Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

Blackened red snapper recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
420 Calories
41g Fat
8g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 420
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 633mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 10g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for blackened red snapper
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  2. Mix together the paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  3. Sprinkle over each side of the red snapper.

    Sprinkle with spices
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  4. Preheat the grill to high heat.

    Reheat grill
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  5. Bring the lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan or heat to a simmer in the microwave in a safe dish.

    Lemon juice
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  6. Remove from heat and add butter. Mix well.

    Remove from heat
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  7. Right before placing fish on the grill, oil the grill grates well. Make several passes as this will create a nice non-stick surface.

    Place fish on grill
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  8. Grill the red snapper about 5 to 6 minutes on one side, until the seasonings are blackened.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  9. 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.

    Turn cod over
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  10. Once cooked through, remove the fish from grill and plate.

    Cooked cod
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  11. Add parsley to the lemon butter and spoon a quarter of the butter mixture over each piece of fish.

    Add parsley
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  12. Serve with grilled vegetables or your favorite sides.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt
  13. Enjoy!

    Blackened red snapper
    ​The Spruce Eats / Victoria Heydt


  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • 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.