Magdalena Roze's One Pan Whole Snapper

Magdalena Roze's simple and delicious one-pan snapper dish, uses up fridge staples and is a great meat-free meal for the whole family...

"I came up with this dish when Mum brought over a beautiful whole snapper, and I needed to make do with whatever was in the fridge. But as Darren would say, that’s when the magic happens! Luckily, I’d been to the farmers’ market a couple of days before, so I had some fennel, tomatoes, olives and capers knocking around. The beauty of this dish is that it takes about 15 minutes to prepare the sauce, using only one pan, then you pour yourself a vino and put your feet up while the oven does the rest. Even if you happen to leave it in the oven for a little too long, it still stays nice and moist due to the sauce and steaming. It’s hearty and filling on its own, but it's delicious with white rice or farro, too. If you want to stick to the one-pan rule then begin the recipe now and leave the capers in the sauce. But if you’re willing to bend the rules a little by using an extra pan (it’s only a small one!), then you can take this dish to the next level by topping it with crispy, fried capers – your choice, but I know what I’d do!"

See Need Want Influencers Magdalena Roze Celebrity Cookbook Recipe Snapper Home
Recipe by: Magdalena Roze, Photography by: Rob Palmer
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15-20 minutes
Serves 2
Difficulty Easy


  • Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  • Step 2. Heat the ghee in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, onion and fennel for about 10 minutes, until soft. Stir in the tomato, olives and capers (if you're not frying them; SEE NOTE), season to taste and cook for about 2 minutes until the tomato starts to fall apart and create a sauce. Pour in the white wine and cook the mixture for another couple of minutes until the wine has reduced and the sauce smells divine. NOTE: To make crunchy capers, omit the capers from the sauce then, while the fish is baking, toss the capers in 1 tablespoon of cornflour and fry in a small frying pan in 1 teaspoon of ghee over medium heat until crisp and golden brown. Scatter over the top of the fish when ready to serve.

  • Step 3. Meanwhile, zest the lemon, then cut it in half and slice one of the halves into semi-circles. Set the remaining half aside.

  • Step 4. Score the fish 3–4 times diagonally on both sides, making the incisions on one side large enough to fit the slices of lemon.

  • Step 5. Remove the pan from the heat and place the fish on top of the sauce, spooning some of the mixture over the fish and into the cavities. Push the lemon slices into the scored incisions. If the fish is too big for the pan, cut off the tail or head and put it back in the pan – don’t throw it away!

  • Step 6. Cover the pan with foil and place it in the oven to cook for about 15–20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish reaches 60°C (you can check this with a meat thermometer). If you’re cooking a larger snapper (say 1 kg), it will take around 25–30 minutes.

  • Step 7. Remove from the oven, discard the foil and squeeze the remaining lemon over the fish. Serve, topped with the lemon zest, torn parsley and dill. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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