This stuffed whole red snapper is bursting with Greek flavors and topped with a simple summer tomato salad for a light gourmet meal.

Long time readers know this story, but about a year and a half ago our house was on the market.

We decided, now that we knew we’d be in this area until retirement, we wanted a smaller, one-story house (preferably cheaper and with less taxes!) that we could completely make our own.

About 1 month in, we had an offer that met our minimum selling price and we went out on the search to find a new place to live.

Realizing new construction was going to cost just as much if not more than our current house even though we wanted to build a smaller house, we agreed upon finding an older home at a price point where it would make sense to gut renovate it.

Surprisingly, we did.

We went into contract and then we waited. Waited for our buyers to do their inspection, waited for contracts to be signed on both sides, waited for mortgages to go through, all the typical house selling and buying stuff.

Everything looked great until about two weeks out from closing, when we found out our buyer had apparently changed status at his place of employment from an employee to a contracted employee and his bank was not happy about it.

Long story short, our sale fell through and after our contract with our realtor ended, we decided not to move and instead to do everything to the house and yard we wanted to be happy here for the next 20 years.

Greek Stuffed Whole Red Snapper
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Of course, all this was AFTER I had completely pinned my heart out for my brand new kitchen, which included white cabinets, a gorgeous glass tile backsplash, Carrera marble countertops and professional grade appliances, including the dual- fuel 36” stove I had purchased from an outlet store, making it non-returnable.

I kept that stove for a few months, trying everything I could to figure out a way to fit it into our existing kitchen, but the floor plan and existing 30” cut out just wouldn’t cooperate.

To fit the 36” stove would mean cutting out cabinets, cutting granite countertops, losing my over the stove microwave (which is the only place it fits and no, I cannot live without a microwave), installing a stand-alone propane tank and running the line to the kitchen (because we currently have an electric stove) and shelling out at least $5,000 to do so.

After many tears (yes, I’m serious, I cried over this stove), we decided to put it on eBay and get rid of it.

Not only was my dual-fuel 36” stove dream gone, but we lost about half of what we paid for it too and some lady in Mississippi got my stainless steel baby… it hurt.

Thankfully, I’ve since been able to remodel my kitchen and get all those things and more.

Greek Stuffed Red Snapper

Fast forward a year and half later and we’ve done almost everything we wanted to this house to make us happy staying here.

From installing a front screen door to adding a water softener, replacing a dumbly placed and backwards installed French door to the deck with a slider, replacing our side by side bottom of the line fridge, and installing the pretty stone and glass mixed backsplash you see below in the kitchen, there are really only two ‘major’ things left I want to do.

Kitchen inspiration collage

Which brings us back to the stove.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that unless we gut this kitchen (and since it’s only 8 years old, that’s not happening), I’m not getting a 36” stove, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope of having a gas stove top. Considering I cook every day FOR MY JOB, (Ulysses doesn’t necessarily agree, but until he starts cooking dinner, he has no say) I’ve completely rationalized installing that propane tank, running the line and getting rid of this electric stove.

I’ve never had a gas stove in my life and just the thought of not having to wait 5 minutes to throw bacon on a skillet excites me beyond belief.

The other, slightly less major, but still a decent sized purchase, that needs to happen is replacing our dishwasher.

Again, I’m pretty sure the builder picked the cheapest bottom of the line stainless steel model he could because wash cycles take about 3 hours and it sounds like a jet engine is running in our kitchen that whole time.

With our only TV about 10 feet away without a wall separating the two rooms, this drives me nuts.

Stuffed Whole Red Snapper

I wanted to make a dish that reflected my dream professional-grade appliances and the first two things that came to mind were fancy and bold.

I’d say conquering my fear of cooking something with its head and eyeballs still intact like this whole red snapper fits both those things.

Not gonna lie and pretend this didn’t freak me out a bit, because it did, but making the fish monger butterfly and debone it helped tremendously.

Not to mention, just like with chicken, buying fish whole is SO much cheaper. Cheaper but looks prettier, kinda like the stove and dishwasher.

If you’re not down with the whole head-on fish thing (I get it), check out these other recipes: Tart Cherry Glazed Salmon, Lemony Tomato Herb Scallops or, Dijon Almond Crusted Tilapia.

And this bacon-wrapped salmon recipe can give you all the same impressive flavor with a much more minimalist approach.

And if you want more Greek inspired dishes to try, check out this Greek shrimp skillet or these Greek brown rice bowls.

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Greek Stuffed Whole Red Snapper

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
This stuffed whole red snapper is bursting with Greek flavors and topped with a simple summer tomato salad for a light gourmet meal.


  • 2 pounds whole red snapper, 1 large fish or 2 smaller, butterflied and deboned
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup parsley/basil leaves, whatever measurement of each to constitute 1/2 cup total
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sliced red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place the fish on the baking sheet, open the fish so that all the flesh/filet is exposed and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, parsley/basil and garlic in a food processor. Process until chopped. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the food processor with it running and continue processing until finely chopped. You want it to be a spreadable texture but not quite as smooth/liquid as pesto would be. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stuff the filets with the mixture and close the filet so that the fish looks whole again.
  • Drizzle with the outside of the fish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. The outside should be crispy while the inside flesh should be just done.
  • While the fish cooks, combine the tomatoes and red onion with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar and toss to combine.
  • To serve, plate the fish and spoon the tomato mixture on top.
  • Garnish with additional parsley and/or basil.


Serve with simple roasted potatoes for a light meal.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 511kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 64gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 364mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Greek

*This post is sponsored by Frigidaire Professional Collection and Lowe’s through Kitchen PLAY. All content and opinions are my own.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. We love fish. This looks fantastic! Love your ideas for a dream kitchen. Lowe’s redid mine a couple years back and I’m so happy with their products. I changed out my dark gray countertops to white … made a huge difference. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Wow, this is gorgeous! I’m still pretty intimidated by cooking fish, but this recipe sounds manageable and more importantly, delicious. Your whole house buying and selling story was stressing me out vicariously–so glad that you’ve worked out a solution you like!

  3. That would totally freak me out to cook a fish with the head still on, but you definitely made it fancy and bold!
    It broke my heart to read about your stove. I had a gas stove once and loved it…then we moved into a rental. I miss it like crazy. Sending positive thoughts your way that you will one day be gifted with one.

  4. Eek… you cooked something with the eyeballs.. way to go! Totally loving this fish, itl ooks gorgeous and the flavors are amazing!

  5. Dear Gina, What a stunning dish. I really love what you have done with this snapper. It sounds marvelous. xo, Catherine

  6. This fish is gorgeous! I totally want to buy a whole fish and stuff it. I would make Art eat it but I would have fun shooting it :) That stove looks dreamy too. What I wouldn’t do for a gas range of my own!

  7. This looks amazing and so flavourful Gina! Looks like the perfect summery al fresco dinner with the roast potatoes and a fresh salad!