This Lemon Pepper Grouper Recipe is a great way to bring fish into your meal rotation. It’s quick, easy, and super flavorful!

Frying pan with grouper fillets topped with tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers.

A Grouper Recipe That Is Both Approachable and Hasty.

Most white fish are known for their milder flavors, versatility, and approachability. This grouper recipe checks all of those boxes making it a perfect dinner option for beginners and experts alike. It’s lightly pan-fried for a nice golden crust, then smothered in a tangy, buttery sauce packed with Greek-inspired ingredients and flavors. Clocking in at less than 30 minutes, this dish can easily fit into your weeknights.

What Is a Grouper Fish?

It’s not as familiar as halibut or cod, but grouper is just another mild white fish that’s easy to cook and enjoy at home. So if you see grouper at your local market, go ahead and grab a few fillets! You won’t be disappointed.

What Does Grouper Fish Taste Like?

Grouper is often compared to bass and halibut with its mild and somewhat sweet flavor. In general, most grouper fish are very similar in taste, but there can be a slight difference in flavor and texture depending on size, species, and where the fish was harvested. Red grouper is known to be sweeter and milder than black grouper, so it’s considered the favorite of the two. Black grouper has firmer meat, however. In most cases, especially with the skin removed, you won’t be able to notice a difference. The meat from grouper cooks to a nice and firm texture that stays moist and offers up a nice flake.

Close up of grouper fillets on a wooden cutting board.

Best Ways to Cook Grouper Fish.

Grouper is quite versatile, so you can throw any flavor profile at it—Italian, East-Asian, Southern, you name it. And because it’s firm, it works well in a pan or on a grill. Of course if you’re new to cooking fish, and flipping fish makes you nervous, you could bake it or broil it to play it safe.

Check out our Fish & Seafood Guide for tips on how to cook fish.

We Love These Fresh Ingredients!

The goal with this recipe was to keep things simple and approachable, but with big flavors that most people will love. And who doesn’t love a dose of lemon and pepper? To compliment it, an easy pan sauce made up of Mediterranean flavors like fresh tomatoes, capers, olives, herbs, and fresh lemon. Here’s a full list of what you’ll need:

  • Grouper fillets
  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Castelvetrano olives
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shallot
  • Caper berries or capers
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon
  • White wine
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Grouper fillets, cherry tomatoes on the vine, parsley, olives, lemon, capers, seasoning, and a shallot.

How to Make this Lemon Pepper Grouper Recipe.

  1. Remove the grouper fillets from the fridge. Gently pat them dry with paper towels, then season the tops of the fillets with lemon pepper seasoning.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, preferably cast iron. Get the oil hot enough so it’s shimmering, but not quite smoking.
  3. Dredge the grouper fillets in flour, and when then the oil is shimmering, place them into the pan seasoned-side down. Let the fillets cook for about 2 minutes, then gently flip them over. If they don’t want to release from the pan, let them cook for another 20 seconds or so before trying again. Don’t force the fillets up off the pan, because you’ll tear them. When you flip the fillets over, let them cook for another two minutes, or until they will release from the pan. Remove them and set them aside. They aren’t cooked yet, but that’s ok! You’ll finish them off in the sauce.
  4. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter melts, add the shallots, capers, garlic, tomatoes, olives, and fresh parsley. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the white wine, and give everything a good stir. Simmer until the onions have softened and the sauce thickens a bit. This should only take about 2 minutes.
  5. Scrape everything to the sides of the pan and bring the grouper fillets back to the center of the pan.
  6. Simmer, scooping the sauce over the fillets, until the fillets reach an internal temperature of 140º F. Then serve!

Skillet with seasoned and cooked grouper fillets in it.

Frying pan with grouper fillets topped with tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers.

Useful Tools for This Recipe:

Recipe Tips + Tricks.

  1. Take the fish out of the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking so that it comes to room temperature. This ensures a more even cook.
  2. Can’t find castelvetrano olives? You could use black or kalamata olives instead. This will change the flavor up a little, since castelvetrano olives are milder and sweeter than most other olives, but the flavors will still work well with the other ingredients.
  3. If you feel you want more sauce, you can add some extra butter and a few extra splashes of white wine. Then simmer until you get the consistency you desire.
  4. If you fully cook the fish in the pan the first time, simply set it aside, make the sauce, and then pour the sauce over the fillets. Don’t add the fish to the hot pan again or you’ll risk overcooking your fish.
  5. This recipe will work well with any white fish! So if you can’t find grouper, you can improvise. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. Always remember to cook fish to an internal temperature of 140-145º F.

Side close up of frying pan with grouper fillets topped with tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers.

Have You Made This Recipe?

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Side close up of frying pan with grouper fillets topped with tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers.

Get the Recipe:

Lemon Pepper Grouper Recipe

This Lemon Pepper Grouper Recipe is a great way to bring fish into your meal rotation. It's quick, easy, and super flavorful!
5 from 13 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless, skinless grouper fillets
  • 1 TBSP lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped castelvetrano olives
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBSP dry white wine
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Take the grouper fillets out of the fridge. With paper towels, gently pat them dry, then season the tops of the fillets with lemon pepper seasoning. Set the fillets aside for 15 minutes to let them come to room temperature.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron). Heath the oil until it's shimmering, but not quite smoking.
  • Dredge the seasoned grouper fillets in flour, and and gently place them into the hot pan, seasoned-side down. Cook for about 2 minutes, then gently flip them over. Tip: If the fillets don't want to release from the pan, let them cook for another 20 seconds or so before trying again. DO NOT force the fillets up off the pan because you'll tear them.
  • After flipping the fillets over, let them cook for another two minutes, or until they release from the pan. Remove them and set them aside; they shouldn't be fully cooked yet. You'll finish them off in the sauce afterward.
  • Once the fish has been removed from the pan, add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the shallots, garlic, tomatoes, capers, olives, and fresh parsley. Squeeze in the lemon juice, and then add the white win. Give it all a good stir and simmer until the onions have softened and the sauce thickens—about 2 minutes.
  • Move everything to the sides of the pan and transfer the grouper fillets back to the pan, in the center.
  • Simmer and scoop the sauce over the fillets until they reach an internal temperature of 140º F. Then serve!
Serving: 1g, Calories: 635kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 65g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 151mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g