Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe

Experience an exquisite fusion of Mediterranean and Seafood in this delectable Red Snapper Wrapped in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe. The combination of flavorsome red snapper, the tangy caper butter, and the unique taste of grape leaves make this dish a delightful surprise for the palate. Not only is this recipe visually appealing, but it also provides a gastronomic adventure that seafood lovers will truly enjoy.

Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

Photos of Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

The main ingredient for this recipe is the Red Snapper, a type of fish known for its firm texture and sweet, nutty flavor, which complements well with the tangy taste of caper butter sauce. The grape leaves, a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, may not be as readily available in some areas. They are usually found bottled in brine in the international aisle of supermarkets or in specialty food stores. When purchasing, be sure to look for leaves that are large enough to wrap around the fish fillets.

Ingredients for Red Snapper Wrapped in Grape Leaves

Red snapper: This is a type of white fish known for its firm texture and sweet, nutty flavor. It's perfect for grilling and pairs well with robust flavors.

Grape leaves: These are typically used in Mediterranean cuisine. They add a unique, tangy flavor and an interesting texture to the dish.

Caper butter: Capers are small, pickled flower buds that give a vibrant, briny flavor to dishes. Combined with butter, it creates a rich and tangy sauce that complements seafood well.

Garlic: Adds a distinctive, aromatic flavor that enhances the taste of the other ingredients.

Lemon zest: Its citrusy flavor and aroma brighten the dish and help balance the flavors.

Parsley: Adds a fresh, mildly bitter taste and enhances the overall flavor of the dish.

One reader, Boot Graf says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

The red snapper wrapped in grape leaves with caper butter recipe is a game-changer! The grape leaves infuse a unique flavor, and the caper butter sauce adds a delightful zing. It's a showstopper dish that's surprisingly easy to make. I highly recommend it for a special dinner - it's a true culinary delight!

Boot Graf

Key Techniques for Mastering This Recipe

How to wrap the red snapper in grape leaves: Overlap two grape leaves and place a piece of fish in the center. Fold the bottom of the leaves over the fish, then fold in the sides and the top to completely enclose the fish.

How to grill the fish packets: Brush the packets with oil to seal the leaves and prevent sticking. Grill or broil the packets, turning once, until just done, about 8 minutes for 3/4-inch-thick fillets.

How to make the caper butter sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then stir in the garlic, lemon zest, capers, lemon juice, parsley, and salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the grape-leaf packets before serving.

How To Make Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Garlic-and-Caper Butter

This recipe for grilled red snapper over grape leaves produces soft and flaky fish, served alongside a tangy-salty butter sauce, for a rich meal!

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 2lbsred snapper fillets
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 16large grape leaves,bottled
  • 2tbspcooking oil
  • 4tbspbutter
  • 2garlic cloves
  • 1lemon,zested, grated
  • 1tbspcapers
  • 1tsplemon juice
  • 1tbspfresh parsley,chopped


  1. Light the grill or heat the broiler. Sprinkle the fish with ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

  2. Overlap two of the grape leaves and put a piece of the fish in the center. Fold the bottom of the leaves over the center of the fish. Fold in the sides of the leaves like an envelope to enclose the fish. Fold the top of the leaves over so that the fish is completely covered by the grape leaves.

  3. Brush some of the oil over the packet to seal the leaves and keep them from sticking to the grill. Repeat with the remaining fish, grape leaves and oil, making 8 packets in all.

  4. Grill or broil the fish packets, turning once, for about 8 minutes in all for ¾-inch-thick fillets, until just done.

  5. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the garlic, lemon zest, capers, lemon juice, parsley and ⅛ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

  6. Spoon the sauce over the grape-leaf packets, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 414.13kcal
  • Fat: 21.98g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.53g
  • Trans Fat: 0.49g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.01g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.64g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.25g
  • Fiber: 2.41g
  • Sugar: 1.39g
  • Protein: 47.90g
  • Cholesterol: 114.44mg
  • Sodium: 660.94mg
  • Calcium: 143.22mg
  • Potassium: 1034.80mg
  • Iron: 1.10mg
  • Vitamin A: 380.63µg
  • Vitamin C: 15.29mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting the Grape Leaf Wrap

When working with grape leaves, it's important to rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove any brine. Pat them dry before using to ensure they adhere properly to the fish. Also, when folding the grape leaves around the fish, be gentle to avoid tearing the leaves. If a leaf does tear, simply overlap another leaf to cover the tear. This will ensure your fish stays moist and flavorful during the grilling process.

Time-Saving Tips for Busy Cooks

Preparation: Prep all the ingredients and tools before starting to cook to streamline the process and avoid last-minute scrambling.

Organization: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you cook to save time and reduce stress.

Multi-tasking: Look for opportunities to multitask, such as chopping vegetables while waiting for water to boil, to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Prep-ahead: Prepare certain components of the recipe, such as the sauce or marinade, in advance to cut down on cooking time when you're ready to make the dish.

Efficient tools: Use efficient kitchen tools and gadgets, such as a sharp chef's knife and a food processor, to speed up the cooking process.

One-pot meals: Opt for one-pot or sheet pan meals to minimize cleanup and simplify the cooking process.

Leftovers: Embrace leftovers and repurpose them into new dishes to save time on future meal preparation.

Time-saving ingredients: Incorporate time-saving ingredients like pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables, canned beans, and pre-made sauces to expedite cooking.

Substitute Ingredients For Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe

  • red snapper fillets - Substitute with sea bass fillets: Sea bass has a similar firm texture and mild flavor, making it a suitable replacement for red snapper in this recipe.

  • grape leaves - Substitute with collard greens: Collard greens can be used as a substitute for grape leaves, providing a sturdy and flavorful wrapping for the fish.

  • cooking oil - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can be used as a healthier alternative to cooking oil, adding a rich flavor to the dish.

  • butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee can be used as a substitute for butter, providing a nutty and rich flavor to the dish.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can be used as a milder alternative to garlic, adding a subtle depth of flavor to the dish.

  • lemon zest - Substitute with orange zest: Orange zest can be used as a substitute for lemon zest, providing a citrusy aroma and flavor to the dish.

  • capers - Substitute with green olives: Green olives can be used as a substitute for capers, adding a briny and tangy flavor to the dish.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar can be used as a substitute for lemon juice, providing a tangy and acidic element to the dish.

  • fresh parsley - Substitute with fresh dill: Fresh dill can be used as a substitute for parsley, adding a fresh and aromatic flavor to the dish.

Plating Suggestions for an Impressive Presentation

  1. Elevate the grape leaves: Gently unfold the grape leaves and arrange them in a circular pattern on the plate, creating a visually appealing base for the dish.

  2. Create a vibrant sauce swirl: Using a small spoon, carefully drizzle the caper butter sauce in a circular motion around the grape leaf-wrapped red snapper, adding a pop of color and flavor to the plate.

  3. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a few delicate sprigs of fresh parsley over the dish, adding a touch of brightness and a hint of earthy aroma to complement the flavors.

  4. Incorporate citrus accents: Grate a touch of lemon zest over the dish for a subtle hint of citrus, enhancing the overall aroma and adding a visually stunning element to the presentation.

  5. Add a touch of elegance with edible flowers: Place a small, carefully selected edible flower on the plate as a sophisticated and visually striking garnish, adding a touch of elegance to the overall presentation.

  6. Balance the plate with a side of greens: Serve the grape leaf-wrapped red snapper alongside a small portion of lightly dressed mixed greens, creating a balanced and visually appealing composition on the plate.

  7. Emphasize precision in plating: Pay close attention to the arrangement of each element on the plate, ensuring that the presentation reflects the care and precision that went into crafting this exquisite dish.

  8. Highlight the grape leaf wrapping: Showcase the grape leaf-wrapped red snapper as the focal point of the plate, allowing the intricate wrapping to stand out and capture the attention of the diners.

Essential Kitchen Tools You'll Need

  • Grill or broiler: You can use either a grill or a broiler to cook the red snapper wrapped in grape leaves. The grill will impart a smoky flavor, while the broiler will cook the fish with direct heat.
  • Cooking oil: This is used to brush over the grape leaf packets to prevent sticking and to help seal the leaves while grilling or broiling.
  • Small saucepan: You will need a small saucepan to melt the butter and prepare the caper butter sauce to spoon over the grape-leaf packets.
  • Tongs: Tongs will be useful for flipping the grape-leaf packets on the grill or broiler to ensure even cooking.
  • Brush: A brush is essential for applying the cooking oil to the grape leaf packets before grilling or broiling.

How To Reheat Leftovers for Best Results

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover red snapper packets on a baking sheet and cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish is heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and flavor of the fish while preventing it from drying out.

  • For a quicker option, you can use the microwave. Place the red snapper packets on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the fish is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the fish, as it can quickly become dry and rubbery.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat the red snapper packets. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the packets in the basket. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the fish is heated through. This method helps to crisp up the grape leaves while keeping the fish moist and flavorful.

  • For a stovetop option, place the red snapper packets in a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water. Cover the pot and steam for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish is heated through. This method helps to retain the moisture and delicate flavor of the fish.

  • If you want to reheat the caper butter sauce separately, place it in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is heated through. You can also microwave the sauce in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-60 seconds, stirring halfway through.

Fascinating Trivia About Red Snapper

Red snapper is a popular fish in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It is a lean, white fish with a firm texture and a sweet, nutty flavor. This fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy choice for a delicious meal.

Is Making This Dish at Home Cost-Effective?

This red snapper wrapped in grape leaves with caper butter recipe offers a delightful and elegant dining experience. The cost-effectiveness is moderate due to the use of premium ingredients like red snapper and capers. The dish's overall verdict is 9, reflecting its exquisite flavors and presentation. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $40-$50, making it a reasonable option for a special occasion or a weekend treat.

Is This Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The red snapper wrapped in grape leaves with caper butter recipe is a relatively healthy dish, but there are a few aspects that could be improved:

  • Red snapper is a lean, protein-rich fish that is low in calories and high in nutrients like selenium and vitamin B12
  • Grape leaves are low in calories and contain beneficial compounds like antioxidants and fiber
  • However, the recipe calls for a significant amount of butter, which is high in saturated fat and calories
  • The addition of capers and lemon juice provides a nice tang and helps to balance out the richness of the butter, but the overall dish may still be quite high in fat

To make this recipe even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter used in the caper sauce, or replace some of it with a healthier fat like olive oil
  • Use a light brush of oil on the grape leaf packets instead of a generous amount to minimize added fat
  • Serve the fish packets alongside a nutrient-dense side dish like roasted vegetables or a colorful salad to boost the overall nutritional value of the meal
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices in the caper sauce to add flavor without relying solely on butter and salt
  • If you have concerns about the sustainability or mercury content of red snapper, consider using a different type of lean, white fish that is sustainably sourced and lower in contaminants

Editor's Take: My Honest Opinion

The recipe for red snapper wrapped in grape leaves with caper butter is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The use of grape leaves adds a unique earthy element to the dish, while the caper butter provides a burst of tangy and savory notes. The grilling method enhances the natural flavors of the fish, resulting in a succulent and tender dish. The accompanying sauce complements the fish beautifully, adding a zesty and aromatic touch. This dish is a perfect showcase of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and is sure to impress with its elegant presentation and exquisite taste.

Enhance Your Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for complementing the flavorful red snapper wrapped in grape leaves.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, adding a refreshing and vibrant side to the dish.
Citrus Quinoa Salad: A light and refreshing quinoa salad with citrusy flavors, providing a healthy and satisfying accompaniment to the red snapper wrapped in grape leaves.

Similar Mediterranean-Inspired Seafood Recipes to Try

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate your favorite vegetables in a zesty herb and garlic marinade, then grill them to perfection on skewers for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken: Rub a whole chicken with a flavorful blend of lemon, garlic, and herbs, then roast it until golden brown and juicy for a classic and comforting meal.
Mango Coconut Rice Pudding: Combine creamy coconut milk, fragrant jasmine rice, and sweet mango for a tropical twist on traditional rice pudding that's perfect for dessert or a sweet breakfast treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Red Snapper Wrapped in Grape Leaves

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delicious appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a savory mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Toast slices of crusty bread and top with a flavorful mixture of diced tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil. This classic Italian appetizer is a perfect way to start any meal.
Tiramisu: Create a decadent tiramisu parfait with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, creamy mascarpone cheese, and a dusting of cocoa powder. Serve in elegant glassware for a stunning presentation.
Panna Cotta: Elevate the panna cotta by infusing it with fragrant vanilla bean and serving it with a vibrant berry compote. The creamy texture of the panna cotta pairs perfectly with the sweet-tart flavor of the berries.

Why trust this Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, showcasing the succulent red snapper wrapped in tender grape leaves. The caper butter sauce adds a zesty and savory touch, enhancing the dish with its aromatic garlic and refreshing lemon zest. The careful grilling process ensures that the fish remains moist and flavorful, while the parsley adds a vibrant finish. Trust in the harmonious blend of ingredients and the expertly crafted cooking techniques to deliver a memorable dining experience.

Want to share your experience making this Red Snapper in Grape Leaves with Caper Butter recipe? Join the discussion in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out!
Can I use fresh grape leaves instead of bottled ones?
Yes, you can use fresh grape leaves if you have access to them. Just make sure to blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds to soften them before using.
What can I use as a substitute for red snapper?
You can use other lean, white fish fillets such as rockfish, haddock, pompano, or striped bass as a substitute. Just be sure to remove the skin before wrapping in grape leaves.
Can I prepare this dish in the oven instead of grilling or broiling?
Yes, you can bake the grape leaf-wrapped fish in the oven at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Brush the packets with oil to prevent sticking and ensure the grape leaves stay moist.
Can I make the caper butter sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the caper butter sauce ahead of time and reheat it gently before serving. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and warm it up on the stove or in the microwave when ready to use.
What wine would pair well with this dish?
The aggressive flavors and acidity of sauvignon blanc are ideal with the taste of the grape leaves and the acidity of the lemon and capers. A bottle from the north of Italy would be a great choice to complement this dish.

Was this page helpful?

Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!