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7 Tasty Red Snapper Substitutes: Explore the Options

Sometimes, finding red snapper is like hunting for a unicorn at the grocery store. We’ve all been there.

You’ve got your heart set on a mouth-watering recipe that stars red snapper, only to be greeted by a glaring empty shelf.

Don’t hit the panic button just yet. We’ve rounded up eight substitutes that get the job done, and they taste amazing too.

From popular picks to a few surprises, here’s how to still make that meal a winner.

7 Easy Substitutes for Red Snapper

As much as I love red snapper, there are a few reasons why you might need to use a substitute. Maybe your grocery store is out of stock, or they’re not in season. Or maybe it’s just not available where you live. Whatever the reason may be, don’t worry – these substitutes will still make for a delicious and satisfying meal.

SubstituteTasteTextureRatioSuitable Dish
CodMild, slightly sweetFlaky1:1Fish and chips, fish tacos
TilapiaMild, slightly sweetFlaky1:1Fish sticks, fish sandwiches
Mahi-MahiRich, butteryFirm1:1Grilled fish, fish salads
GrouperMild, slightly sweetFlaky1:1Fish sandwiches, fish and chips
HalibutFirm, slightly sweetFirm1:1Grilled fish, fish salads
Sea BassMild, slightly sweetFlaky1:1Fish and chips, fish tacos
CatfishMild, slightly sweetFirm1:1Fried fish, fish sandwiches

1 – Cod Fish

Cod is our go-to when red snapper goes MIA. Its firm texture and mild flavor make it a star substitute.

You can swap it 1:1, and it’ll still deliver. One great thing about cod is its affordability and wide availability. Unlike red snapper, you won’t need to hunt high and low for it.

Though cod is a bit less fatty, it’s still a solid pick. Just be careful not to overcook it, or you’ll end up with dry fish.

For more on cod substitutes, check out this handy guide.

2 – Tilapia

When Red Snapper is out of reach, we’ve got a fantastic fallback—Tilapia. It’s got this mild flavor and soft texture that makes it super versatile. You can use it as a 1:1 substitute without any hassle.

Pros first: it’s affordable, and you won’t struggle to find it. The mild taste works with almost any seasoning or sauce we throw at it. Now for the cons: Tilapia is less fatty than Red Snapper, so be careful not to overcook it, or it’ll turn dry.

Need more options? Check out this guide for other tilapia substitutes.

3 – Mahi-Mahi

One of our absolute favorites, Mahi-Mahi! This fish is a real treat. It boasts a rich flavor and firm texture, making it a great 1:1 substitute for red snapper.

Pros? We love its richness and firmness. Plus, it’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids. On the downside, it’s a bit pricier than some other options and can get oily if you don’t cook it just right.

Want more options? Check out this guide for mahi-mahi substitutes.

4 – Grouper

Nothing beats the satisfaction of finding a great substitute! Grouper is a solid contender. It’s got that mild flavor we love and a firm texture that holds up well in various dishes. Perfect 1:1 substitute for red snapper.

Pros? The mild taste is versatile, so it works with many recipes. The firm texture is a win. Grouper is generally more affordable, too.

Cons? It’s less fatty than red snapper, so it might turn dry if overcooked. We’ve found it’s best to keep an eye on it during cooking.

Interested in more options? Check out this grouper substitute guide for more info.

5 – Halibut

Halibut, our flavor-packed friend, is a superstar when we’re out of red snapper. Its firm texture and rich taste make it a standout substitute. You won’t miss red snapper with this bad boy on your plate.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, halibut adds a nutritious punch to any meal. It holds up well in various dishes thanks to its firm texture. However, it does come with a couple of quirks. It’s a bit pricier and can get oily if not cooked just right.

For more about other halibut substitutes, check out this halibut substitutes guide.

6 – Sea Bass

In terms of mild flavors, sea bass checks the box. Its firm texture is spot on, making it a stellar 1:1 red snapper substitute.

Sea bass offers perks galore—that mild taste blends with everything. The firm texture holds up, no problem. It’s also generally affordable.

Here’s the catch: it’s less fatty. Overcook it, and it might dry out. So keep a close eye on it.

Interested in more options? Check out this sea bass substitute guide for other delicious alternatives.

7 – Catfish

Last but certainly not least, catfish! We love its firm texture and mild flavor. It’s perfect for a 1:1 red snapper swap.

Catfish has a versatile taste that blends well with many dishes. It’s affordable too.

The firm texture is a major win. However, it’s less fatty than red snapper, so it can dry out if overcooked.

For more options, check out this guide on catfish substitutes. We’ve covered everything you need to know.