If you’re looking for a fresh and healthy dinner this summer, my Mediterranean Quinoa bowl w/ Branzino is for you. This dish combines the delightful flavors of Mediterranean-style branzino served bowl style with a bed of fluffy quinoa, a refreshing tomato and cucumber salad, spicy harissa paste, creamy tzatziki, and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. This bowl is fresh, balanced and packed with so much flavor.
Table of Contents
I’m so excited about summer. Summer dinner parties, brighter and longer days. The energy. The vibes. ahhh I just love summer and summer food. I aimed to create a dish that embodies the essence of summer. Which is how this Mediterranean quinoa bowl came about.
When I think of a Mediterranean diet/style cooking I think light, bright, and flavorful which inspired today’s recipe. Y’all know CAVA is my fave. So this bowl is inspired CAVA by with a CookwithCi twist.
I typically make my bowls with rice, but I wanted to try something with more health benefits. That’s when I decided to give quinoa a try. Quinoa is a protein packed superfood and a great grain to add to your diet. Since quinoa is packed with so much protein, I wanted to serve it with a light and flaky fish.
Listen, I love salmon just like the rest of us but branzino is a great alternative and this Mediterranean Quinoa bowl w/ parchment baked branzino is such a fun, easy and delicious fish recipe to switch things up.
What is Branzino?
Branzino also known as European Seabass is known for its light and flaky texture. It’s a fantastic salmon alternative. The best part? It’s an affordable option too! Trader Joe’s offers a convenient pack of branzino in the frozen section, for $10.99.
What’s Branzino En Papillote?
Parchment baked fish also known as fish en papillote is my new favorite way to cook fish. It’s a cooking method where seasoned fish and veggies are wrapped in a parchment paper ‘envelope’ and placed in the oven. The magic happens when the steam generated by the enclosed packet cooks the fish and veggies to perfection. This is such an effortless yet impressive cooking technique that comes together in about 25 minutes and makes cleanup a breeze. I literally make some sort of parchment baked fish once a week. It’s super convenient and low maintenance.
What I served with my Mediterranean Quinoa bowl
- tomato & cucumber salad
- Tzatiki sauce
- Harissa paste
- Crumbled feta
Ingredients for the Baked Branzino
- Branzino Filets
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Lemon slices
- Grape tomatoes
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Shallots or red onion
How to make a Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
Step 1: Cook the fish
The prep is pretty simple. Start the recipe by preparing and cooking the fish. Literally season the fish with whatever gives a Mediterranean vibe into some parchment paper. I used sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, lemon slices, and fresh thyme.
Roll it up and bake it for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Quinoa
While the fish cooks, wash and cook the quinoa. While the quinoa cooks, prep the tomato and cucumber salad. The cutting adds a few extra steps but it’s not too time consuming. Once everything is cooked, time to assemble the bowls.
Step 3: Assemble
To a bowl add a layer of quinoa… then the fish and veggies… then a scoop of tomato and cucumber salad, tzatziki sauce (make your own or use store bought), harissa paste, and top it off with crumbled feta. And that’s it!
NOTE- I did add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top to bring all the delicious flavors together. This came together in about 40 minutes. So simple and good!
Make it for Meal Prep
This Mediterranean Quinoa bowl is perfect for meal prep. You can totally make this ahead of time and meal prep it throughout the week. Just bake the fish, prepare your quinoa, then keep your toppings separate.
One thing I absolutely love about this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl is that it’s completely customizable.
Feel free to get creative with your toppings and add what you like.
- pickled red onions
More easy and delicious summer recipes?
If you make this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl, please be sure to leave a comment, and or tag me on Instagram @cookwithci. I would love to see your recreations and hear your thoughts.
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl w/ Branzino en Papillote
- Parchment Paper
- 2 Branzino Filets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 citrus garlic seasoning
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- salt + pepper
- 1 tsp sun dried tomatoes w/ Italian herbs
- 1/4 red onion or shallots thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup grape tomato
- fresh thyme
For the Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon optional
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
Tomato & Cucumber Salad
- 1 cup grape tomatoes diced
- 2 English cucumbers diced
- 1/4 red onion diced
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar optional
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried or fresh dill
- salt + pepper
- 1/2 lemon juice
- crumbled feta
- harissa paste
- tzatziki sauce
- pickled red onions
- lemon wedges
- Wash quinoa before cooking. To a saucepan add water and quinoa bring to a boil. Season with salt, chicken bouillon and garlic powder. Once it comes to a boil reduce to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before fluffing.
Parchment Baked Branzino
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- To parchment paper, add 2 lemons then place Branzino filet skin side down diagonally (so when folded, the paper creates a triangle)
- Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, citrus garlic seasoning, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Sprinkle sliced red onions, grape tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, more olive oil and fresh thyme.
- Bring the edges of parchment paper together by twisting the ends, creating a sealed pocket around the fish and vegetables. Make sure the pocket is tightly sealed to trap the steam inside.
- Place parchment packet on a baking pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Tomato & Cucumber Salad
- combine tomatoes, red onion, minced garlic and English cucumber. Season with salt, pepper, dill and a splash of red wine vinegar. Mix until well combined. Chill until ready to use.
- To a bowl add quinoa, then the fish, tomato cucumber salad, tzatziki, harissa. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top if desired and enjoy!
Did you make it?
Tag @cookwithci on Instagram and hashtag #CookwithCi