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How To Cook A Whole Fish

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


A step-by-step tutorial for how to roast a whole fish in the oven.  Feel free to top with any of your favorite sauces or toppings!


  • 1 large whole fish (such as mahi mahi, sea bass, or branzino), scaled and gutted
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil*
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • handful of fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme)
  • sea salt, freshly-cracked black pepper and garlic powder


  1. Heat oven to 450°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, or grease with cooking spray.
  2. Give your fish one final good rinse once you’re ready to cook, then lightly pat it dry with paper towels.  Use a sharp knife to lightly score the top of the fish in diagonal lines about 1-inch apart.
  3. Brush the fish generously on both sides with the oil.  Then briefly brush the inner cavity with oil as well.
  4. Slice half of the lemon into slices, and stuff those as well as the garlic and herbs into the cavity of the fish (being sure that the garlic is completely tucked in and not exposed).
  5. Season the outside of the fish generously with a few good pinches of sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  6. Roast for 18-20 minutes, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F and flakes easily with a fork.  (Cooking time will vary depending on the size/variety of your fish.)
  7. Remove from the oven, and squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half evenly over the top of the fish.
  8. Serve warm, and enjoy!


  • Be sure to use regular refined olive oil (not extra virgin) or any other high-heat oil that you prefer.