The 7 Best Substitutes for Swordfish

We’ve all experienced a time when we’ve gone to the grocery store with a recipe in hand that calls for swordfish only to find that it’s not available.

Have no fear!

I’m here to present to you the 7 best substitutes for swordfish.

What is a Swordfish?

Lemon Garlic Swordfish

A swordfish is a large, migratory fish found in the warmer parts of all oceans.

It gets its name from its long, flat bill that looks like a sword.

Swordfish are strong swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 60 mph (97 km/h).

They have dark blue backs with white bellies and can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length and weigh as much as 1,400 pounds (635 kg).

Swordfish are highly sought after for their meat which has a firm texture and rich flavor.

It’s often served grilled or broiled but can also be steamed, poached or baked.

The flesh is slightly pinkish when raw but turns white when cooked.

Swordfish are considered overfished in some areas due to their popularity so it’s important to make sure you buy sustainable seafood whenever possible.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Swordfish

Swordfish is a popular seafood item, but it can sometimes be hard to come by.

Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes for swordfish that can add the same flavor and texture to your recipes.

If you’re looking for a substitute for swordfish, consider these seven alternatives:

1. Halibut

Halibut is a type of flatfish that can be found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

It’s a large, white fish with a mild flavor and firm texture.

Halibut is popular for its versatility; it can be cooked in many different ways including baking, grilling, frying, steaming, and poaching.

Halibut makes a great alternative to Swordfish because it has similar nutritional benefits but contains less mercury than Swordfish.

Halibut also tends to have fewer contaminants than other types of fish which makes it safer to eat on a regular basis.

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It’s high in protein and low in fat which makes it an excellent source of lean protein for those looking to reduce their intake of saturated fats or cholesterol.

In addition to being healthier than Swordfish, Halibut is often more affordable as well making it an even better option for those trying to watch their budget while still eating healthy meals at home.

2. Mahi Mahi

Mahi mahi is a type of fish that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.

It has a mild, sweet flavor and firm texture, making it an excellent choice for grilling, baking, or pan-searing.

Mahi mahi is also known as dorado or dolphin fish (although it’s not related to dolphins). Its name comes from the Hawaiian language, where “mahi” means strong and “mahi mahi” translates to very strong.

Mahi mahi is a good alternative to swordfish because it contains fewer toxins than swordfish does due to its shorter lifespan and smaller size.

Swordfish are much larger than mahi mahi so they have more time to accumulate mercury and other pollutants from their environment.

Mahi mahi are also more abundant in many areas which makes them easier to source sustainably.

3. Tuna

Tuna is a type of fish found in the oceans all over the world. It is considered to be one of the most popular types of seafood due to its versatility, delicious flavor, and easy availability.

Tuna can be eaten raw or cooked and is often canned for convenience. It’s an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy choice for those looking to add more seafood into their diet.

When it comes to choosing a sustainable alternative to swordfish, tuna is an excellent option.

Tuna are generally caught using methods that have minimal impact on other species in the ocean and they are managed by international regulations designed to ensure their populations remain healthy.

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Additionally, some varieties of tuna (such as skipjack) require less energy input per pound than swordfish which makes them more environmentally friendly overall.

4. Salmon

Salmon is a type of fish that can be found in both fresh and saltwater.

It’s known for its pinkish-orange flesh, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Salmon is also one of the most popular types of seafood around the world.

The main benefit of salmon over swordfish is that it tends to contain fewer contaminants like mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Swordfish are higher up on the food chain and therefore accumulate more toxins from their prey than salmon do.

Additionally, salmon has a milder flavor than swordfish so it may be more palatable to some people who don’t enjoy strong flavors.

Salmon also contains significantly less saturated fat than swordfish so it may be better for those looking to reduce their cholesterol levels or manage their weight.

Overall, salmon makes an excellent alternative to swordfish due to its lower levels of contamination and its milder taste profile.

5. Tilapia

Tilapia is a type of freshwater fish that’s widely farmed and is popular in many cuisines around the world.

It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor with firm white flesh and can be cooked using a variety of methods.

Tilapia makes an excellent substitute for swordfish because it’s low in mercury, has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and is also very affordable.

Plus, it’s easy to prepare—it cooks quickly and can be baked, grilled, or pan-fried without too much fuss.

In terms of taste and texture Tilapia isn’t quite as rich or flavorful as swordfish but its mildness makes it suitable for many different types of recipes from tacos to ceviche to fish sandwiches.

The fact that it doesn’t have strong flavors means you can easily pair it with sauces or spices to create something delicious.

Overall Tilapia is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable seafood option that’s good for you but won’t break the bank!

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6. Catfish

Catfish is a type of freshwater fish that is native to North America.

It has a mild flavor and firm, white flesh.

Catfish can be baked, fried, grilled, or steamed and is often served with sauces or dips.

Catfish makes an excellent substitute for swordfish because it has a similar texture and flavor profile when cooked.

It’s also much more affordable than swordfish which makes it ideal for budget conscious cooks.

Additionally, catfish is sustainable and doesn’t contain high levels of mercury like some other types of fish do.

Overall, catfish provides an economical, delicious alternative to swordfish that won’t break the bank or damage the environment.

7. Pollock

Pollock is a type of white fish that belongs to the cod family.

It’s found in the North Pacific Ocean and is widely used for food.

Pollock has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a firm texture when cooked.

It’s often used as an alternative to more expensive fish like swordfish due to its affordability and sustainability.

The flesh of pollock is similar in color, texture, and taste to swordfish but without the potential mercury levels associated with some other types of seafood.

Pollock can be baked, grilled, fried, or poached and pairs well with flavors like garlic, lemon juice, herbs, butter or olive oil.

It’s also commonly used in chowders or soups because it holds up well during cooking and doesn’t break apart easily.


The 7 Best Substitutes for Swordfish

What if you don't want to use swordfish in your recipes? Don't worry, I'm here to help! In this article, I'm sharing the best substitutes for swordfish, so you can still enjoy the same flavors in your dishes. I'll provide an overview of each substitute, including their texture, flavor profile, and cooking tips.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Seafood, Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 355 kcal


  • Halibut
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Catfish
  • Pollock


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.