Pan Fried Fish with Red Pepper Sauce

I’ve been under the weather for the last couple of weeks and haven’t felt much like cooking. I know I’ve been a little absent from the blog, from Facebook, and from Twitter, but I’m finally feeling like myself again and ready to get back in the kitchen!

A few weeks ago, I saw this pan fried fish recipe on television and just couldn’t get it out of my head. Whenever that happens, I can’t rest until I’ve made it and BeeBop has taste-tested it. Sometimes they’re a hit and sometimes they’re a miss. This one is a home run. A hit-it-out-of-the-park kind of home run.

The original recipe used red snapper but that was nowhere to be found within a 20 mile drive of my house, so I substituted grouper. If you have access to fresh red snapper, please do use it. The fish is lightly pan fried and served over a delicious sauce that combines roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic and other goodies. It’s a wonderful recipe full of bold flavors that is easy enough for a week night or nice enough to serve to company.

Start by preparing the red pepper sauce.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat.

Making red pepper sauce

In a food processor, combine the drained roasted red peppers, tomato, bread, pine nuts, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and balsamic vinegar. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil to form a thick sauce.

Rosemary infused oil for pan fried fish

Add the remaining two tablespoons olive oil and a rosemary sprig to a shallow, non-stick pan. Heat over medium to medium-high heat while preparing the fish.

Prepping fish

Season the fish with your choice of seasoning salt or seafood seasoning. I used Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt because that’s what we like, but you use whatever your family likes. Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off the excess.

Pan frying fish

Cook in the rosemary-infused oil for 7-8 minutes until crispy and golden brown on both sides.

To serve, spoon a puddle of the red pepper sauce into the center of a plate. Place the fish on top of the sauce. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.


Pan Fried Fish with Red Pepper Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pan fried grouper served over a sauce of roasted red peppers, tomato, garlic, and rosemary.
  • 3 tblsp. pine nuts
  • 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 large Roma tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices stale bread, torn in large pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided use
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tblsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tblsp. additional
  • 4 grouper filets (4 to 6 oz. each)
  • Seasoning salt or seafood seasoning
  • Flour for dredging
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Drain the roasted red peppers.
  2. Place the pine nuts, roasted red peppers, tomato, bread, garlic, leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary, parsley, and balsamic vinegar in the bowl of a food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil forming a thick sauce. Set the sauce aside until needed.
  3. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the remaining sprig of rosemary in a shallow, non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Let the rosemary heat with the oil while preparing the fish.
  4. Season the fish on both sides with either seasoning salt or seafood seasoning. Dredge the fish in flour shaking each piece to remove the excess. Cook in the rosemary-infused olive oil for 7 to 8 minutes until fish is crispy and golden brown on both sides. Do not crowd the pan and cook in two batches if necessary. Remove the fish to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  5. To serve, place a puddle of red pepper sauce on each plate and top with fish fillets. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze over the fish.
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Other recipes using roasted red pepper sauce you might enjoy from around the internet:

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  1. says

    I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well, Lana, but am glad to hear you’re on the mend. This dish sounds like something I’d want to make over and over again. That sauce would be great on chicken, or folded into a tortilla with some grilled steak.

    • says

      That’s great advice, Greg. I agree it’s an easy technique and one that almost always produces a great end product.

  2. says

    Oh Lana, you are on to something now… this sauce is a dandy – would love it with many things but I’m gonna try it with some snapper first – the boats are coming in everyday with everyone one catching their limit – two, now isn’t that just plain silly, chartering a snapper boat only to be able to keep two fish – I tell ya, the government done lost their mind, more red snapper out there this year than ever in recorded history… well, got that off my chest, now just gotta go find a capt that will part with some stow-a-way snapper on board!

    • says

      A two snapper limit! You’ve got to be kidding. You’d have to have yours and a buddy’s catch to make a good meal. I do hope you’ll try this sauce – it’s soooo good!


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