Simply roasted branzino with brothy beans is an elegant, easy, and flavorful dinner you can make any day of the week.
Truth be told, I’ve never actually roasted a whole, head-on fish before in my life. So, when two beautiful, freshly caught branzino fish arrived in my CSA, I was a little intimidated.
I looked up a few ways to prepare it, and couldn’t believe how easy it was to do. I followed the method I found on Martha Stewart which suggests propping the the fish up with lemon wedges as it bakes so both sides get crispy.
How to make this Roasted Branzino with Brothy Beans:
This roasted branzino with brothy beans is so incredibly easy to make! First, you’ll start the brothy beans. To make them, you’ll sauté a shallot until softened and add quartered baby red potatoes along with copious amounts of garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, about 45 seconds, deglaze with 1 cup of white wine and then add 2-3 cups more of low-sodium chicken stock. Do be aware that you’re going to reduce the broth down to about 1-2 cups liquid total, so be careful with the salt if you’re using full-sodium chicken broth.
You’ll simmer vigorously – slightly above a low simmer – for about 20-25 minutes which is exactly the amount of time you’ll need to roast the fish. To roast the branzino, you’ll pat the fish dry and rub with olive oil all over and in the cavity of the fish. Season liberally – all over and in the cavity – with salt and pepper. You’ll stuff lemon slices into the cavities of both fish and prop the fish up with lemon wedges. You may have extra lemon slices, throw them on the pan as well and let them get nice and charred.
After that, simply bake the fish for about 22-25 minutes until the skin is very crispy and the meat flakes off easily. You can broil the fish briefly to crisp up the skin even more.
Serving is as simple as ladling the brothy beans onto shallow piles and placing a fish on top. That’s it!
Looking for more fish recipes? Check my archives!
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Roasted Branzino with Brothy Beans
- Wide pot
- Baking sheet
- 2 teaspoons neutral cooking oil
- 1 large shallot peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1 pound baby red potatoes quartered
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 15 ounce can great northern beans drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper plus more to taste, if desired
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 whole branzino scaled and gutted (or use trout, red snapper, or tilapia)
- 1 lemon sliced into rounds
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dry or freshly minced parsley optional, for serving
Start the Brothy Beans:
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Add the potatoes and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
- Melt the butter into the pot. Once melted and frothy, deglaze with white wine and bring to a boil.
Season and Simmer the Brothy Beans:
- Pour in the chicken stock and beans and bring to a boil. Season with crushed red pepper, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half. If the liquid reduces too quickly, turn the heat to low and continue simmering until the potatoes are fork-tender. Taste and season again to taste.
Roast the Branzino:
- While the beans simmer, roast the branzino. Pat the fish dry and rub all over with extra virgin olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper – all over both sides and inside the cavity of the fish. Place lemon slices inside the cavity of the fish. Place any excess lemon rounds on the baking sheet. Prop the fish up, cavity-side down, and use lemon wedges to stand the fish up. Transfer to the oven for 22-25 minutes. If desired, broil the skin briefly until very crispy.
- Ladle the brothy beans into shallow bowls and place a branzino fish on top. Garnish with dry or freshly minced parsley, if desired. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!