marmitako marmitaco basque fish stew with mackerel

Marmitako (Basque fish stew) – slow cooker

Marmitako is one of the most traditional Basque fish stews. Traditionally made with bonito (tuna), potatoes and paprika.

Warm and comforting stew for cold days.

marmitako marmitaco basque fish stew with mackerel
Mackerel marmitaco – Basque fish stew – slow cooker version

Even if the traditional recipe is with bonito, I am going to show you how to do a mackerel marmitako on the slow cooker. One of my favourite basque recipes.

You can use bonito, mackerel or salmon following the same steps.

I like to make this stew in the slow cooker as it is super easy to do it but you can cook it in the classic pot. The process is the same, use a good fish broth and boil the potatoes for 20-25 minutes with all the vegetables.

The key for a good fish stew is the broth so let’s start with that.

For more winter recipes check here.

Marmitako (Basque fish stew) – slow cooker

Recipe by Enara ParraCourse: Fish, Slow CookerCuisine: BasqueDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Broth
  • Bones of 2 medium size mackerel

  • ¼ leak

  • ½ onion

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 carrot

  • 2 litres of water

  • Marmitako
  • 4 mackerel fillets, cutted into pieces

  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped

  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped

  • ½ onion, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 4 tablespoon tomato sauce

  • Salt

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 1 litre fish broth

  • Optional: 1 pimiento choricero, ñora, dry red paprika


  • Broth:
  • Place all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring into boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer the broth into a different pot by placing a colander on top to remove all the bones and vegetables. Set aside.
  • Marmitako:
  • Place all the ingredients except the fish in the slow cooker: red and green pepper, onion, garlic, potatoes, paprika, tomato sauce, salt, olive oil and fish broth.
  • Cook in HIGH for 3 hours.
  • Turn off the slow cooker.
  • Remove 2-3 potato cubes from the slow cooker, place them on a small bowl and smash them with a fork. Transfer back to the slow cooker and mix well. This will make the sauce a little bit thicker.
  • Season the mackerel pieces with salt and place them on the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and wait 2-3 minutes before serving.
  • There is no need to turn on the slow cooker and the fish will be ready in 2-3 minutes in the hot stew.
  • Transfer the marmitako into 4 shallow bowls and enjoy!

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