Stuffed Whole Red Snapper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 2 to 4
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into rings
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into rings
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into rings
  • 1 large red onion, cut into rings
  • 1 (3 ½ -pound) whole red snapper, cleaned and gutted
  • 1 cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 large homegrown tomato, cut into slices
  • 1 large lemon, cut into slices
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves with stems
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, quartered, for serving
  1. Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
  2. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the rings of peppers and onions across the surface. Set aside for later.
  3. Rinse the fish, inspect that all scales have been removed, and the cavity of the fish is cleaned out. Pat dry and move to a cutting board. Score the skin on one side with a sharp knife to make three long, deep slits. Spoon over the pesto and massage the surface of the fish with your hands, making sure that the seasoning gets into the slits.
  4. Open the cavity of the fish and layer in the stuffing: tomato slices, lemon slices, and stalks of fresh basil.
  5. Place the fish atop the vegetable-lined tray, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake uncovered until the flesh flakes easily with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
One whole, 3½-pound snapper should serve two to four people, so if you have a larger crowd, increase your recipe accordingly. For presentation, either bring it to the table on the baking tray, or use two spatulas to gently move the fish to a platter, being careful not to break off the tail section. Serving is easy: begin flaking the cooked fish into portions from one side then pull out the center bone and serve the remaining fish on the second side.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at