grilled whole red snapper

Grilled whole red snapper is a delicious seafood dish that's popular in many coastal regions. Red snapper is a flavorful and flaky fish that grills beautifully when cooked whole. Here's a basic recipe for grilled whole red snapper:

How to Grill Whole Red Snapper

This grilled whole red snapper recipe is perfect for a delicious seafood meal that will take your taste buds on an adventure.


For the Grilled Whole Red Snapper Recipes 

  • 1 whole red snapper (about 2-3 pounds), scaled and gutted
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
  • Lemon wedges and fresh herbs for garnish

For the Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare a delightful marinade for the red snapper by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Rinse the whole red snapper thoroughly under cold water, both inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels. Score the fish by making 3-4 diagonal cuts on each side of the fish. This helps the marinade penetrate and flavors the fish more effectively.
  3. Place the snapper in a shallow dish or a large Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade over the fish, making sure to coat it well inside and out. Add a couple of lemon slices and a sprig of rosemary or thyme inside the fish's cavity. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, turning the fish occasionally.
  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 350-400°F (175-200°C). Brush the grates with oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Remove the red snapper from the marinade and discard any excess marinade. Season the fish generously with salt, black pepper, and paprika (if using). Place a few lemon slices on top of the fish.
  6. Carefully place the red snapper on the preheated grill. Grill for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the size of the fish. The fish is done when the flesh is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Be gentle when flipping the fish to avoid it falling apart.
  7. Once the red snapper is cooked, carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh herbs and additional lemon wedges. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired. Serve hot.


  • The key to a delicious grilled red snapper is using fresh fish. Look for clear eyes, shiny skin, and a fresh ocean smell when buying it.

  • If the fishmonger hasn't already done so, you can scale and gut the fish at home using a fish scaler and a sharp knife. Be sure to remove any innards and rinse the cavity thoroughly.

  • Maintain a consistent grill temperature throughout cooking. Too much fluctuation in heat can result in uneven cooking.

  • To prevent sticking, oil the grill grates before placing the fish on them. Use a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil and a pair of tongs to do this.

  • Grilled red snapper pairs well with side dishes like grilled vegetables, rice, couscous, or a fresh salad. Consider adding some chimichurri sauce or a drizzle of lemon butter for extra flavor.
Your delicious and best whole red snapper recipe grilled is ready to savor! You can relish it as a satisfying meal by itself or pair it with your favorites as a refreshing side dish.
Grilled Whole Red Snapper
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