Traditional Basque Tuna Stew Recipe (Marmitako)

Basque tuna stew
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  • Total: 35 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 35 hrs
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
613 Calories
19g Fat
66g Carbs
48g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 613
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 879mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 66g 24%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Protein 48g
Calcium 144mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Marmitako is the Basque name for this fish stew, which is a traditional and popular dish in the northern region of Spain, called Basque Country, or el Pais Vasco. Chunks of fresh tuna fish, potatoes, garlic and onions are the main ingredients in marmitako. A favorite meal among fisherman, you'll realize why it is such a popular dish, and perfect for the cold autumn and winter evenings.


  • 3 chili peppers (dried red pimientos choriceros)
  • 1 large onion (white or yellow)
  • 1 large bell pepper (green)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs./1 kg. potatoes
  • 1 lb./.5 kg. tuna (fresh)
  • 4 cups/32 oz. water (or fish stock)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Pour water into a small sauce pan and heat on high. Remove from heat before water boils.

  2. Place the dried red peppers into a sauce pan, making sure they are covered with water. Allow peppers to soak in water to rehydrate.

  3. Finely chop the onion, pepper, and garlic. Pour olive oil into a large pot or a deep, wide casserole. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until onion is translucent.

  4. While the vegetables are cooking, peel potatoes and cut into cubes (approximately 1.5 inches or 4 cm). Add potatoes to vegetables and stir, coating potatoes. Cook 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Simmer on low until potatoes just begin to soften.

  6. While vegetables are cooking, remove red peppers from water and drain excess water. Carefully scrape the flesh from the skin using a teaspoon. Add peppers to the pot and stir to mix in thoroughly.

  7. Rinse and pat dry tuna. Remove any skin, and cut into pieces about 2-2.5 inches.

  8. Add tuna to pot and salt to taste. Cover loosely and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, until the tuna is cooked.

  9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot accompanied by crusty bread.