APLK: Grilled Snapper with Spicy Tahini Sauce

Author A Pleasant Little Kitchen | September 2, 2022

Sumac Roasted Snapper with Spicy Tahini Sauce

Snapper is one of my favorite fish. It’s quick to cook, easy to season and provides a healthy and filling meal that entire family is ready to eat.

Choosing the snapper is a stress-free task. I rely on my local Market Street fish monger to always select the freshest snapper filets for my kitchen. After getting a few beautiful filets of fish, I know that this protein will only require a few other ingredients to make it a stand-out and unique meal, like Sumac Roasted Snapper with Spicy Tahini Sauce.

I love incorporating Middle Eastern flavors into our weekly meals. One ingredient that easily brings the Middle East to my kitchen is ground sumac and tahini paste.

Sumac is an earthy, tart and lemony spice that doesn’t get enough attention. A dish can quickly be elevated by the use of this tart and acidic ingredient, which can easily found in the Market Street spice aisle.

Tahini paste, a main ingredient in hummus, is the base to the sauce that tops the roasted fish. It’s a nutty, spicey and creamy sauce that is not only perfect to top the snapper but also ideal for dipping pita.

In Sumac Roasted Snapper with Spicy Tahini, sumac shines but doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavor of the fish. What’s even better is that this dish is ready to eat in 20 minutes!

5 minutes to prep the snapper!

12 minutes to roast the snapper and prep the spicy tahini sauce!

3 minutes to top the fish with a few finishing touches!

I love this entrée. It’s simple, healthy and beautiful to eat—perfect to feed your family any night of the week.     

Author note: Before using the tahini paste be sure to thoroughly stir to recombine the paste and liquid. If the Spicy Tahini Sauce is too thick, add a splash or two of water (or lemon juice) until the desired consistency is achieved.  If heat isn’t to your liking, omit the cayenne from the tahini sauce.

2 1-lb snapper filets

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp  ground sumac, divided

1/2 tsp  oregano, divided

zest of 2 lemons, divided

juice from 1 lemon, divided

spicy tahini sauce (see recipe below)

parsley freshly chopped

fresh lemon juice, to top


for the spicy tahini sauce              

1/2 cup tahini paste

2 garlic cloves chopped

1/3 cup water

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp  kosher salt, divided

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne (to taste)


Heat an oven to 450 degrees F.

On a rimmed sheet pan, place the snapper and evenly distribute the olive oil, salt, sumac, oregano and lemon zest onto both filets. Place into the oven and roast for 12 minutes, or until the fish reaches 145 degrees.        

While the snapper cooks, create the Spicy Tahini Sauce. In a medium-sized bowl combine the tahini paste, garlic, water, lemon juice, salt and cayenne. Stir to combine.    

Remove the snapper from the oven and drizzle additional fresh lemon juice and the tahini sauce over the filets. Top with chopped fresh parsley. Serve warm.