Stuffed Roasted Whole Fish

August 5, 2018

Author Notes:

I love making a big batch of something then repurposing it throughout the week. Here's my big batch of roasted fish. There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to roasting a whole fish. Have the fishmonger remove the head, tail, and bones if you or your family is a bit squeamish. You’ll roast all four fish at the same time on the same baking sheet, so you’ll need a large rimmed one—don’t try this on a cookie sheet!

Mike Zimmerman

Serves: 4 with leftovers
Prep time: 13 min
Cook time: 12 min


  • 4 whole branzino or trout, butterflied
  • 1 lemon, zest only cut thin into strips
  • 3 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 1 bunch of parsely, chopped
In This Recipe


  1. 1. Heat the oven to 500. Run the fish under cold water and feel around the filet for little pin-bones. The spine will be discarded when you serve the fish, so don’t worry about the bones there. Remove any pin-bones with a tweezer. Generally, your fishmonger will remove them for you, but even the best miss a few small ones.
  2. 2. Pat the fish dry and salt with kosher salt all the fish on both sides of the filet.
  3. 3. Stuff fish with garlic and lemon strips, being careful not to overstuff. Place all four fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until fish is white and flakey, no longer translucent.
  4. 4. Remove the fish from the baking sheet using two spatulas to prevent the fish from breaking. When serving, carefully remove each filet from the spine. Serve with quick lemon vinaigrette, mashing the roasted garlic into a delicious paste and whisking in.

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