Grilled Whole Fish with Lemon and Thyme

grilled whole fish lemon thyme
Photo: Paola + Murray
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
8 to 10 Serves

Use the freshest white fish you can find for this recipe. Stuffed with lemons and thyme, it cooks in no time on the grill, which makes for an easy dinner. The fish is especially delicious with a dab of homemade Sorrel Green-Goddess Dressing.


  • Olive oil, for rubbing

  • 2 white fish, such as scup, pike, perch, or trout (each 1 ½ to 2 pounds), gutted, scaled, and patted dry

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 lemons, 2 thinly sliced into rounds, 2 halved

  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

  • Sorrel Green-Goddess Dressing, for serving


  1. Preheat grill for direct-heat cooking, or build a fire and burn down wood until only red coals and gray ash remain.

  2. Rub a thin film of oil over cavities and skins of fish. Generously season all over (including cavities) with salt and pepper. Divide half of lemon rounds and thyme sprigs evenly between cavities. Secure cavities with skewers.

  3. Place fish in a grill basket; scatter remaining lemon rounds, halved lemons, and thyme around them. Place basket on grill grate and cook, turning once, until fish are charred in places and just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Fillet fish and cut into portions. Serve with grilled lemon halves and dressing.

Cook's Notes

This recipe requires a large fish or grill basket.

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