Crispy grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon

We love the crispy, smoky skin & juicy, flavourful flesh of this delicious grilled mackerel. Packed with Omega 3, it’s a healthy family favourite dinner.

First, let me apologise for the sub-standard photos accompanying this recipe. I’ve made this garlicky grilled mackerel several times recently and failed to get a really good picture on any occasion. Mostly because we didn’t want to wait around taking photographs of it when we could be eating it!

grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon.

Simply delicious

The whole family loves this simple mackerel dish, with its crispy, smoky skin, and juicy, flavourful flesh. It’s so easy to make and really delicious, plus of course terrifically healthy as mackerel is an oily fish and packed with Omega 3 fatty acids.

grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon.

As if that wasn’t enough, mackerel is also fairly inexpensive compared to some other fish, so this is a budget-friendly dinner as well.

Indoors or out

As you can see in the (terrible) photo above, I cooked these in a cast iron griddle pan on the stove. However you can also cook them up al fresco on the barbecue, if the British weather permits. The mackerel fillets can be quite fragile though, so I’d recommend using a barbecue fish holder or something similar to prevent them falling apart too much.

grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon.

A bit on the side

I serve these lovely grilled mackerel sprinkled with chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon – perfection!

They don’t require much else. Maybe some crusty bread and butter and a simple fresh salad? Israeli chopped vegetable salad is ideal as the sharp lemony dressing cuts the oiliness of the fish perfectly. So easy!

I’m sure we’ll be eating this several more times before the summer is over, so I’ll keep trying to get a good photo. Any excuse to eat it again!

We love the crispy, smoky skin & juicy, flavourful flesh of this delicious grilled mackerel. Packed with Omega 3, it's a healthy family favourite dinner.

We love the crispy, smoky skin & juicy, flavourful flesh of this delicious grilled mackerel! Packed with Omega 3, it's a healthy family favourite dinner.

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Grilled mackerel with lemon and garlic

Serves 4 Write a reviewSave RecipePrint Prep Time5 min Cook Time20 min Total Time45 min
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Keyword fish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinating 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 608kcal
Author Helen


  • 8 mackerel fillets
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped parsley and lemon wedges to serve (optional)


  • Rinse the mackerel fillets and pat dry. Remove any stray bones with tweezers, and place the fillets in a large shallow dish.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the fish and turn the mackerel fillets to coat. Cover the dish and leave to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat a ridged griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the fish fillets in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side. Cook the skin-side first, and take care when turning to ensure that the skin is released from the pan and does not stick.
  • Transfer the fish to a serving dish. You may want to keep the grilled mackerel warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining fillets.
  • Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, and with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.


Approx. per serving (2 fillets): 608 calories, 49g fat, 42g protein, 3g carbs

Other fish recipes you might enjoy include this delicious hake with caramelised onions, thyme and smoked paprika, or this simple sea bream with herbs and lemon.

grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon.

I’m linking this recipe up with CookBlogShare, and Eating Al Fresco.



  1. Pingback:15 Health Benefits of Mackerel (+8 Delicious Mackerel Recipes) | My First Blog

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  3. munchiesandmunchkins

    Beautifully crispy! Thanks for linking up to Eating Al Fresco.x

  4. Oh your mackerel look totally amazing Helen, love fresh fish on the BBQ. Thanks for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)

  5. is this recipe for fresh mackerel or for the canned?

  6. Yum! I love mackerel and this recipe sounds gorgeous – loving the sound of that
    Israeli vegetable salad too! Have pinned both 🙂 Eb x

  7. We love mackerel, not only is is healthy but it is also one of the cheaper fish. Love how they don’t hang around long enough for a picture! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

  8. What a tasty and healthy dish, thanks for linking up to credit crunch munch

  9. littlesunnykitchen

    I love mackerel and it pairs really well with lemon and garlic. Yum!

  10. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    I haven’t managed to get the hang of using my cast iron pan, it seems such a faff to have to oil it every time! Everyone raves about them though, how do you find it?

    • I love ours! We use it all the time but I must admit I never oil it. Oops. It doesn’t seem to mind though. Just generously oil the food before you put it into the hot pan. We use it for veggies, fish, halloumi… We also have a separate one for meat but that’s DH’s department!

  11. Mackerel is amazingly good for you with all of those healthy oils. Really love this recipe and it’s simplicity.

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