Cooking fish can be intimidating as is, let alone trying to figure out how to cook frozen fish in the Instant Pot. Today, we're going to show you a super quick and easy recipe for Instant Pot fish braised in Italian broth of cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and roasted peppers. It's bursting with Mediterranean flavors, and you can make it with frozen white fish or salmon. Bonus: this dish is healthy and nutritious and is perfect for gluten-free, paleo, low-carb and Whole30 diets.
Instant Pot Fish Italian Style (From Frozen)
This Instant Pot fish recipe is so ridiculously easy and delicious that it will quickly become your weekly staple. Helped by the fact that it's healthy and nutritious and you can make it with budget-friendly frozen fish, it's worth trying even if you don't often cook fish at home.
The frozen fish is cooked in the Instant Pot in Italian broth flavored with classic Mediterranean ingredients: olives, garlic, capers, tomatoes and healthy olive oil. The flavors are tangy and savory with a little sweetness from cherry tomatoes, and it infuses the fish while it braises in the broth.
What You'll Need
Let's break down what you need to make this gorgeous, flaky, tender Instant Pot fish dish. The good news is that all of these ingredients are easily accessible and you might already have them:
- Frozen fish: We used two frozen sea bass white fish fillets. They came as whole fillets, which didn't fit in our 6q Instant Pot. We ran them under hot water for 10 seconds and then cut each fillet in two halves. You can use pretty much any frozen fish in this recipe as these Italian flavors are very versatile.
- Tomatoes: We love using cherry tomatoes as they are sweeter and have more flavor (and they look pretty), but you can cut a couple of whole Roma tomatoes into quarters instead. You can replace fresh tomatoes with ½ cup or so of tinned tomatoes.
- Pickled stuff: We used dried black olives, but you could also go with regular Kalamata olives or green olives. Our other two Italian ingredients were marinated baby capers and roasted, pickled red peppers. You can find these ingredients in the same section as other pickles or get them online. They are great in pasta dishes, sandwiches and salads, so leftovers won't go to waste.
- The classics: Olive oil, garlic and chili flakes are the classic Mediterranean and Italian ingredients and of course, they are part of this dish.
How To Cook Frozen Fish In Instant Pot
Here is the best part! Cooking Instant Pot frozen fish is the easiest thing ever. Because frozen fish takes a little longer than fresh fish, we get enough cooking time for the broth to develop its flavors. If you were to do fresh fish in the Instant Pot, the cooking time would be much, much shorter and might not result in the same broth.
So, the first step is to add the frozen fish fillets to the pot. Scatter the rest of the ingredients on top and in between the fillets. Add some water, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt and chili flakes. THAT. IS. IT.
Pop the lid on top, set to HIGH pressure for 4 minutes, then allow 5-7 minutes for natural pressure release. When you open the lid, the broth will have the most fantastic smell, tomatoes will look a little burst, and the fish should be soft and flaky.
Use a spatula to gently transfer the cooked fillets to a serving platter or individual plates and scoop up the leftover broth and ingredients to pour over the top. Serve with a little fresh parsley or basil on top.
What To Serve With Italian Fish
Depending on your dietary needs, there are a few ways to serve this tasty Instant Pot Italian fish. There is quite a bit of broth, which you don't want to waste, so picking something that can soak it all up is the key.
For the authentic Italian experience, you can serve this fish and broth over some al dente cooked pasta, boiled potatoes, rice or with a side of crusty bread. Cooked quinoa or lentils would also work well as a side dish.
For a low-carb/Whole30/paleo version, serve over cauliflower rice, cooked sweet potatoes or white potatoes, or with zucchini noodles.
MORE INSTANT POT FISH RECIPES
- 10 Instant Pot Fish & Seafood Stew Recipes
- Instant Pot Soy-Ginger Salmon With Broccoli
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Salmon With Peas
- Best Instant Pot Salmon Recipes
- More Instant Pot Italian Recipes
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let us know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.
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Instant Pot Fish Italian-Style (From Frozen)
- ¼ cup water
- 4 frozen white fish fillets about 3-4 oz. each (we used 2 whole sea bass fillets cut in halves)
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 12-14 black olives we used these
- 2 tablespoons marinated baby capers
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ⅓ cup sliced roasted red peppers like this brand
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A pinch of chili flakes
- Garnish: chopped fresh parsley or basil optional
- Add the water to the Instant Pot. We're only using ¼ cup because the frozen fish will defrost during cooking and give out a lot of liquid.
- Place the frozen fish fillets in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients (scatter them around and on top). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the sea salt and chilli flakes.
- Pop and close the lid. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure for 4 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up pressure and the cooking will commence. Once the timer goes off, allow 7-8 minutes for the pressure to release naturally and then do the quick release to let off the steam.
- Open the lid and use a spatula to carefully remove the fish fillets. Pour the broth and the cooked ingredients over the top and serve. Garnish with a little chopped parsley or basil