Oven-Roasted Whole Fish with Couscous

An amazingly easy-to-prepare, delightfully sweet whole fish is paired with mild roasted fennel and onions, plus couscous – a complete meal with just 8 grams of fat.
Whole Fish Recipe With Couscous and Fennel

Nutritional Bonus: Thanks to both the vegetables and the couscous, this recipe is a great source of dietary fiber, with each serving providing 37% of your recommended daily intake. Besides maintaining a healthy digestive system, fiber may help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, control blood sugar and assist with weight loss.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 small red onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced raw unsalted almonds
  • 5 tsp fennel seeds, divided
  • 2 1 1/2-lb whole striped bass or other whole fish, gutted and scaled (NOTE: Ask your fishmonger to gut and scale fish.)
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
  • 1/4 cup chopped feathery fennel fronds, plus additional fronds for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mist a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine onions, fennel bulbs and 1 tsp pepper. Spread mixture out on baking sheet, transfer to oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, on a small, rimmed baking sheet, spread almonds, transfer to oven and roast until lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine 4 tsp fennel seeds and remaining 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly on both sides of each fish. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.
  4. Remove baking sheet with onion-fennel mixture from oven; add 3/4 cup broth and toss, scraping up any browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Place fish over top of vegetables, return to oven and roast until fish are almost cooked through and barely opaque throughout, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring remaining 1 cup broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, fennel fronds and remaining 1 tsp fennel seeds. Cover, remove from heat and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Arrange oven rack 6 inches from heat; preheat broiler to high. Broil fish and onion-fennel mixture until fish are browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer fish to a large platter and garnish with additional fennel fronds (NOTE: Learn how to cut and serve your whole fish here.) Arrange onion-fennel mixture around fish. Fluff couscous with a fork, stir in almonds and serve alongside fish.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 6 oz fish, 3/4 cup onion-fennel mixture, 3/4 cup couscous
  • Calories: 353
  • Carbohydrate Content: 33 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 136 mg
  • Fat Content: 8 g
  • Fiber Content: 9 g
  • Protein Content: 37 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 247 mg
  • Sugar Content: 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 2 g