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Pesto-Crusted Broiled Sea Bass Recipe

by Capri Lilly
Published: Last Updated on

This Pesto-crusted Broiled Sea Bass Recipe is quick to make with fish that is flaky, tender, and flavorful. The crust is golden brown and filled with rich herbaceous flavor. It’s perfect for an impressive meal to feed guests or a quick, flavorsome weeknight dinner. (This recipe is gluten-free and keto-friendly.)

If you’re looking for more baked fish dishes try our Easy Oven Baked Trout or our Maple Ginger Glazed Salmon next!

plate of pesto-crusted broiled sea bass

This sea bass recipe with homemade pesto takes your standard fish dinner to new heights! On its own, sea bass is a buttery, mild-flavored fish. But pesto brings a bright, herby taste to this mouthwatering broiled sea bass dish.

Reasons You’ll Love This Sea Bass Recipe

  • Quick! No need for a marinade. This pesto-crusted sea bass dinner comes together in just 20 minutes!
  • Healthy! Sea bass is rich in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe is a delightful low-carb, paleo option.
  • Impressive! If you want a meal that looks fancy, tastes even better, and doesn’t take ages to make, this is it!
  • Delicious! If you have a picky eater or you’re not the biggest fan of fish, then sea bass was made for you. Get all the healthy benefits of a pescatarian diet without the typical “fishy” taste. The flavor is delicate and the fresh lemons and pesto tie it all together.
close up view of plated pesto-crusted broiled sea bass

What is the difference between Sea Bass and Chilean Sea Bass?

Sea bass is a general term that references a white fish with over 400 varieties. Chilean sea bass, also known as Patagonian toothfish, is a deep-water fish found in the Pacific and Antarctic Oceans. Chilean sea bass is popular because of its buttery flavor and melt-in-your-mouth quality. That also explains its cost as it’s a top seafood choice.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Sea Bass: Use a large sea bass or Chilean sea bass filets
  • Lemon: A pop of citrus brings out the flavor of the sea bass.
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste

GFB Pesto Recipe (1 cup needed)

  • Pine Nuts: traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, but you can always get creative and use pistachios or walnuts.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Juiced for a pop of citrus flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Add more if desired.
  • Fresh Herbs: For a fresh peppery flavor, I use arugula and basil.
  • Garlic Cloves: You can use garlic powder in a pinch.
  • Parmesan Cheese: You can use ¼ cup raw cashews as a vegan option.
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper: Add to taste.
raw sea bass next to a container full of pesto and half a lemon
Sea Bass, Lemon, Pesto

How to Make Broiled Sea Bass

This sea bass recipe is super simple to follow.

Make pesto: Place basil, arugula, pine nuts, cashews, lemon juice, parmesan (optional), salt, pepper, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process (scraping down sides occasionally) until almost smooth. Slowly pour in olive oil in and blend/process until all oil is combined. Transfer the pesto mixture to a bowl. Then set aside

Preheat the broiler (to high) with a rack about 8 inches from the heating element.

Place the sea bass on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to pat the sea bass dry.

Spread a 1/4-inch thick layer of pesto on top of the sea bass.

pesto covering raw piece of fish

Cook under the preheated broiler until a crust forms and fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. (If the crust begins to blacken, tent with foil.)

Remove the sea bass from the oven. Finally, squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over the fish.

plated pesto-crusted broiled sea bass with sliced lemons for garnish

Variations

  • Dairy-Free Pesto: Use cashews or nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese to make the pesto dairy-free.
  • Try Different Fish: This pesto-crusted fish recipe works for any type of fish. I’ve made this a dozen times with salmon and it is delicious. You can also use another white fish like cod, haddock, grouper, or halibut. Another mild-flavored fish is red snapper.
  • Try Different Pesto: My Pistachio Pesto or Avocado Pesto would work great as well.
  • Try Different Sauce: If you’re not a pesto fan, try our homemade chimichurri sauce.
  • Pan-Seared Sea Bass Recipe: Use a large skillet to sear sea bass over medium heat before broiling. This gives it crispy edges. After that, add the pesto. Then the fish only needs to be broiled for 5-7 minutes. This method works best for sea bass filets.

Tips To Nail the Recipe

  • Use fresh fish. If it smells fishy, then it isn’t fresh. Check for discoloration. It should be white to light pink with firm flesh.
  • Do not overcook broiled sea bass because it will dry out.
  • For a quick meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes, prepare your sides while the fish bakes.
a fork slicing into broiled sea bass

What to Serve with Broiled Sea Bass

This sea bass recipe tastes delicious with so many sides. Here are some ideas:

Storage

Store leftover sea bass in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you want to reheat it, place it covered in the oven at 275°F for about 5-7 minutes. Do not place fish in the microwave because it will dry out.

Pesto Crusted Sea Bass On A Plate with salad
Pesto Crusted Sea Bass With Salad

FAQs

How long does it take to broil sea bass?

Broil sea bass for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size. You can tell when the fish is done because it flakes easily with a fork and is no longer translucent. If you have a thermometer, you can check the internal temperature. It should read 140°F-145°F when the fish is fully cooked.

Can I use frozen fish for this sea bass recipe?

Yes. Fish is often flash-frozen when it’s fresh so it can be fresher than what you purchase at the seafood counter. Just ensure it’s wild-caught and additive free.

Do you broil fish skin side up or down?

Broil fish skin side down. Sea bass is delicate so cooking skin side down protects the flesh from drying out in the oven.

close up view of plated pesto-crusted broiled sea bass

I Hope You Enjoy This Sea Bass Recipe!

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments. Leave a quick review & star rating ★ below! Take pictures, tag #goodfoodbaddie, and share them with me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchen.

More Seafood Recipes To Try!

close up view of plated pesto-crusted broiled sea bass garnished with lemon

Pesto-Crusted Broiled Sea Bass Recipe

This pesto-crusted broiled sea bass recipe is quick to make with fish that is flaky, tender, and flavorful. The crust is golden brown and filled with rich herbaceous flavor. It's perfect for an impressive meal to feed guests or a quick, flavorsome weeknight dinner. (This recipe is gluten-free and keto-friendly.)
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 447kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb Sea Bass
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

GFB Pesto Recipe (1 cup needed)

  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 Lemon, juiced about 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil plus more if desired
  • 1/2 cup Arugula packed
  • 1 cup Basil packed
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese or ¼ cup raw cashews for vegan option
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Make pesto: Place basil, arugula, pine nuts, cashews, lemon juice, parmesan (optional), salt, pepper, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process (scraping down sides occasionally) until almost smooth. Slowly pour in olive oil in and blend/process until all oil is combined. Transfer pesto to a bowl. Set aside
  • Preheat the broiler (to high) with a rack about 8 inches from the heating element.
  • Place the sea bass on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to pat the sea bass dry.
  • Spread a 1/4-inch thick layer of pesto on top of the sea bass.
  • Cook under the preheated broiler until a crust forms and fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. (If the crust begins to blacken, tent with foil.)
  • Remove the sea bass from the oven. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over the fish.

Notes

Tips To Nail the Recipe

    • Use fresh fish. If it smells fishy, then it isn’t fresh. Check for discoloration. It should be white to light pink with firm flesh.
    • Do not overcook broiled sea bass because it will dry out.
    • For a quick meal that’s ready in less than 30 minutes, prepare your sides while the fish bakes.
 
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Nutrition

Serving: 6oz | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.5g | Protein: 28.4g | Fat: 35.2g | Saturated Fat: 6.9g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 380mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 4.5g | Calcium: 204mg

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