Marmitako Recipe | Basque Tuna Stew - Spanish Sabores

Marmitako Recipe | Basque Tuna Stew

Today I share with you an easy and quick marmitako recipe. This Basque tuna stew is bursting with flavor and is ready in less than an hour!

Marmitako a Basque tuna stew.
Delicious marmitako

Every time I see marmitako on a restaurant’s daily lunch menu I have to order it. This Basque tuna stew is bursting with the flavor of fresh vegetables, smokey paprika, and fresh tuna. It’s a dish that everyone loves — even friends who “don’t like fish” are swayed by good marmitako.

Easy Marmitako Recipe

Like all of my recipes, I look for something simple, quick (where possible!) and delicious. 

What is in marmitako?

There are countless recipes on the internet and in the Spanish cookbooks I own. Each one is slightly different, but all have peppers, onions, paprika, and tuna. Some have tomatoes, carrots, and wine. 

Basque tuna stew with potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes
My version of marmitako includes sweet cherry tomatoes

My marmitako recipe does have a dry white wine (Basque txakoli would be perfect if you can get it!) and uses cherry tomatoes for a rustic (and easy– no dicing!) adaptation.

Marmitako a Basque tuna stew.

Marmitako Recipe | Basque Tuna Stew

This easy marmitako recipe is based on the famous Basque tuna stew.
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 422.83kcal


  • Approx. 1 pound about half a kilo of raw tuna, cut into cubes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 4-5 medium potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes or two diced medium tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp. pimentón smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Chopped parsley leaves for garnish
  • Red pepper paste or a dried sweet red pepper in Spain I use ñora -- you could substitute a spicy pepper for a kick!
  • Optional: cilantro instead of parsley


  • Coat the bottom on a heavy pot with olive oil and place on medium heat.
  • Add the diced bell pepper and onion and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent (but not brown).
  • Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the red pepper paste (or dried pepper) and the paprika and stir to coat everything.
  • Now add the tomatoes and cook for about one minute.
  • Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook for about one minute.
  • Add 2 cups of fish broth and 1 cup of water.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).
  • Add a bit more broth or water if necessary.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional).
  • Right before adding the tuna, use the back of a spoon to mash a few of the potatoes in the stew. This will release more starch and thicken the stew a bit more once the tuna is added
  • Add the cubes of tuna and let simmer for five minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and cover for 5-10 more minutes. Taste a piece of tuna to make sure it's fully cooked, and serve immediately.
  • Although it's not traditional, I sometimes serve this over basmati rice, which makes it last even longer!


Calories: 422.83kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.88g | Protein: 32.97g | Fat: 7.31g | Saturated Fat: 1.71g | Cholesterol: 43.09mg | Sodium: 74.1mg | Potassium: 1588.37mg | Fiber: 7.2g | Sugar: 8.31g | Vitamin A: 4555.16IU | Vitamin C: 105.6mg | Calcium: 67.69mg | Iron: 4.09mg
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Pair your stew with a delicious Basque dessert!

What do you think? Will you give this marmitako recipe a try?

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I'm obsessed with the seafood in Spain, and the Basque Country has some of the best. This marmitako (typical Basque tuna stew) combines it with bright, healthy veggies and other local products to create an easy and memorable meal. Try my recipe and let me know what you think!


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