Flavorful Spanish Tuna Stew (Marmitako): A Hearty Mediterranean Delight

As the aromas of the Mediterranean fill my kitchen, I can’t help but feel a surge of excitement to share with you one of my all-time favorite Spanish recipes: the tantalizing Spanish Tuna Stew (Marmitako). Bursting with vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients, this traditional dish will transport you to the sunny shores of Spain with each spoonful.

Spanish Tuna Stew
A vibrant bowl of Spanish Tuna Stew, brimming with Mediterranean flavors
Spanish Tuna Stew

Tuna Stew (Marmitako)

As the aromas of the Mediterranean fill my kitchen, I can't help but feel a surge of excitement to share with you one of my all-time favorite Spanish recipes: the tantalizing Spanish Tuna Stew. Bursting with vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients, this traditional dish will transport you to the sunny shores of Spain with each spoonful.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spain
Servings 4
Calories 280 kcal


  • 1 medium saucepan or skillet
  • 1 spoon


  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Red pepper paste or a dried sweet red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups fish broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4–5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound raw tuna, cubed
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro


  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan or skillet.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan or skillet.
  • Add the garlic and stir cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the red pepper paste and paprika; stir gently.
  • Add the dry white wine; stir-cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes, tomato, fish broth, and water; stir gently.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper (optional). Mash a few potatoes with the back of a spoon to thicken the stew.
  • Mix in the tuna cubes and simmer for 4–5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5–10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Serve warm.



To add a touch of freshness and brightness to your Spanish Tuna Stew, garnish each serving with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. These simple additions will elevate the flavors and provide a delightful contrast to the rich and hearty stew. Enjoy this culinary gem with a glass of Spanish red wine, and don't forget to subscribe to our blog for more tantalizing recipes.
Keyword fish

Alternative Method: Spanish Tuna Stew in a Pressure Cooker

Spanish Tuna Stew
Treat yourself to a taste of Spain with this mouthwatering Spanish Tuna Stew

If you prefer a quicker cooking method without compromising flavor, preparing Spanish Tuna Stew in a pressure cooker is an excellent option. The pressure cooker allows you to achieve tender and flavorful tuna in a fraction of the time. Here’s how to do it:


  • 1.5 pounds fresh tuna steaks, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups fish or vegetable broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Set your pressure cooker to the sauté function and heat the olive oil. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced bell peppers. Sauté until the vegetables soften and become translucent.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes to the pressure cooker. Stir well to combine the spices with the vegetables.
  3. Gently place the tuna chunks on top of the vegetable mixture in the pressure cooker. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the fish or vegetable broth into the pressure cooker, ensuring that the liquid covers the tuna and vegetables.
  5. Close the lid securely and set the pressure cooker to high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the tuna to become tender.
  6. Once the cooking time is complete, release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Carefully open the pressure cooker lid, taking caution to avoid any steam. Give the stew a gentle stir to combine the flavors.
  8. Serve the Spanish Tuna Stew in bowls, garnishing with chopped fresh parsley for a pop of freshness.

By using a pressure cooker, you can savor the delightful flavors of Spanish Tuna Stew in a fraction of the time. The tender tuna and well-infused broth will impress your taste buds and leave you craving more. Enjoy this delectable dish with a side of crusty bread or saffron-infused rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Cooking Tips

Spanish Tuna Stew
Savor the aroma and taste of this authentic Spanish delicacy

To ensure your Spanish Tuna Stew achieves the perfect balance of flavors and textures, here are some tips and tricks that will elevate your culinary skills and make your dish truly exceptional.

Choose Fresh and High-Quality Ingredients

When it comes to preparing a delectable Spanish Tuna Stew, using fresh and high-quality ingredients is key. Opt for fresh tuna steaks that are firm and free from any strong fishy odor. Additionally, select ripe and juicy tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and aromatic spices. The quality of your ingredients will significantly impact the final result.

Sauté the Aromatics for Enhanced Flavor

Before adding the tomatoes and other liquids to the stew, take a moment to sauté the aromatics such as onions, garlic, and bell peppers in olive oil. This step helps to release their natural flavors and intensifies the overall taste of the dish. Ensure the vegetables soften and become translucent before proceeding with the recipe.

Simmer Slowly for Tender Tuna

To achieve tender and succulent tuna in your stew, it’s important to simmer it gently over low heat. This slow cooking method allows the flavors to meld together while ensuring the fish retains its delicate texture. Avoid boiling the stew vigorously, as this can lead to tough and overcooked tuna.

Taste and Adjust Seasoning

Throughout the cooking process, don’t hesitate to taste your Marmitako and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Remember, everyone’s palate is unique, so feel free to add a pinch more salt, a sprinkle of paprika, or a dash of hot sauce to suit your taste preferences. This simple step ensures your stew is perfectly seasoned and tailored to your liking.

Allow for Resting Time

Once the Spanish Tuna Stew is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to further develop and mingle, resulting in a more harmonious and well-rounded dish. It also gives the stew time to cool slightly, reducing the risk of burning your tongue when you take that first delightful bite.

Serving Suggestions

Spanish Tuna Stew
Explore creative serving ideas to elevate your Spanish Tuna Stew experience

When it comes to serving the exquisite Spanish Tuna Stew, there are various ways to enhance the flavors and create a memorable dining experience. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or enjoying a cozy meal at home, these serving suggestions will help you make the most of this Mediterranean delight.

Perfect Occasions and Complementary Sides

For a special dinner gathering with friends or family, the Marmitako serves as a show-stopping centerpiece. Its vibrant colors and enticing aromas are sure to impress. Pair it with a side of crusty artisan bread or fluffy saffron-infused rice to soak up the flavorful broth. The stew also pairs beautifully with a refreshing green salad tossed in a light vinaigrette, adding a touch of freshness to the meal.

Audience and Flavors

The Spanish Tuna Stew appeals to a wide range of palates, making it a versatile dish for any occasion. Its hearty and robust flavors cater to those seeking comfort and warmth, while the Mediterranean undertones offer a refreshing twist. Whether you’re serving a group of seafood enthusiasts or introducing someone to the wonders of Spanish cuisine, this dish is sure to please.

Garnishes and Beverage Pairings

To elevate the presentation and add a burst of freshness, garnish each serving of Spanish Tuna Stew with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The bright green hues will contrast beautifully with the deep red tones of the stew.

When it comes to selecting a beverage to accompany this flavorful dish, opt for a crisp and acidic white wine such as Albariño or a light-bodied red wine like Tempranillo. These choices will complement the richness of the stew and enhance the overall dining experience.

Creative Serving Ideas

While the traditional way to serve Marmitako is in a deep bowl, there are alternative ways to present this delightful dish. Consider serving it over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes or alongside a generous portion of herb-infused couscous for a Mediterranean twist. You can also serve the stew in individual ramekins for an elegant touch, garnishing each one with a slice of lemon and a sprig of fresh herbs.


Spanish Tuna Stew
Discover the art of garnishing Spanish Tuna Stew with fresh herbs for an appealing presentation

Preparing the perfect Spanish Tuna Stew (Marmitako) may raise a few questions along the way. To ensure a smooth cooking experience and address any uncertainties, here are answers to some of the most common queries:

Can I store leftovers of the Marmitako?

Absolutely! The Marmitako can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to cool the stew completely before transferring it to the container. When reheating, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat to preserve the flavors and integrity of the tuna.

Can I use canned tuna instead of fresh tuna?

While fresh tuna is highly recommended for the best flavor and texture, you can use canned tuna as a substitute. Opt for high-quality canned tuna packed in olive oil for superior taste. Drain the oil before adding the tuna to the stew, and adjust the cooking time accordingly, as canned tuna requires less cooking.

Is it possible to make the Spanish Tuna Stew ahead of time?

Yes, indeed! In fact, making the stew in advance allows the flavors to develop further. Simply follow the recipe instructions, let the stew cool, and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, gently reheat it on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or broth to adjust the consistency if needed.

Can I freeze the Spanish Tuna Stew?

While it’s possible to freeze the stew, it’s worth noting that the texture of the tuna may slightly change upon thawing. Freezing can cause the tuna to become slightly softer. If you plan to freeze the stew, ensure it is completely cooled before transferring it to freezer-safe containers. Consume the frozen stew within 2 to 3 months for optimal quality.

Can I add additional vegetables to the stew?

Certainly! The Spanish Tuna Stew can be customized to your liking by incorporating various vegetables. Some popular options include diced bell peppers, zucchini, or even a handful of spinach for added color and nutrients. However, be mindful of the cooking time for the vegetables to ensure they retain their texture and don’t overcook.

Delight in the Flavors of Spanish Tuna Stew: Discover the secrets to mastering the perfect Spanish Tuna Stew with our expert tips and tricks. From choosing the freshest ingredients to sautéing the aromatics, our comprehensive guide will ensure your stew is bursting with authentic Mediterranean flavors. Don’t forget to try our alternative method using a pressure cooker for a quicker cooking time. Join our culinary journey, share the recipe, and subscribe to our blog for more delicious inspiration!

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