Basil & lemon chickpeas with mackerel

Basil & lemon chickpeas with mackerel

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
Good Food favourite Lesley Waters proves that healthy can be hearty - and tasty too!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal486
  • fat31g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre7g
  • protein29g
  • salt1.21g
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  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 bunch spring onion, sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • zest 1 lemon and squeeze of juice



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 85g SunBlush tomato, halved
  • 4 mackerel fillets, skin on


    Mackerel is a firm-fleshed, torpedo-shaped sea fish. Whole mackerel weigh in around 10-12oz (…

  • 1 large bunch basil



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, shallow pan. Add the spring onions, garlic and lemon zest, then cook for 2 mins until the onions are tender but still very green. Add the chickpeas, then stir until well coated in the onion mixture. Lightly crush with a potato masher, then add the stock and tomatoes. Simmer for 3-4 mins or until the liquid is absorbed, then set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Season the mackerel fillets on both sides and fry for 3 mins each side, starting on the skin side. You’ll probably need to cook these in two batches.

  3. Add the basil and a squeeze of lemon juice to the chickpeas, then season to taste. To serve, spoon the warm chickpeas onto serving plates, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and top with the mackerel fillets.

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th Jul, 2020
We used smoked mackerel. Really enjoyed it and very quick and easy to make.
Che Guevaraa's picture
Che Guevaraa
31st Jan, 2020
The chickpeas are lovely it was a really good way to bring them to life. I had to use onion because I didn’t have spring onion so I think it would’ve been even nicer with spring. I never had mackeral before. I don’t think I’m a fan. But if you do like mackeral this is a great dish lol. I would personally try it again but with sea bass or maybe smoked mackerel because plain mackerel is a bit boring to me.
5th Sep, 2019
Could not believe how so few ingredients could make such a delicious supper. I must admit I forgot the basil. Didn't add stock, but one of the tins I didn't drain so used that 'juice'. Used a tin of butter beans and a tin of mixed beans as that was what I had! Added chopped fresh spinach at the end and simply popped the mackerel fillets under the grill for a few mins. Served with a simple tomato salad. The best bit is that there is enough of the bean mix for my lunch tomorrow. Yum!
18th Jun, 2019
Other than using pre cooked mackerel fillets and sundried tomatoes as its what I had, I didn't change anything and it was great! So quick and easy to make.
27th Oct, 2017
I halved the ingredients. I didn't add stock whilst cooking the chick peas just some of the water from the tin - I think it would have been very wet if I had added stock. I omitted the lemon zest because I only had a very ropey looking lemon left but I added the juice. I also used regular cooking onion as opposed to spring onions (but I think it would have been tastier with spring onions.) Overall, a great tasting dish with wonderful flavours but not the best looking when it's on the plate. Very quick and easy to make too so I'll make it again.
11th Oct, 2016
This was much tastier than I expected! I also used sundried tomatoes and added extra garlic and spinach to the chickpeas. Delicious!
7th Jun, 2015
Used red onion instead of spring onions as I didn't have any, but followed the recipe apart from that and we really enjoyed it. My son commented that it was a "Spanish style dish" by which he means great on flavour but not great to look at!
23rd Apr, 2015
I took on board some of the comments, and ended up completely altering this recipe because I swapped the chickpeas for linguine. Swapped the tomatoes for sundried ones in olive oil. Added a fresh red chilli and assorted fresh Italian herbs. Used smoked mackerel. Added lemon zest but not the juice. Didn't use the stock. Seasoned with salt + pepper. Served with rocket + balsamic on the side.
Bigspottedcat's picture
28th Apr, 2012
PS - I used sun dried tomatoes seasoned in olive oil. The fresh basil and lemon juice really make the chick peas pop out against the oily fish.
Bigspottedcat's picture
28th Apr, 2012
DELICIOUS! Got fresh mackerel from the Harbour and stuck to the recipe. My 3 year old loved it as did his parents. YUM YUM


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