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Huachinango a la Veracruzana

How to Make Huachinango a la Veracruzana

Huachinango a la Veracruzana is a classic and flavorful Mexican dish, particularly popular in the Veracruz region, that features red snapper prepared in a tangy and aromatic tomato-based sauce.

Texture-wise, Huachinango a la Veracruzana typically uses red snapper or similar fish that’s been cleaned, scored, and seasoned with salt. The fish is then pan-fried or lightly sautéed until it’s cooked through, resulting in a moist and tender flesh with a crispy skin or exterior.

The sauce, known as “a la Veracruzana,” is a vibrant mixture made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, capers, green olives, jalapeños or serrano peppers, and a blend of herbs and spices such as bay leaves, thyme, and oregano. This sauce provides a delightful balance of tanginess from the tomatoes, brininess from the olives and capers, and a touch of heat from the peppers.

Once the fish is cooked, it is then topped or smothered with this savory and aromatic Veracruz-style sauce, allowing the flavors to infuse into the fish.

Huachinango a la Veracruzana is often served with rice, beans, or warm tortillas. The combination of tender fish with the zesty, tomato-based sauce creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures that’s appreciated for its savory, tangy, and aromatic qualities, making it a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine, especially in the coastal areas.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Seafood aficionados, those yearning for a taste of coastal Mexican cuisine, anyone seeking a flavorful and aromatic dining experience.
  • Estimated duration: A delightful creation ready in approximately 30 minutes, showcasing the richness of Veracruz flavors.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-rich dish with a burst of tangy and savory notes.

About this Recipe

Huachinango a la Veracruzana is a culinary masterpiece that brings together the bounty of the sea with the vibrant ingredients of Veracruz. The combination of tomatoes, olives, capers, and herbs creates a sauce that perfectly complements the delicate flavor of red snapper.

Equipment Required

  • Large skillet or frying pan with a lid
  • Mixing spoon or spatula
  • Knife and cutting board


  • 4 red snapper fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. Season the snapper: Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the red snapper fillets.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion, minced garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and create the sauce: Add cherry tomatoes, olives, capers, dried oregano, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes if using. Stir well to combine and let the tomatoes release their juices.
  4. Place the snapper: Nestle the seasoned red snapper fillets into the sauce, ensuring they are well-coated. Pour white wine over the fish.
  5. Simmer and cook: Cover the skillet with a lid and let the fish simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the snapper is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  6. Garnish and serve: Sprinkle fresh cilantro over the Huachinango a la Veracruzana and serve the fillets hot with lime wedges on the side.

Side Dishes

  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Steamed white rice or quinoa
  • Crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce

Storage Options

Huachinango a la Veracruzana is best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently to avoid overcooking the fish.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Red snapper: Substitute with other white, flaky fish like sea bass or grouper.
  • Green olives: Use black olives for a different flavor profile.

Alternatives to this Meal

Transform your Huachinango a la Veracruzana into fish tacos or serve it alongside a fresh green salad for a light and vibrant meal.


Huachinango a la Veracruzana brings the coastal flavors of Veracruz to your table, offering a taste of the sea with a zesty and aromatic twist. Whether shared with loved ones or savored as a solo treat, this recipe promises a fiesta of flavors and a celebration of Mexican coastal cuisine. ¡Buen provecho!