Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche

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When we were in Costa Rica earlier this year, the one thing that we had plenty of was ceviche.  First night at a restaurant?  Ceviche.  Drinks and snacks by the pool?  Ceviche.  Catch of the day from the guys’ fishing charter?  Ceviche.  As a result, I got ceviche’d-out. 

lime juice

No more. Three months later and I’m craving it, again.  When I saw this gorgeous snapper at my local fishmonger, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!  You guessed it — ceviche!

diced snapper
snapper and lime juice

For the uninitiated, ceviche is raw seafood (fish, shrimp, calamari, etc.) that’s “cooked” in fresh citrus juices.  It takes a lot of citrus to do it, too.  For this version I primarily used limes, but also added a lemon for a bit more sharpness.

snapper in lime juice
snapper cooked in lime juice

If you don’t believe that citrus juice can cook fish, just take a look at the before and after above.  See how the fillets turn opaque in the citric acid?  Cooked!

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vegetables in a bowl

Ceviche has lots of crunch from fresh vegetables.  I like red onion and bell pepper with bits of cucumber, too.  And you know it’s got to have some heat!

pineapple and vegetables in a bowl
diced vegetables

Finely diced sweet, fresh pineapple (remember where pineapples come from???) and cilantro add sweetness and herbaciousness — really rounding out the flavors.

cooked fish
ceviche in a bowl

You can plate this on a bed of lettuce or in a chilled bowl with fried plantain strips, but I like mine with crispy tortilla chips.  In Costa Rica, the locals eschewed bagged tortilla chips for the freshly fried version at every turn.  In truth – they were much better, phenomenal really.  But a good bagged variety won’t dampen the flavors of this bright and tangy dish.  Believe me, you want this.

Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche on a mat
Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche with chips
Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche on tortilla chip
Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche in a glass

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4.80 from 10 votes

Snapper and Pineapple Ceviche

For this (or any) ceviche, source the freshest fish available!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword fish, pineapple
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4


  • ½ cup red onion finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper 1/4″ dice
  • ½ cup hothouse cucumber or regular cucumber peeled, seeded and 1/4″ dice
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 6 limes
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple 1/4″ dice
  • ¾ pound yellowtail snapper fillets or other ocean white fish 1/2″ dice
  • 1 haas avocado peeled, seeded, 1/2″ dice
  • cup cilantro chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce optional
  • tortilla chips for serving


  • Juice the lemon and limes until you have about 1 cup of fresh juice.
  • Place the diced snapper in a small glass bowl and pour in the fresh juice to cover the fish. Swish the fish around in the juice so that every piece floats in the liquid. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours until the fish is “cooked” and opaque.
  • In a large bowl, combine the red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, jalapeño, pineapple and cilantro.
  • Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and pour the fish into the strainer. Transfer the fish to the vegetable mixture. Spoon out 3-4 tablespoons of the citrus juices and add to the fish mixture. Add the diced avocado just before serving and gently toss the mixture together to combine. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce (if using) to taste.
  • Serve with tortilla chips and a cold cerveza.


Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 49.2mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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Refreshing, light & easy to make this recipe for snapper and pineapple ceviche combines, sweet, tart flavors w/crunchy vegetables. Serve w/ tortilla chips!

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  1. 5 stars
    Recipe absolutely slaps. Whole family is loving it. Went with fresh Red Snapper and chipotle Tabasco

  2. Fantastic! Great for a potluck or large gathering. Absolutely loved the flavours!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Teresa! The key is fresh snapper!

  3. 4 stars
    The recipe and flavor combinations were excellent! My only problem with the cooking directions is that 3-4 hours is a bit too long to let the fish “cook” in the citrus. In my experience, a wait time of 45-60 minutes will get the fish to that desired opacity, while still leaving the flesh tender and not at all rubbery. Other than that, this ceviche is fantastic!

    1. Thank you for the tip — I’ll try it that way the next time. Glad you liked the flavors!

  4. 5 stars
    So excited to try this Costa Rica-inspired recipe – I loved eating my way through that country and lately, I’ve been looking for more healthy high-protein recipes to add to my weekly meal prep!

  5. 5 stars
    Mmmm, this sounds amazing, especially with those freshly fried tortilla chips you mentioned! It’s probably a good thing I don’t have routine access to those, ha! I’d have to run 8 miles a day to offset the damage!

    1. I feel the same way about ceviche! Ideal for this steamy weather.

  6. 5 stars
    Never tried ceviche but looking at your pics I think I am going to give it a go! What an interesting dish!

  7. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe Lisa! I’m crazy for ceviche, nothing beats fish cooked in lemon in my opinion, such a refreshing dish with the addition of pineapple and all the goodies. Will make your recipe a.s.a.p. 🙂

  8. I’m still waiting on the crawdad boil recipe. Although all you dishes look amazing!

    1. You’re too funny! I’ve scheduled the crawfish tentatively for the 18th! Thanks for following my page!

  9. Robyn Lindars says:

    5 stars
    Beautiful pics! This recipe is making me so hungry right now!!

    1. Thank you! I love ceviche!