Roasted Whole Fish

Roasting requires less prep than salt-baking, and less attention while cooking than grilling, plus it's quicker than both of those methods. 

Roasted Whole Fish
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins


  • One 4-pound fish, such as red snapper or sea bass, cleaned and scaled

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 8 parsley stems

  • 3 crushed garlic cloves

  • 6 halved lemon slices

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Let the fish stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

  2. Set the fish in a large, shallow roasting pan. Brush all over with the oil and season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the parsley stems, garlic and lemon. Add the wine to the pan.

  3. Roast the fish in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, occasionally spooning the pan juices over the fish. The fish is done when the flesh is white throughout and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part near the head registers 135°. Let the fish stand for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer it to a large platter and spoon the pan juices on top.

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