Crispy grilled mackerel with garlic & lemon

First, let me apologise for the rubbish photos accompanying this recipe. I’ve made this grilled mackerel several times now and completely failed to get a decent picture on any occasion. Although it’s at least in part because we didn’t want to wait around taking photographs when we could be EATING it!

We all – DH, Kipper and me – love 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. As if that wasn’t enough, mackerel is also pretty inexpensive compared to some other fish, so this is a budget-friendly dinner as well.

As you can see in the (terrible) photo below, I cooked these in a cast iron griddle pan on the stove, but you can also cook them up on the barbecue to great effect. The mackerel fillets can be quite fragile though, so I’d recommend using a barbecue fish holder or similar to prevent disintegration.

Serve with chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon – perfection!

We enjoy these with a simple fresh salad – Israeli chopped vegetable salad is ideal as the sharp dressing cuts the oiliness of the fish perfectly. Maybe some crusty bread and butter on the side. That’s it! So easy, and everyone loves it.

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.

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Grilled mackerel with lemon and garlic
Serves 4
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
661 calories
3 g
237 g
37 g
76 g
5 g
348 g
241 g
1 g
0 g
28 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 661
Calories from Fat 329
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 37g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g
Cholesterol 237mg
Sodium 241mg
Total Carbohydrates 3g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 76g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 8 mackerel fillets
  2. Juice of a lemon
  3. 4 tbsp olive oil
  4. 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. Chopped parsley and lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
  1. Rinse the mackerel fillets and pat dry. Remove any stray bones with tweezers, and place the fillets in a large shallow dish.
  2. 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.
  3. Cover the dish and leave to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, and with wedges of lemon to squeeze over.
Since mackerel is such a budget friendly fish, I’m linking this recipe up with Credit Crunch Munch, organised by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours and hosted this month by Lancashire Food.
I’m also joining in with CookBlogShare, Recipe of the Week, and Eating Al Fresco.




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

  2. Pingback:Eating Al Fresco July Round Up & August Linky -

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

  10. 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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