We love the crispy, smoky skin and 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 for grilled mackerel. 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 – simply delicious
The whole family loves this simple grilled 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.
Mackerel – an oily fish
As well as Omega 3, Mackerel is also a great source of vitamin B12, as well as niacin, iron, vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, and selenium. Studies have shown that regularly eating oily fish like mackerel can potentially improve your heart health, reduce inflammation, and lower your risk of cancer and arthritis. They may even reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
The NHS recommends eating a portion of oily fish like mackerel about once a week, as part of a healthy diet.
Healthy & delicious – oily fish
Other kinds of oily fish you might like to add to your diet include:
- Herring (including kippers, pickled herring and schmaltz herring)
- Salmon (including smoked salmon and tinned salmon)
Save your pennies
As well as it’s impressive credentials when it comes to nutrition, mackerel is also fairly inexpensive compared to some other fish. So this grilled mackerel is a budget-friendly dinner as well as a healthy one!
Ingredients for delicious grilled mackerel
I like to keep it simple, as mackerel has a delicious flavour all of its own. I just use lemon and garlic to enhance the natural flavour, making this an easy and tasty fish dish.
To make this yummy grilled mackerel yourself, all you will need is:
- Fresh mackerel fillets – of course!
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Plus some chopped parsley and wedges of lemon to serve, if you like.
Grilled mackerel – indoors or out
As you can see in the (terrible) photo above, I cooked these grilled mackerel 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 – Plus a bit on the side!
I serve these lovely grilled mackerel sprinkled with chopped parsley and a squeeze of fresh lemon – zingy!
They don’t require much else by way of accompaniment. 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!
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Grilled mackerel with lemon and garlic
- 8 mackerel fillets
- Juice of a lemon
- 4 tablespoon 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.
More delicious fish recipes
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.
If you’re particularly looking for recipes using oily fish, how about:
- Cauliflower with anchovies and garlic
- Smoked salmon and kale pasta
- Citrus and herb salmon kebabs
- Tinned salmon, broccoli and tomato pasta bake
- Tuna puttanesca with tagliatelle
- Easy smoked mackerel kedgeree
I’m linking this recipe up with Eating Al Fresco.
We love mackerel but have never thought about grilling it. Thanks for all the tips!
Thanks Pam – I’m sure you’ll love it cooked this way.
Please check your nutrition facts. Supposedly mackerel is height in omega 3 you show it as saturated fats? is that correct? recently had to change to heart healthy diet and mackerel is recommended so i find this confusing. please advise
Hi Angela, Mackerel is an oily fish so quite high in fat, and a proportion of that fat is saturated. If you have questions about a diet that has been medically recommended for you, then you should speak to your doctor or nutritionist. You may also find this nutrition data from the USDA helpful: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175119/nutrients
All the best, Helen x.
I tried the grill recipe. It didn’t came out as the picture ,but the flavor was awesome. Thanks
So glad you enjoyed it Luis! Thanks 🙂
These Mackerel fillets look fantastic! Love the garlic and lemon with them.
Thanks Andrea. The garlic and lemon really pack in the flavour – so good!
Perfect crispy fish in no time! Love how easy this is for a weeknight dinner or even a special dinner.
Thanks Lisa! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂
This is a terrific recipe! The lemon really sets it off, and I love that it is low carb, too! Yum!
Thanks Jennifer! Yes, just add a salad or some veggies and you’ve got a delicious low carb meal ready to go.
Beautifully crispy! Thanks for linking up to Eating Al Fresco.x
Oh your mackerel look totally amazing Helen, love fresh fish on the BBQ. Thanks for entering Credit Crunch Munch:-)
is this recipe for fresh mackerel or for the canned?
Hi Evelyn. This recipe uses fresh mackerel fillets. I hope you enjoy them! Helen x.
Yum! I love mackerel and this recipe sounds gorgeous – loving the sound of that
Israeli vegetable salad too! Have pinned both 🙂 Eb x
Thanks Eb! The salad is great with everything, but the sweet acidity works really well with the oily fish. Yum!
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
Healthy, tasty and economical – what’s not to love! One day I’ll get a decent picture. One day…
What a tasty and healthy dish, thanks for linking up to credit crunch munch
Thanks! And thanks for hosting 🙂
I love mackerel and it pairs really well with lemon and garlic. Yum!
Thanks! Yes, it really stands up to strong flavours. Love it!
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!
Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
Mackerel is amazingly good for you with all of those healthy oils. Really love this recipe and it’s simplicity.
Thanks Jemma. I love mackerel – healthy, economical and delicious!!