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Grilled Whole Branzino with Lemon and Garlic

A grilled whole branzino makes an impressive presentation, and our specially designed basket makes it easy to turn the fish on the grill so it doesn’t fall apart. To enhance the flavor, fill the fish cavity with lemon, garlic and fresh thyme before cooking.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 whole branzino, each 1 to 1 1/2 lb., scaled, cleaned and fins
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 small fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Grilled fennel and tomatoes on the vine for serving (see related
      recipe at left)
  • Grilled smashed potatoes with lemon-oregano vinaigrette (see related recipe at left)


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

Season each fish cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemon slices, garlic slices and 1 thyme sprig inside each cavity. Drizzle the outside of the fish with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish in separate fish baskets and close the latch.

Place the fish baskets on the grill. Cook, turning once, until the skin is crispy and the fish is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Unlatch the baskets and transfer the fish to a platter. Serve with grilled fennel, tomatoes and smashed potatoes. Serves 2 to 4.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen