5 Red Snapper Recipes to Try this Summer

Red snapper season has officially arrived, and we have all the recipes you need to help you cook what you catch.

Red snapper with a corn and crab salad
Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1. Red Snapper with Skillet Corn and Summer Crab Salad

Recipe from Chef Brody Olive, Voyagers in Orange Beach

1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon aged sherry vinegar
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
1 small shallot, shaved
1 tablespoon finely sliced chives
2 lemons, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
6 ears local silver king corn
1 small golden bell pepper, julienned
1/2 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch parsley, torn
2 tablespoons butter
4 6-ounce fillets of Gulf red snapper
1 lemon, sliced
2 radishes, shaved

1. Pick crab with your hands to remove any remaining shells. In medium mixing bowl, add crab, 3 tablespoons olive oil, sherry vinegar, red bell pepper, shallot, chives, lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. Cover and place in fridge.

2. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Remove the corn from the cob and add to the pan along with golden bell peppers, cherry tomatoes (reserve a few tomatoes for garnish), garlic and torn parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring regularly, then reduce heat to low and allow corn to caramelize for 12 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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3. In large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, season snapper fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear snapper fillet for 3 minutes on one side. Flip and cook for about 2 more minutes. (Chef advises you cook fillets for 5 minutes per inch of thickness). Squeeze lemon over fish and remove from heat.

4. Place skillet corn in the center of each plate, and then lay snapper on top. Spoon crab salad over the snapper. Garnish with shaved radish and reserved cherry tomatoes. Serves 4

2. Red Snapper and Pesto Phyllo Packages

Recipe from Helene Hassell

3/4 to 1 cup pesto (recipe below)
6 (6-ounce) snapper fillets, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
1 stick butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12 sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

1. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on a piece of fish. Cover with another piece of fish, forming a sandwich. Repeat with remaining pieces of fish and pesto to form 12 fish “sandwiches.”

2. Stir butter and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Place 1 pastry sheet on work surface so that 1 short side of the sheet is parallel to the edge of the counter. Brush lightly with melted butter mixture. Fold in half, right to left, and brush again lightly with butter.

3. Place 1 fish sandwich 2 inches in from the bottom. Fold a 2-inch pastry border up over the fish. Fold in sides. Roll up fish as for a jelly roll.

4. Place seam side down on a large baking sheet. Brush with butter mixture. Repeat with remaining pastry, fish and butter. (These fish packets can be made up to 8 hours ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake until snapper feels firm and pastry is golden, about 25 minutes. Serves 6


1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine garlic, basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese while gradually streaming in the olive oil. Makes about 1 1/2 – 2 cups

3. Johnny Fisher’s Perfect Whole Grilled Fish

Whole grilled snapper topped with a vegetable salad
Elizabeth Gelineau

1 (2 – 3 pound) red or yellowtail snapper, gutted and scaled
1 lemon, sliced into 3 rounds
5 sprigs of thyme
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Stuff fish with lemon slices and thyme.
2. Rub down with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Grill on a medium-high fire for 7 – 10 minutes per side. Serves 4

Arugula, Tomato and Shaved
Radish Salad

2 cups arugula
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup shaved radish 
Lemon Caper Vinaigrette (see below)

1. With a mandolin, shave radishes. Layer the arugula, halved cherry tomatoes and shaved radish over grilled fish. 
2. Drizzle Lemon Caper Vinaigrette over top and serve. Serves 4

Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 shallots finely diced
3 teaspoons finely diced capers
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons chopped parsley

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well and then let rest for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. Makes 1 cup

4. Lemon Caper Snapper

Lemon Caper Snapper
Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

Recipe from Chuck’s Fish in Mobile

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons blackening seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 6-ounce red snapper fillets
1 cup white wine (or seafood stock)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers
4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, seasoning, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. Dry the fish fillet well and then pat into the flour mixture, being sure to cover every inch.

2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Place the fish in the pan and do not touch it until you see the edges turn golden brown. Flip the fillet and drain any extra oil from pan. Cook in oven for 9 – 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove pan from oven and set fish aside on a plate.

3. Add the wine and simmer until the alcohol has burned off. You should have a thin, amber-colored sauce. Add lemon juice and capers and turn the heat on low. Add the butter and turn off the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add the fish back to the pan to soak up flavor and heat on low for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove fish and place on serving plates, then spoon the sauce over each fillet. Serve over a bed of fresh vegetables. Serves 2

Cilantro corn ceviche
Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

5. Cilantro Corn Ceviche

1 pound fresh, skinless red snapper, grouper or other Gulf fish fillets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
1 medium white onion, diced
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
blue corn tortilla chips (for serving)

1. In a medium-sized glass bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish completely with room to spare. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until fish looks “cooked” all the way through when cut open with a knife. Drain in a colander.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the corn, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil and orange juice. Stir in the fish and season with salt to taste.

3. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

4. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves before serving. Serve with blue corn chips, crackers or tostadas. Serves 6

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