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If you’re looking for a new way to eat fish that all the family will love, this Easy Fish Stew is perfect. 

Delicious and healthy with smoky lime flavours, it’s ready in about 30 minutes, is all made in one pan and is so simple to make.

Easy fish stew with creamy coconut base in a big bowl, ready to serve.

This Easy Fish Stew recipe is perfect for ticking the ‘quick’ box, as well as the ‘healthy’ and ‘delicious’. It’s made with creamy coconut milk and has some slightly sweet spices in there too, which will make it a big hit with the kids. 

The lime gives it a nice fresh zest and it is amazing served on a bed of rice or with crusty bread.

Simplicity is the name of the game with this flavour-filled fish dish, and what’s great is you can use any frozen white fish if you like, which keeps costs down while keeping all of the flavour and nutrients.

I always recommend my easy and quick one pot recipes as a midweek meal-win, but the flavours in this recipe do elevate it enough to serve up for guests or even a non-traditional Sunday lunch.

Why you’ll love this Fish Stew recipe

⭐️ Budget-friendly, zero-faff ingredients

⭐️ A new fish recipe to your meal plans

⭐️ Healthy and delicious

Simple Moqueca-style fish stew recipe. A big bowl of it ready to serve.

About this Fish Stew recipe

This is a great option if you’re looking for ways to increase your fish offering to your kids who might be resistant to diving in (sorry, couldn’t resist!) 

The fishy flavour is nice and delicate and the consistency of white fish is familiar.

Other family friendly fish recipes you could introduce include my Prawn Pasta, Easy Fish Pie, Italian Cod Traybake, Salmon Tacos or Homemade Fish Fingers.

Is this a Moqueca recipe?

This recipe takes a little inspiration from a dish called Moqueca, a traditional Brazilian seafood dish that is made with either fish or shrimp. It’s flavoured with a base of paprika, tomatoes, peppers and coconut milk, and is usually garnished with coriander and served with rice.

This is my take on this style of dish, from eating at my favourite Brazilian restaurant in London. You can read more about Moqueca here: Olivia’s Cuisine.

Fish Stew Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – It’s OK to use fresh or a jar/tube/frozen as a quick cheat instead
  • Onion – Again, frozen is fine but fresh is too
  • Peppers – I used a mixture of red and yellow
  • Sweet smoked paprika
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • Cod – Or another white fish. I use frozen. See notes on this below
  • Coconut milk – I use reduced fat but you don’t have to
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Limes
  • Spring onions

How to make Fish Stew

  1. Start by frying off some of the vegetables with olive oil: garlic and onions. Then, add the peppers and flavourings: sweet smoked paprika and a touch of chilli.
  2. Put your cod in, as well as the coconut milk and cherry tomatoes. Simmer until cooked.
  3. Squeeze over the lime and sprinkle spring onions to serve. 
  4. You can also sprinkle with coriander if you’re that way inclined.


  • Fish – You can use any kind of firm white fish, and this can also be frozen fish. If you want to add shellfish, you can. Just add at the end of the cooking time and be sure not to overcook it.
  • Vegetables – You can use up whatever veggies you prefer or need using up for this. Peas or green beans, for example, would be great.


In the fridge You can keep this recipe in the fridge for 3 days. Reheat it fully by before serving – make sure it’s piping hot.

In the freezer This recipe doesn’t feel particularly well as the fish might break apart when defrosting and reheating again. That said, you can freeze it, it just won’t be at its best.

Top tip for making Fish Stew

Using frozen fish 

I use frozen white fish to make this (as it’s often cheaper than fresh). If you want to use fresh fish, you may need to just cook it for a few minutes less.

I suggest adding the cherry tomatoes after 5 minutes, cooking for a further 5 minutes and, as always, be sure it’s cooked through before serving.

Fish Stew FAQs

Is this a spicy dish?

It has a little kick, so omit the chilli if you like, although I find that a small pinch gives just a touch of warmth without offending my children.

Can you recommend a good pan for making one pot meals?

I recently tasked myself with trying out a variety of one-pan pans in a quest to find out which ones were up to the important job of making an all-in-one meal. Read my pan review here. I hope it helps!

Is this a healthy dish?

Yes, it’s got so much goodness! It’s low in calories, high in protein and is rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.

Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).

4.96 from 21 votes

Easy Fish Stew {with Paprika and Lime}

This easy Fish Stew recipe has a sweet creaminess that kids will love. Loosely inspired by the Brazilian-style Moqueca dish, it's a really tasty way to eat more fish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and crushed.
  • 1 Onion, Sliced.
  • 3 Peppers, I used a mixture of red and yellow – chopped into chunks.
  • 2 tsp Sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Dried chilli flakes
  • 400 g Cod, I use frozen. See notes below.
  • 400 ml Reduced fat coconut milk
  • 250 g Cherry tomatoes, Halved.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Spring onions


  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion. Fry for 3 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the peppers, paprika and chilli if using and cook for 3 minutes until softened.
  • Gently add the cod pieces and pour over the coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze over the lime and sprinkle the spring onions. Serve over a bed of rice.


Fish: I did use frozen white fish to make this (as it’s often cheaper than fresh). If you want to use fresh fish, you may need to just cook it for a few minutes less. I suggest adding the cherry tomatoes after 5 minutes, cooking for a further 5 minutes and as always, be sure it’s cooked through before serving.
I used frozen cod, but any white fish like basa would also work well.


Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 20gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 142mgPotassium: 839mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3291IUVitamin C: 143mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Family Food
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Sarah Rossi founder of and author of 'What's for Dinner?' books.


Hi, I'm Sarah. I help busy people decide 'What's for Dinner?' Find hundreds of recipes here, and also in my bestselling recipe book. Hope my recipes make your life easier ❤️

4.96 from 21 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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  1. bangin recipe its a doddle too, follow to the letter and you can’t go rong or is that wrong?? dunno anyway try it.

  2. This is absolutely delicious. I will definitely make again. I added tiger prawns and it fed 4 adults. Another delicious recipe from you.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this together with some rice and peas and we all loved it (I have 2 boys, aged 5 & 8). So quick and easy to make with the frozen fish that doesn’t even need defrosting. It’s definitely going in our weeknight rotation. Thank you Sarah!

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this dish it tasted so good & so easy to make I love all the recipes on this page! Thank you.

    As there is only two of us in my house when I cook these meals there’s a lot leftover can I freeze my leftovers of this dish? Thanks

  5. 5 stars
    This was fabulous! We used basa fillets, a can of diced tomatoes (instead of the cherry tomatoes) and threw in a courgette as well and it turned out beautifully. Rich in flavour without being too heavy. Adding some lime juice at the end also adds a bit of acidity and zing. Thanks so much! We will be making this a staple for dinner.

  6. Amazing! Just made this for supper tonight, and I want to make this again this week, it’s that yummy! I added green beans since I only had one pepper. So much broth at the final cook, and I removed a lot to reduce it and then returned to the pot. Don’t do this!!!! The broth is sooooo yummy, you’ll want to drink it from a cup! 😊
    Thank you for such a quick and wonderfully tasty dish. Still snowing here in Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada, so a warm and cozy meal it was!

  7. This looks amazing and we love seafood in our house. And as it’s a one pan dinner even better! Thanks so much for sharing. Will definitely be trying this.