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.
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. If the idea of Instant Pot frozen fish isn’t very appealing, wait till you try this dish. It’s a dump-n-cook recipe that is fantastic even for Instant Pot beginners.
ITALIAN INSTANT POT FISH INGREDIENTS
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 1/2 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 ITALIAN FISH WITH
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
Instant Pot Fish Italian-Style (From Frozen)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Main
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
This delicate yet robust with flavors Instant Pot fish dish is cooked with frozen sea bass and Italian-flavored broth of cherry tomatoes, olives, capers and roast peppers. Serve it with pasta, potatoes or crusty bread or a side of veggies for a Whole30/paleo/low-carb version.
Add the water to the Instant Pot. We’re only using 1/4 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
Cooking fresh fish: Add 1/2 cup water and set to LOW PRESSURE for 5 minutes with 7-8 minutes release.
Cooking larger fish fillets: Increase time to 6 minutes on HIGH.
- Serving Size: 1 fillet (3-4 oz of fish)
- Calories: 224
- Sugar: 1.4 g
- Sodium: 824.1 mg
- Fat: 12.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
- Fiber: 1.8 g
- Protein: 23.9 g
- Cholesterol: 51.3 mg
Keywords: Sea bass, White Fish, Frozen Fish, Mediterranean, Whole30
SAVE THIS INSTANT POT FISH RECIPE TO PINTEREST
Very Very good ! And so easy to make ! Thank you
I want to try this, but with chicken. Either frozen or fresh…will it work?
Yes, it will but you will need to increase the cooking time. If you use fresh chicken breast, cut into 2 pieces, the pressure cooking time can be 10 minute son HIGH pressure with quick release after.
This was so amazingly fast, easy, and delicious. Ate it with rice and finished every last drop of the broth. Thank you for this recipe!
Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!
This was an absolute hit. Very easy to make with the directions. It is for sure a keeper. I am sure you can change the veggies and seasonings for a different region of cuisine. I served it with roasted potatoes. Very good.
We are so happy you enjoyed it. And yes you can definitely change up the seasonings.
How long if I double the recipe? Double the water?
I’d say only add another half of the water amount, add maybe 3 more minutes to cooking time, and more of all the other ingredients so the flavor is still full.
Can I add some fresh veggies in like zuchinni and or broccoli to make it a more complete meal? If so, can I add them in the beginning?
Zucchini and broccoli have different cooking times from frozen fish. You should cook separately. It’s possible to add at the beginning with the fish for zero minutes, take out the veggies then continue cooking the fish for the remaining amount of time from the recipe.
This was so easy to make and I was surprised at how tasty it was because there are not very many ingredients. It was delicious and I will definitely be making this again.
Very tasty and so easy! I used fresh fish and so I followed the note and it came out perfect. I served it over pasta. I think next time I will add al little garlic. I’ll definitely make it again.
Can you use frozen skinless salmon fillets?
Yes, they will work the same way here and the sauce will go nicely too.
I made this tonight and it turned out great! I used cod and forgot it could be used frozen so I treated it as fresh fish. Next time I use thawed fish, I will leave the liquid with it rather than throwing it down the drain. We had Italian chiabatta bread with it to soak up the broth. Wonderful! We will definitely have this again soon.
This was amazing it will be on my weekly rotation. I used Cod and I broke it down for only one piece of fish. I only needed one serving for me. I LOVED IT!
Thanks so much
What do you think the cooking time would be for just 2 servings? Should I add more water also? Thanks!
Same cooking time, no need to add extra water.
Loved this meal, thank you. Followed instructions and everything worked out fine. We used regular frozen whiting fillets. Served over rice as we’re gluten-free. Making this again and will try with different fish.
Recipe tastes fine. But my frozen fish was raw after the cooking time indicated in this recipe, even though a neighbour stopping by had me leave the NPR for 13 minutes. I had to cook it twice more, once for one minute (w/ 3 min NPR) and a second time for 2 minutes (w/ 5 min NPR) to get it to an edible doneness. And I only used one large filet cut in half.
Hi Rachel, was your Instant Pot set to HIGH pressure? The only thing I can think of is maybe it was set to LOW. Even if the fish fillets were much thicker, it might only need another minute or so extra. What fish did you use? I am intrigued and want to be able to troubleshoot this with you.