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Grilled red snapper is a stellar summer meal! Here’s how to season and grill this white fish to perfection.

Grilled Red Snapper
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Move over, burgers: there’s so much more to do with a grill this summer. Try a fillet of Grilled Red Snapper! This white fish is simply stunning, seasoned and served up with veggie kabobs and a summer salad. Not only is it healthier than a burger…it might be tastier, too. Season it with a few simple spices, and it’s got massive smoky and savory notes. Ready to get grilling?

What does red snapper taste like?

Red snapper is a popular white fish with a rosy skin. The flavor is mild, with an almost sweet, nutty flavor. It’s a good starter fish for kids and people who might think they don’t like fish. It’s typically easy to find at your local grocery, especially at the fish counter.

Other good starter fishes that aren’t fishy? In all honesty, we prefer grilled cod to red snapper: it’s even milder and a little more moist and buttery. Another amazing place to start with grilled fish? Grilled ahi tuna.

Ingredients you’ll need

This healthy grilled red snapper recipe is very basic: all you need is a great piece of fish and a few spices. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Red snapper fillets: you can use fresh or frozen. Wild caught is a good choice if you can find it!
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Spices: Smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed
How to grill red snapper

How to make grilled red snapper: basic method

There’s no need to use foil with grilled snapper. You can throw it right onto the grill grates! You can use the same method for other white fish like grilled cod and grilled tilapia, or even for salmon. Here’s what you need to know about the heat level and grill time:

  • Wait for the fish to come to room temperature. This will take about 15 minutes, and helps it to cook evenly.
  • Grill at medium high heat, or 375 to 450 degrees. Medium high makes a perfectly cooked piece of fish.
  • How long to cook grilled red napper? Cook it 3 to 4 minutes skin side down, then 3 to 4 minutes skin side up! The fish is done when it starts to flake when pulled with a fork. Another way to measure is when it reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit with an internal thermometer. Make sure to stick the thermometer right into the thickest part of the fish.
  • How to keep fish from sticking on the grill? You don’t even need to oil the grates. The secret: wait until the fish is cooked enough that it releases from the grates, then flip it. Don’t turn it too soon!
Grilled red snapper

What to serve with grilled red snapper

Busting out your grill for this recipe? It’s great to use it to make a few side dishes at the same time. Or, mix up an easy salad! Here are some great ways to accessorize a piece of grilled red snapper:

More grilled fish recipes

There are lots more grilled fish recipes to try this season: including tacos, burgers, and more! Here are a few more ideas to try with red snapper:

  • Grilled Fish Tacos Turn this red snapper into tacos! Flake the fish into pieces for tacos
  • Classic Salmon Burgers Use red snapper in a burger instead! Use this method for salmon to make a red snapper burger and cook it on the grill
Grilled red snapper

This grilled red snapper recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

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Easy Grilled Red Snapper

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Grilled red snapper is a stellar summer meal! Here’s how to season and grill this white fish to perfection. 


  • 1 pound red snapper fillets, (wild caught if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Scant 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (also called pimentón)*
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon celery seed


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Bring the fish to room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  3. Pat the fish dry with a clean towel. Rub it with the olive oil and sprinkle it with the kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed in a small bowl, then pat it on to the fish.
  4. Grill the fish over indirect heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it releases from the grates. Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is tender and just cooked through (internal temperature is 130-140F).


*If you can’t find it, you can use sweet paprika. But smoked paprika brings the best flavor with a hint of smokiness.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Pete Schiermeyer says:

    Hi guys, Pete & Tracy Schiermeyer here in Utah. Just wanted to say thanks for the fish recipe we loved it and have fish delivered biweekly. Anyway, what do you recommend for Chilean Sea Bass?
    Thanks, 😊

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thanks for reaching out! So glad you love this one. Sea bass is on our list to write a recipe for. Be on the lookout!

  2. Anonymous says:

    GREAT RECIPE! Used on fresh Red Snapper….will use it on MANY other types of fish! Thank you!!! Lynna Waits

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome!