Whole roasted fish is the easiest, healthiest, quickest meal to cook. Plus, picking at a fish for hours at the dinner table is one of the slowest, most enjoyable ways to dine. When you eat whole fish, you have to watch for bones so it forces you to eat slowly, enjoy the sips of wine in between bites, and savor every moment with family and friends. This meal takes about 2 minutes to prep, then you throw it in the oven and forget about it. In about 30 minutes, dinner is ready.

  • 1 whole large red snapper, gutted, cleaned, scaled 
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper 
  • 2 lemon slices + 1 lemon for serving 
  • 2 stems rosemary + more for garnish 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp coriander 
  • Good quality, fruity olive oil 

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Rinse and pat the snapper dry and place on a baking sheet. Cut 3 slits on each side of the fish. Salt and pepper the cavity (belly) and both sides generously, pressing to adhere. Stuff the cavity with lemon slices and rosemary. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, garlic powder, and coriander. Sprinkle on both sides of the fish, pressing to adhere. Drizzle olive oil generously over the top. 

Place in the oven and roast for about 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through and easy to flake with a fork. Serve whole with more olive oil drizzled on top and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Garnish with rosemary. 

Andrea LeTard is the author of Andrea’s Cooktales: A Keepsake Cookbook. She runs a full-time Memphis-based cooking business where she’s a recipe blogger, personal chef, cooking instructor, and freelance recipe and culinary writer. Andrea has been featured on Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Today Show. She was chosen as a Top 100 Contestant on MasterChef Season 6. Follow Andrea on Facebook, Instagram (@andreas_cooktales), and her video blog series at Andreascooktales.com.