Red Snapper a la Veracruzana

Red Snapper a la VeracruzanaGrowing up in Texas, I have really enjoyed learning about and eating a lot of Mexican cuisine. Lately, I’ve taken a major liking to Pescado a la Veracruzana at local restaurants because it’s light, yet full of flavor. So I decided to try it on my own with this Red Snapper a la Veracruzana.

Pescado a la Veracruzana or fish in the style of Veracruz is a simple dish that comes together rather quickly and works with almost any type of fish. It’s a regional specialty from the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz. A coastal area, Veracruz is known for its abundant seafood and a rich culinary history heavily influenced by Spain– which is why the recipe tastes and looks very Mediterranean. 

Red Snapper a la Veracruzana

Filled with some of my all-time favorite ingredients like capers, olives, garlic and pickled jalapeno, I love how this Red Snapper a la Veracruzana dish comes together in less than 30 minutes and, while it’s easy to make and it’s light, it’s still good enough to prepare for guests when entertaining. 

You can really make it with any fish you like, but my Central Market in town had the most stunning wild-caught Red Snapper that I just couldn’t resist. Fair warning though, red snapper is pricey– and because the sauce is so good it’s *not necessary* to splurge if you don’t want to. Try tilapia or cod for a more budget-friendly version of this recipe!


If you enjoy red snapper, try my Cajun-inspired Blackened Red Snapper recipe!

Red Snapper a la Veracruzana

Red Snapper a la Veracruzana
Serves: 2 people
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins


For the Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced small about 3 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp jarred pickled jalapenoes, very finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

For the Red Snapper:

  • 2 [6 - 8 ounce] filets of red snapper (or any white, flakey fish)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

For the Zucchini and Squash:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 medium squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving


For the Sauce:

  • Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the diced roma tomatoes, jalapeno, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir in the olives, capers, dried oregano, lime juice and parsley. Cover and let cook, simmering, while you prepare the fish.

For the Red Snapper:

  • Season fish with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet with oil over medium-high heat. When very hot, place fish filets skin side down and press down with the back of a spatula to flatten the filet and the skin is flush with the skillet (it tries to curl). Cook fish, pressing occasionally with the spatula, until the fish is nearly opaque and cooked through, with just a small raw area on the very top, about 6 minutes. Using a sturdy spatula, carefully flip the snapper and continue cooking until the top is cooked through and golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Remove fish from pan and let rest on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes, while the you prepare the zucchini and squash.

For the Zucchini and Squash:

  • Using the same skillet with the heat over medium-high, add one additional tbsp of olive oil. Add the zucchini, squash, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender and golden on the edges, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • To serve, scatter the sauteed squash and zucchini across a platter. Top with the fish and ladle desired amount of the sauce over the fish. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!


  • Reply
    Karen Inchausti
    April 23, 2022 at 4:49 am

    I made this for my husband’s birthday and we absolutely love it! It easy and so flavorful

  • Reply
    clara stanley
    October 26, 2021 at 3:17 am

    5 stars
    very good several times

  • Reply
    June 28, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    5 stars
    What is the calorie count on this dish? This was extremely delicious

  • Reply
    April 27, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    5 stars
    SO FLAVORFUL. Can definitely tell the Spanish influence by that briny and bright tomato sauce that compliments the snapper. Perfect for upcoming red snapper season in tx

  • Reply
    Rebecca Thompson Macaluso
    October 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Thanks for posting! This looks great and very similar to a dish I have had at Caracol in Houston. They serve it over sauteed greens like kale, but this looks delicious, too! Glad it really is healthy after thinking that all these years!

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