Whole Grilled Fish with Avocado Mango Salad

Whole Grilled Fish with Avocado Mango Salad

Grilled whole fish is easier than it looks! Try this recipe for the butteriest, most flavorful grilled whole fish paired with an avocado mango salad.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins



  • 2 whole fish, about 1 pound each
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for spritzing
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 whole lemons
  • a bunch of fresh thyme
  • fresh herbs for serving, like cilantro and mint
  • kitchen twine

Avocado Mango Salad

  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and sliced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • juice of 1 whole lime


  1. Important!! Bring your fish out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before grilling. This helps the fish to not stick to the grill.
  2. Preheat your grill grates on medium to high heat for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the inside of each fish with olive oil, then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stuff each with the slices of one whole lemon, garlic cloves and fresh thyme. Use a piece of kitchen twine to secure the fish together. This helps the stuffing stay inside the fish on the grill, especially when flipping it. Spray the outside of the fish with olive oil or avocado oil – or another high-heat oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Gently place the fish on the grill. Grill for 7 to 8 minutes, then carefully flip the fish over using tongs or a grill spatula. Grill for 7 to 8 minutes more. You want the inside of the fish to be opaque and the outside skin to be crisp. In the meantime, slice the remaining lemons in half and place them cut-side down on the grill. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Note: for the red snapper in the photos, I stuffed it with the same ingredients and used the same method! I added about 5 minutes cook time per side because it was much larger.
  6. You can serve the whole fish exactly as is or you can follow these instructions on carving the whole fish from Serious Eats. Serve with the lemons for spritzing, the avocado mango salad and fresh herbs, like cilantro and mint. Devour!
  7. To make the avocado mango salad just mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve immediately!

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