Lemon Garlic Baked Snapper is a great fish dish. It’s a grown up meal, perfect for a Sunday Supper.

For this recipe the snapper is wrapped in foil before being placed in the oven. The steam caught up in the foil helps to cook the fish to a perfect moist yet firm consistency.


Lemon Garlic Baked Snapper by Diverse Dinners


The lemon and garlic are the obvious flavors in this dish, but a mixture of cayenne, coriander, turmeric and allspice really amp up the taste and gives the sauce a rich character. The juices of the fish are released during cooking and become one with the ingredients applied. The result is a lip-smacking sauce. Rice is the perfect partner for Lemon Garlic Baked Snapper, it helps to soak up the sauce. 


Lemon Garlic Baked Snapper by Diverse Dinners


If you’re looking for a meal lower on the calories scale, you can forgo the rice and serve green veggies instead. Here’s a few suggestions:


Cherry Tomato Edamame Salad


Thyme Roasted Cauliflower


Garlic Kale and Farro Salad



I used red snapper for this recipe, a very common species which hails from the Caribbean. When buying whole red snapper, be sure to check that the eyes are clear and red. Clear eyes indicates a fresh fish.

Ask your fishmonger to clean the fish for you, as there is quite a bit of work that goes into cleaning snapper. A fishmonger has a handy tool that removes scales in minutes. You can ask for the head and tail on or off, your preference, but as I mentioned previously, make sure you see the eyes of the fish before you buy it.

When cooking whole snapper you need to score both sides a couple of times, this will allow the flavor of the ingredients to sink into the flesh. Don’t skip this part of the recipe.

Cooking whole fish can be a little daunting, but the results are well worth the effort. 




Serves 2

Lemon Garlic Baked Snapper

15 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 x whole snapper - approx. 1 lb - 1 1/2 lb (cleaned and descaled / head and tail on or off as preferred)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 6 garlic gloves (minced)
  • 1 large lemon sliced
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Equipment & Utensils
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large baking sheet


  1. Rinse each snapper in cool water with a drop or two of lemon to rid the fish from any debris left after cleaning.
  2. Cut two diagonal slits on either side of each fish. Cut quite deep until you reach the bone.
  3. Tear off two large sheets of foil large enough to envelope each snapper and place on top of baking sheet.
  4. Place each snapper in the middle of each foil sheet.
  5. Drizzle lemon juice over each fish.
  6. Mix together salt and spices and sprinkle inside and over the top of each fish.
  7. Push as much of the garlic as you can into the slits you cut and then place the rest in the inside cavity of each fish.
  8. Place a couple of lemon slices inside the cavity of each fish and the rest on top.
  9. Drizzle each fish with a modest amount of olive oil.
  10. Shuffle each fish around in the foil a little to mix the ingredients that have fallen off to the sides.
  11. Loosely fold foil around fish to create a sealed pouch.
  12. Place in preheated oven at 350 and cook for 30 mins.
  13. Remove fish from oven and open up pouches and make sure the fish is beginning to cook as expected. Be careful not to spill the juices that have collected at the bottom of each pouch.
  14. Raise oven temperature to 425, reseal pouches and return to oven.
  15. Cook for a further 10 mins then remove from oven.
  16. Each fish should be flaky and opaque. Taste the sauce to ensure the flavors are nicely combined.
  17. If your fish needs more cooking return to the oven for a further 5-10 mins.
  18. Once cooked remove lemon slices from cavity and serve as desired.