Spanish Baked Sea Bream Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 large whole sea bream or red snapper, (or 2 smaller ones to make a total weight of approx 4 pounds)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 lemon, cut into half rings
  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes, evenly and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 7 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch saffron strands
  • 1 teaspoon salt
How to cook Spanish Baked Sea Bream:
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Make a few deep slashes on either side of the whole sea bream, across the thickest part, so that it cooks evenly.
  • Season the whole sea bream inside and out with salt and pepper, then squeeze over the lemon juice and rub it in well, again both inside and out. Set aside.
  • Arrange the potatoes and onion in layers in a greased ovenproof dish that's large enough to take the whole sea bream as well. In a mortar, pound the garlic, saffron, 5 tablespoons parsley and salt into a paste.
  • Gradually work in 4 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons of water, then spoon over the potato and onion. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until the potato and onion are almost cooked.
  • Place a few lemon half rinds in the cavity of each fish and insert them in slashes of fish.
  • Lay the whole sea bream on top and spoon over the remaining olive oil. Return to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes if you're using 1 large fish, or 15 minutes more if you're using 2 smaller fish, until it is just cooked through. Scatter with the remaining parsley and lemon zest.
  • Serve the Spanish Baked Sea Bream immediately.
Spanish Baked Sea Bream recipe


Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


This Spanish dish of baked whole sea bream, traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, is one of the best festive main courses. It may not have the grandeur of a huge turkey-and-trimmings production, but with saffron and garlic baked into the roasted potatoes and onions, it beats it hands down on flavor.

This recipe for Spanish Baked Sea Bream serves/makes: 4 servings

The Spanish Baked Sea Bream recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Bream (more Bream recipes)
Preparation Method: Baked (more Baked recipes)
Cuisine: Spanish (more Spanish recipes)

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