Whole Red Snapper Recipes: Grill or Roast

Roasted Whole Red Snapper Recipe
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Roasted Whole Red Snapper Recipe
How to roast a whole fish in the oven with this step-by-step tutorial. You can customize it with your favorite sauces or toppings!

Enjoy a delicious Grilled Whole Red Snapper with this easy 25-minute oven recipe! Perfect for both beginners and seasoned cooks, this fuss-free dish is bursting with flavor thanks to a blend of tasty herbs. It’s a simple and delightful dinner option for the entire family!

Cooking a whole red snapper is a breeze, whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced chef. In this recipe, we make it even simpler by cutting slashes into the fish and spreading a mixture of ground parsley, capers, salt, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes into each cut. This paste infuses the fish with incredible seasoning both inside and out.

What is Red Snapper?

Red Snapper is a widely enjoyed white fish that’s popular globally. It’s mainly harvested from the Gulf of Mexico and Indonesia. Known for its firm texture and sweet, nutty flavor, it pairs wonderfully with everything from chilies to fresh herbs, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. You can cook Red Snapper in various ways, including broiling, pan-frying, steaming, baking, deep-frying, and grilling. It’s also a fantastic choice for a delicious fish stew.

Whole Red Snapper Recipes

Whole Red Snapper Recipes

Here, you get two whole red snapper recipes, with clear instructions on how to roast and grill a whole fish. If you’re roasting, create foil balls to go under the wings on both sides. This helps support the fish and keeps it standing upright during cooking. For grilling, use a grilling basket to make turning the fish over easier halfway through cooking. Once the fish is done, transfer it to a platter for serving at the table. Use two forks to lift off fillets from each side, dividing them based on the number of people and the overall meal. And I’ll share with you my favorite grilling recipe.

Related Recipe: How To Perfectly Sear A Fish

Roasted Whole Red Snapper Recipe

Roasted Whole Red Snapper Recipe

How to roast a whole fish in the oven with this step-by-step tutorial. You can customize it with your favorite sauces or toppings!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Austin Carter


  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Sharp Knife
  • Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Cutting Board
  • Cooking Spray or Aluminum Foil
  • Spoon or Brush for Stuffing


  • 1 large whole fish (such as mahi-mahi, sea bass, or branzino), scaled and gutted
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon halved
  • 1 large Clove Garlic peeled and minced
  • Handful of fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme)
  • Sea Salt
  • freshly-cracked black pepper
  • garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or grease it with cooking spray.
  • Rinse the fish thoroughly just before cooking and pat it dry with paper towels. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the top of the fish in diagonal lines about 1 inch apart.
  • Brush both sides of the fish generously with oil. Briefly brush the inner cavity with oil as well.
  • Slice half of the lemon into slices and stuff them, along with the garlic and herbs, into the cavity of the fish. Ensure that the garlic is completely tucked in and not exposed.
  • Season the outside of the fish generously with a few good pinches of sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Roast for 18-20 minutes or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F and flakes easily with a fork. Cooking time may vary depending on the size/variety of your fish.
  • Remove from the oven and squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half evenly over the top of the fish.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!


  • Use regular refined olive oil (not extra virgin) or any other high-heat oil of your preference.
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Related Recipe: Crispy Fried Crawfish Hushpuppies Recipe

Grilled Whole Red Snapper Recipe (My Favorite)

Grilled Whole Red Snapper Recipe (My Favorite)

This CARIBBEAN GRILLED WHOLE RED SNAPPER is not only delicious but also easy to make. It's packed with a fantastic blend of spices including ground allspice, garlic, ginger, paprika, basil, and thyme. The result is a moist, tender fish bursting with incredible flavors!
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes
Calories: 615kcal
Author: Austin Carter
Servings: 3


  • Grill
  • Small Bowl
  • Brush or Spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Basting Brush or Spoon
  • Paper Towels
  • Aluminum Foil or Cooking Spray
  • Fish Basket


  • 1 Whole Red Snapper fish
  • Salt and pepper according to your taste
  • 1 fresh Lemon
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp finely chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil or parsley
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • Grilled Plantains


  • Make three to four diagonal cuts on each side of the fish, all the way through the bone. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and squeeze some lemon over it. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients (white pepper, allspice, minced garlic, ginger, paprika, thyme, basil or parsley, chicken bouillon, and oil).
  • Pour the marinade over the fish, flipping them gently to ensure they are coated inside and out. Let it marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Grilling the Fish:

  • Preheat the grill to high heat.
  • Wipe down the grill basket with oil and lay the fish down in the basket. Grill for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • Reduce to medium-high and cover the grill if using a gas grill. If using a small BBQ grill, leave the fish on the open grill or hot charcoal.
  • Baste the fish with the marinade. Let it cook for a total of 3-4 minutes on each side, adjusting time based on the thickness of the fish, until it's cooked – the fish should be white, and the juices must run clear.
  • Check for doneness by ensuring the meat closest to the bone is fully cooked.
  • Serve with Caribbean Pepper Sauce and grilled vegetables or plantains if desired.

Grilled Plantains:

  • Peel plantains, slice in the middle, then cut in halves. Season with salt and brush with the spice mix.
  • Grill on each side for about 3 minutes until fully cooked through – watch carefully to prevent burning.


  • For optimum flavors, use fresh herbs instead of powdered ones.
  • You can broil the marinated fish.
  • To bake, place the fish on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until the fish flakes.
  • If pressed for time, marinate the fish for at least 30 minutes.
  • Consider using a fish basket for grilling, especially for first-timers, as it’s easy to flip around without falling apart.


Calories: 615kcal
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What to Serve with Whole Red Snapper Recipe?

hen serving Whole Red Snapper, you can pair it with a variety of delicious side dishes to create a well-rounded meal. Here are some ideas:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long to Bake Whole Red Snapper at 400?

When baking a whole red snapper at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 204 degrees Celsius), the general rule of thumb is to cook it for approximately 15-20 minutes per pound.

How to Fillet a Whole Red Snapper?

To fillet a whole red snapper, make an incision behind the gills and along the backbone, then glide the knife along the ribs to separate the fillet. Repeat on the other side for two boneless fillets.

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