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10 Easy Canned Mackerel Recipes

by Gina Elizabeth
Canned Mackerel Recipes

Keep these easy canned mackerel ideas and recipes in your back pocket to pull out on a busy day.

Convenience is delicious.

Best Canned Mackerel Recipes

These canned mackerel recipes will help you get dinner or a tasty snack on the table in a flash.

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1. Garlic Canned Mackerel Linguine Recipe

Best Canned Mackerel Recipes - Garlic Linguine

The garlic-seasoned main dish calls for handy pantry ingredients, including pasta and canned salmon. Serve it with asparagus.


  • 1 package (16 ounces) linguine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) mackerel, drained, bones and skin removed
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Cook linguine according to package directions; drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through. Add linguine; toss gently to combine.

2. Spring Canned Mackerel Chowder Recipe

You can’t help but fill up on this creamy, cheesey mackerel chowder.


  • 2 cups cauliflowerets
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) mackerel, drained, skin and bones removed
  • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine cauliflower and water. Microwave, covered, on high for 4-5 minutes or until tender, stirring once.
  • In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add celery and green onions; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour, salt and dill until blended; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Stir in mackerel, peas and cauliflower; heat through. Stir in cheeses until melted. Serve immediately.

3. Avocado Canned Mackerel Sandwich Recipe

Skip the mayo and use avocado instead!


  • 2 (5 ounce) cans mackerel
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons red onion minced, about 2 small slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, combine mackerel, celery, and onion.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado. Then mix thoroughly with the fish and vegetables.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

4. Mexican Canned Mackerel Avocado Boats Recipe

Canned mackerel avocado boat recipe

For a grain-free, paleo-friendly way to serve mackerel salad, skip the sandwich bread, and opt for an avocado boat.

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 (5 oz.) cans mackerel
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1/3 cup celery finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion minced, about 2 small slices
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine mackerel, celery, and onion.
  2. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pit.
  3. Fill the avocado halves with the filling
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

5. Canned Mackerel Patties Recipe

Canned Mackerel Patties

Made with canned mackerel, these patties are good hot or cold. I usually serve them on buns with slices of ripe tomato, sweet red onion, and red and green bell pepper.


  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (6 oz.) crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup bread crumbs, green onions, red pepper, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne; fold in crab.
  2. Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide mixture into eight portions; shape into 2-in. balls. Gently coat in bread crumbs and shape into 1/2-in.-thick patties.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes; cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes on each side.

6. Canned Mackerel Alfredo Casserole Recipe

Tuna casserole is the ultimate in comfort food—but when it’s made with just five ingredients and updated with some pesto and fancy pasta, it’s also fun to make (and eat)! Not including the salt for the pasta water or the cooking spray (these are really pantry items), this five-ingredient tuna Alfredo casserole recipe is perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight.


  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups mafalda, mostaccioli, or penne pasta
  • 1 (10-ounce) container refrigerated cheese or Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade basil pesto
  • 12 ounces canned mackerel, drained and chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. 
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions, taking one minute off the cooking time. When the pasta is almost al dente, drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Alfredo sauce and the pesto in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the cooked pasta and mackerel, mixing gently.
  4. Pour the mackerel mixture into a greased 2-quart glass baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is hot.

7. Canned Mackerel Mousse Cups Recipe

Canned Mackerel Mousse Cups

I make these tempting little tarts frequently for parties. They disappear at an astonishing speed, so I usually double or triple the recipe. The mackerel-cream cheese filling and flaky crust will melt in your mouth.


  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  1. 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  2. 1 can (6 oz.) mackerel
  3. 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  4. 2 tablespoons sour cream
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill


  1. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour and mix well. Shape into 24 balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups.
  2. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the mackerel, broth, sour cream, onion, lemon juice and salt until blended. Spoon into the shells. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with dill.

8. Canned Mackerel Pasta Casserole Recipe

Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce

A quick trip under the broiler gives this pasta bake a melty Parmesan.


  • 1 can (10 oz.) cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 2 cups yolk-free noodles, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 can (5 oz.) water-packed mackerel
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  • In a large bowl, combine soup and milk until smooth. Add the noodles, peas, mackerel, and tomatoes; mix well.
  • Pour into a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 25 minutes. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown.

9. Canned Mackerel Party Spread Recipe


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (7-1/2 ounces) mackerel, drained, flaked and cartilage removed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
  • Finely chopped pecans or additional parsley
  • Crackers


  • In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients; stir until well blended. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Transfer to a serving bowl; if desired, sprinkle with pecans or parsley. Serve with crackers.

10. Canned Mackerel Baked Empanadas Recipe

Canned Mackerel Empanada Recipe

Made with canned mackerel, these baked empanadas are good hot or cold.


  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 2 bell peppers red and green, sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 3 cans mackerel (15 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • ½ cup of olives sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of capers
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Filling Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, peppers, crushed garlic, and paprika. Cook until golden the onions and peppers are soft and start to brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the mackerel, mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir as needed.
  • Add the oregano, sliced olives, capers, and lemon juice. Mix well, taste and add salt/pepper to taste. Cook for a few minutes, then remove from heat and let the tuna fish mix cool down before using to fill the empanadas.


  • Place a large spoonful of the mackerel filling on the center of each empanada disc
  • Fold the empanada discs and gently seal the edges with your fingers. Twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers. You can also use a fork to press down and seal the edges.
  • Chill the empanadas for at least an hour, this will help them seal better and prevent them for opening while baking


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
  • Brush the empanadas with the egg wash before baking; this helps them achieve that nice golden finish when baked
  • Bake the empanadas for 18-20 minutes or until golden on top
  • Serve the empanadas alone or with a dipping sauce

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Canned Mackerel FAQs

What does canned mackerel taste like?

Canned mackerel is richer and milder than canned tuna, and even more sustainable. Canned mackerel also has a milder flavor than sardines or anchovies. Since mackerel is a fattier fish than tuna, it turns especially rich when canned in olive oil.