This easy steelhead recipe is ready in less than thirty minutes – perfect for busy weeknights!
This post is sponsored by our friends at Pacific Seafood.
Busy people of the world! Have iiiiiiiiiiiiii got the most lickety-split-delicious dinner for YOU!
We’re working with some amaaaaaaazing (and sustainable! hey-oh!) Columbia River Steelhead Trout today. And we are drenching said Steelhead Trout in butter (and garlic! and lemon!) because everything is better covered in butter. (Yup. I’m pretty sure that’s science).
If you’re like “wait, hold up, did you just say TROUT?” the answer is yes – but stick with me, because while Columbia River Steelhead might not be a super-familiar fish, I promise it’s not scary to cook with at all! (YOU’VE GOT THIS).
Here’s what you need to know about Steelhead:
- It tastes (and looks!) a LOT like salmon – basically, if you like salmon, you’ll probably like steelhead trout.
- Steelhead packs plenty of omega-3s and other vitamins at a fraction of the cost of salmon – so if you’ve been shying away from wild salmon because of the price point, LOOK NO FURTHER! Steelhead is a great alternative. (Example: Steelhead was $12.39/lb at my store today; Wild Sockeye Salmon was $21.49/lb).
- The steelhead we’re using today is a farm-raised Columbia River Steelhead from Pacific Seafood. The Columbia River is such a unique place (I grew up close by!) and it shines through in the flavor of this fish. Pacific Seafood raises its Columbia River Steelhead without hormones, pesticides, or herbicides – learn more about their facilities and sustainability practices in this video!
But wait. I thought farmed fish was bad?
If you’ve been following LAAS for awhile, you’ve likely heard me talk about the importance of choosing wild salmon when it comes to seafood (PS – Pacific Seafood also sells Wild Salmon! Get it get it).
And while I still absolutely recommend you choose wild salmon, here’s the hard thing about sustainable seafood: There’s no one-size-fits-all sustainability checklist.
Different seafood species have different needs, which means they impact their environment in different ways. And with a growing world population, there’s also a growing need for protein – a need that wild fish and land-based protein alone can’t support.
Aquaculture (aka Fish Farming) is emerging as an answer to the increasingly important question of how we’ll feed the world in years to come. (PS – For an in-depth look at sustainable aquaculture and its role in feeding the world, check out At The Table Podcast Episode 3!)
So. Is steelhead trout sustainable?
The short answer? YES – when you buy it from a sustainably-managed fishery (like our friends at Pacific Seafood!)
This particular steelhead is a certified “Best Choice” from Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch program (WOOT). Pacific Seafood’s farm-raised steelhead also has a Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance – basically the industry standard for sustainable aquaculture.
Fun Fact: Pacific Seafood was actually the first U.S. salmon/steelhead farm to be BAP certified!
SO. Shall we talk about this easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (FOR REAL, THOUGH! There’s a lemon in there) Garlic Butter Steelhead recipe?
Let me hit you with the highlights:
- Ready in 30 minutes! I GOT YOU.
- Butter + Garlic + Lemon + Red Pepper Flakes = the BEST quick sauce. Add some grated parmesan, lemon zest, or rosemary if you’re feelin’ fancy.
- Perfect alongside roasted veggies, pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice. It also keeps well in the fridge – toss any leftovers on a quick salad or into your scrambled eggs the next day!
PS: If you’re in the mood for an all-the-feels video about EXACTLY how this steelhead is raised – from the hatchery to the farm to the processing plant – check out this video! It’s basically like a visit to the Pacific Seafood Steelhead Farm. Except you can be on your couch in your sweatpants.
Video: How to make lemon garlic butter steelhead
An easy weeknight steelhead recipe with a quick lemon butter garlic sauce.
- 1 large lemon
- 1.5–2 lb. Steelhead Fillet
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (use 4 cloves if they’re on the smaller side)
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the lemon in half. Juice one half and reserve the juice for adding to your sauce. Cut the remaining half into 4-5 thin lemon slices and set aside.
- Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to melted butter and sauté, stirring frequently, for about one minute until garlic is fragrant and slightly soft.
- Remove skillet from heat. Stir in reserved lemon juice and set aside.
- Lightly oil a large sheet pan. Place steelhead fillet on pan.
- Pour butter mixture over steelhead fillet. Use a pastry brush, the back of a spoon, or your hands to lightly rub the butter mixture into the fish.
- Lay reserved lemon slices across the surface of the steelhead. You’re ready to bake!
- Bake steelhead at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. When it’s cooked, the steelhead will have slightly lightened in color and will be easily flaked with a fork.
- Top cooked steelhead with fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Don’t worry too much about the weight of your steelhead fillet – if you’re in the ballpark of 1.5 or 2 pounds, you’ll be fine! If you’re using a much larger fillet, you may want to double the amount of sauce.
What should I serve with this steelhead? Serve this lemon garlic butter steelhead with your favorite roasted vegetables, pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.
If you don’t have a lemon, use 2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice in the sauce (in place of the juice of 1/2 a lemon) and skip the lemon slices when baking.
Change up the sauce by adding fresh herbs (I like rosemary, thyme, and cilantro), grated parmesan cheese, or a Tablespoon of honey. This sauce is very forgiving – don’t be afraid to make it your own!
If you can’t find steelhead, use Wild Alaskan Salmon instead.
If you have leftovers, let cooked steelhead cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Use cold steelhead in salads or sandwiches, or toss some flaked steelhead into your scrambled eggs or a hash the next morning.
Thanks again to my friends at Pacific Seafood for sponsoring this post. Click here to find Pacific Seafood at a store near you, and don’t forget to check out this video to see exactly how their steelhead is raised, harvested, and processed!