This easy and healthy baked red snapper is ready in just 10 minutes! Made with a quick homemade seasoning blend. butter, and lemon for a meal that's packed with flavor and works with any side dish.
If you are looking for a new way to make fish, this Baked Red Snapper recipe is for you! In just 10 minutes, make flaky, flavor-packed snapper for a healthy, easy dinner.
During the summer we love making grilled red snapper but now that it is colder, I am making this easy-baked red snapper instead. It is so easy to make! Serve it as a main dish with quinoa, rice, roasted potatoes, veggies, or salad.
Why You’ll Love Baked Red Snapper
- Ready in 10 minutes: This recipe is ready in just 10 minutes making it perfect for a busy weeknight.
- Works with any spices: Use this easy baking method to make red snapper with any combination of spices, seasoning, fresh herbs, and more.
- Healthy and versatile: Red snapper is a great lean protein source and this baked fish can be used as a main dish, in fish tacos, served in grain bowls, salads, fish sandwiches, and more.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make this tasty red snapper
- Red snapper: To keep this recipe quick and easy, it uses individual red snapper filets instead of whole fish. Make this with skin-on filets or skinless filets. This recipe also works with other white fish including cod, halibut, grouper, haddock, or tilapia.
- Butter: Butter adds flavor and richness to the snapper, which is a very lean fish. Olive oil or another neutral oil can also be used.
- Spices: Snapper can be seasoned with almost any spices. I like to add some spice and smoke with a combination of paprika, onion powder, chili powder, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Lemon: Fish always tastes better with lemon in my opinion. Add fresh lemon slices, lemon juice, or lemon zest to enhance the flavor of the fish.
- Garnish: Finish the baked red snappet with some fresh parsley, chives, and lemon wedges.
What does red snapper taste like?
Red snapper is a popular white fish known for its mild, slightly sweet taste and lean, firm texture. It's not overly fishy and soaks up marinades, spices, and seasoning well.
Red snapper is white and moist, and when cooked, it becomes flaky and tender. It's a versatile fish that can be prepared in various ways, such as grilling, baking, frying, or steaming.
How do choose red snapper?
When choosing red snapper, look for the following:
- Appearance: When buying red snapper filets, the flesh should be a light pink color. It should look firm without being wet or slimy. It shouldn't have any discoloration or dry spots.
- Smell: The fish should smell fresh and mild, not fishy or ammonia-like. Any strong odors are a sign the fish is not fresh.
- Texture: The flesh should be firm to the touch and bounce back when pressed. If the flesh is mushy or leaves an indentation, it's likely not fresh.
- Fresh red snapper vs. frozen: Unless you are located near the coast, fresh red snapper can be tough to find. Frozen red snapper is a great option since it is affordable and easy to find. Just make sure to fully defrost it before using it.
Remember, the best indicator of freshness is your senses. Trust your eyes, nose, and touch when selecting seafood.
How to Bake Red Snapper
This baked fish recipe couldn’t be easier to make!
1. Prep the fish filets
Make sure the red snapper filets are fully defrosted. The best way to defrost fish is to let it naturally defrost overnight in the fridge.
If you need to quickly defrost filets, leave them in the cryovac wrapping and place the filets in a bowl of lukewarm water. Let the fish sit for 15-20 minutes to defrost.
Always start by rinsing the filets under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels to remove the moisture. This helps the filets roast in the oven instead of steam.
2. Add seasoning
Brush the filets with melted butter or extra virgin olive oil. This keeps the fish moist and adds flavor. Then season one side or both sides (for more flavor) with the spice blend.
At this point, you can also add additional flavors like lemon juice, fresh herbs, minced garlic, and more.
3. Bake until flaky
Place the fish in a baking dish or on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place the filets in a single layer. They shouldn’t overlap or best results.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes until the fish is flaky and opaque. The internal temperature of the fish should be 145 degrees. Check the fish early, especially if the filets are thin, to ensure they don’t overcook and dry out.
Browned, crispy top: If you want a crispy, golden brown crust on the fish, broil it for the last 1-2 minutes.
Air Fryer Option
Snapper comes out delicious and crispy in the air fryer! Simply prep the snapper in the same way and cook at 375 degrees for 6=8 minutes until opaque and flaky.
Side Dishes for Red Snapper
You can pair baked fish with so many different sides. Here are some we love:
- Roasted vegetables: Roast some cauliflower or mushrooms to serve on the side.
- Sauteed vegetables: Make an easy side dish with some sauteed broccoli, garlic green beans, or sauteed carrots.
- Salads: Serve this fish with a light and healthy Easy Arugula Salad or a tasty Lentil Salad.
- Potatoes and more: Make some easy roasted potatoes or potato cauliflower mash.
Recipe Ideas and Variations: Seasonings and More
This recipe can be customized to work with almost any spices, seasoning, or preferences.
- Blackened: Blackening seasoning goes great with fish (blackened salmon, blackened shrimp, blackened tilapia) adding a smoky, slightly spicy flavor. It pairs so well with red snapper.
- Cajun: Red snapper is popular in the South where it can be found fresh in fish markets. It is often paired with Cajun seasoning and served with rice and beans.
- Lemon pepper: Add bright notes of citrus and plenty of black pepper with this homemade lemon pepper seasoning.
- Lemon herb: Season the fish with melted butter, salt, pepper, and a splash of white wine. Then top the fish with lemon slices and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. Bake until flaky.
- Garlic parmesan: Drizzle the fish with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Add minced garlic (or garlic powder) and a thin layer of Parmesan cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned and the fish is flaky. You can also add breadcrumbs for some crunch.
Storage and Leftovers
Cooked fish keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Use the leftovers for:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about how to bake snapper.
Red snapper should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. You can tell it is cooked through and ready when the fish is opaque and easily flakes with a fork.
The skin on red snapper is edible and can be eaten. It tastes best when it is cooked until crispy and well seasoned.
Baked Red Snapper
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- 32 oz red snapper filets (filets, about 8 ounces each)
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lemon, sliced
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
This recipe works with any seasoning blend you like. Use our suggested blend or swap in your favorite!
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