Simple Red Snapper Baked in Foil Recipe

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by Maggie Turansky

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This baked snapper recipe is super simple to make and is one of the best options for a fish dinner for basically any occasion.

If you live in an area where beautiful, fresh red snapper is prolific (as I am fortunate enough to here in Melbourne), then this dish can be a frequent rotation on your dinner menus.

I try to let the mild flavour of the fish sing in this application, so the ingredient list is minimal. One other benefit is that the preparation of this dish is about as simple as possible – it takes about five minutes to get everything together and then all you need to throw it in the oven and wait until it’s cooked!

I also like to drizzle the fish with a little bit of parsley and garlic-infused olive oil. Making this little drizzle takes only a couple of minutes and it really elevates the flavour of the finished dish.

Baked Red Snapper
Baked Red Snapper

How to Bake Snapper Fillets in Foil

First things first, pat your fish down with some paper towels and then generously season it with salt and pepper.

You honestly don’t need to do anything else to the fish, but it does need salt.

Ingredients for this snapper recipe
Ingredients for this snapper recipe

You also need to prep a few ingredients – mainly, zesting and slicing a lemon. Take a whole lemon and get about a teaspoon of its zest before slicing the lemon into thin rings. Set the zest aside (we’re adding it to the drizzling oil!).

Lay your snapper fillet on a large piece of foil, skin-side down if your fish has skin.

Then, assemble the lemon slices over the fillet, ensuring that the fish is completely and evenly covered with lemons. Next, drizzle the fish with a little bit of olive oil, just to flavour the fillet as it cooks. You may notice that this method of prep is similar to my rainbow trout recipe, as it’s a great way to cook fish fillets!

Placing the lemon on top of the fish
Placing the lemon on top of the fish

Now you need to tightly crimp the foil around the fish. Cooking a snapper fillet (or any kind of fish) like this is a great way to very gently steam it. It can easily prevent the fish from drying out.

Place the crimped fish package on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Cook it for about 20 minutes – the actual cooking time can vary, however, depending on the size and thickness of your fillets.

Crimping the fish
Crimping the foil around fish

I find it much better to gauge doneness by taking the temperature at the thickest point of the fillet – you want it to be about 50°C/125°F. I just stick my thermometer right through the foil to avoid having to un-crimp it too soon!

While the fish is cooking, make a quick topping. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest you’ve already collected along with some finely chopped parsley and a grated clove of garlic.

The fish topping
The fish topping

Add a generous pinch of salt and then cover everything with a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine and set aside. If you want an elevated version of this, then consider topping the fish with something like homemade chimichurri!

You can also whip up a quick side dish while the fish is cooking. I recommend making my sautéed kale and Swiss chard – it goes great with this recipe!

Removing the snapper from the oven
Removing the snapper from the oven

Once the fish has reached its desired internal temperature, allow it to rest in the foil for about five minutes before unwrapping and serving.

To serve, remove the lemon slices and drizzle the fillet with the parsley oil. Serve some lemon wedges on the side – a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is always welcome on a piece of fish!

Baked Snapper in Foil

Baked Snapper in Foil

This snapper fillet is super simple to make and absolutely delicious. Letting the flavours of the fish sing, try to rely on the internal temperature of the fish rather than a timer in order to avoid overcooking!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 2
Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 large red snapper fillet about 300-350g/10-12oz
  • 1 lemon cut into rings
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Pat the snapper fillet dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place the snapper on a large piece of foil. Arrange the lemon slices so that they completely cover the fish. Drizzle with a bit (1-2 teaspoons) of extra virgin olive oil.
    Placing the lemon on top of the fish
  • Tightly crimp the foil around the fish and place on a baking sheet. Bake the fish for 20-25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 50°C/125°F. Remove the fish from the oven and allow to rest, still crimped in the foil, for at least five minutes before serving.
    Crimping the foil
  • Meanwhile, add the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt to a small bowl. Stir to combine.
    The fish topping
  • To serve the fish, remove the lemon slices and drizzle with the parsley oil. Serve with more lemon wedges, if desired.


  1. Make sure to zest the lemon before cutting it into slices!


Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 823mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

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This snapper baked in foil is so incredibly simple to make and it is utterly delicious. In fact, it is one of my absolutely favourite ways to prepare a great piece of fresh fish!

Are you looking for a great recipe for red snapper? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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