Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

Blackened red snapper recipe

​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
319 Calories
25g Fat
2g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 319
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 1185mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 490mg 10%
*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.

Many recipes for Cajun seasonings emphasize heat. With this rub, the herbs and spices come to the forefront 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 their food too hot, this is a good recipe for your snapper.

Blackened red snapper is absolutely delicious and perfect for just about any occasion. Serve it with grilled vegetables and salad for a complete meal.


  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste, optional

  • 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 red snapper fillets, halved

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for blackened red snapper

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  2. Mix together the paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper.

    Spices in a bowl with a spoon nearby

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  3. Sprinkle the seasoning over each side of the red snapper.

    Red snapper sprinkle with spices

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  4. Preheat the grill to high heat.

    Grill preheating

    ​The Spruce / 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 in a bowl

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  6. Remove from heat and add butter. Mix well.

    Bowl of lemon juice and butter with a whisk.

    ​The Spruce / 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.

    Oiling the grill with tongs and a paper towel

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  8. Grill the red snapper about 5 to 6 minutes on one side, until the seasonings are blackened.

    Red snapper on the grill

    ​The Spruce / 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.

    Red snapper flipped over on the grill

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  10. Once cooked through, remove the fish from grill and plate.

    Cooked red snapper on plates.

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  11. Add parsley to the lemon butter and spoon 1/4 of the butter mixture over each piece of fish.

    Red snapper on plates with parsley and lemon butter

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  12. Serve with grilled vegetables or your favorite sides. Enjoy.

    Cooked red snapper with side dishes

    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt


  • 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.
  • Overcooking is the primary reason red snapper may be tough and dry. Pull it from the grill when the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Recipe Variations

  • If you like a more aggressively seasoned blackened snapper, boost the black pepper to as much as 1 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.