Incredible Baked Red Snapper Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This simple baked red snapper dish is absolutely delicious, really quick + easy to whip up, and can be enjoyed with so many different sides!

a light gray plate with a filet of red snapper next to a bed of lettuce and lemon wedges

Baked Red Snapper

Red snapper is delicious, y’all! If you’ve never had it, it’s somewhere between firm and flaky and lean and fatty. Because it has such an excellent flavor on all its own, it requires just a really simple seasoning, and like most fish, the cooking process is really quick and easy! 

How to select your red snapper?

Great question! I typically find red snapper thawed at the fish counter of my local grocery store. I usually ask the person working the fish counter if the snapper is fresh and line-caught. I’ve also found that THIS website (they also have an app for easier access) is really helpful for finding the most sustainable fish available.

two raw filets of red snapper on parchment paper on a marble surface

Ingredients for Red Snapper Recipe

In addition to the red snapper itself, you’ll just need a few really simple ingredients (many of which you probably already have) to pull this yummy dish off. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Red Snapper – to start, you’ll need 1 pound of red snapper filets.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – before it goes into the oven, we’ll use 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to rub over the fish. 
  • Lemon Juice – to add some brightness to the fish, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (the juice from about half of a lemon).
  • Garlic – 3 cloves of grated garlic go a long way in deepening the flavor here.
  • Sea Salt + Black Pepper – as mentioned above, this delicious fish requires really simple seasoning. You’ll need a ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Lemon – 1 lemon’s worth of wedges will bake alongside the snapper.

How to make oven baked red snapper?

Seafood tends to really intimidate people, but it’s actually very easy to cook! For this recipe, you’ll essentially just season the fish and throw it in the oven. Here’s the step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Season the red snapper – place the snapper filets in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet, and rub on both sides with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Bake – place the lemon wedges in the baking dish around the snapper, then transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until the snapper easily flakes with a fork.
  4. Serve and enjoy – let cool slightly, then squeeze the baked lemons over the snapper, serve, and enjoy!
a small round glass baking dish with two filets of lightly seasoned red snapper next to 4 lemon wedges

What temperature should red snapper be cooked to?

Red snapper is done when its internal temperature reaches 137°F. It’s actually safe to enjoy with an internal temperature of anything 125°F or higher, though, so if you prefer your fish a little bit less done, that’s totally fine too. Don’t worry too much about checking the temperature of your fish, though – if you’re following the directions and baking the fish at 375°F for 20 minutes, it’ll be good to go!

What temperature should fish be baked at?

We bake red snapper at 375°F, and this yields a slightly flaky, perfectly cooked end product.

Is Red Snapper good to eat?

We think so! Do note that if you are new to the world of seafood and are skeptical about slightly “fishier” tasting fish (or you just prefer all of the nutritional benefits of fish without the taste of it), you may want to lean on a fish like tilapia (this oven baked tilapia is super delicious and easy) before you jump to red snapper. It’s absolutely delicious (and actually one of my very favorites), but it does have a slightly stronger flavor than something like tilapia does. 

Do you leave the skin on red snapper?

Yes! As long as it’s been descaled (this is something that the person at your fish counter will do, so don’t worry about that), the skin is safe to eat, and actually, really delicious! 

a light gray plate with a filet of red snapper next to a bed of lettuce and lemon wedges

Tips for Best Baked Red Snapper Recipes

This recipe is really easy, and we have full confidence that you will knock it out of the park, but if you’re looking for a few tips to help guide you, you can find those below:

  • Cook your fish within 3 days of buying it.
  • Swap the lemon juice (1-for-1) for any vinegar (balsamic would be delicious) or another strong citrus (think: lime or grapefruit).
  • Instead of olive oil, use ghee or melted butter for a richer flavor.
  • This method also lends itself to a bunch of spices. Use as much as a teaspoon of your favorite spice blend over each filet for a blackened-style fish.

What to Serve Red Snapper With

Red snapper is really delicious next to any starchy side that you like. We also love serving this recipe up with a side of veggies. Our very favorite picks are:

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Incredible Baked Red Snapper Recipe

This baked red snapper is flavored with lemon and garlic and baked until perfectly flaky for a simple, yet delicious meal!

  • Author: Amber Goulden
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound snapper filets
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
  2. Place the snapper filets in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet, then rub on both sides with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Place the lemons around the snapper, then transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until the snapper easily flakes with a fork.
  4. Let cool slightly, then squeeze the baked lemons over the snapper and serve!

Notes

  • You can change the flavors here by using butter or ghee in place of the olive oil, a different citrus in place of the lemons, or adding any spice blend you enjoy!

Keywords: baked snapper, red snapper, snapper recipe

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Recipe rating

  1. PGF says:

    Spectacular recipe! Clean and tasteful. Added fresh thyme sprigs. Wonderful.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      We’re so glad! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Leroy Harper says:

    Making this evening, great recipe, very easy, this will only the first time I make this dish

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      I hope you enjoy it, Leroy!