Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

Grilled Red Snapper
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  • 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (38)

Blackened red snapper is a flavorful Cajun-style main dish. It is usually fried in a cast iron skillet, but you can make it on your grill. For this recipe, you will want to have your grill as hot as possible. The idea is to get the seasonings to blacken before you flip the red snapper. Once the fish is grilled, it's topped with a flavorful butter sauce. Blackened red snapper is absolutely delicious and perfect for just about any occasion.

Many recipes for Cajun seasonings emphasize heat. With this rub, the herbs and spices come to the fore and you will use less black pepper than is seen in many blends. The hot cayenne pepper is optional, with a minimum amount suggested. If you have kids or guests who don't like it too hot, this is a good recipe for your snapper.

Commercially harvested Gulf red snapper is available from July through September. If you are buying whole red snapper, look for healthy fish that have deep red fins, pinkish bellies, and red gills. Fillets sold with the skin on are more likely to be genuine red snapper. When buying fillets, look for moist, reflective white flesh.

What You'll Need

  • 2 red snapper fillets (halved)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) parsley (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne (or more to taste)

How to Make It

  1. Mix together the paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Sprinkle over each side of the red snapper.
  2. Preheat the grill to high heat. Right before placing fish on the grill, oil the grill grates well.  Make several passes as this will create a nice non-stick surface.
  3. Bring the lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan or heat to a simmer in the microwave in a safe dish. Remove from heat and add butter. Mix well.
  1. Grill the red snapper about 5 to 6 minutes on one side, until the seasonings are blackened. Turn the snapper over and grill for another 5 to 6 minutes until done or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 F.
  2. Once cooked through, remove the fish from grill and plate.
  3. Add parsley to the lemon butter and spoon a quarter of the butter mixture over each piece of fish.

Serve with grilled vegetables or your favorite sides.


If you like a more aggressively seasoned blackened snapper, you can boost the black pepper to as much as a tablespoon and cayenne to as much as 2 teaspoons. If your guest list has mixed likes and dislikes, you can sprinkle some extra black pepper and cayenne on the fillets of those who want more heat.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 420
Total Fat 41 g
Saturated Fat 17 g
Unsaturated Fat 16 g
Cholesterol 61 mg
Sodium 633 mg
Carbohydrates 8 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 10 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)