Skip to Content

What Does Red Snapper Actually Taste Like?

Quick Answer: What Does Red Snapper Taste Like?

Red snapper has a mild yet sweet flavor which has a hint of a nutty taste. The meat of the fish is quite lean and firm in texture. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have the most ‘fishiness’ of flavor either, making it extra versatile to be used in many dishes.

In this quick guide we shall take a look at What Red Snapper Actually Taste Like, plus how to choose and cook a premium snapper to eat for supper tonight

So, let’s get to it!

What Does Red Snapper Actually Taste Like

What Does A Red Snapper Actually Taste Like?

A red snapper is great for those who don’t like to eat fish that tastes super like fish. Whilst that can be a difficult thing to digest in itself, it isn’t uncommon to not want your fish-based dish to taste too much like fish.

So having said that, red snapper is quite mild and it has undertones of sweetness and nuts.

Pairing this up with its firm yet moist texture is a dream for many, because both the lean meat and flavor can be paired with a variety of different meals.

Not only that, because of the red snapper having such a mild fish flavor, it can be used to get children eating fish and making sure they are getting it in their diet each week. 

So, let’s break these flavors and textures down:


The overall flavor of red snapper is mild with a sweet and nutty and undertone. However, it isn’t too sweet.


The meat is both moist yet lean, giving it a firmer texture overall. It also doesn’t take too long to cook either. For example, putting it into a pan and cooking the red snapper for 3 minutes each side until the flesh goes opaque. 

Oil Content

The red snapper has very low oil. 

What Is The Look Of A Red Snapper?

A red snapper can grow to a big size, some as large as 35 lbs. However, the red snapper you are likely to buy at a market is going to be roughly around 5 lbs, so not even half the size but plenty to eat.

When a red snapper is younger its skin is a beautiful metallic pink-like color. Over time as they grow and mature it changes to the red color that we are familiar with. Sometimes it can even look like a burnt orange. 

Also, once they reach around 4 lbs in weight their eyes begin to change color too. They have a deep red color. Also, this is around the same weight when the skin starts to change to red.

So, why are they called snapper? It is due to their teeth. They are rather big and very spike-like. Whilst this sounds a little scary, they actually don’t hunt humans so we are fine!

Whilst we know them as red snapper, they have also been referred to as the Mexican Snapper, American Red Snapper, and the Caribbean Red Snapper.

What Flavors Can Go Alongside A Red Snapper?

There are many flavors that can go alongside a red snapper, from garlic seasoning, to steamed veggies, and a Rose wine. Yum

Let’s take a look at other flavor combinations:

  • Seasoning of basil, with a side of coleslaw, and Carignan for the wine.
  • Seasoning of sea salt, with a side of pasta, and Pinot Noir for the wine.
  • Seasoning of oregano, with a side of fries, and Gamay for the wine.
  • Seasoning of Paprika, with a side of roasted potatoes, and Merlot for the wine.
  • Seasoning of thyme, with a side of salad, and Schiava for the wine.

Is the Red Snapper Nutritious?

A red snapper has a lot of healthy benefits, however it does have its downside too if eaten in large quantities. Before we get to that however, let’s take a look at why a red snapper is good for us.

They contain good levels of both Omega-3 acids and Vitamin A, two things we need to help our immune system work properly, cells to reproduce, and to have healthier bones. 

Not only that, the fish also has great amounts of calcium, protein and iron, which are more things that can contribute to a healthy body when it comes to muscle, bone, and nerve functions. 

Whilst the red snapper is low in both saturated fat and calories, eating too many might expose you to mercury. Whilst one won’t cause any harm, eating too many will give you high levels of the stuff.

Because of this, never eat more than one red snapper a week just to be on the safe side.

Can You Eat Raw Red Snapper?

One can get sick from eating raw or undercooked fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, and clams.

Fresh red snapper is a delicious, healthy seafood option that is available all year long. It  is a light-bodied fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B12. 

It is a versatile fish that can be grilled, sautéed, steamed, or baked. 

This delicate fish can be found in the Caribbean Sea and is often served raw. 

It has a mild flavor that is not overpowering, and it can be eaten with a variety of sauces and condiments.

How Does Red Snapper Compare To Other Fishy Flavors?

If you are struggling to really understand what a red snapper will taste like, then let’s take a look at other fish that you may have eaten. This way you can get a good idea of what a red snapper tastes like compared to them:

Salmon VS Red Snapper

Whilst they can be cooked in the same way, they are by no means an alternative to each other in dishes. For example, if you don’t like salmon but the dish requires a salmon, a red snapper would not be a substitute fish.

The red snapper is actually a lot more flakier and even butterier compared to salmon. Not only that, the milder fish flavor gives way to a saltier taste due to the sea water when it comes to the red snapper. 

Mackerel VS Red Snapper

Both the mackerel and red snapper taste very different. Whilst the red snapper has a buttery taste, a mild fish flair and a sweeter taste, the mackerel is strong.

This means it has a very fishy flavor, and a higher level of oil too.

Redfish VS Red Snapper

If you have already tasted a red fish before, then you will have eaten something very similar to a red snapper. Both of these fish are quite sweet yet mild when it comes to the overall fishy taste. 

They both also have a nutty undertone and the texture is quite similar. 

What Does Red Snapper Actually Taste Like (1)

Vermilion Snapper VS Red Snapper

Whilst both these fish look quite similar (pinkish red skin and sharp teeth), the red snapper trumps the vermilion when it comes to size. Another difference is how they taste too.

Whilst they share the sweetness and mild fishy flavor alongside a nutty undertone when they are completely fresh, over time the vermilion has a much richer flavor. This is especially true once cooked due to it having more fat.

This also means you can cook it for longer and it won’t dry out. 

Grouper VS Red Snapper

Out of these two fish, the red snapper is a lot healthier due to having less oil and a leaner meat. The Grouper has a stronger fish flavor with a salty undertone. 

Yellowtail Snapper VS Red Snapper

Another fish that has sharp teeth is the yellowtail snapper which can be caught within warm water. Whilst it shares the sharp gnashers, it has yellow colored scales upon its body in a similar pattern to that of the red snapper.

However, both these fish can be told apart by their color and patterns. 

The yellowtail snapper has even less oil, making it difficult to cook for a longer period of time, and the flavor is extra mild making it suitable for those who do not like the strong flavor fish sometimes has. 

RELATED: 25 Mexican Seafood Recipes With Balanced And Effortless Style!

Is There A Way To Choose A Good Red Snapper?

If you are looking to buy a red snapper, then there are a few things to think about in order to find one that is suitable for your next meal. Not only that, you want to find quality fish so it will taste great, and cook well. 

First off, you will want to find a seller who is actually dealing with Lutjanus Campechanus (the scientific term for this type of fish). Some sellers deal with cheaper imitations such as the West Coast Rockfish, so be aware.

One of the ways to find out if it is a real red snapper is by making sure the fish has its skin still on.

This way you can check any details, otherwise you won’t actually know whether it is red snapper or not – especially as a first time buyer.

The filet of the fish should be the color of its flesh, not brown. If you are unsure, poke the flesh and watch how it bounces back. If it does, it means the flesh is great.

Also, if you can see the backbone, the brighter the color the better it will be. 

Just like with the flesh, you will want to check out how fresh it is. No doubt you will be buying the red snapper whole, which is also the best way to see its freshness. The red snapper’s eyes should be whole, bright and fully clear.

How Do You Clean Red Snapper?

Fish can be a pain to clean, especially for those who are inexperienced in the kitchen.

With proper care, however, fish fillets are relatively easy to clean. To clean red snapper, soak the fillets in salt water and lemon juice for about an hour. 

Remove from the solution, rinse, and pat dry. 

To remove the scales, rub a paste of salt, water, and lemon juice over the fish and let it sit for a few minutes. 

The scales should then slide off. After about 10 minutes, remove the fish and rinse it with fresh water.

How Should You Store A Store Bought Red Snapper?

When you buy a red snapper from the store, or even the market, there is a good chance that they are already pre-packaged or not, with the latter being a common market method.

If you buy the red snapper already packaged, then they should stay fine to eat for at least a couple of days, but they must be fully sealed. 

If the red snapper didn’t come on a sealed package, then the best thing to do is to place it into an airtight container. It should last the same amount of time for a couple of days.

If you are storing cooked leftovers, then wait for it to cool down and then place the red snapper into an airtight container. Once in the fridge, it should last for around 3 whole days. 

Obviously, before eating the fish always check to see if it doesn’t have any off smells, or looks weird. If it does, it is time to dispose of it. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Can You Freeze A Red Snapper?

Whilst you might want to put a red snapper in the fridge if you are planning to cook it soon, you can freeze a red snapper to make it last a lot longer if you aren’t going to cook it anytime soon.

To do so, tightly wrap it either in foil or plastic wrap. This way it can stay good enough to eat for at least 8 months. After that, it is safer to throw it out!

Though, even if it hasn’t been 8 months yet, always give it a smell and a once over. Just because it can last 8 months in the freezer doesn’t mean that it will.

There are a few things that could potentially scupper this, from where it is placed in the fridge, to how well it was wrapped.

Best Way To Cook A Red Snapper

There are various ways to cook a red snapper making it a versatile and easy fish to choose for a dish. Some of the options include grilling, broiling, baking, and steaming it. You can also saute the fish too.

As we stated above, there are a number of things you can add to the dish if you want a burst of flavor, from adding extra sea salt and sprinkling some paprika or garlic cloves on top, to pairing it up with fries, a fresh salad, or steamed veggies. 

Or, you could do it the traditional way and squeeze some lemon juice over the cooked fish for a delicious tang. 

Do Red Snapper have worms? 

Red snapper has the potential to carry worms. Some people choose to freeze the fish before cooking it.

The presence of bacteria and worms in an area is often associated with the presence of red snapper. 

To ensure that your red snapper is fresh, make sure it’s been frozen for at least six months before you buy it.

Is Red Snapper Poisonous? 

Red snapper is not poisonous and is a popular seafood.

Red snapper is not a poisonous fish, and this is because it does not have any toxin in its flesh. It is a type of marine fish and is popular for cooking and as a sushi.

Among the most popular fish on the planet is the red snapper. It is important to note that red snapper comes with toxins called ciguatera that are present in red snapper. 

In addition to numbness, tingling, and heart palpitations, Ciguatera is a neurotoxin that can cause many symptoms.

Nutritional Value Of Red Snapper : Per 100 gm Serving

Nutrients Red Snapper
Calories218 Kcal
Total Fat2.9 g
Cholesterol80 mg
Sodium97 mg
Potassium887 mg
Carbohydrates0 mg
Protein0 mg
Vitamin A3.9%
Vitamin C4.5%

RELATED: What Are Shrimp? (Fish, Seafood, Or Shellfish?)

Quick Table: Delicate Red Snapper Recipes To Taste

RecipesCalories Per ServingTotal Preparation Time
Baked Snapper With Garlic And Herbs55125 Minutes
Mediterranean Red Snapper Baked Recipe296.225 Minutes
Roasted Red Snapper Recipe10940 Minutes

1. Baked Snapper With Garlic And Herbs

The baked red snapper recipe is one of the fisherman’s paradise. 

With memorable catches, the delicate white fish with a flaky texture and a pleasant clean taste and adding flavors of garlic and herbs make an excellent dish full of style spice. 

The light and moist white fish gives a slightly sweet and clean taste. Adding fat to the lean fish with some butter provides a delicious taste. 

The crispy and delicious red snapper dish with flavors of seasonings is one of the best. Serve with grilled fish with any grilled vegetables. Gives a perfect summer dinner

The meal with nutritional calculation gives a quick, yummy, and spicy taste. 

Calories: 551 Calories per serving

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

2. Mediterranean Red Snapper Baked Recipe

The Mediterranean red snapper baked recipe makes an exquisite dinner meal worth to be displayed. 

With baked style, the beautiful dinner meal is worth being shown to lock in all the moisture and flavors. 

The bed of herbs results in a tender, moist and flavorsome seafood dish. Add the baked recipe with summer squash, mushrooms, and broccoli. 

The dressing and incredibly sprinkled gives a fantastic taste with bright veggies, and citrus will become the new favorite dish. The delicious and fabulous fish provides a sharing and variation of the recipe. 

Calories: 296.2 Kcal per serving

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

3. Roasted Red Snapper Recipe

The healthy recipe is full of flavors made with whole red snapper works for toppings. One of the delicious recipes is the favorite seafood recipes to enhance the taste. 

The perfect main recipe is one of the favorites and simple dishes offered with garlic crumb toppings. A combination of herbs gives it an incredibly flavorful taste. 

Choosing fish that is healthy, responsibly managed, and caught or farmed in ways that minimize environmental damage is one way you can drive the market for sustainable seafood. 

Whenever we cook fish, it is flavorful and adds a great deal of flavor to whatever it is cooked with. 

This dish is both delicious and healthy all at the same time, so whether you’re a vegetarian or not, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy it.

Calories: 109 Kcal per serving

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Red Snapper Taste Like?

A subtle nutty flavor compliments red snapper’s mild, slightly sweet taste. A versatile ingredient for cooking, its lean and moist meat is also firm in texture. 

Kids and people who prefer mild-flavored foods will enjoy red snappers because they don’t taste fishy. 

How Do You Prepare Snapper?

Roasting red snapper over lemon slices or in lemon juice is one of the best ways to prepare it. 

One should keep seasonings to a minimum; these flavors can overpower red snapper. Lemon juice and fresh herbs are the best seasonings to use.

Does Red Snapper Turn White When Cooked?

There are yellow streaks in the raw flesh of the red snapper. Cooked, it becomes a lighter color, but it never becomes completely white. Their teeth are remarkably similar to those of land animals.

What Does Red Snapper Actually Taste Like?

Read this article to find out what red snapper tastes like and get some tips on how to cook it.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith


Monday 29th of August 2022

сontinuously i used to read smɑller content which as well clear their motive, and that is also hɑppening with this post wһich I am reading now.

נערות ליווי באילת

Saturday 30th of July 2022

Itís nearly impossible to find educated people for this topic, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks