Cajun Grilled Red Snapper

published Jun 22, 2022
Grilled Red Snapper Recipe

Serve this simple grilled fish with any kind of grilled vegetable for the perfect light summer dinner.


Prep15 minutes

Cook4 minutes to 5 minutes

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pieces of grilled red snapper with lemon wedges on the platter, and a silver fork resting on the plate.
Credit: Maria Do

The beginning of June marks the start of my dad’s favorite holiday: Red snapper season. It’s a Louisiana fisherman’s paradise. Some of the most memorable catches I have with my dad are of red snapper because of their dramatic reel-ins and subsequent bragging-rights photo op. 

Red snapper is a delicate white fish with a flaky texture and a pleasantly clean taste. I’ve cooked red snapper many ways throughout the years with my dad, from steaming to pan-searing to grilling. Grilling red snapper is a great way to cook the fish, especially if the fillets still have skin on them for easier release. This recipe is my simple way to prepare grilled red snapper with Cajun seasoning as we always did in Louisiana. 

What Does Grilled Snapper Taste Like?

Red snapper is a delicate and moist white fish with a clean, slightly sweet taste.

What’s the Best Way to Eat Red Snapper?

The best way to enjoy red snapper is with some butter to add fat to the lean fish and an acid like lemon juice.

Do You Eat Red Snapper Skin?

Yes, you can eat red snapper skin. Once it’s been scaled and cooked, red snapper skin can be delicious — especially if cooked thin and crispy like a chip. 

Credit: Maria Do

What Does Grilled Snapper Taste Like?

Grilled snapper has a clean, slightly sweet taste and will take on the flavors of its seasonings easily. 

How Long Do You Grill Red Snapper?

Grill red snapper on medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 130ºF for a perfect medium. 

What to Serve with Grilled Red Snapper?

Grilled red snapper can be served with grilled vegetables like summer squash, zucchini, or corn, and grains like a rice pilaf.

Grilled Red Snapper Recipe

Serve this simple grilled fish with any kind of grilled vegetable for the perfect light summer dinner.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 4 minutes to 5 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 4

    (4 to 6-ounce) red snapper fillets (skin-on or skinless)

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil, plus more for the grill grates

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    Cajun or Old Bay seasoning*, plus more as needded


  1. Heat an outdoor grill for medium, direct heat. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium lemon into 4 wedges. Cut 2 tablespoons unsalted butter into 4 pieces.

  2. Pat 4 red snapper fillets dry with paper towels. Rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season all over with 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun or Old Bay seasoning. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bring the baking sheet, fish, butter, and flat spatula out to the grill.

  3. Scrape the grill grates clean if needed. Oil the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in olive oil. Place the fish on the grill grates (skin side down if skin-on). Cover and grill until the bottoms turn opaque and a flat spatula can slide underneath the fillets with little resistance, about 2 minutes. Flip the fillets, cover, and grill until almost completely opaque and the center of each registers at least 125ºF, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  4. Transfer the fillets to the baking sheet. Top each fillet with a piece of butter, then pull up the sides of the foil to meet in the middle and cover the red snapper completely. Let sit for 5 minutes: The residual heat will increase the internal temperature to about 130ºF and also create steam to keep the fish moist. Uncover and serve with the lemon wedges for squeezing and more Cajun or Old Bay seasoning as needed.

Recipe Notes

Cajun Seasoning or Old Bay substitute: To make your own Cajun seasoning at home, combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional). This makes about 3 tablespoons seasoning.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.