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Whole Roasted Red Snapper with Potatoes and Onions Recipe

Grilling or roasting a whole fish is easy with this recipe, which gives options for both cooking methods. Red snapper is an excellent fish to cook whole, whether it's your first time cooking a whole fish or if you're a pro. Here, we cut slashes into the flesh of the fish and smear a paste of ground parsley, capers, salt, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes into each cut, so the paste seasons the fish inside and out.


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for rubbing

  • 1 (3-pound) red snapper, cleaned and scaled

  • Lemon juice, for serving (optional)


  1. Chop parsley, capers, and garlic; combine with crushed red pepper and a large pinch of salt. Transfer paste to a small bowl and stir in oil. Make 5 parallel 3-inch-long slashes on each side of snapper, slicing almost through to bone. Lightly season fish with salt and fill slashes with paste. Rub fish all over with canola oil.

  2. To roast snapper, preheat oven to 425°F. Transfer fish to a heavy rimmed baking sheet so it stands upright. To keep fish stable, splay belly flaps and set a crumpled foil ball under tail. Roast fish for 30 minutes, until flesh just flakes. Transfer fish to a platter. Using 2 forks, lift fillets off bones and serve.

  3. To grill snapper, preheat grill to medium (400°F). Place fish in a metal grilling basket brushed with canola oil. Place basket on grill grate; grill, reducing heat if needed to maintain temperature of 400°F, until fish is lightly charred on first side, 10 minutes. Carefully flip basket; grill until fish is lightly charred on other side, 10 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over fish and serve.

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