My Blackened Red Snapper with fresh fruit salsa and lime margarita sauce will simply blow you away! The big, bold flavors of the cajun seasoning, tempered with the fruit salsa and margarita sauce, make this restaurant-quality dish a culinary masterpiece!
If you’re looking for a red snapper recipe that’s easy to make and will seriously impress your friends and family,
During my restaurant days, blackening fish like Red Snapper was a favorite of my guests. Adding my Lime Margarita Sauce made it even more delicious.
Ingredients to make Blackened Red Snapper
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my Cajun Style Florida Snapper. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the up cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
What other types of fish can I use for this dish?
If you don’t like snapper or simply can’t find it at your grocery store, there are many types of fish you can use instead of snapper.
you can always use your personal favorite if it’s not listed, but I would stay away from steak-style fish, such as tuna and swordfish. Tilapia and Flounder would work, but the white fish fillets are more delicate, and they would have a tendency to break apart.
How to make Blackened Red Snapper
- Trim the snapper fillets if needed, and rinse them in cold water. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels.
- Mix the Cajun seasoning with cracker meal and brown sugar.
- Press one side of the snapper fillets into the seasoning mixture, coating the fillet evenly. Make sure you get enough of the spice mixture on the snapper.
- High heat is necessary to properly blacken the snapper. When the saute pan is hot and add just enough olive oil to keep the snapper from sticking.
- Carefully place fish fillets, seasoned side down, into the pan.
- Allow the fillets to cook undisturbed until the coating has browned, then turn to sear the other side of the fish.
Remove the seared snapper from the pan and place it in a baking dish. Add a little water to the pan to help keep the fish moist while baking.
Place the baking dish in a preheated 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
How to make fruit salsa.
Making the fruit salsa is really easy. Mix the diced fruit, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and salt together. (strawberries will soften and bleed, so if you make this ahead of time, don’t add the strawberries until serving time)
What kind of fruit can I use to make fruit salsa?
The salsa recipe can be made with a variety of fruit. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, watermelon, kiwi, and blueberries can be substituted in any combination you like.
Onions do add that salsa flavor, as well as the cilantro, but both of those could be left out if you can eat them.
Remember this is your dinner and should be made the way you like to eat!
How to make lime margarita sauce
- In a small saute pan, add 1 tbsp of butter, and after it melts, add the brown sugar and blend well.
- Add the lime juice and tequila, and allow the alcohol in the tequila to burn off. Add in the last tbsp of butter and allow the mixture to thicken.
**Do not overheat the sauce will break. Wait until you are ready to serve the snapper before the final heating of the margarita sauce.
Do I have to use Tequila in the sauce?
No, you don’t. If you can’t have alcohol or don’t like the taste, you can replace the tequila with apple juice, chicken or vegetable stock, or water.
If you don’t like tequila, you can replace it with rum, gin, white wine or your favorite spirit.
Then it is simply a matter of putting the dish all together and serving it with rice or your favorite grain along with the vegetable of your choice. And you’ve got a restaurant-style dinner at a fraction of the cost of dining out!
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Blackened Salmon with a Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
- Pan Seared Halibut
- How to Poach Mahi-Mahi (or your favorite fish)
- Grilled Atlantic Rockfish
Silver or gold tequila?
Chef Dennis Littley
what ever you like.
Can you recommend a good rice dish to accompany this? TIA!
Chef Dennis Littley
It all depends on what type of rice you enjoy eating, but I would serve plain-style rice. I have been using brown rice these days, and the best way to cook any rice is to use chicken broth instead of water. Add a little butter and black pepper, and you’ve got very flavorful rice without adding anything to it. This will work for white rice too.
That being said, you can always add any of these extras, giving them a quick saute: chopped onions, green peppers, green onions, corn, peas, or tomatoes. You do want to saute any vegetables added to let them caramelize a little before adding to the rice. Letting them cook with the rice will add flavor to the rice but the flavor of the veggies will be boiled out.
If I can’t find cracker meal, what is a good substitute?
Chef Dennis Littley
you can use panko bread crumbs instead, they have a nice texture
I don’t rate recipes, ever. This was unbelievable. Make it! You will not believe how delicious it is. Awesome recipe.
By far the best snapper dish I have ever made. The combined flavors of the spice, fish, salsa, and sauce created an explosion of happiness in my mouth. It has left such an impression that here I am, the following morning, writing a recipe review for the first time in my life. Thank you, Chef Dennis!
Chef Dennis Littley
Thanks for the comment and great review Jody! I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed the Snapper and I hope you find more recipes on my blog to try!
Delicious Fish Recipe!
Made it with a Mango Pico De Gallo like Salsa and the sauce was awesome!
Great recipe. Will definately make again!
This is by far one of the best fish recipes I have ever made (and as a Florida native, I’ve cooked my fair share of fish). I did exactly as the recipe instructed not to and over-heated the sauce. It broke and separated. I almost gave up and ate it without the sauce, but instead decided to remake it (which only took all of 5 or so minutes). It did not disappoint! This recipe is truly fantastic and I can’t wait to make it for years to come. Thank you, Chef Dennis!
Spicy and really delicious! Love it.
What a delicious and light meal. I love tequila and it’s not used enough. I can’t wait to try this.
This sauce sounds so flavorful! Yum!
Great recipe! Will make again!
I’ve always been at a loss with what to do with snapper so this recipe is a welcome addition to my recipe collection. Love the lime margarita salsa
That lime margarita sauce is so delicious with the fish!