A super simple yet flavorful Mediterranean based whole roasted branzino seasoned with paprika and lemon. Ready in 30 minutes. Gluten Free and Dairy Free.
I found one amazing whole branzino recipe and that is what I used to stick with. Any time I got my hands on this delicious Mediterranean sea bass I always went with my go to Asian themed recipe. I thought I had found an out of this world recipe and I couldn’t imagine preparing whole branzino any other way.
Until now, of course.
Until the one time I had a perfectly defrosted branzino waiting to be turned into a whole branzino recipe and no proper ingredients for my standard recipe.
That’s when I needed to get creative. And so I did, and that’s how this Mediterranean whole roasted branzino recipe was born.
Ingredients for my Roasted Branzino:
- whole branzino
- olive oil
This roasted branzino recipe only requires a few basic ingredients – though if you have a full pantry and can get fancier with different types of paprika, the finished dish will certainly thank you!
Why this roasted branzino is the best:
- Healthy, and delicious recipe
- Easy to make
- Only a handful of basic ingredients required
- Ready in 30 minutes
- A dish made to impress
I love the presentation of a whole fish. If you’re having a dinner party this is always an easy dish to impress guests with. While making roasted whole fish can seem intimidating at first, I guarantee, it’s easier than you think. The tenderness of whole roasted fish is completely unlike fish fillets, and especially if you’re working with whole branzino, then you’re simply going to fall in love.
How to make my roasted branzino:
Start by purchasing a whole branzino and making sure that the fish monger has scaled and gutted the fish. You do not want to be doing this at home if you can help it. You can prepare this recipe with the head on or off, that’s up to you. You can save the fish head to make a super rich and fragrant fish stock.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F before you get started on the fish so the oven has time to preheat.
Give the fish a quick rinse, pat dry and make four diagonal slits on both sides of the branzino body. Then combine your seasoning ingredients.
Paprika and lemon are the two key ingredients here for the seasoning. In this recipe I use both smoked paprika and hot paprika. Each has it’s own flavor profile and the smoked paprika has an intriguing depth of flavor that is fantastic in Mediterranean themed recipes. I love to seek out specifically Spanish smoked paprika, which you can frequently find in grocery store nowadays or online.
In this recipe I used a lemon peel seasoning, which you can easily replace with lemon zest instead.
Combine the paprika, garlic powder (optional), and lemon zest or seasoning in a bowl. Add salt to taste.
To season the fish, rub it with olive oil first and then with the seasoning. Make sure to rub it inside and out. Add garlic slices to the slits.
Place lemon slices on a baking sheet and the fish on top of the lemon slices. Add more lemon slices to the inside cavity of the fish as well as on top.
Now all that’s left is to wait and bake the branzino for 20-25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (which you can tell once the fish has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F). To get the top of the fish a bit crisped up I love to broil the whole roasted branzino on high for the last few minutes of cooking time.
Paprika, garlic and lemons are what make up the heart of this dish and it is simply perfection.
With a handful of ingredients and a few simple steps you can have a delicious roasted branzino dinner on the table in 30 minutes.
A truly delicious dish that is healthy, gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, Whole30 and keto friendly too.
What kind of fish is Branzino (sometimes also known as bronzini fish, or branzini)?
- Branzino is the Italian name for Mediterranean sea bass.
What does a branzino fish taste like?
- The sweet flavored, light and semi firm white fish tastes similar to a red snapper. This fish is mild in flavor and a not fishy at all. This is a great option for those who are not big on super fishy fish.
How do you make branzino?
- There are various ways of cooking whole branzino. You can bake it, broil it, steam it, oven steam it, etc.
Does branzino have bones?
- Yes, whole branzino has bones but they do not need to be removed before cooking. Once the fish is cooked using a fork and butter knife you can cut it in half and easily remove the main fishbone and move the other bones out to the side.
Need ideas for what to serve this with?
This is one of my all time favorite whole branzini recipes (and really whole fish recipes) so let me know in the comments if you have your own favorite branzino recipes! If you’ve never roasted whole fish before this is the perfect recipe to start with!
If you’re looking for other fish recipes be sure to check out my:
- Whole Branzino Recipe in Asian Sauce
- Seared Chilean Sea Bass Recipe over Spinach with Vietnamese Glaze
- Caribbean Fish Curry
- Whole Red Snapper Recipe with Chili Shallot Sauce
- Pan Seared Snapper Recipe with Romesco Sauce
- Broiled Trout with Fresh Lemons Herbs
- Oven Baked Trout
A super simple yet flavorful Mediterranean based whole roasted branzino seasoned with paprika and lemon. Ready in 30 minutes. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Keto, Whole30
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- 1 branzini fish scaled and gutted, head cut off,
Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine hot paprika, smoked paprika, lemon peel seasoning, garlic powder, and salt. Mix.
Make 4 diagonal slits on both sides of the fish.
Rub olive oil over the fish inside and out.
Rub seasoning on the fish, making sure to rub it inside the slits.
Stuff garlic into the slits.
Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and place half the lemon slices on the foil,
Place fish on top of the lemon slices and place remaining slices inside fish and on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, broiling on high for the last few minutes if you want the top browned.
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