Grilled Blackened Red Snapper

Grilled Blackened Red Snapper on a plate with okra, lemon and a fork

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
823 Calories
70g Fat
3g Carbs
46g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 823
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 70g 90%
Saturated Fat 31g 154%
Cholesterol 202mg 67%
Sodium 2011mg 87%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 8mg 39%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 981mg 21%
*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 in many other blends. The hot cayenne pepper is optional, with a minimum amount suggested. If you have kids or guests who do not 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.

"This grilled blackened red snapper recipe is so delicious and easy to make! The lemon-butter sauce is a great addition to this dish because it compliments the lean and firm fish very well" —Kiana Rollins

Grilled Red Snapper/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 teaspoon paprika

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

  • 1 teaspoon salt, more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 red snapper fillets, halved

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • Oil for the grill grates

  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Blackened Red Snapper ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Mix together the paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper.

    Paprika, cayenne, salt, garlic salt, onion salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Sprinkle the seasoning over each side of the snapper. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to high heat (500F to 600F).

    Red snapper with spices on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. 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 Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Remove from heat and add butter, and salt to taste. Mix well.

    Lemon juice and butter in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Right before placing fish on the grill, oil the grill grates well. Make several passes as this will create a nice non-stick surface.

    Cleaning the grill

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Grill the red snapper about 4 to 5 minutes on one side, depending on thickness, until the seasonings are blackened.

    Spiced red snapper on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Turn the snapper over and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes until done or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 F.

    Red snapper cooking on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Remove the fish from grill and plate. Add parsley to the lemon butter and spoon 1/4 of the butter mixture over each piece of fish.

    Grilled Blackened Red Snapper on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi


  • 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.