Pescado a la Veracruzana: White Fish in Veracruz Sauce

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
178 Calories
10g Fat
12g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 759mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 54mg 268%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 682mg 15%
*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.)

Veracruz is one of the first places the Spanish settled in Mexico, and that is evident in the Mediterranean-influenced traditional dishes like this pescado a la Veracruzana. Veracruz boasts a long coastline and so seafood is very popular in this port city on the Gulf of Mexico. This white fish in a Veracruz sauce combines a fresh fish fillet with a sauce made of onion, tomatoes, garlic, chiles, olives, and capers, making for a healthy dish full of flavor.

The sauce is made by sautéing onion and garlic and then adding chopped tomatoes, roasted chiles, green olives, and capers. The fish is cooked separately and then topped with the sauce. Any type of white fish fillet will work well in this recipe, like tilapia, red snapper, cod, halibut, or flounder; just be sure to adjust the cooking time for thicker fillets.

Although pescado a la Veracruzana is from a warm-weather locale, you can enjoy this dish any time of year. Serve along with roasted potatoes or rice pilaf and steamed green beans or an arugula salad.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 green chiles, roasted and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 12 large green olives, halved

  • 2 tablespoons green capers

  • 4 fillets fresh white fish (e.g., tilapia, red snapper, flounder)

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent, about 2 minutes.

  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the chopped garlic; sauté for a minute or two until fragrant.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and roasted and chopped green chiles and continue to stir and cook.

  6. Reduce the heat again to medium-low and add the remaining ingredients, except for the fish. Simmer the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. While the sauce is cooking, heat another pan over medium heat and drizzle the bottom with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

  8. Place the fish in the pan and lightly season each piece with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes on each side, or until the fish is opaque and cooked through. (The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of each cut of fish.)

  9. To serve, place a piece of fish on each plate and top with 1/4 of the sauce; or you can place all of the fish on a platter and spoon all of the sauce on top.

  10. Enjoy.