Oven Roasted Whole Branzino Recipe

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This deviously simple oven roasted whole branzino recipe (or Mediterranean sea bass) packs a ton of flavor and comes together in less than half an hour.

It’s stuffed with lemon slices and seasoned with a bunch of finely chopped parsley and fresh dill.

You can serve with some roasted potatoes over a glass of white wine for a relaxing summer evening.

Oven roasted branzino over a bed of lettuce and cherry tomatoes

Oven Roasted Whole Branzino Recipe

Most oven roasted branzino recipes overcomplicate things by using too many spices.

The Branzino, also popular as Mediterranean sea bass and Lavraki, is one of the most flavorful European fish on its own. Instead of masking its flavor, you’d want to leave it pronounced.

That’s why I decided to share a recipe that relies on a few well tested ingredients that don’t overpower the taste of the Branzino.

The only herbs that I’ve used for this recipe are parsley and dill. They lend just enough flavor to the fish and allow its natural flavors to shine.

I’ve also tried it with a bit of fresh lovage instead of parsley and I can say that it works equally well.

Ingredients

  • Branzino – In North America the branzino can also be sold under the labels of Mediterranean Sea Bass, European Seabass, and Lavraki. I typically make this recipe with two whole branzino fish since my children aren’t big fans of fish. Nevertheless, you can easily customize it by increasing the amount as long as your oven can handle it.
  • Lemons – You’ll need one sliced lemon which you’ll use to stuff the stomach cavity of the fish. This will give it a slightly zesty and refreshing flavor.
  • Fresh herbs – A simple mix of finely chopped parsley and dill lends the branzino with an enhancing aroma.
  • Spices – The only spices I’m using for this recipe are salt, black pepper and dried oregano. That’s because most of the flavor will come from the fresh herbs, lemon, and ofcourse, the branzino itself. You don’t want to mask the flavor of this fish too much.
  • Olive oil for coating – Coating the branzino with olive oil helps it form a cripsy crust that seals the flavor in and keeps the meat inside tender.

Ingredients for oven roasted whole branzino

How to make

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

  1. Begin by cleaning the fish and trimming off its fins and tail.
  2. Afterwards, score both sides with a knife and place the fish on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment paper.
  3. Coat the fish in some olive oil and apply the dry seasonings.

    Cleaning branzino and brushing it with olive oil

  4. Proceed by seasoning the stomach cavity with the finely chopped herbs.
  5. Next, place the lemon slices inside the fish.

    Seasoning branzino with fresh herbs and stuffing it with lemon slices

  6. Finish by roasting the fish on the middle rack of your oven until golden brown.

    Two branzino fish oven roasted to golden brown on a baking sheet

Storage

In case you have any leftovers, you can safely store them in the fridge for up to three days. Just make sure you allow the fish to cool off and store it in an airtight container or a plastic bag.

To reheat it, simply toss the branzino in some olive oil in a skillet on medium heat for a few minutes.

Try my other Mediterranean fish recipes

Branzino is somewhat difficult to clean although it’s always worth it. If you’d like an easier fish to clean that turns out as excellent and tasty I’d recommend checking out my Oven Roasted Sea Bream Recipe. If you follow this recipe as is, you’ll end up with an amazing Mediterranean dinner, even if you’ve never cooked sea bream before!

A serving of oven roasted whole branzino

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Oven Roasted Whole Branzino Recipe

This oven-roasted whole branzino (or Mediterranean sea bass) has a refreshing citrusy flavor and a tender flaky texture. I usually pair it with some lemon rice or oven-roasted potatoes.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 2
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • 1.8 lbs branzino fish 2 whole fish
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dill finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Thoroughly clean the branzino by removing its scales and innards, then cut off its fins and trim the tail.
  • Make four vertical slits on both sides, then pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the fish with a generous amount of olive oil, then season both the inside and outside with salt, black pepper, and oregano.
  • Mix the finely chopped parsley and dill in a small cup.
  • Season the stomach cavity of the fish with some of the fresh herbs and sprinkle the rest on both sides.
  • Stuff the inside of the fish with the lemon slices.
  • Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, on the middle rack of your oven.

Notes

 
Clearly, there’s an enormous variety of home ovens out there. So the roasting times may vary.
I’d recommend keeping an eye on the branzino and looking for that golden brown crust (as I show it in my photos). Personally, I baked mine in a preheated oven to 425°F on the third rack out of four, counted from top to bottom (so slightly beneath the middle level). The time it took to fully roast was 25 minutes but I could see that roughly on the 20th minute the fish was ready. I left it a bit longer to make sure the crust shows well in the photos, and the fish turned out excellent nonetheless. So I’d say, depending on your oven and rack level, you’d have to roast it for between 15 and 20 minutes and be sure to keep a close eye on it after the 15th minute.

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Nutrition

Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 73g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 327mg | Sodium: 2610mg | Potassium: 1145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 4mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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