Grilled Lemon Garlic Red Snapper is a delicious and healthy recipe you can make for lunch or dinner in under 30 minutes! Simple spices from your pantry, olive oil, and fresh lemon yield the most flaky and moist fish main dish!
When I first published this recipe for Grilled Lemon Garlic Red Snapper in 2018 it was all on a whim. Since publishing this fish recipe it has become an extremely popular recipe here on Katie’s Cucina. I wanted to update where needed, but also keep some of the story behind this meal. After all, this is a place where I love to share stories around food and my family.
(August 2018) I never intended to take last week off. It was my son’s first week of school and I was eager to get some work done while he was at school (still tending to the toddler). However, he was hit with the nastiest virus I’ve ever seen and he’s still sick. I had no time to write and just enough time to cook meals for our family. While I dealt with a sick child and a hyper-active toddler who had no concept of her brother being sick–my husband had planned to go red snapper fishing.
In Florida you only have two long weekends (Friday-Sunday) to catch a red snapper. It’s also a one red snapper per person rule. You better believe that anyone who loves to deep sea fish is on the water those two weekends.
The first weekend my husband went with friends and didn’t catch a single fish. Insert very disappointed husband. I felt bad for him, so I encouraged him to go the following weekend. You see, since having kids he is lucky to go out deep sea fishing a handful of times each year.
When I encouraged him to go he said he would try to go on a Friday so it didn’t disrupt our weekend. Even better for me. However, when I agreed to this I couldn’t have predicted that my son would be crazy sick with a virus. My husband was gone for 17.5 hours, had a blast, and brought home so much fish. It’s a good thing, since I had to schlep both kids to the pediatrician’s office and deal with a very sick child.
He caught a nice 25-30lb red snapper and between all the guys on the boat he came home with 3 dinners worth of red snapper! I rarely share personal photos, but I couldn’t resist! Look at these red snappers (and cobia)!!!
I whipped up this Grilled Lemon Garlic Red Snapper, for lunch over the weekend. It was probably the fanciest lunch I’ve made for us in a very long time. Below I’m going to share all the details about our red snapper meal.
- Red Snapper – This is the white fish of choice. Any snapper variety or flakey white fish will do!
- Olive Oil – I love the flavor of olive oil.
- Salt & Pepper – Make sure to give the fish a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Garlic Powder – I prefer the powder over crushed fresh garlic when grilling.
- Paprika – Gives a nice color to the fish but also flavor.
- Dried Parsley – I like to cook “easy” meaning little prep. You can use fresh if you heart desires. Just wait to add it until the end.
- Lemon – I love to use the juice of the lemon over the fish, then grill the remaining peices that I slice after extracting the juice.
The first thing you want to do is season your fish very well. I used a combination of olive oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder as the base. Then I added in a little paprika for color and additional flavor and dried parsley flakes.
Fresh parsley works too, but I was working fast and decided to just grab everything I had from the pantry! After I seasoned the red snapper, I then juiced half a lemon directly over the fish. The acidity from the lemon compliments the fish and gives an additional layer of flavor. Lemon is also a great substitute for salt. Keep that in mind if you are trying to cut back on salt.
I’ll be honest–I wanted to bake this red snapper, but it was so hot out and my husband and daughter were swimming by the pool. I forced myself to keep our house cool and grill the snapper. I pre-heated the grill on high heat and then reduced down to low. You absolutely MUST apply non-stick cooking spray to your grill or the fish will stick to the grill grates and it will be ruined!
Depending on the thickness of your fish will depend on the time you will need to cook it. I first started with 5 minutes on each side and then added an additional 5 minutes for a total of about 15 minutes. If you have a thinner, smaller piece of fish the 5 and 5 method should work. That is also known as the 10 minute rule for cooking fish. Essentially, 10 minutes per inch, turning it halfway through the cooking time.
I always heat my grill on high to preheat then reduce the heat on the grill to low. Spray the grill grates with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully, place the fish on top of the grill grates.
Grill with lid closed for 7 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lemon slices from the top of the fish and place on the grill grate. Carefully, using a spatula, flip the fish. Place the lemon slices back on the fish, close the lid and grill for an additional 7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the fish is cooked through. Cut fish into slices (if whole filet), divide among plates, and enjoy immediately.
Want to bake the fish? No worries, follow this same recipe and cook at 400 for the same amount of time the recipe indicated. Another tip, I like to use a glass baking dish when I cook fish!
Red snapper is a low-calorie, lean source of protein that is rich in selenium, vitamin A, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. A diet that regularly incorporates these nutrients may significantly benefit your health by preventing serious medical conditions. Despite the potential health benefits, red snapper may contain mercury levels that make it unsafe for pregnant women and young children to eat more than a few times a month. However, if it’s safe for you to eat in moderation, it can provide nutrients.
Facts about Red Snapper found here.
There are multiple ways to cook snapper. You can grill it just like I did in this recipe. Snapper can also be baked and pan seared.
Snapper is done when it is no longer translucent. When the filet is done the flesh should be opaque and flake easily when poked with the tines of a fork.
Serving suggestions with Red Snapper
Here are a few of my favorite side dishes I like to make with snapper.
- Instant Pot Quinoa
- The Best Green Beans Ever
- Grilled Parmesan and Pepper Asparagus
- Spinach and Feta Rice
- Grilled Asparagus in Foil
Cooking tools needed to cook red snapper
All of the tools I’m about to list are all tools that I use on a daily basis in my kitchen and some of my favorites! They also help me create the most delicious snapper dinner.
- Baking Sheet – for transporting to and from the grill
- Spatula – You’ll need a spatula to carefully remove the snapper off the grill.
- OXO 16″ Grilling Tongs – I also like to use tongs when removing the snapper with the the spatula.
- Meat Thermometer – I use a meat thermometer to always check that my meat and fish are done.
If your looking for a healthy and new way to cook red snapper I hope you’ll give my easy recipe for Grilled Lemon Garlic Red Snapper.
If you make this recipe, I would be honored and love for you to take the time to leave a star rating and comment! I spend hours developing and testing these recipes, and always love to hear feedback and user experience!
Grilled Lemon Garlic Red Snapper
- 1.5 lb red snapper fillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 lemon juiced and sliced
- Preheat the grill to high heat.
- While the grill heats begin seasoning the fish. Pour the olive oil over the red snapper. Then sprinkle half the salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika over the finish. Massage into the fish. Flip over and repeat. Flip the fish back over and sprinkle the dried parsley on top.
- Cut the lemon in half. Juice one half of the lemon and drizzle over then slice the other half of the lemon and place on top of the fish.
- Reduce the heat on the grill to low. Spray the grill grates with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully, place the fish on top of the grill grates. Grill with lid closed for 7 minutes. Using tongs, remove the lemon slices from the top of the fish and place on the grill grate. Carefully, using a spatula, flip the fish. Place the lemon slices back on the fish, close the lid and grill for an additional 7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the fish is cooked through. Cut fish into slices (if whole filet), divide among plates, and enjoy immediately.
- Want to bake the fish? No worries, follow this same recipe and cook at 400 Fahrenheit for the same amount of time the recipe indicates.
- If baking, I like to use a glass baking dish when I cook fish!
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