Inspired by the coastal cuisine of Veracruz, Mexico, this traditional dish is an easy way to fit heart-healthy seafood into everyday meals. Typically made with red snapper (huachinango in Spanish), any mild finfish is complemented with a spicy and tangy Veracruz sauce, made with tomato, olives, capers, olive oil, oregano and other herbs.
1½ pounds snapper or any mild finfish fillets*
Juice from one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 sliced lime, for garnish
Fresh parsley, for garnish
8 whole wheat tortillas, warmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 to 4 tablespoons sliced, pitted green olives
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons drained capers
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 bay leaf
Before you begin: Wash your hands.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (176ºC).
- Arrange the snapper or other fish in a 12-by-7½-inch ovenproof baking dish.
- Combine the lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper in a small bowl. Brush the snapper with the lime juice mixture. Cover; marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour (no longer than 2 hours).
- To make the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium nonstick skillet. Add the onion; cook and stir until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, jalapeno pepper, garlic, capers, oregano, marjoram and bay leaf. Cover; simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
- To bake the snapper, pour the tomato mixture over the marinated snapper, lifting the fillets to allow the sauce to flow underneath.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fish becomes flaky. Baste with the sauce during the cooking time.
- To serve, remove the bay leaf, and garnish with lime slices and parsley.
- Serve with warmed tortillas.
- For other milder finfish, try codfish, flounder, haddock, halibut, or tilapia.
- Tip: Use Veracruz-style sauce when preparing chicken breasts, too!
Calories: 560; Calories from fat: 140; Total fat: 16g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 580mg; Total carbohydrate: 55g; Dietary fiber: 7g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 44g
Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND, is author of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide and 365 Days of Healthy Eating.
Find a Nutrition Expert
Looking for credible nutrition information and recommendations? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' network of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners are ready to help!