Ultimate Steelhead Trout Recipe (VIDEO)

Baking a whole steelhead trout fillet is so simple but looks very impressive. Topped with shallots, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs – it’s so juicy and flavorful. Salmon can be used instead of steelhead trout too.

The ultimate steelhead trout recipe. It's the most flavorful way to cook this fish.

This is the ultimate steelhead trout recipe, because after trying it, this is the only way I’ve been making it for more than a decade. The fish is perfectly juicy, flaky and full of flavor. Shallot and garlic are great flavor buddies in this dish, that are mild with just the right amount of aroma. I love the addition of lemon zest, which also perfumes the fish and the freshly squeezed lemon juice gives a bright note of acidity.

If you’re on the lookout for an impressive holiday dish that can take center stage, this is it. A whole side fillet of fish is always so extraordinary and looks beautiful when you serve it. It couldn’t be any easier to make either. I’ve made this trout when entertaining guests, but it’s simple enough (and delicious enough) that I make it for weeknight dinners for just our small family.

Steelhead Trout Recipe Video


  • steelhead trout fillet (you can use a salmon fillet)
  • shallot (or onion)
  • garlic
  • fresh herbs – dill and parsley are my favorites, but you can also use other fresh herbs
  • butter
  • salt, pepper
  • lemon zest and juice
Ingredients for baked steelhead trout recipe

What is steelhead trout? Can you substitute another fish?

Steelhead trout is a delicious fish that has a beautiful orange-pink color. It is often mistaken for salmon, although they are two different types of fish. Steelhead trout are a bit smaller and thinner than salmon.

Although they are different, steelhead trout and salmon can be used interchangeably in most recipes. They have a similar flavor and texture. If you’re using salmon, you might need to cook it just a few minutes longer.  

How To Cook Steelhead Trout:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Saute the shallots and garlic. Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the shallots and garlic, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and just starting to get golden. Cool slightly.
  • Add the lemon and herbs. Use both the lemon zest and lemon juice. The lemon zest has so much amazing flavor! Add some of the fresh herbs, setting aside the rest of the fresh herbs to use later.
The best topping for baked steelhead trout recipe made with shallots, garlic, lemon and herbs
  • Place the fish on the baking sheet, laying it in a diagonal if it’s large. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the shallot, garlic and herb butter over the fish fillet, spreading it out in an even layer.
  • Roast the fish for 12-17 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is. The best way to check for doneness is to use a fork to gently prick the fish, and if it flakes easily, it’s ready.
  • Serve the fish with more lemon juice and sprinkle with more fresh herbs.
Baked steelhead trout recipe

Use several spatulas to take the fish off the baking sheet in one piece.

The fish will come right off, leaving the skin behind. What a neat trick, huh? Roll up the aluminum foil or parchment paper, the skin comes right off and it’s so much easier to wash the baking sheet.

Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the fish and sprinkle with more fresh dill.

Baked steelhead trout with shallots, garlic, lemon and herbs.

Serve With:


Ultimate Steelhead Trout Recipe

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5 from 30 reviews

This is the ultimate steelhead trout recipe. Topped with shallots, garlic, lemon and fresh herbs, it’s so juicy and flavorful. It’s so simple but looks impressive. 

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 steelhead trout or salmon fillet (1 1/22 1/2 lbs)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 Tablespoons fresh dill, minced (you can also use other herbs, like parsley, chives))
  • salt, ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon (1 teaspoon of zest and all the freshly squeezed juice)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a skillet or small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the shallot softens.
  3. Add the garlic and the lemon zest, cook for another minute. Cool slightly. Squeeze in half of the lemon juice.
  4. Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet. If it’s really big, lay it diagonally across the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon the butter over the fish.
  6. Sprinkle with half of the minced dill.
  7. Roast in the oven for 12-17 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is. The best way to check for doneness is to use a fork to gently prick the fish, and if it flakes easily, it’s ready.
  8. Use several spatulas to take the fish off the baking sheet in one piece. (Or cut it into sections, if it’s easier.)
  9. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the fish and sprinkle with more fresh dill.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

This recipe was originally published on December 7, 2012. I have added a video to make it even more easy to follow the recipe. The recipe is still exactly the same and has been enjoyed by our family and many readers for years.


  • Martha

    Just made this tonight and LOVED it! I am not a big fish eater but I may be after this dish! I loved the tip about baking on aluminum foil. The fillet came off the skin just as easy as you said. Great recipe!

  • Ellen Goldenson

    Hi Olga,
    I’m a brand new follower of your blog. I found you by googling recipes for steelhead trout. I absolutely love this recipe. It was delicious and so easy. I highly recommend it to others and will make it again soon. Also, love your overall philosophy of life. I look forward to cooking many of your recipes soon.

    • olgak7

      Hi Ellen,
      Welcome to the blog:). I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. I hope you’ll find many others recipes that will be just as enjoyable.

  • Ryan

    Absolutely delicious. I used unsalted butter, but then salted the melted butter with a lightly smoked sea salt. I also cooked this in the over on a cedar roasting plank. I decreased the temp to 400 once it was in the oven as we like salmon and trout more on the rare side. The shallot and garlic crisped up nicely on top of the trout and made for a delicious burst of flavor. Thanks, Olga!

  • A Murphy

    Made this for company tonight and Everyone raved about it. I reduced the butter to 1 TBPS and added 3 TBSP EVOO. SUBSTITUTED onion for the shallots. I used dried dill, however fresh would have been much better. I actually made the butter sauce a few hours ahead. THIS RECIPE IS A REAL KEEPER. Easy and made a nice presentation for company.

    Thank you so much for sharing this special treasure.

    • olgak7

      That’s wonderful, A Murphy! Thank you so much for taking the time to write. This is a real favorite in our family and I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well.
      I often make the butter sauce ahead of time. It’s such a simple and quick recipe, but always a winner.

  • sherry boyter

    Hi Olga

    Tried your recipe last night, switched it up a little bit used sweet onions & green onions. We are not much into garlic & dill , do not like shallots. The fish turned out great, receipe is a keeper……….OMG my fish was so good. I had not cooked steele head trout so I had to find a recipe on how to cook it, so glad that I found your recipe. The fish lifted right off the foil & all the skin stayed on the foil, wonderful !!!!!


    • olgak7

      I would have to agree with you, Vicky. I use this recipe very often when I make dinner myself:). I love how simple it is to prepare. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  • Katie Chaverri

    Olga, this was absolutely wonderful. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe and for the tips (using foil, multiple spatulas, etc.). I never realized how beneficial it was to cook salmon/steelhead at such a high temperature, nor did I realize that it was ok to prepare the basting sauce separately like that. I always thought applying a warm sauce would spoil the cooking process. In this case, it made it perfectly simple and delicious and I will NEVER prepare salmon any other way EVER again. Thanks!

    PS- I didn’t realize you could bake parchment paper at such a high temperature.

    • olgak7

      You’re welcome, Katie. Thanks for taking the time to write.
      I use aluminum foil all the time when cooking fish. It makes cleanup so much easier. However, some people are opposed to using any aluminum foil at all, so parchment paper is another option. The oil from the fish will leak down into the pan, but nothing sticks to the pan, so it still makes cleanup so much easier.

  • Jack

    Supercalfraglustic expeealadosish great way to do the fish. Did it for my girlfriend and she loved it.She said she couldn’t eat the half of the fillet I gave her but she did and I think she could have eatin more ! LoL

  • Cora Brown

    Moist and delicious. I substituted rosemary sprigs for dill, and removed them before baking. I added a tablespoon of dry vermouth. Baked 10 minutes at 450, then reduced heat to 325 for 5 more minutes.

  • Gail Thiele

    Try this. Preheat oven and cookie sheet to 450º. On a cooke-sheet size of aluminum foil, place a smaller piece of parchment on foil, cover with kosher salt, place filet skin side down on kosher salt, then season as directed. I use only olive oil and a thin layer of Chinese garlic chili paste. Slide aluminum foil with parchment and filet onto blazing hot cookie sheet. Bake 17 minutes.

    • olgak7

      Thanks for sharing, Gail. It sounds lovely.
      I really like using the blazing hot sheet method for many recipes. It’s such a brilliant technique.

  • Peteypablo

    Just made this today Steelhead I left out the Dill as I didn’t have any. It turned out lovely looks and tastes good too I want to eat some But I can’t as I have to wait for my wife to come home and join me.

    • olgak7

      Rainbow trout is usually a lot smaller and more delicate than Steelhead Trout, Laurie. You can use this same method for rainbow trout, just cook it less.

  • Michelle

    Just came across your recipe, made it for dinner and it is probably the best fish I’ve ever had! I was alittle skeptical about the skin coming off, but it came right off..wow! This recipe definitely has a place in my go to recipes. The family loved it and it’s beautiful enough to serve to guests. ..thanks #

  • Tanya

    Am I the only one who thinks fish skin is delicous, and wants it to stay on?

    I love baking a half salmon fillet with the skin on, I think the skin is the best part, like with chicken!

    I think I read also that fish skin is where most of the Vitamin D is stored, so why would you want to waste that?

    • olgak7

      I actually like fish skin too, Tanya:). Most people that I know don’t, though. Plus, it means that you don’t have to take the scales off the skin, if you will be discarding the skin anyway.
      If you DO want to eat the skin, just grease the baking sheet with oil first, and the skin should get nice and crisp and you’ll still be able to get it off.

      • Tanya

        You know, I only thought of ‘scales’ after I posted! Every half fish I’ve ever bought has been descaled..! And I’ve only found one small scale in a bite that was missed!

        I made this last night, and oh wow was it ever good! I was missing the shallots & my dill was dried not fresh, but it was still yummy! I think steelhead trout is tastier than the salmon I usually buy! I will definitely be making this again! And yes, I was scraping the skin off the foil, it was that good!

        Awesome recipe!

        • olgak7

          I prefer steelhead trout too, Tanya.
          Whenever I buy fish, there are always so many scales left; I guess our seafood department workers don’t do as thorough of a job as your do.

    • olgak7

      I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, Rosana. I don’t count calories, and the serving size is a very rough estimate, since everyone eats different portions and has different appetites.

  • Brian

    Great recipe, made it tonight, instead of putting it in the oven I put it on the BBQ with hickory smoke wood chips. Will do this one again. Thanks

    • olgak7

      That’s awesome, Brian. We like to use the grill whenever we can too:). I’m so glad to hear that this recipe worked out for you. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  • Lita Watson

    Should i fold the foil over and crimp edges together to create an airtight packet for the salmon! If i use lemon for salmon before making this dish to cancel the bacteria, what should i do to control the flavor?

  • Héloïse

    I thought I had a salmon and found out it was such a trout! Never heard of it! Looked up your recipe and voila! An amazing dish and even better than salmon! Thanks for the recipe:)

  • Sara

    I can’t wait to make this! Do you mind my asking where you buy the steelhead trout? What grocery store? Just wondering what stores have the best/freshest fish. Thanks, Olga!!

  • Natalya

    I didn’t had trout so I used salmon.. the best salmon we ever had ! So juicy, flaky and delicious. Another — yummy yummy in my tummy

  • Olga

    I tried this on salmon and its tastey! You think i can cook 2 fishes at same time on same pan? Minutes stay the same? If not on same pan then 2 separate pans but at same time. Yeh?

    • olgak7

      Hi Olga,
      Yes, you can definitely cook two fish fillets at the same time as long as they fit on the sheet pan. As long as they are the same thickness, you can keep the timing the same. If the fillets are thicker, add a few extra minutes, but not too much because fish cooks really fast and you don’t want it to end up dry.
      I don’t recommend cooking fish fillets on two different sheet pans. They just won’t cook evenly, even if you rotate them.

  • Mickey

    Ty Olga, this is my second time making this this month. We Love it!! Easy directions, fresh ingredients… Your just darling. Ty for sharing your recipe w us. ❤ stay safe! idk how to share a picture…

  • Noelle Marak

    This is a fabulous recipe! Steelhead trout needs something like this to perk up its mild flavor.

  • Gail Marizette

    OMG This is the best fish recipe I have had. It was so easy to make and using the foil clean up was a.breeze. My son asks for it once a week and being so easy to make he gets it LOL.
    Thank you so much for such a marvelous recipe.!!!

  • Nick

    I am not a great cook by any means, but I stumbled upon your recipe when looking for trout recipes. We made it tonight and absolutely loved it. The shallots and garlic gave added such a fantastic and unique flavor to an otherwise mild fish. Looking into more of your recipes now!

  • CorellaFord

    Made this twice and it’s absolutely delicious. The onion and garlic really adds such a flavor to the fish. Don’t leave out the lemon zest. It’s my go to Fish. It makes a beautiful presentation.

  • Adrienne

    I find that steelhead trout cooks up very well and is more predictable than salmon. This was a very good recipe that I got a lot of compliments on. I did not have fresh dill, so I used the fresh lemon thyme that I did have. The recipe is probably foolproof! .

  • Cyndi

    This is absolutely wonderful, just delicious! I’m making it a second time this weekend. Just to let you know, the printout is very, very faint, unreadable (I printed off several other recipes and they all came out fine so I don’t think it’s my printer). I took a screenshot instead, but would prefer a printed recipe. Of course this has no effect on your wonderful recipes!

  • DJ Parent

    Easy elegance with quality ingredients. Method for preparation best suits this type of fish entree. Will be my next go-to for guests.

  • RW

    My hard to please husband had a second helping! Thank you – it was delicious exactly as written, very easy to do and clean up. I also made the butter sauce ahead of time so that clean up was already done by the time we ate. Plus using the foil meant the cleanup after dinner was a breeze. That and the taste will make it a great choice for a company dinner. Again – thank you for sharing and, as this was my first recipe of your that I’ve seen, I’ll be looking for more 🙂

  • Erica Z

    your recipe showed up first when i googled “steelhead trout recipes.” it’s easy and delicious, with a nice presentation, too. this is definitely going into my rotation. great to see it’s been popular for so many years!

  • Kristen B Hamilton

    Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! Everyone loved it! I’ve always been a salmon and halibut gal and I’ve been trying new fish and new recipes lately. Steelhead is a new favorite!

  • Valerie

    This is a fantastic recipe. I have come back to this 4 or 5 times already and do not plan on making fish any other way. Finally a simple, buttery, flavorful recipe that keeps the fish moist. I prefer to use the jar minced garlic, but have tried with fresh garlic, and both taste great. I have varied the herbs (thyme, parsley, dill, combination) and it’s always good! Thank you for this truly 5/5 recipe, it is such a keeper!!

  • Erica Zabusky

    If you use an app like myfitnesspal or similar, you can enter recipe ingredients, and the app will provide nutritional and caloric content.

  • Jayna Mistry

    Made this lady weeks and I’m making it again today! It’s become a rotation in our household. I follow the recipe exactly his it’s written, I just add some red pepper flakes at the end for a little heat. It’s perfect!

  • Kim E

    I’ve always been scared to cook fish at home, but this is such a simple and delicious recipe that I now make it regularly.

  • Cory

    This was fantastic! I used fresh garlic, fresh lemon, fresh dill and the steelhead must have been fresh also. A memorable meal, thank you!

  • Tim

    Love this recipe. I go to it every time I prepare steelhead. The family loves it, even my 1 year old grandson can’t get enough of it!

  • Maria Germansky

    Very delicious! I didn’t have fresh herbs so I used 1tsp dill weed and 1 tsp parsley. First time making trout!

  • Llinden

    My husband usually grills our fish, but tonight the stormy PNW weather provided me with an opportunity to try this recipe as an “experiment”. Wow! I didn’t have the fresh herbs, so I left them out, but it was still delicious & will now be a staple in our household. Since our fillet was smaller, I cut the recipe in 1/2-ish, but it was still wonderful. Thank you!

  • Don Maude

    The bomb. You win girl the best steal head that I have ever had. Live in Idaho and regularly catch and cook my own fish.

  • Ellen Hurwitch

    Cooking the steelhead trout using your recipe was absolutely amazing. I grilled it and not drop was left over! Thank you!

  • Daniela

    Thank you ! Can’t wait to try this on Good Friday.
    How far in adVance can I prep this. Once preped, do I place in frige ? Wondering if the butter solidifies, will it alter taste or cooking time ?
    Thank you . Will definitely be making this

    • olgak7

      Hi Daniela,
      I hope you enjoy the steelhead trout:). It’s perfect for special occasions.
      You can prep it up to a few hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. I don’t recommend storing fish for long periods of time, so I wouldn’t prep it more than a day in advance. The butter will solidify, but that will not have any negative impact on the flavor of the finished recipe. Enjoy!

  • Chels

    Perfect for spring- delicious! I served with a warm farro salad with mint, kale and champagne vinaigrette, some lightly steamed lemon asparagus, some pan cooked yam bites, and some pesto cordilla toasts. 10/10 perfect spring meal- my husband was floored by the fish outcome- so mild, flavorful and just perfect.

  • Melissa

    Very yummy. Thank you! I had no dill or other herbs on hand, so I added an extra shallot and we loved it. Deliciously buttery, and it felt a bit indulgent I might try subtracting a tablespoon of butter next time. Will definitely return to this recipe!

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