Easy Whole Roasted Fish Recipe with Fresh Herbs and Lemon – Healthy Seafood Dinner Idea

Easy Whole Roasted Fish Recipe with Fresh Herbs and Lemon - Healthy Seafood Dinner Idea

Elevate your seafood game with this mouthwatering whole roasted fish recipe. Perfect for impressing guests or enjoying a special dinner at home, this dish combines the natural flavors of fresh fish with zesty lemon and aromatic herbs. Learn how to select, prepare, and cook whole fish like a pro!

Cooking whole fish may seem intimidating, but it’s actually one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to prepare seafood. Not only does it result in a stunning presentation, but it also ensures maximum flavor and moisture. This recipe will guide you through the process, from selecting the freshest catch to serving up a perfectly roasted fish that’s sure to wow your taste buds.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use various types of white-fleshed fish, such as sea bass, snapper, branzino, or porgy. The key is to choose fresh, high-quality fish and let its natural flavors shine through with simple, complementary ingredients.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk about sustainability. When shopping for fish, look for responsibly caught options. Many fishmongers now offer sustainable seafood, and organizations like Greenpeace provide helpful guides for making eco-friendly choices. By choosing sustainable fish, you’re not only enjoying a delicious meal but also supporting healthier oceans.

Whole Roasted Fish With Fresh Herbs and Lemon Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (1 ¼ ounces; 36g), plus more for seasoning; for table salt use half as much by volume or the same weight
  • Two 1- to 2-pound (450 to 900g) head-on, whole white-fleshed fish, such as sea bass, snapper, branzino, or porgy, scaled and gutted
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing and drizzling
  • 1 lemon, sliced thinly crosswise into rounds, for stuffing the cavity
  • Fresh herb sprigs such as parsley, tarragon, or oregano, for stuffing the cavity


  1. Start by creating a brine for your fish. In a large bowl, combine 2 quarts (1.9L) of room-temperature water with 3 tablespoons of salt, stirring until dissolved. Submerge the fish in this brine for 10 minutes. This step helps to season the fish and ensure moist, flavorful results. After brining, remove the fish, drain, and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels, both inside and out.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C) and position the rack in the center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Season your fish generously inside and out with salt and pepper, then give it a good rub with olive oil. This will help create a beautifully crisp skin. Stuff the cavity with lemon slices and herb sprigs, which will infuse the fish with bright, fresh flavors as it cooks.
  3. Place the prepared fish on the baking sheet and roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C) when measured at the thickest part. This typically takes about 20 minutes for a 1-pound fish or 25 minutes for a 2-pound fish, but cooking times may vary depending on the size and shape of your fish. You’ll know it’s done when the fins easily pull away and you can feel the flesh flake under the skin when you press on it. Once cooked, let the fish rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
338 Calories
10g Fat
22g Carbs
44g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 920mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 112mg 558%
Calcium 132mg 10%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 1198mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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