If you like salmon, you are going to love steelhead trout! Steelhead trout is similar in taste to salmon but better. This roasted steelhead trout with garlic lime butter sauce is a tender, flaky fish recipe that can be whipped up in about 30 minutes.
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 steelhead trout recipe because it is quick, easy, and delicious. I have never had a guest that didn't want to know how to make this recipe, it's that good.
- Steelhead trout: The key when cooking fish is to make sure it's fresh. If you are living in an area that can only get frozen fish, no problem. But if you have a choice between previously frozen and fresh, always go for fresh. 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.
- 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: 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. You can chop the garlic finely for this sauce, however, my preference is to mash it with some salt.
- 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.
Lay the steelhead trout on top. Squeeze half of the lemon on top of the steelhead trout. Add salt, pepper, garlic granules, and dried Italian herbs.
Lay the sliced lemons on top of the steelhead trout fish. Place the steelhead trout in on a middle rack in the oven 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 the butter, then add the mashed garlic mixture waiting 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 recipe at least 50 or 60 times (it's that good), and the most important part is the garlic lime butter sauce.
- Use parchment paper for a quick cleanup.
- Add sliced lemons on top of the fish. The lemons keep the steelhead trout moist while roasting in the oven.
- 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 at 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.
- 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)
Baked steelhead trout can last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. 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 fish the following day. I've repurposed this fish to sit atop a bed of greens, or to sit alongside a plate of fried rice. Baked steelhead trout is very versatile.