Home > Mexican Main Dishes > Pescado A La Veracruzana- Veracruz Style Fish

Pescado A La Veracruzana- Veracruz Style Fish

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Pescado a la Veracruzana is a Veracruz-style fish in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It’s a healthy flavor-packed meal that’s ready in 30 minutes.

Up close view of pescado veracruzana on a plate.

Pescado a la Veracruzana comes from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Here you’ll find many dishes with Spanish influences. Since the state is located along the coast, you’ll find a variety of Veracruz Style seafood dishes.

The sauce has a sweetness from the onions, brininess from the olives and capers, and a little heat from the chili peppers. This fish pairs perfect with Arroz Primavera or make some delicious tacos with homemade tortillas.

What Kind of Fish to Use

In Veracruz, you’ll commonly find this dish made with red snapper. I opted to use tilapia since it is affordable and widely available.

You can use any type of white flakey fish. However, I would avoid fatty fish like salmon or tuna.

Ingredients

The ingredients are minimal and easy to source. I’ve also listed some substitutes down below.

Ingredients with text for Pescado Veracruzana.
  • 4 Filets of Tilapia (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • Sliced White Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chiles (Anaheim, Jalapenos, or Banana Peppers)
  • Spanish Olives
  • Capers
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes

Instructions

You will need a non-stick sauté pan with a lid. I prefer to use a nonstick pan when cooking fish to avoid it sticking to the pan. Season each filet on both sides with salt and pepper, then cook it in a skillet with a little oil.

Tilapia cooks quickly so this only took me 2 minutes on each side. If you are using a thicker cut of fish, it will take longer. Cook until the fish is no longer opaque on the top and sides.

Cooking tilapia in a skillet.

Try not to overcook the fish since we will be putting it back in the sauce to warm through. I also cooked the fish in batches since all 4 fillets would not fit in my pan. Once all the fish is cooked, remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add a little more oil and sliced onions. Saute for a few minutes until they start developing some color. Then add garlic, capers, olives, sliced chiles, and a can of diced tomatoes with its juices.

Collage of four images making the Veracruz sauce.

Place the lid on the pan and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes.

Remove the lid, taste for seasoning and add salt or pepper if needed. Nestle the cooked fish filets back into the sauce. Tilapia is fragile so my filets started breaking, but that’s ok.

Fish in a skillet with the Veracruz sauce.

Place the lid back on and simmer for another few minutes to warm the fish.

Substitutions

This recipe for Pescado a la Veracruzana is gluten and dairy-free. However, there are few substitutes you can make to this recipe.

  • Tilapia– Use any type of white fish, or you can substitute shrimp or scallops.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes– You can also use fresh tomatoes, either diced or cherry tomatoes sliced in half.
  • Olives– Use any type of olives you like.
  • Chiles– I used Anaheim Chile and banana pepper. If you want this dish to be spicy, use jalapenos or serrano. For no spice, use sliced bell peppers.

How to Serve and Store

Serve by plating the fish fillets on the bottom of a plate or serving dish, then pour or ladle the sauce on top. Make sure each serving has enough sauce to cover the filet of fish.

Overhead view of veracruz fish on 2 plates and one with rice on the side.

This Veracruz style fish pairs perfect with Arroz Primavera or make some delicious tacos with homemade tortillas.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove in a skillet.

Check out these other fish recipes:

Feature image of Pescado Veracruzana.

Pescado a la Veracruzana Recipe

Renee
Pescado a la Veracruzana is a Veracruz style fish in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It's a healthy meal that's ready in 30 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoon Oil Divided
  • 4 Tilapia Filets seasoned with salt and pepper on each side.
  • ½ White Onion thinly sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Capers and juice
  • ¼ cup Spanish Olives sliced in half.
  • 2 Banana Pepper or Anaheim Chili, Jalapeno, Serrano, or a combination.
  • 14.5 ounce Canned Diced Tomatoes or substitute fresh tomatoes.
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Season each tilapia filet with salt and pepper. If frozen, thaw the fish first, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Heat a non-stick saute pan with a lid over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Cook the fish in batches if they won't all fit in the pan. Since Tilapia is thin, it only took 2 minutes per a side.
    If you are using a thicker cut of fish, it will take longer. Cook the fish until it is no longer opaque on the top and sides.
  • Try not to overcook the fish since we will be putting it back in the sauce to warm through. Once all the fish is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
  • In the same pan, add another tablespoon of oil and the sliced onions. Saute for a few minutes until they start developing some color.
  • Then add garlic, capers, olives, sliced chiles, and a can of diced tomatoes with its juices.
    Place the lid on the pan and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Remove the lid and taste the sauce for seasoning. I added a little more salt and pepper. Then nestle the cooked fish filets back into the sauce.
    Tilapia is fragile so my filets started breaking, but that's ok. Place the lid back on and simmer for another few minutes to warm the fish through.
  • Serve warm with the fish filets on the bottom and pour or ladle the sauce on top. Make sure each filet is covered in sauce.

Video

Notes

This fish pairs perfect with Arroz Primavera or make some delicious tacos with homemade tortillas.
Substitute fish with Shrimp or Scallops.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove in a skillet.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 35gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 566mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 58IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword Pescado a la Veracruzana, Veracruz Fish
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