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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.

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Whole Fish Recipe With Couscous and Fennel
Edward Pond

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.

Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
65 min


  • 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
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g