instead of simmering fresh tomatoes with onions and garlic until the tomatoes break down, I opt to use jarred or fresh homemade salsa, which speeds up this recipe tremendously. The salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and garlic--all which are ingredients in the traditional Veracruz recipes.
- Spanish Olives: Spanish olives are key in classic Veracruz sauce. They provide this fish skillet with a perfect briny bite.
- Capers: Capers also add a briny, salty burst of flavor to the Veracruz sauce.
- Fresh Limes: Use both the zest and juice of the lime, for acidity, balance, and flavor.
- Cilantro: Finishes the dish with freshness. If you don't like cilantro, use parsley or forgo entirely.
How to Make Fish Veracruz
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- While the oil is heating, season the fish fillets with salt evenly on each side.
- Add the fish to heated skillet and saute until the fish fillets release from the pan easily and are golden on one side.
- Gently flip the fish over and add in the salsa, olives, capers, and zest from the lime to the skillet. Simmer for about 6 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. You will know the fish is done when it flakes easily and is white through the center.
- Finish the dish with the juice of the fresh lime and cilantro and serve immediately.
Fish Veracruz can stand alone as a delicious hearty entree, especially when served with a side salad. However, I love to serve the fish with the rich Veracruz sauce over a bed of Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice or Instant Pot Brown Rice to soak up the delicious sauce. My kids prefer the fish flaked and served in flour tortillas.
More Easy Fish Recipes
- Easy Fish Tacos
- Chili Lime Pan-Seared Tilapia
- Easy Baked Salmon
- Blackened Mahi Mahi
- Homemade Fish Sticks
- Shrimp Scampi
If you enjoyed this recipe for Fish Veracruz, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (6 ounces each) mild white fish fillets such as tilapia, cod, or halibut
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup salsa
- ¼ cup sliced spanish olives
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 fresh lime juice and zest
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Season the fish fillets with salt and place them into the hot skillet. Saute for 3 minutes and then gently flip. If the fish is not flipping over, allow 1 more minute to cook before flipping.
- Add in the salsa, green olives, capers, and zest of the lime. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 6-7 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the skillet and sprinkle with cilantro. Taste to see if additional salt is needed, and adjust accordingly. Serve immediately.
Ok, this recipe has my intrigued. My husband and I are NOT fish eaters, but we know we need to incorporate it into our meals because it is SO healthy! Definitely putting this on my list of things to make - just as soon as I am brave enough to actually try it!
Jenni--I SO SO hear ya! I typically hate fish and can only stomach even a biteful if I am rewarded with chocolate--LOL! Because Tilapia is so mild and salsa is so flavorful--this did it for me. Is it my favorite meal ever, nope. But it is one way I certainly enjoy fish!