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Sheepshead Recipes: Our 5 Best Sheepshead Dishes Everyone Loves

Sheepshead Recipes Guaranteed To Make You Want To Go Sheepshead Fishing

Every year I can not wait until winter arrives. No, it is not because of the chance of seeing snow. Its because the sheepshead moves inshore. Sheepshead fishing is one of my favorite types of fishing. Not only are the fun and challenging to catch but they are delicious to eat. We decided to collect some of our favorite sheepshead recipes and share them with you. 

5 Sheepshead Recipes You Have To Try.

Sheepshead Recipe #1: Spicy Sheepshead On The Grill

Grilled Sheepshead on a bed of veggies

Grilled sheepshead on grilled veggies (photo credit: tarheelfoodie)

One thing that I love doing after catching fish is grilling it. Grilled fish is always one of the best ways to prepare fish. There is always a danger of drying out your fish when choosing to grill it. We found this amazing sheepshead recipe from Tarheel foodie. We like to keep it simple so the spicy grilled sheepshead recipe is the perfect grill recipe.

Spicy Grilled Sheepshead Ingredients:

  • 2lbs sheepshead fillets
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 whole lemon 
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram
  • Pepper Flakes
  • Old Bay Seasoning  

How to make Spicy Grilled Sheepshead:

  • Have your sheepshead fillets with the skin still on. This gives you an excellent side of protection from the heat of the grill. This skin layer may stick to the foil when fish is cooked. Do not be afraid the meat will come right up.
  • Prepare your seasoning/marinate the night before. Place your sheepshead into a gallon zip lock bag. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze in all the juice. Add your garlic, chives, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and marjoram into the bag and shake all together. Let the fish sit for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Cover your grill with aluminum foil and coat with olive oil to ensure fish does not stick 
  • Heat your grill to a medium heat and when the grill hits 250 to 300 degrees it is ready for the fish. 
  • Place the fillets on the aluminum foil with the skin side down. On the meat side, lightly sprinkle some old bay seasoning. This will make the dish a little spicy but should pair well with your already marinated sheepshead fillets. 
  • Take another piece of aluminum foil and cover the fish to ensure the moisture stays in and the sheepshead does not dry out.
  • Cook on low to medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the fish is done.

Grilled Veggies and sheepshead

Grilled veggies with the grilled sheepshead, perfect for your family. (Photo Credit: Tarheelfoodie)

This sheepshead recipe allows for you to grill other vegetables while cooking the fish. We personally love to cook sliced zucchini and squash on the grill. There are so many-sided that you can pair with the fish on the grill that is made for one of the best sheepshead recipes that we have cooked. Enjoy your spicy grilled sheepshead on a bed of white rice with freshly grilled vegetables.


Sheepshead Recipe #2: Killer Sheepshead Tacos

Sheepshead Tacos

Killer Sheepshead tacos

One of our favorite ways of preparing sheepshead is in sheepshead tacos. Sheepshead is a white flaky meat that pairs nicely with all the ingredients in our sheepshead tacos recipe. This sheepshead dish is guaranteed to impress your dinner guests.

Sheepshead Taco Ingredients:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half moons (optional)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
  •  Kosher salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 pounds of sheepshead
  • 12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  •  A saucy hot sauce, like Tapatio or Frank’s
Grilled Sheepshead seasoned with old bay
Marinated sheepshead with old bay grilled to perfection

Directions for making sheepshead tacos:

  • Mix onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and tomatoes in a bowl making a perfect combination for the sheepshead tacos.
  • Combine the sour creme and mayonnaise until it is fully mixed. Add lime juice, chipotle seasoning, salt, and pepper. The more chipotle you add the spicier it will be.
  • Heat the oven burner to a medium temperature. Spray your pan with olive oil to ensure the sheepshead will not stick. Coat both sides with old bay seasoning and cook for 6-8 minutes.
  • Once the fish is cooked to a white flakey texture, remove it and cut into strips for the tacos.
  • Place tortilla on a plate. Cover the tortilla with your chipotle mayo mixture that you made. Add the sheepshead on the bottom. After adding your fish add your salsa mix of onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno and tomatoes to it. Add some shredded cabbage to it.
  • Serve with a lime wedge and side of hot sauce to add more kick to it.

Sheepshead taco bar

Sheepshead Tacos perfect for a taco bar.

The average serving size of the sheepshead tacos is 2-3 per person. Your guests and friends will absolutely love these amazing sheepshead tacos. Another great thing to do with this sheepshead dish is to have a taco bar. Make all the ingredients and allow for everyone to make their tacos how they want them. This idea always is a winner at a party.

Sheepshead Recipe #3: Whole Sheepshead On Spanish Rice

Whole Sheepshead On Spanish Rice

Whole sheepshead and Spanish rice (Photo Credit: Kathryn Brass-Piper)

Are you having a dinner party for friends and family that you want to impress? Did you just go out and catch sheepshead the weekend before? Well, we have the sheepshead recipe for you that is guaranteed to shock and awe. This sheepshead recipe keeps the whole fish that is guaranteed attention piece to this dish. First posted by Elizabeth Sniegocki, we were skeptical until we made this delicious sheepshead recipe. 

Ingredients for the whole sheepshead on a bed of Spanish rice:
  • 2-pound whole sheepshead, dressed and cleaned
  • Fresh herb sprigs such as parsley and oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (1 tablespoon of olive oil for baking pan)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can dice, fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon raw Florida honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Herbs (Rosemary and Basil)

Directions For Making Whole Sheepshead On A Bed Of Spanish Rice:

  • The first thing you will want to do is start the sauce for this amazing sheepshead recipe. On the top of the stove heat a burner to medium heat.
  • Add your olive oil to a pan and begin to heat. Add your green peppers, garlic, and onions.
  • Cook this for about 5 minutes until the onions are clear.
  • Add the mushrooms to the sautee and continue to stir to ensure it doesn't burn.
  • Once the mushrooms are soft add the Worcestershire sauce, honey, lemon juice tomatoes and tomato sauce. All for everything to cook and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season as needed with salt and pepper depending on flavor.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. On a baking pan lightly spread some olive oil around to ensure the fish and sauce will not stick and burn.
  • Take your cleaned sheepshead and rub the inside cavities with sea salt and pepper. After this is done stiff with fresh herbs of your choice. We prefer rosemary and basil.
  • Place the sheepshead in the baking pan and coat with the prepared Spanish sauce.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Every 8 minutes take sauce from the pan and baste the fish unit it is flaky and tender. 
  • Once the sheepshead is done cooking, place 2 tablespoons of soft butter with one tablespoon of flour on top of the sheepshead 
  • Broil for 3-4 minutes to give it light brown and crisp presentation. Place the fish on a bed of Spanish rice and garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

This is a recipe that is exceptional on presentation as much as it is on flavor. This sheepshead recipe is perfect for everyone. We are glad we discovered this one. It is now one of my go-to sheepshead recipes.


Sheepshead Recipe #4: Sweet Teriyaki Sheepshead

Teriyaki Sheepshead

Teriyaki sheepshead with white rice

Adding a little authentic Asian flavor is a perfect way to prepare fish. This is also true for preparing sheepshead. Our teriyaki sheepshead recipe allows for you to get creative and make your own teriyaki sauce. This sheepshead recipe will have your friends asking for the recipe.

Sweet Teriyaki Sheepshead Ingredients:

  • 2lbs. of Sheepshead Fillets
  • 1 Lime
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Butter (Country Crock churn style is ok)
  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce 
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 

Directions For Making Sweet Teriyaki Sheepshead:

  • The first preparation you will do is start making your sweet teriyaki sauce. This process will happen on your stove top. In the pot off the stove, add your water, low sodium soy sauce and sugar and mix it all together. Place the stovetop burner on medium heat and place the pot with your mixed ingredients on it.
  • Begin stirring with the heat on and add your honey and minced garlic. Continue to stir until it reaches a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil reduce the temperature on the stove to a low heat and allow for your sauce to reach a simmer. Continue to still every now and then to ensure it does not burn.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until it reduces down. It is ready for your fish.
  • Get a baking sheet and make an aluminum foil bowl to hold the fish. Coat the foil bowl with butter to help ensure no sticking at the end.
  • Place 2lbs. of sheepshead onto a baking sheet in an aluminum foil bowl. Cut your lime in half and squeeze all the juice over the sheepshead fillets. Salt and pepper both sides of the fillets. 
  • Cover the sheepshead fillets with your teriyaki sauce while it is still warm. Cover the aluminum foil bowl to ensure the sheepshead fillets will maintain their moisture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the sheepshead in for cooking
  • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is cooked. 
  • Remove from oven and serve.

This sheepshead recipe is one the family will love. It is a good fillet to place on a bed of white rice. Drizzle warm teriyaki sauce over it to complete this dish. 


Sheepshead Recipe #5: Baked Lemon Sheepshead

Baked lemon Sheepshead

Baked lemon sheepshead

We love savoring the flavors of the sheepshead by keeping the number of ingredients to a minimum. In life, people are limited by time. This sheepshead recipe will not only save you time in preparation work but will give you a cooked sheepshead fillet loaded with flavor that I guarantee the family will love.

Baked Lemon Sheepshead Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sheepshead fillets
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • dill
  • olive oil
  • dill

Directions for making baked lemon sheepshead:

  • The night before place sheepshead fillets in a ziplock and mix the salt, pepper and lemon juice in it. Let the sheepshead fillets marinate all night or for at least a minimum of 4 hours before preparing.
  • Get a baking sheet and aluminum foil and place a little olive oil on it before the sheepshead fillets. Once this is done, place the marinated fillets on a baking sheet on top of the aluminum foil. Coat the outside of the sheepshead fillets with melted butter. (**Coating should be in a brushing motion not to over do it**)
  • Carefully chop up onions, fresh parsley, and fresh dill to place on and around the sheepshead fillets.
  • Place all the onions and parsley around the fillets and the fresh dill on top. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of the fillets.
  • Cover your sheepshead with another piece of aluminum foil making a small covering over the fillets to ensure they will keep the moisture in and not to dry out.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees to ensure proper cooking of the fish. Once the oven reaches this temperature reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and place the fish on the ovens top rack.
  • Cook the sheepshead fillets for 12 minutes or until cooked.

After this is done cooking pair it with your favorite rice and vegetable. Our favorite sheepshead recipes usually include brown rice and steamed broccoli. This is a recipe that the whole family will enjoy every time you make it.

Sheepshead fillets

Sheepshead is a white fish that can almost be cooked anyway and come out good. There is not a wrong way to cook it, just whatever your preference is. We personally do not like frying our fresh caught fish. We hope that you will try a few of these recipes for yourself and give us some feedback as to if you and your family enjoyed them. Maybe you have a favorite sheepshead recipe that we did not post, we want to hear it. Please leave a comment below or email us at Send us your best sheepshead pictures to be featured on our website and social media accounts. Check out our other sheepshead articles for how to catch sheepshead better and how to catch your own fiddler crabs for sheepshead. Which sheepshead recipe above is your favorite recipe? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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Ross Harlow - July 13, 2021

I made a sheepshead chowder that was Wonderful!
2 lbs. Sheepshead Fillets small cubed cut
1 cup Heavy cream or half and half
1 stick salted real butter
1 level tablespoon Lemon Pepper
1 level tablespoon Old Bay Herb seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tblsp. Bacon bits
1 bottle of Claim juice
2 stalks Celery chopped
1 large carrot diced
3 green onions minced- save green tops for later to garnished soup with.
2 cups of water
Sauté garlic, onions, bacon bits, celery with 1/2 stick of butter for 2-3 minutes.
Bring 2 Cups of water to a boil and add all ingredients except heavy cream. Move heat to 3 and let mixture cook for 7-8 minutes covered.
Lastly add the heavy cream or half & half and your cubed Sheepshead… Cook for 5 minutes more covered, stirring occasionally. Do not boil! Keep it 3-4 on the stove setting.
Garnish with green onion tops.

If you have to have taters as a filler then small cube them and boil separately in water for 3-4 minutes. Pour off water and add to your first mixture of water, garlic, celery and onions
RuthAnn Nadeau - March 2, 2021

I have boiled sheepshead with zatarins crab boil. I wrap and tie the prepped fish or fillets in cheesecloth to keep it together. I use the powdered boil in boiling water and add a cut lemon. Place the fish in boiling liquid and boil for 5 to 7 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the fish. Turn off pot and let it sit in boiling liquid for 10 minutes. You can now use the fish like crab meat for salad.

Rod - February 23, 2021

I made the #5 lemon recipe EXACTLY as written. Started the marinating night before. I’m not a very advanced cook but this fish recipe is fabulous. Best tasting fish I’ve had in a long time.

ANon - May 18, 2020

Teriyaki & the baledSheepshead ROCK!

Annie - July 18, 2019

Does anyone have a recipe for sheepshead boiled in crawfish boil. It is good, but can not find anything on it.
Please help.

Jean - February 2, 2019

Wish I had known about these recipes earlier…will definitely try all of them. They all sound delicious and relataively easy to follow.

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