Best Red Snapper Substitutes That Work Like A Charm

Red Snapper Substitute

Find yourself looking for red snapper substitutes? The red, mild fish is an excellent culinary companion and brings a lot to the table. But sometimes, you might find yourself in need of a different option. Maybe you can’t get hold of the ingredient or need to work around some diet preferences.

Whatever the case, we’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look at some of the options and see what works best.

Top Substitutes For Red Snapper

1. Grouper

Grouper is an excellent replacement for red snapper. Just like the snapper, grouper is widely available and enjoyed in various recipes and cuisines. Its mild but sweet taste is rather similar to red snapper, so we’ve got most of the bases covered.

There are differences between both fish. Grouper tends to be chunkier and has larger flakes. So, when using it as a substitute, you can use a slightly less quantity of grouper to avoid disturbing the recipe.

2. Flounder

Flounder is a flatfish and while it’s very different from red snapper in many aspects, it is a white fish. Besides, flounder tends to be mild with a delicate texture. 

One of the biggest pros of using flounder is that it doesn’t have that conventional fishy smell. So, if you’ve been avoiding fish for the smell, flounder could be a good replacement for the recipe.

The mild flavoring makes it more receptive to several recipes. Flounder is good for most cooking preferences, though it’s best to avoid grilling this fish.

3. Tuna

Tuna is more a replacement than a viable substitute for red snapper. This isn’t a fish you keep to manage the same recipe, it’s one you pick to take a whole new direction. Tuna is a favorite with most people, so it might just work!

4. Halibut

A very popular flatfish, halibut can be a decent substitute for red snapper. The key here is the fact that halibut too has white meat with mild flavor and undertones of sweetness. The fish has a strong, meaty texture accompanied by a mellow flavor. 

Halibut doesn’t smell fishy, so it’s a good choice for those who are put off by the smell. The fish is very versatile and works well for most recipes.

Learn more: Halibut Substitutes That Can Make A Wonderful Dish

5. Catfish

The fish got its name from its whiskers which look like those of a cat. While the similarity with cats ends there, the usability of this fish goes far beyond. It’s even useful as a substitute for red snapper. 

The fish is light and easy to season, though not as sweet as the red snapper. Plus, it doesn’t have scales. This change of texture and taste might require some adjustments to the recipe. Or, you could use catfish with savory dishes where other flavors mask its difference in taste.

6. Codfish

Codfish is another popular and abundant fish that can work as a decent replacement for the red snapper. The fish has a mild sweet flavor, which matches that of the snapper and their textures are quite similar too. This makes codfish work as a viable substitute.

However, keep in mind that codfish are usually larger than red snapper. The difference in size will often require you to make adjustments to the recipe. Codfish is very versatile and works well with most cuisines and recipes. It can work with most cooking styles, including grilling and searing.

7. Sea Bass

Sea bass usually sports a dark gray or black color, often matched with a white belly. This quality makes this ocean-dwelling fish work as a decent replacement for red snapper in many recipes. Its white flesh, small flakes, and mild taste are a good match in texture and flavor.

This incredibly versatile fish can work with most cooking methods and is often seen as a delicacy. On that note, it’s worth noting that the sea bass is a more expensive option. So, it might be worthwhile to use this one for its own recipes rather than working on it as a substitution.

8. Tilapia

Generally considered the best red snapper substitute along with grouper, tilapia is a noteworthy option. The fish has gained some notoriety in recent years due to the inhuman farming techniques it’s often subjected to. So, if you do choose to buy it, check that it comes from a humane source.

Tilapia is abundant and easily available in most shops. Its mild flavor and flakiness make it a good option for many recipes and cooking styles. Searing and frying are amongst the best methods of cooking tilapia. It will replace red snapper in these situations quite heartily. 

9. Haddock

Haddock is more similar to cod and it’s this connection that makes it a good fit for replacing red snapper. Although it has a nice texture and white meat, this fish also brings in a more intense fishy flavor and aroma. If that’s a turn-off for you, haddock isn’t the right pick. On the other hand, its flavorfulness can work in its favor for many recipes. It’s also a sweeter option, so it’s possible to work haddock into several red snapper recipes.

Its soft and tender meat often makes up for any shortcomings one would associate with haddock. The fish is versatile and works with most cooking methods. The preferable methods are baking, broiling, smoking, and deep frying.

10. Queen Snapper

The queen snapper has obvious similarities with the red snapper, but also sports a different style. This fish shows off bright red skin and silver scales, and even its meat is pale pink. 

Coloring aside, the fish often cooks moist and soft and has a nice touch to its flavor. It’s versatile enough to work with most recipes. Though its presence will slightly alter the color and texture, it’s usually an acceptable and even delicious transformation.

Cooking Goodness With And Without The Red Snapper

Though it’s a very common and popular fish, there might be times when you choose to go with red snapper substitutes. There are plenty of fish that offer a similar texture and flavor. You could play it safe and pick something like grouper or tilapia, or find other exciting substitutes from our list here.