Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper Recipe

Serves/Makes: 3-4 servings


  •     For Baked Fish:
  • 1 whole snapper (about 2 pounds), cleaned, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • Few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  •     For Pistou:
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  •     For Herb Quinoa:
  • 1 cup dry (white) quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Handful fresh herbs (parsley, mint, thyme - whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to cook Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper:

For Pistou:

  • In the cavity of the mortar, add the garlic clove along with a generous pinch of kosher salt; blend with the pestle until you get a smooth paste.
  • Add basil and continue to mash/pound until all the basil is well-combined and very smooth. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, simply add all pistou ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.)
  • Add tomato and continue to mash until smooth.
  • Add olive oil, lemon zest and Parmesan; continue to mash until well combined (if it’s too thick, add a bit more olive oil).
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
 For Herb Quinoa:
  • Combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Once it boils, cover and turn off the heat.
  • Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes then fluff with a fork.
  • Mix in herbs, butter, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to serve.
For Baked Fish:
  • Heat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut 2-3 diagonal slits in each side of the fish (down to the bone).
  • Rub each side of the fish with olive oil; sprinkle each side with salt and pepper, plus the inside cavity.
  • Stuff the cavity with lemons, oranges, garlic, shallots, and rosemary.
  • Layer several slices of lemons and oranges on the baking sheet, along with any left-over shallot, garlic and rosemary; place the stuffed fish on top.
  • Place baking sheet in the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes. To test doneness, try to pull out a fin - if it comes out easily, it’s done.
  • When finished, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Carefully remove the fish and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Serve the Whole Roasted Snapper topped with pistou and herb quinoa as a side dish.
  • Enjoy!
Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe
Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe
Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe
Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe


The Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe easy to cook and so good!


If you’re fortunate enough to catch a fish yourself, that’s great, but you can also find one at your local fish market (truly the best way to avoid all messy work). A fishmonger can prep it for you, including cleaning, gutting, trimming and removing scales. But when you get home, be sure to soak the fish in a saltwater solution (2 cups of water + 2 tablespoons salt) for about 10-15 minutes before cooking - this ensures better flavor and moisture of the cooked fish.

The fun part starts when you’re ready to cook and you start thinking about what to stuff the fish’s cavity with, including herbs, citrus, garlic, or whatever you have on hand that will infuse it with yummy flavor. You can get creative, so don’t worry about having exact ingredients to get started with this recipe.

I served the fish with an herb quinoa and topped it all with a few dabs of pistou (pronounced ‘pee-stoo’) - an olive oil-based sauce that originates from the south of France. Basically, it’s a lot like pesto, but without the pine nuts. True pistou is made by hand in a mortar and pestle, but contemporary folks have been using food processors to save time, with similar results. I actually like to make the traditional version, since I have a mortar and pestle, and it results in a slightly more creamy texture.

And while it’s not customary, I like to add a little lemon zest and juice to brighten up all the flavors. This very garlicky sauce is great with fish, veggies, poultry or grilled meats, so I thought it would make a nice accompaniment to my citrus-infused roasted snapper.

I served the whole fish on a plate. It was actually pretty easy to eat - we just peeled away the skin and pulled apart the flakes of delicious, infused meat, careful to avoid the tiny bones.

This recipe for Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper serves/makes: 3-4 servings

The Citrus Infused Whole Roasted Snapper recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Snapper (more Snapper recipes)
Preparation Method: Baked (more Baked recipes)

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