Sea bream baked in foil

Sea bream baked in foil

How to bake a whole sea bream with fresh thyme in aluminum foil.

Whole sea bream baked in foil (Orata al Cartoccio in Italian ) is a very popular fish dish in Italy. It is certainly one of the best and tastiest, healthy, and easy fish recipes to prepare.

Ideal when you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, but you want to present something special, in fact, to prepare a whole Sea bream baked in foil you will need few minutes, just the time to flavor the sea bream with fresh thyme and aromas.

Season the fish with salt and pepper, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, then wrap the aluminum foil as a bag, bake it in the oven and in less than 40 minutes.

The result? You will have a tasty fish dish to amaze your guests.

Naturally, the cooking time varies according to the weight of the bream, it could take fewer minutes or more depending on the size of the fish.

In Italy, one of the simplest and most effective ways to cook fish is wrapping it first in a parchment bag and then in aluminum foil.

All the flavors, aromas and proteins including omega3 of the fish remain in the aluminum foil bag.

When cooking using this method, I recommend using simple ingredients and very fresh fish for the best results.

To fill the sea bream, you can use garlic, slices of lemon and different herbs (rosemary, wild fennel, thyme, parsley, bay leaf), but one or two herbs at a time.

How to choose a sea bream before bake it in foil:

As mentioned above, before buying a fish make sure it is fresh, then when you get home you just need to clean it. Some may think that cleaning a fish can be difficult, but it is not, indeed it is very simple.

Otherwise, when buying the fish, ask your fishmonger to gut and scale it, but do not remove the head and tail. At home, rinse the fish under running water and then pat it dry with kitchen paper.

The recipe I am presenting today requires very few ingredients, but you will be surprised by the flavors and aromas.

Whole sea bream baked in foil.

One of the best and tastiest fish dishes, healthy, easy and quick to prepare.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Whole sea bream baked in foil
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling time 3 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 294kcal
Author Authentic Italian Cuisine


  • 2 Whole Sea Breams of about 300 gr. Each gutted and scaled but with head and skin on
  • 2 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Spring Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Spring Fresh Parsley
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper Optional


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  • Rinse the sea breams under cold water and place them on a plate.
  • Layout a sheet of aluminum foil for each sea bream big enough to wrap around it and place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the foil.
  • Grease the parchment paper with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and place the fish on top.
  • Stuff the inside of each sea bream with a garlic clove, a spring of thyme, some olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  • Top each fish with 6 cherry tomato halves and one spring of the parsley chopped, then sprinkle with more olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper.
  • Close the parchment paper by rolling the edges tightly then close the aluminum foil in the same way.
  • Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.          
  • Let it cool for 2- 3 minutes then remove the aluminum foil.
  • Serve the Sea Bream closed in the parchment paper.



 Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the fish.

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