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This Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish with Chickpeas is simple enough to cook for an elevated weeknight meal, but elegant enough to impress at your next dinner party! The layers of flavor are seriously out of this world and I know you are all going to love this one.

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish in white skillet on tiled counter.

I absolutely love the flavors of this skillet dinner! Saffron comes together with white wine, garlic, warm spices, parsley, and more to create a sauce that is layered in flavor for the base of your meal. In under an hour, you will have tender chickpeas, a delicious sauce, and perfectly flaky fish. What more could you want?

Close up of Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish on a skillet.

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish with Chickpeas Step-by-step:

Step one: bloom the saffron

To start, bloom your saffron in the white wine. Set aside while you begin preparing the rest of the recipe!

Step Two: Saute the Veggies

In your large skillet or braiser, sauté the shallot, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil with the salt and pepper until just tender.

Step Three: Start the Chickpeas

Add the chickpeas, smoked paprika, and cumin to the skillet. Continue to cook until the spices are lightly toasted and fragrant. Next, pour the white wine and saffron mixture into the skillet. Let everything simmer until the wine is reduced by half.

Chickpeas and other ingredients in a white skillet.

Step Four: Make the Sauce and Cook the Chickpeas

To the skillet, add the tomato sauce, broth, and parsley then stir to combine. Bring to a rapid simmer. Once simmering, reduce to a light simmer, cover, and cook until the chickpeas start to get tender.

Chickpeas simmering in broth in a white skillet.

Step Five: Add the spinach and Fish

Now, it’s time to add the spinach and fish. Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until wilted. Nestle the fish filets into the chickpeas and spoon some of the sauce over each of the filets. Sprinkle the top of the filet with a pinch more of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and poach the fish until cooked through.

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish in skillet. Fish and spinach added.

Step Six: Serve and Enjoy!

To serve, transfer the fish to a plate and ladle the chickpeas around and over the fish. Serve with a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. 

Recipe FAQ:

Why do I need to let the saffron bloom?

This enhances the flavor, aroma, and color of the saffron leading to a delicious final recipe.

What type of fish should I use?

I typically use halibut here, but you can also use cod. You may just need to adjust the cooking time if the cod is a thicker filet.

How do I know if my fish is cooked?

The fish only needs to cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Once you can easily flake the filet with a fork you know it is ready!

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish in white skillet on tiled counter.

I hope y’all love this Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish with Chickpeas! Comment below once you make it!

For more recipes:

Roast Fish with White Beans and Calabrian Chiles

Mediterranean Orzo and Chickpea Stuffed Bell Peppers

Fish Puttanesca en Papillote

Curried Chili

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish in white skillet on tiled counter.
5 from 3 votes

Spanish-Inspired Simmered White Fish with Chickpeas

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Pinch of saffron (about 20 threads)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell seeded/core removed and diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Two [15-ounce] cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8- ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable or seafood broth
  • ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of ½ lemon
  • 4 cups packed baby spinach
  • Four [6-ounce] skinless boneless filets of halibut (cod works here, too)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
  • red pepper flakes, optional for serving

Instructions 

  • In a measuring cup, add the white wine and add the pinch of saffron, crumbling the saffron between your fingertips to break them up a bit. Set aside to allow the saffron to bloom.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or braiser over medium heat. Add the shallot, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper and cook, stirring until the veggies are tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, smoked paprika, and cumin and continue to cook, tossing gently to gently to toast the spices, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the white wine and saffron mixture and let simmer until reduced by half, 2 to 3 more minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, broth, and flat leaf parsley and stir to combine. Bring to a rapid simmer. Once simmering, reduce to a light simmer, cover, and cook until the chickpeas are starting to get tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the spinach until wilted. Nestle the fish filets into the chickpeas and spoon some of the sauce over each of the filets. Sprinkle the top of the filet with a pinch more of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cover and poach the fish until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. You will know the fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
  • To serve, transfer the fish to a plate and ladle the chickpeas around and over the fish. Serve with a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 970mg, Potassium: 1017mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1541IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 4
Calories: 299

Food Photography and Styling by Eat Love Eats.



Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!


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8 Comments

  1. So this was amazing! I didn’t see in the recipe when the lemon zest was supposed to be added. I did it with the parsley, broth and tomato sauce and it turned out great, but just want to make sure I was staging it correctly.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! This was my first time using saffron, so I was a little intimidated but for no reason. The smoked paprika gives it a wonderful flavor. Will definitely make this again!