Simple Roasted Branzino Recipe

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Roasted branzino with aromatics and spices! This simple branzino recipe comes together in no time and is perfect as a weeknight dinner or to impress your guests. Roasting a whole branzino is a lot easier than what you might think. The lemon adds a lot of flavor to the fish, you can serve it with rice, potatoes or a fresh salad. 

Overhead shot of roasted branzino on a platter.


 

If you’ve been a long time reader, you know branzino is one of my favorite fishes to work with. I love it grilled, fried or prepared the Persian way with walnuts and barberries. Today’s branzino recipe offers a simple roasting method that gives you tender and delicious fish packed with bright flavors. Following my tips and notes, you will learn how to roast a whole branzino perfectly every time. 

Pick The Best Branzino

When shopping for a whole branzino, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to get the best available to you:

  • Make sure the eyes are clear and not foggy at all.
  • Check for the skin as it should be bright and no scales should be missing.
  • Smell the fish if possible to make sure it doesn’t smell old or “fishy”. 

Tips To Make The Best Roasted Branzino

  • Clean fish: Make sure the fish is gutted (you can ask the person who works at the seafood counter to do so or do it yourself at home) and clean the insides with a paper towel. 
  • Use fresh herbs: Fill the inside of the branzino with lemon slices, onion and aromatics such as parsley or cilantro. This will ensure that the flesh will have great flavor and smell nice. 
  • Season well: Use a combination of olive oil, minced garlic and spices including paprika, cumin, allspice and oregano. 
  • Don’t overcook: Branzino is ready in about 30 minutes if roasted at 400 degrees F. However, if you roast it for a few more minutes, it’ll still be good. 

How To Roast Branzino At Home

Prepare the filling and stuff the branzino. Then season with spices and roast.
  1. Prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with cooking spray. Make sure the fish are clean and place them on the baking sheet. 
  2. Stuff the fish: Salt the skin and inside the fish. Cut the lemon into small pieces and mix it with the onion, herbs and garlic. Stuff the fish with this mixture and seal with a toothpick. Brush both sides of the fish with olive oil.
  3. Make the spice mix: In a bowl mix the oregano, allspice, paprika and cumin. Season both sides of the fish with the spice mix.
  4. Roast in the oven: Roast for 30 minutes or until the fish is fully cooked. You can tell the fish is ready once the flesh is white and flakes easily. 

Variations 

  • Aromatics: Use fresh thyme, oregano or rosemary as well as shallots to stuff the fish. You can even use preserved lemon for more flavor. 
  • Spices: Other spices including turmeric, seven spice, ras el hanout or Persian advieh would work well in this recipe. 

Serving Suggestions

It’s common to serve fish for the Persian new year, also known as Nowruz and it’s usually served with Persian herb rice (sabzi polo). However, you can serve roasted branzino any day with delicious side dishes such as Greek potatoes, Mediterranean salad, Mediterranean orzo salad or saffron rice

Serve branzino with herb rice.

Leftovers 

Like many other seafood recipes, this roasted whole branzino is best served right away when it is hot out of the oven. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. It’s best to reheat the leftovers in the oven at 300 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Can I freeze roasted branzino? I don’t recommend freezing cooked branzino as the texture will be different and it will become grainy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a branzino taste like?

Branzino has a mild taste with subtle sweet notes, which pairs very well with herbs and lemon. 

Do you eat the skin of branzino?

You can eat or discard the skin. If it’s well seasoned and gets all crispy while roasting, the skin can be very tasty. 

Does branzino have a lot of bones? 

Branzino has a large spice bone with some smaller ones attached to it. But you can always separate them easily. 

More Fish And Seafood Recipes

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Roasted branzino with aromatics and spices! This simple branzino recipe comes together in no time and is perfect as a weeknight dinner or to impress your guests. Roasting a whole branzino is a lot easier than what you might think. The lemon adds a lot of flavor to the fish, you can serve it with rice, potatoes or a fresh salad.
5 from 4 votes

Simple Roasted Branzino Recipe

Roasted branzino with aromatics and spices! This simple branzino recipe comes together in no time and is perfect as a weeknight dinner or to impress your guests.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 2 whole branzino
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Instructions 

  • Make sure the branzino is clean and gutted. Pat dry the insides.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. Place the fish on the baking sheet.
  • Season the inside and outside of the fish with salt.
  • Cut the lemon into quarters and then into small chunks. Place it in a bowl and mix with the parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic. Fill the branzino cavities with this mixture and close it up with a toothpick.
  • Brush both side of the fish with olive oil. Mix the paprika, oregano, cumin and allspice in a bowl, then sprinkle both sides of the fish with this spice mix.
  • Roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes until the fish is completely cooked. The flesh will be white and the fish would flake easily.

Notes

  • You can use other aromatics such as thyme, rosemary and oregano as well as shallots to stuff the fish. 
  • Other spice mixes such as seven spice, ras el hanout or Persian advieh works for this recipe, too. 

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 81g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 360mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 1350mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1321IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    First time reading Roasted branzino recipe, looks delicious and easy to make. Wil have to make it soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂