Basil lemon chickpeas with mackerel

Basil Lemon Chickpeas with Mackerel is a delicious recipe that showcases Lesley Waters’ expertise in preparing healthy yet satisfying dishes. This good food favorite shows that nutritious meals don’t have to compromise on taste. The combination of fresh basil and zesty lemon gives the chickpeas a refreshing touch and perfectly complements the rich and bold flavors of the mackerel. With every bite you’ll discover a harmonious balance of heartiness and savory, making this recipe a must for anyone who wants to treat themselves to a delicious meal without the guilt.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 1 bunch spring onion, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Zest 1 lemon and squeeze out the juice
  • 2 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150 ml vegetable broth
  • 85g SunBlush tomatoes, halved
  • 4 mackerel fillets, with skin on
  • 1 large bunch of basil

Preparation steps

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, flat pan.
  2. Add scallions, garlic and lemon zest to the pan.
  3. Cook for 2 minutes, until the onions are soft but still very green.
  4. Add chickpeas to skillet and stir until well coated with onion mixture.
  5. Mash the chickpeas lightly with a potato masher.
  6. Add broth and tomatoes to the pan.
  7. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  8. Set the chickpea mixture aside and let it cool slightly.
  9. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan.
  10. Fry the mackerel fillets for 3 minutes on each side, starting with the skin side.
  11. You may need to cook the fillets in two batches.
  12. Add basil and a squeeze of lemon juice to the chickpeas.
  13. Season the chickpeas to taste.
  14. Divide the warm chickpeas onto serving plates.
  15. Drizzle with a little additional olive oil.
  16. Top with the mackerel fillets.

Nutritional Information

486 31g 5g 24g 4g 7g 29g 1.21g

Equipment and tools

  • Large frying pan
  • Sharp knife
  • dulcimer
  • Zester or grater
  • citrus press
  • tin opener
  • Sieve or sieve
  • measuring cup
  • wooden spoon

Allergen information

This recipe contains fish (mackerel).

Storage and leftovers

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm up thoroughly before consumption.

Health Benefits of Basil Lemon Chickpeas with Mackerel

Basil and lemon chickpeas with mackerel are not only a delicious and filling but also nutritious meal. This dish combines the flavors of fresh basil, tangy lemon and protein-rich mackerel with the heartiness of chickpeas. Let’s explore the health benefits of each ingredient in this recipe:


Basil is not only a fragrant herb that enhances the taste of dishes, but also offers numerous health benefits:

  • Rich in antioxidants: Basil contains powerful antioxidants that protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants help prevent chronic diseases and reduce inflammation.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: The essential oils in basil possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation and related health problems.
  • Improved Digestion: Basil is traditionally used as a digestive aid because it stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, improves digestion, and reduces gas and bloating.
  • Supports Cardiovascular Health: Basil is a good source of vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease.


In addition to adding a tangy flavor to dishes, lemons also provide several health benefits:

  • Strengthening the immune system: Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps fight common illnesses like flu and colds.
  • Detoxification: Lemon contains citric acid, which stimulates the liver to produce specific enzymes that help in detoxification and flush out toxins from the body.
  • Improved Digestion: Lemon juice can promote healthy digestion by stimulating the production of bile and stomach acid. This can relieve digestive problems and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Hydration: Lemon water is an excellent and refreshing way to hydrate the body and support optimal body functions.


Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are an important source of plant-based protein and several essential nutrients:

  • Rich in Protein: Chickpeas are a valuable source of plant-based protein and are therefore an excellent option for vegetarian and vegan diets. Protein is essential for cell repair and growth and supports muscle building and overall health.
  • Rich in fiber: These legumes are rich in fiber, which helps regulate digestion, maintain intestinal activity and promote satiety. This can be beneficial for weight control and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Chickpeas provide important vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, iron, magnesium and zinc and support overall health and body functions.


Mackerel is a fatty fish that offers several health benefits:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Mackerel is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Rich in Protein: Mackerel is a great source of high-quality protein that supports muscle growth, muscle repair and overall health.
  • Rich in nutrients: Mackerel is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, selenium and vitamin D, which promote overall well-being and support various body functions.

The combination of all these ingredients in basil lemon chickpeas with mackerel not only creates a flavorful and filling meal, but also offers a number of health benefits. This dish is a good choice for anyone looking for a nutritious and delicious option.

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