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Baked Lemon Garlic Red Snapper Fish

Juicy, flavorful, white flesh Baked Red Snapper with lemon and garlic. This red snapper fish recipe is seasoned with cajun or creole seasoning and baked in the oven in just 20 minutes. A nutritious dinner that is low fat, gluten-free, low carb, and easy to prepare with just a few ingredients.
Red Snapper baked then broiled in oven with a golden brown charred top. Topped with broiled lemon slices and parsley.

Baked Red Snapper Fish is a delicious mild tasting deep sea delicacy and a staple fish in the south. It is the most popular white fish. Pairing it with a few spices, citrus, and fresh herbs transforms this healthy fish into the perfect entrée.

What is red snapper?

Red snapper is a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor deep sea fish found in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. In addition, it is also known as the northern red snapper, the Gulf red snapper, and the Caribbean red snapper. The fish gets its name from its appearance. It is a rosy red colored fish that dwells near reefs in salt water between 60-1000 feet deep. It has a firm texture, moist white fish meat, and is known for its mild flavor and versatility is both cooking methods and cuisine. It is best pan-fried or baked in the oven.

Known for it’s taste and nutrition, red snapper fish is a very popular fish caught both commercially and recreationally. Every year, my husband catches this fish during their annual deep sea fishing expedition off the coast of Destin, Florida in late May or early June. If you want to catch this type of fish recreationally you will need the experience of a great charter fishing team. They typically reach their limit out at sea and catch all types of fish including the snapper. The family favorite is red snapper.

Dinner time is always a blast. Red snapper is mild in flavor and is such a versatile fish to cook. It can be made with a wide variety of spices, herbs, and citrus to customize a regional flavor. This baked snapper recipe is a family favorite.

Charter Fishing with family Baked Red Snapper Fish

How to Make Oven Baked Red Snapper

Baked Red Snapper is a delightful dish that stands out in its simplicity and flavor. The baking method truly allows the natural taste of the Red Snapper fish to shine, while also letting it take on the flavors of the seasoning and any accompaniments. To start, preparing the fillets is crucial. These should be generously coated with olive oil. This coating not only guarantees a crispy exterior but also ensures that the seasoning adheres well to the fish.

Once the Red Snapper fillets are well-oiled, they’re ready to be seasoned on both sides. An additional layer of flavor comes from the citrusy brightness of lemons. Though you could use lemon juice or zest, this recipe calls for lemon slices. By placing them atop the fish, the Baked Red Snapper absorbs the citrusy essence during the baking process. The end goal is to bake until the top of the fish showcases a lovely brown hue, and the lemon slice has a shriveled appearance, signaling the fish’s readiness. If a crisper finish is desired, a brief stint under a broiler for 3 minutes can do the trick, but be careful not to dry out the fillets.

How do I Keep Red Snapper Fresh After Catching it?

Keeping snapper fresh is easy. Simply keep the fish on ice in an ice chest. If you’re going deep sea fishing in the Gulf and would like to take it home, pack a cooler with ice and place the fish in it. Allow any melted water to drain occasionally and refill it with fresh ice. We like to do this when we drive with it across the country and don’t plan on using it for several days.

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare a Baking Dish: Place the seasoned and lemon-covered fish in a suitable baking dish. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the fish without overcrowding.
  3. Bake the Fish: Bake the fish in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes per pound of fish. Keep in mind that the exact cooking time may vary based on your oven’s performance and the size of the fish. The fish is done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork, and the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  4. Check for Doneness: To ensure the fish is cooked to perfection, use a kitchen thermometer to check its internal temperature. It should register at least 155°F when inserted into the thickest part of the flesh.
  5. Serve: Once the fish is cooked through and has a beautiful golden hue, it is done. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish and Enjoy: Garnish your baked whole red snapper with fresh herbs, additional lemon slices, and perhaps a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added flavor. Serve it alongside your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, rice, or a crisp salad.
Red Snapper fish with white flesh meat and lemon slices.

Ingredients in Baked Lemon Garlic Red Snapper Fish

Fish: Use skinless red snapper fillets. The fish may come whole or come in fillets that are between 6 ounces to 8 ounces.

Citrus: Fresh cut lemons add citrus flavor that penetrates the meat while it bakes. Freshly squeezed lemon juice at the end of cooking compliments the fish even more. If you eat a lot of fish, then you know how common it is to use with this type of protein. The citrus flavor brightens up the flavors well.

Creole Seasoning: There are many different options of creole seasoning out there. We specifically love Tony Chachere’s. We like Tony’s (as they call it), because it has a very robust flavor and just the perfect amount of spice. Typically, we like to use creole seasoning, but cajun red snapper is just as delicious with a homemade or store bought cajun seasoning blend.

Olive Oil: You could use other types of shortening, but we find olive oil adds the perfect flavor. If butter is preferred, use a generous amount.

Minced Garlic: Garlic gives the perfect flavor and balance to the creole seasoning. I would highly encourage not skipping this ingredient.

Where Can I Find Red Snapper or Red Snapper Fillets?

Red snapper is pretty common to find at grocery stores on coastal regions. However, it can also be found at Sam’s Club. In addition, several fish markets near me sell it. You could also dial up your local fish market and ask them to provide it. They will typically place an order for you through their vendor and all you have to do is pick it up. That being said, I like to use Instacart to search for local stores that carry it in my area. Simply create an account with Instacart and login. Update your zipcode and type in red snapper or red snapper fillet. It will provide stores in the area that carry this type of fish.

What Other Types of Fish Can I use for this Dish?

  • Grouper
  • Tilapia
  • Cod
  • Mahi mahi
  • Halibut
  • Rockfish

Substituting red snapper with another type of fish listed above is best. If you don’t have red snapper on hand, or cannot find it available at the market or grocery store, or simply do not like it, using another type of fish with similar taste, flavor, and texture is important. I commonly use cod, grouper, rockfish, or mahi mahi because it has a similar mild flavor, and texture. It also bakes very similarly.

Baked red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico seasoning and served on a plate with fresh lemon slices garlic and creole or cajun seasoning.

Variations of Red Snapper

There are plenty of different ways to cook this fish. It can be grilled – usually requires a ton of lemon to keep the fish from drying out. Use an outdoor grill to cook the fish or a griddle. It can be fried – this is a really great alternative if you do not enjoy baked fish. One of my favorite ways to fry it is to pan-fry it on the stovetop. Alternatively, it can be cooked in an air fryer. Stewed – Make red snapper Caribbean style and stew it. Steaming is another popular option cooking method for snapper.

You could substitute Greek seasoning for creole seasoning, if you are very spice sensitive. This would make a baked Mediterranean red snapper.

Baked Whole Red Snapper Fish

This is for people who wants to keep the whole fish intact

To prepare this dish, start by cleaning out only the guts and leaving the whole fish intact. Next, make several deep diagonal cuts into the skin of the fish and down into the meat. This will help the flavors penetrate the fish better. Afterward, coat the fish generously with oil, ensuring it’s well covered. Add your choice of seasonings. You may need to use a bit more seasoning than usual due to the size of the fish. Don’t forget to cover the fish with lemon slices to enhance the flavors. Follow the same cooking directions as outlined below.

Cooking Directions for baking whole red snapper fish.

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare a Baking Dish: Place the seasoned and lemon-covered fish in a suitable baking dish. Make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the fish without overcrowding.
  3. Bake the Fish: Bake the fish in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes per pound of fish. Keep in mind that the exact cooking time may vary based on your oven’s performance and the size of the fish. The fish is done when the flesh flakes easily with a fork, and the skin is crispy and golden brown.
  4. Check for Doneness: To ensure the fish is cooked to perfection, use a kitchen thermometer to check its internal temperature. It should register at least 155°F when inserted into the thickest part of the flesh.
  5. Serve: Once the fish is cooked through and has a beautiful golden hue, it is done. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Garnish and Enjoy: Garnish your baked whole red snapper with fresh herbs, additional lemon slices, and perhaps a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for added flavor. Serve it alongside your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, rice, or a crisp salad.
Red snapper fish on a plate with lemon and seasoning then broiled and eaten for dinner with a fork.

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Baked Red Snapper

Baked Red Snapper Fish

Juicy, flavorful, white flesh Baked Red Snapper with lemon and garlic. This red snapper fish recipe is seasoned with cajun or creole seasoning and baked in the oven in just 20 minutes. A nutritious dinner that is low fat, gluten-free, low carb, and easy to prepare with just a few ingredients.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, cajun, creole, Southern
Servings 4 servings
Calories 277 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 32 oz red snapper fillets four fillets; about 6-8 oz. each
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp creole seasoning like Tony Chacheres
  • 8 slices lemon
  • 2 tsp parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Brush oil on fish.
  • Season both sides of the fish with creole seasoning.
  • Evenly spread minced garlic on top.
  • Place two slices of lemon on each fillet.
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  • Turn oven broiler on high. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until golden in color.
  • Top fish with chopped parsley.
  • Squeeze extra lemon juice o top if desired for extra flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ozCalories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 47gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 147mgPotassium: 1018mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1080IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.

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4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    This is simple but good one! I did the baking recipe tho, and still great. I added vegies on the side and tomatoes for 1 go cooking. Simple and delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this with fresh snapper caught today. Excellent recipe. Will make again. Even our two year old liked it.

    1. All fish have tiny bones inside them. But if someone knows how to do it right, they can cut the fish so there are no bones. The people we went fishing with did this for us right on the dock.

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I'm Jessica. Our approachable and enjoyable recipes aim to encourage people to cook and find joy in the kitchen. We believe that cooking should be a pleasurable experience. Thank you for joining us, and we hope you'll find inspiration and happiness in our recipes.

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