Eat more fish- that’s one of my biggest healthy eating goals for 2018. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein, fish and seafood is a staple of the Mediterranean diet. This Instant Pot Fish Stew is a perfect way to incorporate more fish into your diet! And it only takes 20 minutes to make start to finish in your pressure cooker (but you can make it on your stovetop or slow cooker too!).
I used sea bass to make this. It’s a relatively inexpensive fish, it’s mild tasting, sturdy, and usually wild caught. And it’s easy to find in the freezer section of your grocery store. You can use any other firm white fish, such as cod or halibut, or even tilapia, if you want.
The thing I love about this stew is the fish stars as the main ingredient. It’s bulked up a bit with some potatoes and tomatoes, and flavored simply with fresh lemon juice, fresh dill, and extra-virgin olive oil, with just a pinch of red pepper for spice.
I cut my fish into large pieces- about 2 inches each. This ensured it wouldn’t vanish into the soup. Instead, it was easy to get big, satisfying bites of the sea bass. It also ensured it didn’t overcook.
The fish takes almost no time to cook- only 5 minutes in the simmering stew. In fact, you don’t pressure cook the fish at all in this recipe. Instead, the pressure cooker is used to cook the broth with the potatoes, tomatoes, clam juice, wine, onions, garlic, and red pepper, creating a super flavorful base for the stew with perfectly cooked potatoes. Then, after it’s done pressure cooking, the fish is poached gently for only 5 minutes in the hot broth, leaving it perfectly flaky and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
This Instant Pot Fish Stew is perfect all year round. It’s warm and cozy for the winter (unlike many other fish dishes), but light and bright for the summer (not to mention using an Instant Pot won’t heat up your kitchen!). In the summer, I’ll use fresh tomatoes for this, but I just used canned this time around.
When looking for recipe inspiration, I came across so many similar version of fish stew from all over the Mediterranean- Greece (called Kakavia), Sicily, Provence, etc. Some incorporated many different kinds of seafood (cuttlefish, shellfish, etc.), some used different herbs and spices (like oregano or basil). This is a mash-up from a bunch of different recipes I came across with some of my favorite flavors (dill is my jam), and, in true Bowl of Delicious style, made to be simple and easy to cook up on a busy weeknight.
Don’t have an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker)? No problem- there are instructions below for making this in your slow cooker or on your stovetop. An Instant Pot makes this recipe super quick and easy- the potatoes only need 5 minutes of cooking time total, whereas on the stovetop they take about 20. I highly recommend getting one if you are a generally “busy” person- your cooking time is cut in half for so many things!
Like this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup. Yummmmm…
Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Fish Stew. Enjoy!
Instant Pot Fish Stew
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium red onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
- 8 oz. bottled clam juice (see notes)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 lb. red or gold potatoes diced
- 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, with their juices
- kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- pinch crushed red pepper or to taste
- 2 lbs. sea bass cut into roughly 2" pieces (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from about 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- Use the "sauté" function on your instant pot or pressure cooker to cook the onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until browned and softened (about 3 minutes).
- Add the chopped garlic (4 cloves). Sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add the white wine (1/2 cup) to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until about half the wine has evaporated (about 1 minute).
- Add the clam juice, water (2.5 cups), potatoes, canned diced tomatoes, plenty of salt and pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
- Turn the "sauté" function off, cover and seal your Instant pot, and set manual pressure to "high" for 5 minutes.
- Once your pressure cooker is done, quick release the pressure until the float valve is depressed.
- Open the instant pot and turn the "sauté" function back on. Once soup is simmering (which shouldn't take long since it's piping hot already), add the fish pieces and simmer for about 5 minutes, until fish is just cooked and flakes apart easily.
- Turn off "sauté" function and stir in the lemon juice (2 tablespoons) and fresh dill (2 tablespoons), along with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve immediately, with a good crusty bread if desired.
- Feel free to use another firm, white fish, such as cod, monkfish, or halibut, instead of sea bass.
- Stovetop Instructions: To make this on the stovetop, sauté onion and garlic, deglaze with wine, and add clam juice, tomatoes, seasoning, and potatoes as instructed in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Uncover and add fish, continue simmering for 5 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, oil, and parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve.
- Slow Cooker Instructions: To make this in your slow cooker, add all ingredients except for fish, lemon juice, dill, and 2 tablespoons oil. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours, until potatoes are tender. Add fish in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Turn off heat and stir in dill, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil just before serving, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Clam Juice Substitution: If you have a shellfish allergy, you can replace the clam juice with shellfish free fish stock, or just add another cup of water to the recipe as a replacement.
- I made this recipe in my 6 qt. Instant pot. It should work the same in an 8 qt., but you may need to cut the ingredients in half for a 3 qt. mini.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.