Seafood Recipes/ Under 30 Minute Meals

Grilled Whole Branzino

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Grilled Whole Branzino is one of the best ways to grill the whole fish!  This grilled whole branzino is stuffed with fresh cloves of garlic, fresh parsley, slices of lemon, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.   Then its placed into a fish wire basket and grilled on the BBQ for 10 minutes per side. 

A quick and easy recipe for grilling whole fish is perfect for any weekend, and always turns out SO delicious!  It’s perfect every time!


So many ways to cook the Whole Branzino…

There are a few different ways to cook a whole branzino:

  • Baking or Roasting – you can bake branzino in the oven, like our recipe for bake or roast branzino with lemon, and our roasted red snapper- Italian style.

  • Broiling – you will need to put the oven rack 4-inches from the top heating element, and broil the whole fish ( in a pan) will cook it in less time, but you will need to keep an eye on it.

  • Poaching – using a large deep pan, the fish cooks with liquid, either water, broth, or wine and it boils until the fish is fully cooked.  

  • Grilling – outside grill over moderate heat, with a grill basket, basting the fish often with marinade, if preferred. 


Grilling outdoors is about making dinner super easy!  And seafood is natural for the grill, plus grilling whole fish is even easier.

Branzino is a white ocean fish that thrives in the Mediterranean Sea and can be found in most seafood markets.


one whole branzino fish on the table by


What to look for when buying the whole branzino?

  • Clear bright eyes, not sunken

  • Bright red gills

  • Firm fresh, and it springs back when pressed

  • The belly cavity is clean

  • and it has to smell like the ocean, which is a sign of its freshness


Branzino is usually sold around $12.00 to $14.00 per pound.  It’s not too expensive, considering they charge about $38.00 dollars or more per dish in an upscale restaurant.

Just ask the guy behind the seafood counter to clean out the guts, and have it scaled and the fins removed.  Keep the whole fish in the sealed bag in the refrigerator until your ready to grill them outside.

Grilled Branzino is a real seafood treat.  If you never made this before, we highly recommend you try it! 

It’s a delicate white fish that doesn’t need a lot of seasonings to enhance its flavor.  A little lemon, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper are all it needs!  

The outcome is always perfect and consistent every time you make it, tender, super moist, and delicious tasting!


How to Make Grilled Whole Branzino:

1.  First, rinse the fish.

2.  Then simply place the branzino into a wire basket, similar to a portable stainless steel grilling fish basket, and lay it over a baking pan to work on ( do this to keep your counter clean).


Grilled Whole Branzino by

3.  Next, season each fish with salt and pepper inside the cavity and on the outside of the whole fish.

4.  Stuff each cavity with a few slices of lemon, some cloves of garlic, and sprigs of fresh parsley, then drizzle with some olive oil inside the cavity.  The olive oil will help keep the fish moist while grilling.

Stuffed Branzino by


5.  Grill branzino until the fish is fully cooked, usually about 5 to 10 minutes per side for the smaller ones and 15 minutes or more for the larger ones (over a pound each). You can tell if the fish is fully cooked when you poke it with a fork and the meat is firm to the touch.

6.  Then remove from grill, let it rest for a few minutes before preparing for serving.


Cook’s Notes and Tips for Success!

  • Branzino is a fish with bones.  Before serving, you will have to remove the spine and large bones and discard them.  Then use a spatula to transfer its meat to a serving dish or platter. 

  • Because of the bones, branzino is a fish I would not recommend serving to small children. 

  • Outdoors grills will vary, so with that said, you may need more or less time grilling depending on how thick the fish is.   Also, Branzino’s will vary in weight and in thickness, and you will need to check on the fish to see if it’s fully cooked near the end of cooking time.

  • How Can We Tell When The Fish is Fully Cooked?  One easy way you can tell when the fish is cooked is when you touch it or press it down on the body – it should feel firm. 

  • Always use a good quality of extra virgin olive oil for serving with this recipe.

  • Branzino is available all year long in most supermarkets that have a fish department, like Whole Foods. 

  • Best to serve branzino with freshly squeezed lemon juice on top, or on the side. Then drizzle lightly over the fish with some extra virgin olive oil to give it the final touch and more flavor.  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley sprinkled on top. 


Should We Filet The Whole Fish Before Serving?

I prefer to filet the whole fish, removing all the bones before serving, which takes about 5 to 8 minutes to filet them.

1.  The First Step: use a fork or a spatula – place it in the middle of the fish and flip it open. 

2.  Then remove the spine and any large visible bones you may find. 

Filleting Branzino by

Grilled Whole Branzino by

3.  Once you remove the spine and filet each one, transfer all the white meat to a serving plate, add a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh lemon juice on top, and serve.  This makes it easier and more enjoyable to eat fish.


Grilled Whole Branzino by

QUICK NOTE:  You will need a little patience to filet it, but it’s worth it.  This is a fish that everyone needs to be told to eat slowly, due to possibly some bones could be left behind.

What Does Branzino Taste Like?

Branzino is a very light and moist fish with a mildly sweet flavor, different from sea bass or halibut.  The flavor will depend on the ingredients you stuff, bake, or mix with it. 

Nutrition and Benefits 

One-pound branzino is less than 300 calories, making it a healthy choice.  Branzino is high in omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil.  This fish is also packed with protein, vitamin D, and rich in antioxidant selenium.  


Grilled Whole Branzino by

Branzino is a very delicate, moist fish and it’s most delicious when served with a great bottle of white wine!

Everyone asks us what kind of wine to pair with seafood dishes.  A chilled Pinot Grigio is perfect to serve on warm days of summer and with most seafood dishes. 

We always serve branzino with it. Pinot Grigio is popular for its refreshing and vibrant citrus flavor, as it enhances the entire meal.

We hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


Finally,  More Delicious and Easy Seafood Recipes!   



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Grilled Whole Branzino by

Looking for additional WHOLE fish Recipes? …check these out!

Yield: 4 to 6

Grilled Whole Branzino

Grilled Whole Branzino

Grilled Whole Branzino ~ is a quick and easy seafood dinner that's perfect for any weekend and ready in 15 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 Whole Branzino, ( at least 1 pound each) guts cleaned out and scaled
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 3 lemons - divided
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Place the whole branzino into a fish basket and lay it over a baking sheet (for easy clean-up). Season each fish with salt and pepper inside the cavity and outside.
  2. Stuff each one with a few slices of lemon, some cloves of garlic, and sprigs of fresh parsley. Drizzle with olive oil inside the cavity and on the outside of each fish. Close the latch of the basket.
  3. Place fish basket onto a hot grill and grill the fish for about 10 minutes per side, turning the basket over after 5 minutes or so, until the skins are browned and charred. Remove from the grill, and set it aside to cool down a bit.
  4. Open the latch of the fish basket and take out one branzino at a time and place it onto a plate. Using a fork, peel back the charred skins, and push them aside while working to filet the fish.
  5. Gently place the fork in the middle of the fish and flip the cavity open. Remove and discard all large bones, and even some of the smaller bones ( especially if you are serving to small children) You may want to use your hands to best feel for smaller bones.
  6. When filleting the fish, use a spoon and a fork together to transfer all the white meat to a serving platter.
  7. Do the same with the other branzino. Next, drizzle on top with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges around the platter and serve.
  8. Serves 4 to 6


The amount of time to grill branzino will vary depending how large or small they come. It's best to filet them while they are still warm but not too hot to handle with your hands, in case you need to. Not recommended for children under 3 yrs of age.

Nutrition Information:


4 to 6 servings

Serving Size:

4 ounces (112g)

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129.5Total Fat: 2.5gCarbohydrates: 0gProtein: 21g


Hello Friends! 

If you make our Grilled Whole Branzino, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating on the recipe card!  We’d love to hear from you! 

You may snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram, and tag us @2sistersrecipes, and on Pinterest. We’d love to see what you cook and share your photos with the world! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hope you are having a great day, and thanks for stopping by!  Ciao! 

Happy Grilling!  ๐Ÿ™‚

xo Anna and Liz


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  • Reply
    August 13, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    I order this a lot at one of our favorite restaurants, but never thought of making it at home! You made it look easy–and branzino would be a delicious change of pace for dinner!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks, Liz, we agree 100% Grilling branzino at home is a nice change for dinner. Enjoy!!

  • Reply
    August 11, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    i’ve never heard of branzino but perhaps we either don’t have it here or it has a different name. i’m sure other fish would do in its place:) Tasty i’m sure, either way. cheers S

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 12, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Yes, Branzino has many names, like capemouth and sea perch, but most of the time it’s called Branzino or European sea bass. I’m sure you can find it at your local fish market. ENJOY!

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I’ve often been tempted to try Branzino in restaurants and would love to try it at home without the hefty price tag ๐Ÿ™‚ It looks so fresh and tasty! Have a great weekend.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 10, 2017 at 9:37 am

      Thank you Susan! Have a great week!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    August 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    LOVELY! I’ve always wanted to try something like this. Thanks for the great, easy recipe. More fish for us!

    • Reply
      2 Sisters Recipes
      August 1, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Tricia! We eat more seafood during the summer months, and we have so many more to post. Hopefully, soon! Have a great day!

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