Mediterranean Diet 101

Canned Mackerel Recipes

Mackerel is one of the most common species of fish that can be found - fresh, fresh frozen, canned etc. Mackerel recipes using canned mackerel don't taste so good as freshly caught, prepared and eaten mackerel, but nonetheless, they can provide us with good source of animal protein, also rich in healthy fats and some minerals and vitamins.

When buying canned fish or canned foods in general, always read the labels - mackerels are predatory species and some of them are relatively high in mercury.

According to various resources (namely NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration)), children, pregnant woman and those women trying to get pregnant should eat no more than:

- king mackerel - avoid
- mackerel (Spanish, Gulf) - no more than three 180g (6 oz) servings per month, or
- mackerel (North Atlantic) - no more than two 180g (6 oz) servings per week.

Other people can safely take these guidelines into consideration - after all, if something is safe for pregnant women, then it is safe for the rest of population :)

Mackerel species from clean seas (low on mercury) like Mediterranean, probably can be eaten at least as often as mackerel from North Atlantic.

Recipes for canned mackerel should be easy and fast - after all, if one wants to enjoy full flavor of mackerel, go to fish market and buy fresh ones. Or even better, try to catch few of them :)

Mackerel can be canned in ordinary vegetable oil, olive oil, various sauces or in salt water. Best tasting mackerel is canned in olive oil, IMHO of course, and lowest calorie canned mackerel comes from mackerel canned in salt water.

On this page:

- Canned Mackerel Sandwich

- Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad


Canned Mackerel Sandwich


This is one of the simplest recipes around - it can be made literaly in seconds.


For this sandwich we need one can of mackerel, two slices of whole grain bread and some lemon.

canned-mackerel-recipes-1Open the can and put content into the strainer. Oil will eventually drip out, but it can be accelerated by dripping ('washing') canned mackerel with lemon juice. Lemon juice will also give nice fresh aroma to fish meat.

Gently put the meat on the first slice of the bread ...

canned-mackerel-recipes-1... and press fish with second slice of the bread. Whole grain bread tend to crumble, so I often cut second slice of bread in two and then press.

And that is all - nothing else to do. There is no other spices, herbs, dressings etc. Olive oil and lemon are more than enough.




If it took you more than a minute to make this sandwich, then ... No comment :o)

Anyway, nutritional values of such canned mackerel sandwich are:

Food Amount Protein Carbs Fats Fibers
Canned Mackerel 80g 15g 0g 10g 0g
Whole Grain Bread 100g 8g 35g 4g 10g
Total: 23g 35g 14g 10g
Calories: 92 kcal 140 kcal 126 kcal -

This meal has around 360 kcal, mostly from complex carbs, although it is relatively well balanced among protein, carbs and fats. Protein comes from fish (mostly) and whole grain bread, carbohydrates are complex and thus digest slowly, while fats are mostly from mackerel and olive oil - most of the olive oil was 'washed' with lemon juice. Fiber content is very good.

Canned mackerel sandwich is great for breakfast or as daily snack. If you prefer meals with higher protein content, use two cans of mackerel canned in salt water (feel free to use lemon juice here, too) and only one slice of whole grain bread.

In this case, nutritional values are:

Food Amount Protein Carbs Fats Fibers
Canned Mackerel 160g 30g 0g 10g 0g
Whole Grain Bread 50g 4g 18g 2g 5g
Total: 34g 18g 12g 5g
Calories: 136 kcal 72 kcal 108 kcal -

This canned mackerel sandwich has around 320 calories, with calories from all macronutrients relatively balanced, but mostly from protein.

This is very simple recipe and try to keep it that way :)

Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad


Again, very simple recipe, just the way I like it. There are little bit more carbohydrates in this meal, when compared with most recipes on the Staying Fit, so I eat it usually on high(er) carbs days (I like it before or after workouts, for example). Also, it is very good meal for breakfast, even for endomorphs.

canned mackerel pasta saladPut the canned mackerel into the strainer and wash it with plenty of lemon juice.
canned mackerel pasta saladAfter 'washing', put the mackerel into the suitable pot. I prefer plastic pot, they are both durable and, most important, easy to clean.
canned mackerel pasta saladCook some pasta. Whole grain pasta contains plenty of slow digesting carbs and fibers. Also, plant protein found in such pasta is nice addition to mackerel (animal) protein.
Cooking is easy - put some water to boil and add some salt. Put pasta into boiling water and cook for 7-8 minutes - cooking time is usually written on the package.

canned mackerel pasta saladPut the cooked pasta into the strainer and let it settle for a few minutes. Some people put pasta into the strainer over the canned fish - I like flavor and bitterness of lemon juice on the fish meat, so I don't do this.

Try if you want, you can always add more lemon juice latter.

canned mackerel pasta saladPut pasta into the pot with canned mackerel and gently mix everything.

Canned mackerel pasta salad is ready to be served.


Nutritional value of this salad:

Food Amount Protein Carbs Fats Fibers
Salt Water Canned Mackerel 80g 15g 0g 3g 0g
Whole Wheat Pasta 100g 12g 65g 7g 12g
Total: 27g 65g 10g 12g
Calories: 108 kcal 260 kcal 90 kcal -

In this salad, there are around 460 kcal, mostly from complex carbs and the rest from protein and fats. Fiber content is also very good - around 12g (almost half of daily recommended value), all from whole grain pasta.

This meal will keep you satiated for quite some time - it is highly recommended for breakfasts and for daily meals. Similar recipes are possible using other suitable canned (tuna, salmon etc.) or fresh fish.

Canned mackerel is available year long and can be eaten right away. So, eat it :o)

Canned mackerel can be found in local stores or even ordered from online shops.

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