Garlic Butter Steelhead Trout in Foil Recipe

4.63 from 53 votes
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From start to finish, garlic butter steelhead trout, cooked in foil is the easiest trout recipe in the world. Baking fish in foil with garlic, butter, and lemon is an easy, winning combo that yields a juicy buttery flavor. While the prep work takes minutes, the cleanup only takes seconds, making this a 25-minute recipe with cleanup included!

Flakey cut piece of steelhead trout cooked in foil with herb butter sauce.

Steelhead trout is very similar to salmon in both flavor and appearance, however, steelhead trout tends to be a little milder. Not to be confused with rainbow trout, which tends to be lighter and color and milder in flavor in my experience.

Why This Recipe Works

The cook-in-foil method is incredibly easy because there is very minimal cleanup. I’m talking done-in-25-minutes easy. Because the fish is wrapped in foil, the fish is steamed, retaining the moisture, and rendering juicy and tender meat.

Looking for similar buttery and delicious recipes? Try my baked Triscuit-crusted cod, easy lemon butter scallops, and my delicious shrimp scampi!

Ingredients

  • Steelhead trout filet: Look for a full longer portion of trout that hasn’t been cut into individual pieces. You can remove the skin but it’s optional. Once the fish is done cooking, the skin will easily separate from the meat. Salmon makes a great substitute.
  • Butter: butter helps form the paste that coats the whole fish. It adds buttery flavor and texture to every bite. Use salted or unsalted. If using unsalted, you may need an extra pinch of salt on the fish.
  • Lemon: I like to reserve lemon for just before serving as well. It’s hard to beat a fresh squeeze of lemon on finished fish. For even more flavor, incorporate lemon zest.
  • Garlic: fresh garlic is a must. Do not substitute with anything pre-minced or garlic powder for best results. A microphone is my favorite way to finely mince fresh garlic into a paste.
  • Parsley: both parsley and basil are delicious herbs for this recipe. I always suggest fresh over anything dried for best results. The measurements of fresh ingredients do not carry over to dry spices.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Cook Steelhead Trout in Foil

Step 1.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Soften butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in fresh minced garlic and parsley. Set aside. This can be made ahead so the flavors meld.

Step 2.

Roll out a sheet of aluminum foil that is roughly 8 inches longer than the filet. If your filet is larger/wider, you can crimp together two pieces of foil so you have more foil to work with. Spray with cooking oil.

Step 3.

Place the trout filet in the center of the foil. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Season trout liberally with salt and then squeeze juice from half a lemon over the fish.

Step 4.

Spread the butter mix over the trout until evenly coated with a thin layer. You can alternatively melt the butter and pour it over the fish. Top with a sliced lemon wheel.

Uncooked steelhead trout covered in herb butter paste.

Step 5.

Fold the long sides of the foil over the trout, covering it completely, and seal it tightly. Fold the ends over and seal into a closed packet. Place directly on an oven rack or on a baking sheet and bake until cooked fully through (about 15-20 minutes).

Step 6.

Optional step: Open the foil exposing the top of the trout and broil for the last 1-2 minutes, for a browned top.

Expert Tips

  • There are a few methods when it comes to covering the fish in garlic butter. If you soften the butter into a soft paste, you can evenly spread it on top of the filet. It’s a great way to ensure the fish is entirely covered. Melting the butter entirely works, too.
  • This foil method will work for just about any fish and any topping. I’ve done it with cod, haddock, salmon, and of course trout. If your fish is on the larger side, you can crimp together two pieces of foil so you have a larger surface area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does steelhead trout taste like?

Steelhead trout is very similar to salmon in appearance and flavor, yet milder in terms of taste. Salmon makes a great substitute for steelhead trout.

Can I use rainbow trout?

Rainbow trout is different in flavor, appearance, and texture. I would substitute salmon for rainbow trout if you’re trying to create a similar flavor profile to steelhead trout.

Finished garlic butter steelhead trout topped with a lemon wheel and fresh herbs.

More Salmon to Love

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this recipe, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
4.63 from 53 votes

Garlic Butter Steelhead Trout in Foil Recipe

Servings: 2
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Simple steelhead trout recipe baked in foil with garlic, lemon, butter, and fresh herbs.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound steelhead trout filet, skin removed optional
  • 3 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1/2 a lemon, juice squeezed
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced/grated
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, minced
  • salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Roll out a sheet of aluminum foil that is roughly 8 inches longer than the filet. If your filet is larger/wider, you can crimp together two pieces of foil so you have more foil to work with. Spray with cooking oil.
  • Place the trout filet in the center of the foil. Fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Season trout liberally with salt and pepper and then squeeze juice from half a lemon over the fish.
  • Soften butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in fresh minced garlic and parsley. Spread over the trout until evenly coated with a thin layer. You can alternatively melt the butter and pour it over the fish. Top with a sliced lemon wheel.
  • Fold the long sides of the foil over the trout, covering completely, and seal it tightly. Fold the ends over and seal into a closed packet. Place directly on oven rack or on a baking sheet and bake until cooked fully through, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Optional step: Open the foil exposing the top of the trout and broil for the last 1-2 minutes, for a browned top.

Notes

There are a few methods when it comes to covering the fish in garlic butter. If you soften the butter into a soft paste, you can evenly spread it on top of the filet. It’s a great way to ensure the fish is entirely covered. Melting the butter entirely works, too.
This foil method will work for just about any fish and any topping. I’ve done it with cod, haddock, salmon, and of course trout. If your fish is on the larger side, you can crimp together two pieces of foil so you have a larger surface area.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 357kcalCarbohydrates: 1.9gProtein: 45.7gFat: 17.2gSaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 79mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating




102 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was my first time coming steelhead trout, and it turned out delicious! I used a 2-lb fillet of trout, skin-on, and used 2x the recipe. I didn’t have fresh lemon, garlic, or parsley, so I used lemon juice, jarred minced garlic, and dried parsley and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. The fruit was tender and flaky after about 20 minutes, and was perfect with the garlic butter on top. My family loved it, and they are not garlic lovers! As a bonus, this was the first time I’ve been able to cook fish without the house smelling fishy, which was fantastic!

  2. 5 stars
    This was our first time eating steelhead trout. This recipe made us a fan. I added some dill with the butter and garlic. This will def be my go to recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! I did not have parsley so I used some dried sage, and it worked really well. I also did not have any foil, so I ended up using some parchment paper – still worked! Overall, really moist and delicious steelhead.

  4. 5 stars
    I grew up in Idaho catching Brook and Rainbow trout. Friends and family went steelhead fishing further into the mountains. The State of Idaho is a large producer of farm raised trout in natural waters flowing from the aquifer to the Snake River.

    This recipe allows me to taste those memories again. Thank you for it.

  5. This was excellent. It took minutes to make. I thinly sliced vidalia onions and topped the trout with them and the lemon garlic parsley butter sauce. I broiled it at the end for a few minutes. Will defintely make this again.

  6. 5 stars
    I will never bake steel head again – the method in this recipe makes a piece of fish that is really excellent. I’m going to try it with salmon…and other kinds of fish.