Florida Keys Style Whole Snapper

Here is an easy yet delicious whole snapper recipe that will not disappoint.

Average sized Mangrove Snapper or Hogfish perfect for preparing whole.

Cleaning and scaling fish that are only a few inches over the legal size limit will allow you to get the most out of your fish, as opposed to filleting smaller fish. 

Here is what you'll need to prepare one fish:

  • One 1 to 2 pound whole snapper, cleaned and scaled. 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of Grated Parmesan Cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) chilled butter, cut into pieces

Step 1: The Prep Work

Place 24x18-inch piece of foil on a heavy large baking sheet. Spread butter on foil to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2: The Cut 


With your trusty Bubba Blade Sportsmans Knife, cut your fish diagonally in a one inch diamond pattern, creating small squares of meat.  Once this is finished, dust the meat with salt and pepper.

The purpose of this cut is to ensure even cooking and to get seasoning down into the filet of the fish, instead of just on the surface. 


Step 3: The Flavor 

In a bowl, combine your olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. With a spoon, spread the mixture over each side of the fish, ensuring it gets into all of the creases of the diamond cut you made in Step 1. Once coated in the wet seasoning mixture, coat both sides of the fish liberally with Panko bread crumbs. 

Step 4: Cooking Process

Panko Bread Crumbs will become golden brown and crispy when broiled correctly. 

  • Place seasoned and Panko coated fish on buttered baking sheet and and place in the oven, set to 350, for 20 minutes. 
  • Once fish is white and flaky, switch oven to a low broil. It is important to keep an eye on the fish at this stage to prevent the Panko from burning. Remove fish when it is golden brown (after 1 to 2 minutes). 


Serve with your choice of pasta or rice and enjoy!