This baked steelhead trout fillet with garlic butter sauce is a tender, flaky fish recipe that can be whipped up in about 30 minutes.
If you like wild salmon, you are going to love steelhead trout! Steelhead trout is similar in taste to salmon but better. Steelhead trout is not the same as rainbow trout, just FYI.
What I Love About This Recipe
Oh my god, the garlic lime butter sauce! Whenever I have dinner guests and very little time, I make this garlic butter steelhead trout recipe because it is quick, easy, and delicious. Also, this easy dish is perfect for busy weeknights.
This is the best baked steelhead trout recipe, and my dinner guests would agree! I have never had a guest that didn't want to know how to make this recipe, it's that good.
- Steelhead trout: Buy fresh if possible with previously frozen as a second option. Additionally, I choose fish that's wild-caught instead of farm-raised. That's a personal choice, however, either type will work just fine. Steelhead trout looks like salmon and tastes very similar to salmon. You can substitute salmon for this recipe if you like. Also, I recommend buying fish fillets instead of whole trout. This cuts down on cook time and makes eating it easier!
- Onion: This recipe uses a whole large onion. The onion will be sliced and added to the bottom of the baking dish with some olive oil. I recommend using brown, sweet, white, or red onions.
- Lemons: The thinly sliced lemons are the key to keeping the fish juicy and flavorful. I squeeze lemon juice on top of the fish, then lay thinly sliced lemons across the top of the fish prior to baking.
- Salt, pepper, and dried herbs: Add salt and pepper to taste. You can mix any of the following dried herbs as you like for the fish: thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil. I usually use Italian herb seasoning with some dried garlic granules.
- Butter: Use butter! My favorite butter is Kerrygold butter, but use whatever high-quality butter you have available.
- Mashed garlic: Fresh garlic takes on a different profile depending on how it's prepared. If you finely chop the garlic versus mashing the garlic, you will get different results. I prefer mashed garlic but minced garlic works too.
- Lime: It might seem weird to use lemons on the fish, and yet use lime for the garlic lime butter sauce. I know! Trust me on this, you CAN use lemon, but the lime is far superior. There's a reason why guacamole is made with lime instead of lemons. It's kind of hard to explain.
How To Roast Steelhead Trout
Preheat the oven to 425 ℉ (218 ℃). Peel and slice the onion. Slice 1.5 lemons, and save the other half to squeeze over the steelhead trout.
Add the sliced onions with olive oil to a baking dish or baking sheet.
Lay the steelhead trout fillet on top skin side down. Squeeze fresh lemon juice (half of the lemon) on top of the steelhead trout.
Season trout with salt, black pepper, garlic granules, and dried Italian herbs.
Lay the fresh lemon slices on top of the trout fillets.
Place trout on a middle oven rack for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.
While the fish is baking in the oven, prepare the garlic lime butter sauce.
How To Make Garlic Lime Butter Sauce
Peel the garlic cloves. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt.
Cut the limes in half and juice using a lemon/lime squeezer. Melt butter on medium heat, then add the mashed garlic (or fresh minced garlic). Cook garlic until it gets golden brown while continuously stirring.
At the very end before taking the sauce off the stovetop, add the lime juice. Once the steelhead trout is finished baking spoon the lime garlic butter sauce on top.
Tips and Tricks
Don't skip the garlic lime butter sauce. I've made this delicious fish at least 50 or 60 times (it's that good), and the most important part is the garlic lime butter sauce.
Use parchment paper or aluminum foil for a quick cleanup.
Add sliced lemons on top of the fish. The lemons keep the steelhead trout moist while roasting in the oven. If you don't have lemons on hand, you can make this trout bake in a foil packet. Just lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a sheet pan or baking dish. Place the onions and fish on top and make a closed packet.
Keep or remove the fish skin as you like. I bake this recipe with the fish skin intact, then remove it when eating.
Substitutions and Variations
My first preference for the fish used in this recipe is, of course, steelhead trout. If steelhead trout is not available, substitute salmon.
Add some sliced potatoes (or sweet potatoes) to the bottom of the pan for this to be a one-pan dinner. If using potatoes in this recipe, cook the onions and potatoes (without the fish) for about 10 minutes in the oven. The potatoes take a little longer to cook than the fish.
Make a lemon garlic butter sauce instead of a lime garlic butter sauce. Also, add some fresh herbs to the garlic butter sauce.
Wondering how to roast a whole fish? Check out this roasted whole red snapper recipe.
- Large baking dish
- Chef's knife and cutting board
- Mortar and pestle
- Lemon/lime squeezer
- Small pot (to make the garlic lime butter sauce)
- Potato peeler (if adding potatoes to the bottom of the pan)
Store trout in the fridge for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container. Fresh steelhead trout fish lasts about 1 day before starting to smell. I always plan on cooking my fresh fish the day I bought it from the store, but that's my personal preference.
I typically don't eat fish for meal prep meals, because I think seafood has a shorter lifespan in the fridge. But I will definitely eat this leftover trout the following day.
Leftover steelhead trout is great atop a bed of greens or brown rice.
Depending on the size of the fish, the cooking time may vary. Bake a 1 lb to 2 lb steelhead trout for about 25 to 35 minutes at 425 ℉.
Steelhead trout tastes similar to salmon. Steelhead trout has a slightly milder and less "fishy" flavor than salmon.
Yes, steelhead trout meat when cooked is pink, similar to salmon.
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The BEST Baked Steelhead Trout with Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1½ lbs steelhead trout
- 1 onion
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 lemons
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tbs Italian herb seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic granules
Garlic Lime Butter Sauce
- 4 tbs butter
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 lime
- pinch of salt
Steelhead Trout Recipe
- Heat oven to 425 ℉ (218 ℃).
- Peel and cut an onion into slices. Put some olive oil with onions in a baking dish.
- Place fish on top of the onions. Squeeze half a lemon over fish. Season with salt, pepper, and any other dry ingredient you fancy.
- Slice the rest of the lemons thinly. Place the thinly sliced lemons over the top of fish.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked through (depends on the thickness and size of fish).
- Roast some veggies in a second pan if you like- it’s about the same cooking time.
Garlic Lime Butter
- Mash 6 large cloves of garlic with some salt using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, mince the garlic finely.
- Add butter to the pan (roughly 4 tablespoons).
- Add the mashed garlic to the butter and cook on medium-high until garlic starts to turn golden.
- Squeeze the juice from 1 whole lime to the sauce. Stir, take off the heat.
- Spoon the sauce over the steelhead trout once the fish is out of the oven.
- Sometimes I peel and slice a potato to go under the fish. If I had the potato, I will put the onion and potato in the oven without the fish for about 10 minutes. Then, I add the fish and complete cooking.