Paleo Swordfish Stew with Roast Asparagus

Paleo Swordfish Stew

Swordfish. What the what? I’d never cooked this before I found some on sale and figured I’d give it a whirl. The nice friendly guy behind the counter told me how “meaty” it was supposed to be which sounded great until I got it home and realized that I had no idea how to cook it. Or what in the heck “meaty” even means when you’re talking about a fillet of fish. Oh well. I should probably learn to ask more questions. But this recipe was the almost-accidentally delicious outcome, so maybe I’ll keep bumbling my way around grocery store and kitchen alike. I’ve tweaked this a couple of times and you can totally sub in other white fish (amending the cooking time a little, obvs) or even use the sauce (awesome when made ahead) to top pounded grilled chicken breasts. Or pretty much anything you can thing of, this stuff is GUD. I’ll be honest and admit I bastardized a semi-Sicilian recipe from my days of hopping around the Mediterranean. And I don’t even regret it. Jalapeno is totally good with olives, peeps.

As a side note, I used fresh tomatoes for this because I still have a metric crap ton of them to use up before summer gives out. If you want to know how to core and seed them (it’s easy!), watch this handy lil’ video. But if you don’t have those around and want to cut a step or two, feel free to sub in chopped tomatoes – just make sure you drain out the excess liquid or you’ll get soup rather than stew.

So, the first thing I did was seed out my tomatoes. Next time I’ll actually take some pictures, I swear. Then I threw some coconut oil in a small pan to heat while I diced up a jalapeno and some onion, as well as smashed up a few garlic cloves. Those went into the pan on a low-medium heat to soften while I dealt with this bad boy:

paleo swordfish

You can see on the right that there is a layer of skin that needs to be removed, it’s actually really tough so be careful and use a very sharp / heavy knife. I diced my fillets into half inch pieces and set them to one side. By now the contents of the pan were softened and I added some stock, tomato paste, olives and seasonings. I turned the heat up so that it came to an almost boil and then back down to a simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or so to reduce. If you like your stews thicker, let it cook down longer, just keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t dry out completely. While it reduced, I preheated the oven to 400F and lopped some ends of a bunch of asparagus, tossing them in some oil and black pepper.

swordfish sauce

Once the sauce looked almost done, I put the asparagus in the oven to roast and added the swordfish to the pan. I made sure the fish was stirred evenly through the stew and covered it so that it steamed gently at a low heat. This took about 8 – 10 minutes in my oven, but may take less in yours, so watch for it to see that it turns nicely opaque to see when it’s done. Once it was done, I removed it from the heat, still covered, and let it rest while the asparagus finished up. I served the paleo swordfish stew over a bed of the roast asparagus. Happy plate!


Paleo swordfish stew with roast asparagus

This Paleo swordfish stew could be made with any other kind of firm white fish. The stew combines fresh tomatoes, olives, fennel and a little heat!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 lb swordfish or other firm white fish
  • 10 oz seeded / cored fresh tomatoes or equivalent canned and drained
  • 1/2 tbl coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of stock
  • 1/3 cup olives, chopped
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • pinch fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  1. Core, de-seed and roughly chop the fresh tomatoes, if using. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium sized pan on a low-med heat with the coconut oil. Add diced jalapeno, onion and garlic. Soften until translucent while you skin / dice the fish. Set the fish aside for now.
  3. Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and olives to the pan, increasing the heat to bring it to an almost-boil. Add the fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and black pepper, then adjust the heat to an even simmer, letting the sauce reduce, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking down, preheat your oven to 400F and remove the tough ends from your asparagus. Lay your asparagus spears out on a baking tray or pan and toss them in a little oil with your preferred seasonings.
  5. When your stew looks almost to the thickness you like, put the asparagus in the oven and add the swordfish to the pan. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and let it gently steam / simmer for about 8 – 10 minutes. Adjust time accordingly if you’re using a lighter white fish.
  6. When the swordfish is evenly opaque, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to rest, covered, while your asparagus finishes up.
  7. Serve the stew on a bed of roast asparagus.


  1. just made this for myself and my boyfriend.. it was delicious 🙂 he doesn’t like olives so basically hardly ate some of the sauce.. more for me. followed your recipe exactly and it was very easy. yummy. great first experience cooking swordfish.

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