Branzino Recipe

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European sea bass, also known as Branzino, is by far my favorite fish to bake or grill in the summer. It is so incredibly easy, and you won’t be intimidated to cook a 🐟 whole fish with this easy method. Here I simply season the fish inside and out with salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh lemon, and 🌿 herbs and bake it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. That’s it! You can also use this simple method for cooking all kinds of mild white fish.

Why You’ll Love Branzino

Branzino reminds me of growing up near the Black Sea 🌊 and the Mediterranean. My dad and I would often go to the sea and order grilled, freshly caught fish. There’s nothing more nostalgic to me than cooking this fish at home and trying to recreate a bit of these childhood memories. I actually loved picking out the fish 🦴 bones as a kid, because it gave me a sense of satisfaction to work for my delicious meal.

What is Branzino?

Branzino is a very light, mild white fish. It’s not overly fishy (less fishy-tasting than salmon, mahi mahi, and tuna) and, when cooked properly, it falls right off the bone in lovely tender bites. The skin is completely edible, but do be careful of bones. To finish it off before serving, we drizzle on a bit of extra olive oil or butter and lemon juice. It doesn’t take many ingredients to make this fish really special. Here’s a helpful visual guide for deboning a Branzino.

How to Prepare Branzino

🔥 Preheat the oven to 400F. You can also cook this fish on a BBQ.

🧂 Season the outside of the fish all over with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then, season the inside of the fish with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

🍋 Stuff the fish with fresh lemon slices and lemon thyme or parsley.

♨️ Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the skin is crisped and browned in spots and the flesh is opaque and flakes off easily with a fork.

🌿 Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the lemon and herbs from the crevice and gently open up your fish. Discard the fish bones.

🍋 Garnish with extra lemon and olive oil. Enjoy!

Nonna’s Tip 🐠

You can use any white fish you like for this recipe. When shopping for whole fish, make sure the eyes are clear (not cloudy) and the fish is fresh — if it’s fresh it won’t have a strong smell. Branzino is a mild fish that is not overly fishy.

Grilled Branzino

Variations and Substitutions for Branzino

From cooking methods to added herbs, you can definitely make this fresh fish your own!

  1. Grill the 🐟 fish on an outdoor barbecue for a smoky flavor.
  2. Feel free to try different citrus in your fish such as lime or 🍊 orange slices instead of lemon.
  3. You can certainly customize the flavor of the branzino with 🌿 herbs like dill, oregano, rosemary, or cilantro for a different flavor profile.
  4. Add minced 🧄 garlic or garlic powder for an extra kick.

Other Seafood Recipes

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  • Baking sheets are essential in the kitchen. These are great!

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  • This is the salt that I have used for years in all my cooking!

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  • This knife is my most used tool in the kitchen. The love I have for this knife is unmatched.

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Baking sheets are essential in the kitchen. These are great!

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My Favorite Parchment Paper

This is the parchment paper that I use for all my recipes!

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$10.23$5.49
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This is the salt that I have used for years in all my cooking!

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$20.99 ($0.40 / Ounce)
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This knife is my most used tool in the kitchen. The love I have for this knife is unmatched.

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Common Questions

How can I avoid the bones?

Please be careful when eating this fish, as it does have some bones. Please watch my video below and check out this visual guide for removing bones.

What Herbs can I use Inside the fish?

You can stuff Branzino with any fresh herbs that you wish: cilantro, basil, oregano, rosemary, etc. 

How do I choose the correct fish when shopping?

You can use any white fish you like for this recipe. When shopping for whole fish, make sure the eyes are clear (not cloudy) and the fish is fresh — if it’s fresh it won’t have a strong smell. Branzino is a mild fish—not overly fishy.

Can I add a sauce or drizzle to enhance the flavor?

Yes, you can serve it with salsa, chimichurri, tzatziki, or drizzle with balsamic reduction or citrus-infused olive oil.

Do I have to cook this in the oveN?

You can also grill the fish on a barbecue for a smoky flavor.

How do I know when the fish is done Cooking?

The fish is done when the skin is crisped and browned in spots, and the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. This usually takes 25-30 minutes at 400F.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is to taste so please always taste and adjust as you cook.

Grilled Branzino

Branzino Recipe

European Sea Bass, also known as Branzino, reminds me of growing up near the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It is so incredibly easy to prepare, and you won’t be intimidated with this easy method.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings: 1 Fish
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb Branzino , mine weighed 0.406kg
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 lemon slices
  • extra garnish like lemon, olive oil, thyme , optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. You can also cook this on a BBQ.
  • Season the fish all over with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Also season the inside of the fish with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stuff the fish with fresh lemon slices and lemon thyme or parsley.
  • Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the skin is crisped and browned in spots and the flesh is opaque and flakes off easily with a fork. Mine took 30 minutes to cook.
  • Let the fish rest out of the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lemons and herbs from the crevice and gently open up your fish. Discard the fish bones.
  • Garnish with parsley, lemons, and drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 564kcal, Protein: 80g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 363mg, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 1161mg, Vitamin A: 408IU, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 4mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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