Look at this gorgeous parcel of pescatarian magic. Grouper. Citrus. Olives. Pistachios. Potatoes.
Yes, sign me up.
Grouper is the perfect headliner for this simple but sophisticated baked fish recipe. Creamy sliced potatoes serve as the foundation of the dish, topped with the flaky grouper, and a briny, citrusy olive tapenade.
This Easy Baked Grouper Packets with Citrus, Olives, and Pistachios is wrapped in parchment paper, sealed, and baked. 20 minutes later you're digging into a super flavorful dinner and dreaming you are on holiday in the south of France with your best friend and her French bulldog named Jacques.
This kind of baked fish packet is French in origin. "En Papillote" is what they call it, or "in
parchment." It's a simple recipe and method, but it makes for a beautiful presentation, and a
shockingly quick cleanup.
What You'll Need to Make Baked Grouper Recipe en Papillote:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Small white potatoes or fingerlings
- Fresh grouper fillets (with or without skin)
- Thin strips of orange rind and lemon rind
- Spanish olives
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
Step-by-step instructions for Easy Baked Grouper Packets with Citrus, Olives, and Pistachios:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add potatoes to a pot and cover with water. Boil for 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool until you can handle.
Add ¼ cup of olive oil, crushed olives, chopped pistachios, orange and lemon strips, sliced garlic
cloves, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to a
microwave safe small bowl. Heat for about a minute in the microwave, just enough to heat the oil
and begin steeping the herbs. Remove from microwave. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Dry grouper fish fillets with paper towels. Season each fillet with a pinch of coarse sea salt. Slice potatoes into ¼ inch thick slices. (potatoes can be peeled or unpeeled).
Arrange four large rectangles of parchment paper on the counter. Fold each in half like a book. Lay about 8-10 thin slices of potato on the center of one half of the parchment. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of the olive mixture over the potatoes.
Place fish fillets over the potatoes. Top with another 2-3 tablespoons of the olive mixture. Slice a lemon thinly and lay on top of the mixture. Close each packet by rolling and sealing the edges, like an empanada.
Carefully transfer the packets to a baking sheet.
Bake in the hot oven for 18-20 minutes. A general rule of thumb for baking fish is that it needs about
10 minutes for each inch of thickness of the fillet. In baking these packets that include veggies,
we increase that time. Remove and let the packets sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Carefully use scissors to cut an X in the top of each packet, being cautious of escaping steam. Add a sprinkle of salt, parsley and a squeeze of orange.
Serve with your favorite sides.
FAQ's and Tips:
What other kinds of fish can I use in this easy baked grouper recipe?
Grouper is one of my favorite fish, not only for its versatility in how it can be prepared, but
because there are so many varieties within the family - grey or red grouper, even black
grouper, depending on where you live and shop. Any flaky white fish fillet could be substituted for
grouper, including red snapper, yellowtail snapper, cod, halibut or even flounder.
Can I use different fresh herbs?
Thyme adds a really delicious lemony herbaceous flavor to this dish. A pinch of rosemary would
also work, but use a light hand, as rosemary can be strong and we don't want it to overpower the
mild flavor of the fish. And, of course, dill is always a winner with fish.
I'm all out of lemons - can I use a different citrus?
The orange peel and juice are the surprising citrus star in this dish. You'll notice I recommend
squeezing orange juice instead of fresh lemon juice before serving. So if you're out of lemons,
just use oranges. Lime zest and peels may be too aggressive for this dish, so I would avoid that
fruit, unless you're just adding a squeeze of lime juice. If you're out of all citrus, a splash of white
wine will add the acidity the dish needs.
I don't care for Spanish olives. Do I have other options?
Castelvetrano olives or kalamata olives would be delightful with these flaky fish packets.
Kalamata in particular will make this dish into a Mediterranean grouper. Let me know if you try it!
I don't have shallots - what else can I use?
Any onion will work here - yellow, white or red onions are all good options. Even leeks would be
delicious. Be sure to keep the dice very fine to ensure they soften in the short amount of time the
fish parcels bake using this cooking method. If you're fresh out of alliums, add a quarter teaspoon
of onion powder to the olive mixture.
What should I serve with this easy baked grouper recipe?
The potatoes and olive tapenade make for a flavorful and filling dish. I usually like to serve a
second side of seasoned green beans or cucumber gazpacho salad with sweet cherry tomatoes
for an easy weeknight meal.
Can I use frozen fish to make this recipe?
Absolutely. Just thaw the fish filets in the refrigerator overnight and be sure to dry the fish very
well with paper towels before wrapping in the parchment parcels.
What can I do with leftovers?
Reheat in the oven or stovetop gently and serve as an entrée with a side of green vegetables,
over a simple salad, or flake the fish into hot corn tortillas, top with mango salsa and have a fish
tacos party. If you really want to get crazy, break out the rye bread and sauerkraut and whip up a
To store, wrap tightly or transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2
days. To reheat, transfer to a large skillet or cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat just until
heated through. To warm in oven, transfer to a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees just until
Looking for more grouper recipes? Try my blackened grouper sandwiches recipe next!