Branzino

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Simple and elegant, this roasted branzino recipe is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to cook this delicate fish to perfection. 

branzino.

We are a family of seafood lovers.

Fish is something we eat on a regular basis, and we don’t tend to stick to one type. Our favorites include Chilean sea bass, red snapper, and delicious grilled or roasted branzino.

What is branzino?

Branzino is a type of white fish. It is also called European bass as this fish is native to the waters of Europe’s southern and western coasts. 

It’s widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. It is particularly popular in Italian and Spanish cooking. This particular dish is delicious when roasted, pan-fried, and grilled. 

We love roasting branzino because it is: 

  • Healthy. Oven-baked branzino is a healthy low-fat meal. It is also rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. 
  • Less than 30 minutes. This recipe takes only a few minutes of prep work and 25 minutes of baking time. 
  • Only 7 ingredients. Branzino has a delicate flavor and flaky texture when cooked right. You don’t need too many spices and aromatics to make this fish taste good. 

Whether it is a fancy dinner or it’s just you feeling fancy for the day, this whole branzino will certainly match the mood of the night and leave everyone full and satisfied.  

Ingredients needed 

To really let the flavor of the fish shine, besides the branzino and some seasonings, there isn’t much else that goes into it. Here is what you’ll need: 

  • Whole branzino. Scaled, cleaned, and fins removed. 
  • Lemon. Thinly sliced lemon to put inside the fish before baking it. The freshness and acidity of lemon complement the flavor of baked fish and counter the briny flavors that may be present in it. 
  • Oregano. Dried oregano pairs well with branzino and gives the dish an authentic Mediterranean feel. 
  • Fresh dill. With its citrusy and sweet flavor, fresh dill is perfect for brightening up the flavor of roasted branzino.  
  • Olive oil. To bake 
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 
  • Vegetables. I like to add cherry tomatoes and red onion to roast with the fish.

How to cook branzino 

As surprising as it may be, cooking perfectly juicy and flaky branzino isn’t difficult at all. Here’s how you do it. 

Step 1- Season the fish

Season the fish inside and out with salt, black pepper, and oregano. Stuff the cavities of fish with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh dill. 

seasoned branzino.

Put the fish on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle some dill and vegetables around the fish and drizzle everything with olive oil. 

grilled branzino.

Step 2- Bake and serve 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Bake the branzino fish for 30 minutes until the skin is crispy and the fish is cooked through. Once cooked, transfer the fish onto a serving plate and serve with roasted vegetables. 

roasted branzino.

Grilled branzino method

If you don’t want to roast or bake your fish, you can grill it in a skillet or pan instead.

Simply prep the fish as you would if you were roasting it and then place it on a greased pan. Cook at medium heat for 6 minutes, before flipping it and cooking it for another 6 minutes.

Let the fish rest, covered, for five minutes before serving it.

Tips to make the best recipe

  • Add extra lemon. Bake some lemon wedges along with the fish. Baked lemon slices caramelize and become juicy which makes them perfect for squeezing over the baked fish. 
  • Create air pockets in the dish. Use a sharp knife to make a few diagonal slits on the fish. Doing this helps crisp up the skin as well as season the fish more efficiently. 
  • Do not overcook the fish. Keep an eye on the fish to make sure you don’t overcook it. The internal temperature of cooked fish should be 145F degrees. You can also use a fork to check the doneness of the fish. If the fish flakes easily, remove it from the oven. 
  • Crisp it up. To make the skin extra crispy, broil the fish for a couple of minutes. 

Flavor variations 

  • Use sprigs of fresh rosemary instead of fresh dill. Thyme pairs well with branzino too. 
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs, use a blend of dried herbs instead. Season the fish with a mix of dried oregano, rosemary, and thyme. 
  • Stuff the fish cavities with thin slices of red onion for a mild oniony flavor. 

Storage instructions 

To store: Place leftovers in a shallow container in the fridge. Properly refrigerated branzino keeps well for up to 3 days. 

To freeze: The cooked and cooled fish can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to two months. 

Reheating: Reheat branzino in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven preheated to 275F degrees. 

whole branzino.

More fish recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

Do you eat the skin on branzino?

Like salmon and haddock, the skin of branzino provides tons of nutrients and health benefits and should be eaten. 

What is the difference between seas bass and branzino?

Sea bass is a general name used to refer to multiple species of fish and branzino is just one of them. Branzino is the Italian word for European bass. Depending on the country, this fish may be labeled as branzino or as European seabass. 

What to serve with branzino fish?

Simple vegetables or bread is best to pair with this fish. We like serving it with garlic bread, baked potatoes, or brussels sprouts

What can I use instead of this fish?

Swap out the Branzino for sea bass, trout, or even snapper fillets.

What does branzino fish taste like?

Branzino is a mild-flavored white fish. It is slightly sweet and flaky when cooked right. Flavor-wise, this fish tastes very similar to grouper or rainbow trout

Thanks to its mild flavor, branzino pairs well with a variety of spices and herbs. 

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branzino recipe.

Best Branzino Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Simple and elegant, this roasted branzino recipe is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to cook this delicate fish to perfection.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 1 min
Cook: 29 mins
Total: 30 mins

Ingredients  

  • 2 small whole branzino scaled, cleaned, and fins removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 large lemon thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dill loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion sliced

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking tray with tin foil.
  • Season the fish, inside and out, with salt, pepper, and oregano. Place the lemon slices and fresh dill inside each of the fish cavities.
  • Place the seasoned branzino on the lined baking tray and sprinkle the dill, cherry tomatoes, and sliced red onion around it.
  • Roast the branzino for 25-30 minutes, or until the exterior is crispy and fish is cooked through.

Notes

TO STORE: Place leftovers in a shallow container in the fridge. Properly refrigerated branzino keeps well for up to 3 days.
TO FREEZE: The cooked and cooled fish can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to two months. 
TO REHEAT: Reheat branzino in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven preheated to 275F degrees.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 255kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 40gFat: 9gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 638mgFiber: 0.4gVitamin A: 409IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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