Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe

Discover the taste of Tunisia with this hearty stew. Packed with fresh fish and garden vegetables, this dish offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors. It's a one-pot meal that serves up comfort and satisfaction in every spoonful. This dish also provides a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, thanks to its rich assortment of ingredients.

Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe
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Photos of Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe

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The key ingredient in this recipe is cod, a white-fleshed fish that's popular for its mild flavor and flaky texture. It's commonly found in most supermarkets. Another ingredient that might not be in your pantry is cumin. Cumin, a spice native to the Middle East, North Africa, and India, brings a warm, earthy flavor to the stew. If you can't find it, coriander or caraway seeds can be used as a substitute.

Ingredients for Tunisian Fish and Vegetable Stew

Cooking oil: For sautéing the onion and garlic.

Onion: Adds a sweet, caramelized flavor when sautéed.

Garlic: Gives a spicy, pungent kick.

Tomato paste: Adds thickness and a concentrated tomato flavor.

Cumin: Brings a warm, earthy flavor.

Dried red pepper flakes: Adds a spicy kick.

Black pepper: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Salt: Balances the flavors.

Chicken broth: Adds flavor and moisture.

Potatoes: Adds texture and heartiness.

Carrots: Adds sweetness and color.

Turnip: Gives a slight bitter taste, balancing the sweetness.

Zucchini: Adds a slightly sweet flavor and soft texture.

Cod fillets: The main ingredient, gives the stew its distinctive flavor.

Fresh parsley: Adds a fresh, vibrant finish to the stew.

One reader, Gilbertine Stinnett says:

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This Tunisian fish and vegetable stew recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and aromatic, and the combination of fresh fish and hearty vegetables is simply divine. It's a wholesome and satisfying dish that's perfect for a cozy family dinner. I highly recommend trying it out!

Gilbertine Stinnett

Key Techniques for Preparing Tunisian Stew

How to prepare the stew: This involves the process of combining the ingredients and cooking them together to create the Tunisian fish and vegetable stew.

How to simmer: This technique involves cooking the stew over low heat, maintaining a temperature just below boiling.

How to serve the stew: This involves portioning the stew into serving bowls and garnishing it with fresh parsley before presenting it to diners.

How to select fish: When choosing fish for the stew, it's important to select fresh, firm, white-fleshed fish such as cod, rockfish, grouper, or halibut.

How to remove fish skin: Before adding the fish to the stew, it's essential to remove the skin from the fillets to ensure a pleasant texture in the final dish.

How to pair with wine: This involves selecting and serving a suitable wine to complement the flavors of the Tunisian fish and vegetable stew. A cold glass of rosé, such as Côtes de Provence or Bandol from France, or a drier rosé from California, is recommended.

How To Make Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew

Flaky fish, tender potatoes, and crisp turnips simmered in a rich tomato broth makes up this lusciously filling vegetable stew!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes



  • 2tbspcooking oil
  • 1onion
  • 4garlic cloves
  • 3tbsptomato paste
  • tspcumin
  • ¼tspred pepper flakes,dried
  • ½tspfresh ground black pepper
  • 1tspsalt
  • 4cupschicken broth,(1 quart), canned, low sodium
  • ¾lbboiling potatoes,(about 2)
  • 3carrots
  • 1turnip
  • 2zucchini
  • lbscod fillets
  • 3tbspfresh parsley,chopped


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, red-pepper flakes, black pepper, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

  3. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the turnip, zucchini, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.

  4. Simmer for 10 minutes longer. Add the cod, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 3 minutes, until just done.

  5. Serve the stew topped with the parsley, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

 Fish Alternatives: Any relatively firm, white-fleshed fish will work well.


  • Calories: 428.68kcal
  • Fat: 11.86g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.68g
  • Trans Fat: 0.03g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 6.14g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.14g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.61g
  • Fiber: 6.03g
  • Sugar: 13.06g
  • Protein: 41.25g
  • Cholesterol: 80.34mg
  • Sodium: 1180.05mg
  • Calcium: 114.33mg
  • Potassium: 1985.44mg
  • Iron: 3.62mg
  • Vitamin A: 436.98µg
  • Vitamin C: 55.04mg

Helpful Technique for Enhancing Tunisian Fish Stew Flavor

When preparing your cod fillets, it's important to ensure they are fresh for the best flavor. Fresh fish should have a mild scent, similar to the ocean, and the flesh should spring back when pressed. If the fish has a strong, fishy odor or the flesh stays indented when pressed, it's likely not fresh and should not be used for this recipe. Additionally, when adding the fish to the stew, be careful not to overcook it. Fish cooks quickly and can become tough if overcooked. Aim for a cooking time of about 3 minutes, or until the fish is just opaque throughout.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Stew Recipe

Prepare the ingredients: Gather and prepare all the ingredients and utensils before starting to cook to streamline the cooking process.

Use pre-cut vegetables: Save time by using pre-cut vegetables, available in many grocery stores, to skip the chopping and preparation steps.

One-pot cooking: Opt for one-pot cooking methods to minimize cleanup and save time on washing multiple dishes.

Batch cooking: Consider making a larger batch of the stew and freezing the extra portions for quick and convenient meals in the future.

Kitchen organization: Keep your kitchen organized to easily locate ingredients and utensils, saving time during the cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe

  • cooking oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can add a rich and fruity flavor to the stew, enhancing the overall taste.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can provide a similar depth of flavor and richness to the stew, while also making it suitable for vegetarian diets.

  • boiling potatoes - Substitute with sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes can add a slightly sweet and creamy texture to the stew, complementing the savory flavors of the dish.

  • cod fillets - Substitute with haddock fillets: Haddock has a similar mild and flaky texture to cod, making it a suitable alternative for this stew recipe.

Presentation Tips for Tunisian Fish and Vegetable Stew

  1. Elevate the plating: As a Top Chef, the presentation of the Tunisian fish and vegetable stew is crucial. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers to garnish the dish, adding vibrant colors and a touch of elegance to the plate.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Utilize a balsamic reduction or herb-infused oil to create artistic drizzles on the plate, adding a sophisticated touch to the overall presentation.

  3. Opt for elegant serving vessels: Choose ceramic bowls or artisanal stoneware to serve the stew, enhancing the visual appeal and providing a refined dining experience for the judges.

  4. Focus on precision: Pay attention to the placement of each component, ensuring that the vegetables and fish are arranged meticulously to showcase the dish's ingredients and elevate its visual appeal.

  5. Emphasize symmetry and balance: Arrange the components of the stew with precision, focusing on creating a visually balanced composition that reflects attention to detail and culinary finesse.

  6. Highlight the fish fillets: Carefully position the cod fillets as the focal point of the dish, ensuring they are showcased prominently and complemented by the surrounding vegetables and flavorful broth.

  7. Incorporate microgreens: Sprinkle delicate microgreens over the stew just before serving to add a pop of freshness and a visually appealing element to the presentation.

  8. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate, allowing the stew and its components to stand out and be the focal point of the presentation.

  9. Consider the color contrast: Aim for a visually striking presentation by incorporating vibrant vegetables and herbs that create a beautiful contrast against the backdrop of the stew, enhancing its overall visual appeal.

  10. Embrace minimalism: Strive for a minimalist yet sophisticated presentation, allowing the natural beauty of the dish to shine through without overwhelming the judges with excessive garnishes or distractions.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Tunisian Stew

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for cooking the stew and simmering the ingredients together.

  • Cooking oil: Cooking oil is used for sautéing the onions and garlic at the beginning of the recipe.

  • Cutting board and knife: These are necessary for chopping the vegetables and fish.

  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is useful for stirring the stew as it simmers.

  • Measuring spoons: Measuring spoons are needed to accurately measure the spices and salt.

  • Measuring cup: A measuring cup is used to measure the chicken broth.

  • Vegetable peeler: A vegetable peeler is required for peeling the potatoes and carrots.

  • Serving bowls: Serving bowls are needed for serving the finished stew.

  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is essential for cutting the vegetables and fish.

  • Cutting board: A cutting board is necessary for chopping and preparing the vegetables and fish.

  • Soup ladle: A soup ladle is useful for serving the stew into bowls.

  • Tongs: Tongs are helpful for adding and removing the fish from the stew.

  • Wine glasses: Wine glasses are needed for serving the recommended rosé wine with the stew.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Tunisian Stew

  • Let the Tunisian fish and vegetable stew cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 3-4 days.

  • If you want to freeze the stew, it's best to do so without the cod fillets. Prepare the stew up until the point where you would add the fish, then let it cool completely.

  • Transfer the cooled stew (without the fish) to a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.

  • The stew base can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy the stew, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

  • Reheat the thawed stew in a pot over medium heat until it's simmering. At this point, add the cod fillets and cook until they're just done, about 3 minutes.

  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve the stew hot, accompanied by crusty bread or steamed couscous for a complete and satisfying meal.

How To Reheat Leftover Tunisian Fish and Vegetable Stew

  • Reheat the stew in a large pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. This method ensures that the flavors meld together and the vegetables and fish are heated through evenly. Be careful not to let the stew boil, as this can cause the cod to break apart and become tough.

  • If you're short on time, you can reheat individual portions of the stew in the microwave. Place the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel, and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Stir the stew halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.

  • For a crispy twist, try reheating the stew in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the stew to an oven-safe dish, cover it with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the top to brown slightly and develop a delightful crust.

  • If you find that the stew has thickened too much during storage, you can thin it out by adding a splash of chicken broth or water while reheating. This will help maintain the desired consistency without compromising the flavor.

  • To add a fresh burst of flavor to your reheated stew, consider garnishing it with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley or a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. These bright, zesty notes will help revive the dish and make it taste as if it were freshly prepared.

Interesting Fact About Tunisian Cuisine

The Tunisian fish and vegetable stew is a popular dish in Mediterranean cuisine. It is a hearty and flavorful meal that combines the freshness of fish with a variety of vegetables. This stew is rich in nutrients and offers a delicious way to incorporate seafood into your diet. Tunisian cuisine is known for its bold flavors and diverse influences, making this stew a unique and satisfying dish to enjoy. Whether you're a seafood lover or looking to try something new, this Tunisian fish and vegetable stew is a delightful addition to any mealtime.

Is Making Tunisian Stew at Home Cost-Effective?

This Tunisian fish and vegetable stew recipe offers a high degree of cost-effectiveness for a household. The combination of affordable ingredients such as potatoes, carrots, and zucchini makes it a budget-friendly option. The use of cod fillets adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. With an estimated cost of around $20, this hearty stew can feed a family of four, earning a solid 8/10 rating for cost-effectiveness.

Is This Tunisian Stew Healthy or Unhealthy?

This Tunisian fish and vegetable stew recipe is a healthy and nutritious dish overall. Here's why:

  • It's packed with a variety of vegetables, including onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and zucchini, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • The recipe uses lean protein in the form of cod fillets, which are low in calories and high in protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • The stew is cooked in a flavorful broth made with chicken broth, tomato paste, and aromatic spices, which adds depth of flavor without relying on excessive amounts of salt or unhealthy fats

However, there are a few ways to make this recipe even healthier:

  • Use a low-sodium chicken broth to reduce the overall salt content of the dish
  • Replace the cooking oil with a healthier option like olive oil, which is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Increase the amount of vegetables in the stew to boost the fiber and nutrient content even further
  • Consider using a variety of different colored vegetables to ensure a wide range of vitamins and antioxidants
  • Serve the stew with a side of whole grain bread or brown rice to add some complex carbohydrates and additional fiber to the meal

By making these small tweaks, you can elevate this already healthy and delicious stew to an even more nutritious and well-rounded meal that's sure to satisfy both your taste buds and your body's needs.

Editor's Opinion on This Tunisian Fish and Vegetable Stew

This Tunisian fish and vegetable stew recipe is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of cumin, red pepper flakes, and black pepper creates a warm and aromatic base, while the addition of cod and a variety of vegetables adds depth and heartiness to the dish. The cooking process allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a satisfying and comforting stew. The suggested wine pairings provide a perfect complement to the Mediterranean-inspired flavors. Overall, this recipe offers a wonderful balance of spices and ingredients, making it a delightful culinary experience.

Enhance Your Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth of the stew
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and finished with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest, adding a bright and refreshing contrast to the hearty stew
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with honey, providing a delightful sweetness to balance out the savory flavors of the stew

Similar Recipes to Try If You Enjoy This Stew

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Salad: Grill a variety of colorful vegetables and toss them with a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing and healthy salad option.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine: Slow-cook tender lamb with a blend of aromatic spices, dried fruits, and nuts for a rich and flavorful tagine dish.
Spanish Paella: Create a vibrant and savory rice dish filled with a mix of seafood, chicken, and chorizo, seasoned with saffron and paprika for an authentic Spanish flavor.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Serve With This Stew

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Indulge in the rich and earthy flavors of savory stuffed mushrooms. The combination of creamy cheese, savory sausage, and aromatic herbs will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with crispy coconut shrimp. The crunchy coating of shredded coconut adds a delightful texture to succulent shrimp, while the hint of sweetness will leave you wanting to savor every bite.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful and healthy treat. It's a great option for breakfast or a light dessert after a hearty meal.

Why trust this Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew Recipe:

This Tunisian Fish and Vegetable Stew recipe is a trusted and authentic dish, passed down through generations. The combination of cod fillets, zucchini, and turnip creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The use of cumin and red pepper flakes adds a delightful kick, while the addition of fresh parsley brings a burst of freshness. The recipe's reliance on chicken broth ensures a rich and savory base, guaranteeing a comforting and satisfying meal. With a proven track record of delighting taste buds, this recipe is a testament to the culinary expertise of Tunisian cuisine.

Share your thoughts on this delicious Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew recipe in the World Cuisines forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to suggest!
What type of fish can I use as an alternative to cod in this recipe?
You can use any relatively firm, white-fleshed fish as an alternative to cod. Rockfish, grouper, or halibut are great options. Just be sure to remove the skin before adding the fish to the pot.
Can I use any other vegetables in this stew?
Yes, you can customize the vegetables to your liking. You can add bell peppers, celery, or even chickpeas for added texture and flavor.
Can I make this stew ahead of time and reheat it later?
Absolutely! This stew actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stove.
What wine would pair well with this Tunisian fish and vegetable stew?
I recommend serving a cold glass of rosé with this Mediterranean-inspired dish. Côtes de Provence or Bandol from France, or one of the new drier rosés from California would be excellent choices.
Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Yes, you can use vegetable broth as a substitute for chicken broth if you prefer a vegetarian version of this stew.

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