Marinate fish at home

How to preserve fresh mackerel at home

Wondering what to do with mackerel fish to change a bit? We can easily preserve mackerel at home to have a fish fillet full of flavor and super healthy, that stores easily in the fridge up to a week. Just like a canned mackerel, but make it more fresh and healthy!

An easy way to have a main protein to pair with a side veggies or in a salad; but also a delicious adding to a tomato sauce to your pasta.

Mackerels are often considered a low-value sea food alternative, yet it’s a great fish with a high nutritional profile. You just need to know how to cook it well!

How to preserve mackerel at home

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Course: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


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  • 1 kg / 35 oz (4 medium) fresh mackerel

  • fresh persil, mint, basil and rosemary

  • one organic lemon and one orange

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt

How to

  • Clean mackerels from their entrails (or ask your fish shop to do it!)
  • Prepare a pot of boiling water, then add one sliced organic lemon, one organic orange, the rosemary, and a teaspoon of salt.
  • Turn the heat on medium and then slip the whole mackerels into the simmering water.
  • Boil them for 20 minutes. Drain and let them cool down.
  • Remove the skin and the bones from the fishes, keeping only the fillets. Check
  • Place the cleaned mackerel fillets in a casserole, layering them with persil, mint, basil leaves in between the fish. Pour some good extra-virgin olive oil on top of everything.
  • Let the mackerel marinate for at least 1h, the more they marinate, the more flavorful they will be.


  • You can also omit some herbs or the citrus, following your taste and what you have on hand.

Once you have understood how to preserve your mackerel fillets, you can add it to a salad bowl, with some capers and lemon slices. But salad is just an option: you could eat it on a bruschetta, as pasta sauce or straight from the casserole!

You can also make preserve jar to store it in your pantry or make a gift to someone.

Salad bowl with mackerel


  1. Helen Wells

    Hi. How long will the mackerel keep in the jar /fridge, or is it possible to freeze it? Thanks.

    • Hi Helen,
      If you cover them with a good amount of oil, they can stay in a sealed jar in the fridge for a whole week. But I never tried to freeze them. Let me know if you try!

  2. Pingback: Quick and easy Mackerel Spaghetti - Marta in the jar

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