Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto Recipe

Serves/Makes: 2 servings


  • 4 grouper cheeks (or any firm, white-fleshed fish), rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup white or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon redfish magic seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Basil Pesto (prepared or freshly made - see the recipe below)
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
How to cook Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto:
  • Shred the zucchini into strands using a spiral slicer or mandolin. Place into a mesh colander over a bowl. Sprinkle with a little bit of kosher salt and allow excess liquid to drain (about 10 mins.)
  • In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and saute mushrooms until brown.
  • Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  • Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and saute zucchini. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  • When liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes), remove from pan and add to mushrooms. Mix basil pesto into the zucchini and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle both sides of fish with Redfish Magic.
  • In a hot skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter and place fish in pan; cook for only a couple of minutes on each side, since the grouper cheeks are small (you don't want to overcook!).
  • Place some zucchini-basil pesto mixture on a dish, and add fish. Garnish with lemon wedges.
  •     Enjoy!

Basil Pesto Recipe

Basil Pesto Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh, flat leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or more, if consistency is a bit dry)
How to cook Basil Pesto:
  • Place all ingredients through black pepper into a food processor.
  • Pulse a few times to combine, then in continuous mode, drizzle olive oil through the pour spout (this should take about a minute).
  • Taste and season with salt, pepper or more lemon zest, if needed.
Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto recipe


The Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto recipe easy to cook and so good!


I had on hand zucchini, mushrooms and a little basil pesto left over from something I had made earlier in the week. I thought it might be a good opportunity to try one of those zucchini ‘pasta’ recipes, but unfortunately I didn’t have a spiral slicer yet, so I used my trusty mandolin to shred the zucchini (not ideal, but OK). I let the zucchini drain in a colander to remove excess water, then sauteed it with mushrooms and butter and mixed in the pesto when it had cooled a bit.

For the fish, I simply coated the cheeks in Redfish Magic (a must-have in a fisherman’s house!) and sauteed them lightly in butter. It was SO delicious. If you ever get access to grouper cheeks, don’t hesitate to take them and run. The good thing about this recipe is that you can use any light, flaky white fish to pair with the zucchini, mushroom and basil mixture. It’s a tasty flavor combo, plus it’s low in carbs, an added benefit!

This recipe for Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto serves/makes: 2 servings

The Grouper Cheeks with Basil Pesto recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Grouper (more Grouper recipes)
Preparation Method: Pan Fried/Sauteed (more Pan Fried/Sauteed recipes)

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