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10 Great Ways to Cook Trout

trout feature
Mother Earth News

At last, everything you need to know about cooking trout. Warning: these trout recipes may cause excess salivation.

Spring is a cherished time of year by many. Nature in the American wilderness seems to reward us for our patience over the winter by delivering all sorts of wild edibles. And nothing goes better with foraged foods than tasty fresh fish.

There's not much that can hold a candle to a dinner of freshly caught trout. And we have saved you the hassle of scouring the internet to find delicious recipes worthy of such a prized fish.

First things first, you'll need to catch a trout. You can just use a spinning reel if that's all you have, but once you try fly fishing and tie your own flies, you'll be addicted. Though you can also use farm-raised fish for these trout recipes, part of the magic behind them is the story of sneaking up on these elusive predators lurking in deep pools.

Trout Basics

  • Cleaning - Remove the entrails by slicing the belly from the anus up to the throat. Use an old toothbrush to clean the the blood from the vein along the backbone. Use cold running water to clean the fish thoroughly.
  • Scaling - If it's a really large trout, it may help to scale the fish. There's no need to do so for smaller trout.
  • Preparation - At this point, you can leave the fish as it is or remove the gills, head, or fins according to the recipe preparation. If you feel adventurous, you can even try butterflying the fish.
  • Cooking - Don't worry about the bones. Fish that is properly prepared will easily fall off the bones. Avoid over-handling the fish (flip only once) as the skin is delicate and the flesh may flake apart.

No matter how these 10 fresh trout recipes below are organized, each one seems better than the last. We advise you to keep a napkin or bib nearby as you read, because they may cause drooling.

They aren't all easy recipes, but they're all great to know the next time you catch a few. Enjoy!

1. Whole Grilled Trout

One of the easiest ways to cook trout, and most visually impacting, is to grill a whole trout. Fish like trout are rich in good fats, and really absorb the flavor imparted from grilling.

trout 1 whole grilled
Paleo Leap


  • Two 3/4 lb whole trouts, scaled, gutted and cleaned
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • 1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 lemons, one turned into lemon slices and the other halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste

View Instructions

2. Trout with Fiddleheads, Morels, and Wild Onions

This fish recipe is perfect to put all your freshly gathered wild edibles to good use in a forager's feast. This cooking method also produces very crispy skin if you leave it on. And let's be serious, why wouldn't you?

trout 2 wild edibles
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook


  • 1/2 pound fiddleheads
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds trout fillets (or 1 small trout per person)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound fresh morels, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 pound ramps or other wild onions, or scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup sorrel, cut into a chiffonade (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • Violets, for garnish (optional)

View Instructions

3. Grilled Lime Trout

This method is heavy on the herbs and uses limes or oranges instead of the traditional lemon. Grilling the citrus fruits also complements the trout's delicate flesh really well.


  • 1 medium trout
  • Herbs of choice (thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary, etc.)
  • Lemon, lime, or orange, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper

View Instructions

4. Smoked Lake Trout

It's almost impossible to beat a well-smoked piece of trout or salmon. While you can smoke stream trout, this method of butterflying is best reserved for the larger individuals. Maybe save it for a nice-sized lake trout between 5 and 15 pounds. There's more cook time involved, but it's worth it.

trout 4 smoked
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook


  • 1 whole lake trout, butterflied or kited
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped spruce (or fir) tips, or fresh rosemary
  • Grated zest of an orange or 2 lemons or limes (optional if using rosemary)

View Instructions

5. Trout with Orange-Saffron Sauce

This is perhaps the most visually appealing presentation you can find for a thick-cut fillet of trout. The bright and bold colors complement the intense flavors and are perfect for a main course springtime meal.


Orange-Saffron Sauce

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • a healthy pinch of saffron, crumbled
  • a healthy pinch of sugar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Greens and Fish

  • 1 1/2 pounds tender greens, such as spinach or amaranth or lamb's quarters
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil, divided
  • a splash of water, maybe 3 tablespoons
  • Grated zest of an orange
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds trout or salmon fish fillets
  • Sprigs of pea or vetch flowers, for garnish (optional)

View Instructions

6. Roasted Trout with Lemon and Herbs

This one requires surprisingly little prep time, these whole trout absorb a lot of flavor from the garlic, onions, and fresh herbs.

Trout Recipes
YouTube:Ace Videos


  • 2 whole trout, 10-12 oz each, cleaned and gutted
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 small onion, very thinly sliced
  • fresh dill and parsley

View Instructions

7. Trout Omelet

Using fish in an omelet may seem a little strange. But it's actually a perfect way to use up odd scraps from a larger trout you grilled or smoked the day prior.


  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups fish flakes, cooked steelhead trout or salmon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 minced green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 1/2 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • Butter to grease the ramekins
  • 1 lemon

View Instructions

8. Roasted Trout with Potatoes and Asparagus

The baby potatoes and asparagus in this recipe work very well with the lemon and thyme-infused trout fillets.

trout 8 with potatoes
Serious Eats


  • 1 pound baby new potatoes, halved
  • 1 pound asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole rainbow trout, gutted, and gilled
  • Half a lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch lemon thyme

View Instructions

9. Fried Trout with Peas

This recipe utilizes the butterfly technique, dredging the trout in flour and treating it almost as a schnitzel. Serve it alongside peas and a lemon-butter sauce to make it complete.

trout 9 fried
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook


  • 2 frying pan sized trout (butterflied, fillets or whole)
  • Salt
  • About 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or thawed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Grated zest and juice of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • Black pepper to taste

View Instructions

10. Salmon/Trout Candy

Traditionally this is a salmon recipe, but larger trout species will also work just fine. Smoking works very well with trout since they are very fatty fish and the smoke adheres to fat. Warning: they're called candy for a reason. They won't last long!

Trout Recipes
YouTube: Kamloops Trout


  • 5 pounds skin-on salmon/trout collars, bellies or fillets cut into 2-inch thick strips
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup or birch syrup

View Instructions

Doesn't matter which one you about you make all 10?

If you enjoyed these recipes, follow me on Twitter @rjlisson


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10 Great Ways to Cook Trout