Moroccan Fish


Last Updated on September 1, 2023

Fish fillets are poached in a spicy paprika based sauce in this Moroccan fish recipe. Its spicy and delicious, and a weekly staple in our house.

moroccan fish

Moroccan Fish

Moroccan fish has been a weekly staple growing up for as long as I could remember. Every Friday night for Shabbat dinner, there would be a big pot of fish cooking on the stove top, and to this day it’s my favorite weekly staple.

Fish fillets get cooked in a spicy paprika based sauce with hot green peppers, warm spices like cumin and turmeric, and fresh herbs. The sauce and veggies are delicious even on their own, and make for the best dip with fresh challah.

moroccan fish

You may see many variations of this recipe online. I love using salmon, but grew up eating this dish with tilapia. I also like to add carrots and potatoes for some added veggies, and sometimes even chickpeas.

This recipe can be made with various types of white fish, and adjusted to your liking for spiciness. I love to add hot paprika in additional to long green peppers for a little extra kick.

Some recipes even call for preserved lemons which add delicious flavor, too!

Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Fish fillets, Ive used salmon, tilapia, cod and flounder. You can use any fish you prefer.
  • Veggies: bell pepper, long green pepper (the spicy ones), carrots, potatoes & garlic
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato paste, or fresh chopped tomatoes
  • Spices: paprika, hot paprika, salt, cumin and turmeric
moroccan fish

How to make Moroccan Fish

This recipe comes together easily in just a few simple steps.

  1. Start by slicing up your veggies and sauteeing them in olive oil for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spices and tomato paste and mix together for another couple of minutes.
  3. Pour in the water and cilantro, then cover the pot to let the veggies cook for 12-15 minutes. Here’s where I like to adjust the salt or spiciness.
  4. Once the veggies are tender, place the fish fillets into the sauce. They should be covered at least 3/4 of the way through with the sauce. Spoon the sauce over each fish fillet, then cover the pot to let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  5. The fish should flake easily with a fork when ready. I like to finish this off with fresh lemon juice before serving.

This recipe definitely took a little practice to get just right, mainly because my mom doesn’t write down recipes and cooks from the heart (the best kind of cooking).

I’m so excited to share my version with you, and hope you guys love it as much as we do!

More salmon recipes you’ll love:

Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel Slaw

Salmon in Parchment (Salmon en Papillote)

Harissa Silan (Date Syrup) Salmon

Moroccan Fish

5 from 28 votes
Course: Main


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 4 pieces 4 of fish (4 oz each). I used salmon but have made this with various white fish before

  • Olive oil

  • 1 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 1 long green pepper, or 2 jalapeno peppers

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cilantro, chopped

  • 2 2 -3 carrots, peeled (optional)

  • 1 1 russet potato, peeled (optional)

  • 5 5 -6 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp 1 tomato paste

  • 3/4 3/4 -1 cup water

  • 1 tbsp 1 sweet paprika

  • 1/2 tbsp 1/2 hot paprika, or add more sweet paprika

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 cumin

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 turmeric


  • Slice the bell pepper, carrots and green pepper to strips. Slice the potato into half and then into 1″ pieces. Cut each clove of garlic in half.
  • Heat a large pan, ideally a saute pan, on medium heat then coat the bottom in about 1/3 cup olive oil.
  • Add all of the veggies to the pan and saute on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Season with the paprika, salt, cumin, turmeric and tomato paste and stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in half of the cilantro and about 3/4 cups of water and stir everything together. Cover the pan and cook for about 12-15 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Taste and adjust salt and spice if needed. If you like your fish spicy, add some more hot paprika or red pepper flakes.
  • Lightly salt the fish fillets and place them into the pan so that they’re coated in the sauce, at least 3/4 of the way to the top. If there isn’t enough sauce, add another 1/4 cup water. Spoon the sauce over each fish fillet.
  • Top with remaining cilantro and cover the pan. Cook on a low flame for about 20-25 minutes, spooning the sauce over the fish halfway through.
  • I like to add lemon slices at the end and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top before serving.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @somethingnutritious on Instagram- I’d love to see your creations!


  1. Hi I was so excited by this recipe but I cooked get it the way it looked in the photos. I used frozen tilapia filets and had to add more water to the pan because the veggies were cooking. Had to cook the entire thing for longer and by that point the veggies have become a soft mush and it’s more curry-like than it’s shown in the photos. What am I doing wrong? Also the fish is flaky to the point where it has started to fall apart.

  2. Laura

    I have been searching for a Moroccan fish recipe for years! The ones I have tried all missing something, your recipe had everything it was delicious and I plan on making it often. By the way, it was only one point on my Weight Watchers It’s a win-win

  3. This was amazing thank you!!

  4. Helena

    Loved this!! I didn’t have hot paprika so I used berbere and sweet and it was wonderful.

  5. One of my favorite dishes, I make it about the same way. Serve with challa to mop up the sauce. Salmon gives it a richness which goes really nice with the red sauce and makes it a bit richer. The original recipe is usually made with some middle eastern white fish or tilapia but it gets a bit too lean.

    • I love that! I grew up eating it with tilapia too, but I love it with salmon. I switch it up weekly 🙂

  6. Actually making the recipe now, it’s been saved on my ig I have everything but the sweet paprika, I have smoked. However so looking forward to it!!

  7. Hey, just wondering if you serve with the fish with anything, or just on it’s own 🙂 Looking forward to making this!

    • Hi Liv, traditionally Moroccan Jews serve this as a starter course during Friday night dinner so we serve it alone or with challah bread. As a main dish, I feel it would go great with rice, pearl couscous or roasted potatoes!

  8. Damien

    Hi! Quick question, say I have ras el hanout, would you sub it for all the spices or add it to the lot? Have you tried the recipe with it? Thanks!

    • Hey Damien, I’ve never cooked with it but I would use suggest using a tsp in place of the cumin and turmeric. I would still add paprika and depending on if your spice mix has salt I would adjust the salt as needed

  9. So, no onion? I have seen other versions of Moroccan fish with and without it. Interesting.

    • Hey Dan, my grandma and mom never added onions to theirs so I personally don’t, but like you said there are many variations. I think they would be great in this recipe.

  10. This recipe is perfection. Thanks for sharing.

  11. James

    This was DELICIOUS! We added a little Indian chili powder and the spice level was perfect.

  12. Sophia F

    Wow so delicious, I made it with salmon and everyone loved it in the house! Thank you!!

  13. Thank you for sharing this family recipe, we made it with salmon and it was delicious!

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