After getting back from New Orleans, I have been inspired to revive some of my older recipes from my blog’s archives. This Cajun-Inspired Blackened Red Snapper is one recipe that I created back in 2015, with major inspiration by my favorite New Orlean’s Chef, Paul Prudhomme. One of my most cherished cookbooks on my kitchen shelf is his Chef Paul Prudhomme Louisiana Kitchen. It’s jam-packed with all of the New Orleans classics and I love flipping through it and getting seriously inspired. I just try to simplify and healthify it as much as possible because, well, Paul knew how to use a stick of butter or two.
Blackened fish is one of my favorite ways to enjoy seafood. I love coating fish in big, bold spices and cooking it until they are blackened. Served with a wedge of lemon for some added freshness and zing, it’s just fantastic! This blackened red snapper recipe will wow your weeknight as it’s so easy to make, but packed with flavor.
I love serving up this Cajun-Inspired Blackened Red Snapper with my dirty cajun cauliflower rice recipe and either roasted okra, or just a simple side salad!
Blackened Red Snapper
For the Seasoning Mixture:
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for spice)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
For the Fish:
- 2 [8-10 ounce] red snapper filets
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges (for serving)
- fresh parsley (optional for garnish)
Make the seasoning mixture:
- In a small bowl, combine all of the seasoning mixture ingredients and stir until well combined.
Cook the Fish:
- Generously coat the flesh side with the seasoning mixture (you will likely have leftover seasoning if only cooking 2 filets.)
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering swirl the pan so that the oil evenly coats the bottom of the skillet.
- When very hot, place fish filets flesh side down, cook, without touching, until a dark brown (or blackened) crust has formed and the fish is almost cooked through, about 6 minutes.
- Flip the fish onto the skin side press down with the back of a spatula to flatten the filet and the skin is flush with the skillet (it tries to curl). Continue to cook until the fish is cooked through, or completely opaque and flakes easily, about 3 more minutes.
- Carefully, using a sturdy spatula, transfer the cooked fish to plates and serve with a wedge of lemon and garnish with fresh parsley (if desired).
SueFebruary 2, 2022 at 7:06 pm
Splendid recipe Do you have a recommendation on a low-cal recipe for tarter sauce (or another option)? Even though this blackened recipe is delicious, I have to use tarter sauce to go along with it, which is generally NOT healthy, unfortunately. Thank you for this recipe and grea site – I look forward to digging deeper.
AlexFebruary 2, 2022 at 8:20 pm
Yes! Here you go: https://thedefineddish.com/whole30-tartar-sauce/
RobMay 10, 2022 at 11:10 pm
What are some side dishes that would go with this recipe ?
AlexMay 11, 2022 at 4:22 pm
I serve mine with my cauliflower dirty rice, oven-roasted okra or just a simple side salad.
DanielleDecember 2, 2021 at 8:42 am
Seasoning is on point! Excellent recipe
AlexDecember 2, 2021 at 8:06 pm
Trey HillNovember 8, 2021 at 12:14 am
This recipe is easy and delicious!
I used snapper fillets without flesh, and it was fine.
TaeOctober 3, 2021 at 1:33 pm
Absolutely delicious and love that it’s healthy. I will be making this again and again. Thanks for the recipe.
NelvisSeptember 13, 2021 at 12:15 am
An absolutely fantastic recipe. the seasoning mix was spot on. I couldn’t find red snapper, but used Arctic Char. Delicious. Also, regarding the curling of the skin when you flip… With kitchen shears, do small clips around the fillet. Problem solved, at least with the Arctic Char.
Capercia SergeonJune 25, 2021 at 6:16 pm
My first time cooking red snapper.. This was a great and easy to follow recipe! I cooked it perfectly. I will definitely be trying this again soon.
AlexJune 28, 2021 at 2:21 pm
woohoo! snapper is one of my favorites!
AmyJuly 25, 2021 at 11:07 pm
SO good!! Used to live in New Orleans and this was so delicious
AlexJuly 26, 2021 at 5:11 pm
yay! so glad you love.
KimFebruary 7, 2022 at 11:46 pm
Was our first time eating Red Snapper and my first time ever making anything blackened. I cut the cayenne pepper a little, knowing my husbands taste. Nothing short of amazing. He even ate it without any tarter sauce!! Will definitely make again.
AlexFebruary 8, 2022 at 8:44 pm
so glad you enjoyed it!!
Kathryn Scott-WittharFebruary 19, 2023 at 1:29 am
This is absolutely my most favorite recipe! I have made this many times & it always turns out perfect! So yummy!
AlexFebruary 20, 2023 at 7:11 pm
yay! glad you love it.
TAKMay 2, 2021 at 11:30 pm
I am not a cook but this recipe was so great. I cooked it for Sunday dinner and there were not any leftovers.
ALSeptember 8, 2021 at 11:15 pm
Fast and really great. Grew up in NOLA, miss the food.
MattApril 21, 2021 at 1:45 am
This was simply amazing. I used 1 tbs of butter and olive oil, respectively, because I don’t have avocado oil. My 8 and 6 year old sons loved it and asked for more. And it was easy!
OneidaApril 9, 2021 at 12:03 am
Easy to make, delicious, will make again and again, Thank you!!
Greg McClaskyMarch 26, 2021 at 11:17 pm
Outstanding! I will be making this again in the future.
J. R. TracyMarch 7, 2021 at 1:17 am
Great flavor but I feel the times are a bit long – suggest five minutes for the flesh side and two for the skin side, possibly less. Six and three produce a rubbery texture with a typical filet.
Andy WoolardAugust 18, 2021 at 12:28 am
I completely agree with J.R. I cooked the snapper tonight and the flesh side was pretty much burned. The flesh was nice and flakey but not really “blackened” more burned. Sorry for the repetition. I used a cast iron pan. Still very good but not quite what we were hoping for.
Saint Francis DeverouxOctober 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm
I agree with J.R.‘s advice on cook times. I regularly blacken a variety of fish (as well as meats & poultry). The key to avoiding burn is to cook hotter and shorter. I generally allow no more than 2 min. on high heat for each side of a fish filet. You chose well with the cast iron. There’s no substitute for good blackened fish.
Norbert PoirierFebruary 24, 2021 at 8:27 pm
This is my second time and I can’t wait to have it for another meal ,first time was awesome !
RobJune 6, 2021 at 11:43 pm
Neighbor dropped off some Snapper so I was looking for something that wasn’t fried.
Excellentt recipe. Easy to prepare.
AlexJune 7, 2021 at 12:20 pm
Glad you enjoyed it, Rob!!
RachelJune 28, 2021 at 9:36 pm
Love Paul Prudhomme! I usually cook fish in the oven. Does this make the whole house smell like fish?
Saint Francis DeverouxOctober 2, 2021 at 4:25 pm
Blackening creates a lot of aromatic smoke. Ensure good ventilation in your cooking area. I prefer to do my blackening outdoors when possible. More likely you’ll be smelling blackening spice than fish. When you cook fish hot and quick it doesn’t release as much pescine aroma, but the spice is a force all its own.
ChristopherFebruary 22, 2021 at 3:15 am
You might be my new best friend. A lot of recipes on the internet, especially healthier ones, fall short. I tried this with the dirty cauliflower rice and both recipes were A++
AnnabelleFebruary 20, 2021 at 7:04 pm
This was just the meal my husband, son and I needed during our quarantine and water outage in Texas! Unbelievable taste explosion. Thank you for sharing!
AlexFebruary 21, 2021 at 1:40 pm
I’m so glad you enjoyed! Glad you are safe
TaylorFebruary 17, 2021 at 12:55 am
I used this recipe for a red snapper sandwich on a bun with LTO, remoulade and white American cheese. Absolutely spectacular. The spices were spot on and savory for a truly wonderful experience. Thank you!!
Tamara J.February 15, 2021 at 7:57 pm
myfoodgirlJanuary 8, 2021 at 7:42 pm
Excellent recipe, spices were just right and the cooking time was perfect! I made it with your cauliflower dirty rice recipe. The two go very well together! Thank you!
AllisonJanuary 4, 2021 at 11:11 pm
This was delicious! The snapper had a wonderful, crispy crust that was so flavorful. Make sure to take note about the skin curling. Will definitely make this again.
Naomi JeanOctober 19, 2020 at 11:05 pm
Great recipe – works so well on red snapper – will be using again for sure ! Thank you !