For the ultimate fish fry, try this easy, flavor-packed trout recipe! Trout fillet coated in Mediterranean spices and quickly seared in extra virgin olive oil. Ready in just over 15 minutes!
Serve it with Greek tzatziki, salad, and a side of baked sweet potato fries. Lots more ideas + step-by-step instructions and important tips below.
Looking for one of the fastest cooking proteins for easy dinners? Trout fillet may be your answer.
If you’ve been here a while, you probably know fish is a staple Mediterranean diet protein.
My family does fish regularly, and we try to change things up here and there. Some of our go-to’s are salmon burgers, baked halibut and veggies, lemon garlic baked salmon, grilled swordfish, and everyone's favorite, Greek baked cod!
And when it's fish fry night, I'll often use rainbow trout. Trout is a delicate and mild-tasting fish that most people enjoy. And because trout fillets are thin, you can season them and throw them in a skillet to cook in a little extra virgin olive oil.
If you’re not familiar with rainbow trout, it is considered a member of the salmon family. It's silver with some black spots; its flesh can be white, pink, or orange.
Trout flesh is tender, flaky and soft. What does it taste like? Rainbow trout has a delicate, mild, and slightly nutty flavor.
Many people wonder if trout tastes like salmon, but it all depends on the kind of trout you buy. Some rainbow trout can have a white flesh while others are more pink or orange. The color variation depends on the trout’s diet and if the fish is wild or farm raised.
With that being said, rainbow trout is milder, less fishy, and less fatty than salmon. And you'll find that trout meat is more delicate and softer than salmon (salmon is quite hardy and less flaky.) Trout fillet is quite thin, which makes it a great candidate for pan searing like in this recipe or in something like fish piccata.
What I love about this trout recipe
This pan fried trout recipe is delicious and as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. First, the thin fish fillets take on a couple of spices--coriander, paprika, and a dash of organic garlic powder, if you like.
2. Then we give the trout a light coating of flour, this is a bit of an optional step, but I find it helps protect the delicate fish, while also developing nice crispy texture (you can use gluten free flour if you like).
3. A quick pan sear in extra virgin olive oil (about 3 minutes or so on each side) and this fish fry dinner is ready!
If you want to keep things simple, add a dollop of tangy tzatziki or a drizzle of tahini and a large salad and you're good to go. (My kids always want rice with their fish, though).
Rainbow trout fillets – this recipe uses a trout fillet or butterflied trout fillet. This cut makes it easier to work with and it cooks faster. If you can only find whole trout at your fish monger's, just ask them to fillet or butterfly the fish for you.
Spices – to flavor this mild fish, we have a simple spice mixture of coriander, sweet paprika, and a little garlic powder (you can use garlic paste, if you prefer, but the powder works better for searing).
TIP: You can change up the spices to your liking. For example, if you're looking for a little smoky kick, use smoked paprika. Or give your fish a bit of a Greek twist with some dry oregano! One of my favorite spice mixtures is Ras El Hanout, which works great on fish! (You can find our all-natural and organic spices here).
Flour – a small amount of flour is used to lightly coat the fillets. This protects the fish so it won’t stick to the pan, but also allows the fish to develop a golden brown crust. You can use gluten free flour if you like.
Extra virgin olive oil – For shallow frying, I use Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (you can find our olive oils here). To be sure the oil olive oil is just at the right temperature for cooking before you add the fish, watch the bottom of the pan while it is heating. Once you see wave-like ripples, the oil has reached its desired temperature.
Lime juice– the cooked fillets are finished with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to add the perfect tang and acidity! I highly recommend you don't skip this step.
How to Cook Trout Fillet: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Dry and season the fish
Pat the rainbow trout fillets dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the spice mixture (coriander, paprika, and garlic powder) on both sides.
Step 2: Dredge in flour
Coat the seasoned fillets in the flour and be sure to shake off the excess so the excess flour doesn’t burn in the pan.
Step 3: Sear in Olive Oil
Heat about 3 to 4 tablespoons of a quality extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO) over medium -high heat. Put the fish skin side down and sear for 3 minutes. Gently flip with a spatula and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Important: How to cook fish in extra virgin olive oil?
To be sure the oil olive oil is just at the right temperature for cooking before you add the fish, watch the bottom of the pan while it is heating. Once you see wave-like ripples, the oil has reached its desired temperature. If you're still not sure, throw a pinch of flour in the pan and wait for it to bubble a little (don't wait until the oil is bubbling too much or smoking).
Step 4: Drain excess oil & finish
Place the cooked fish on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to soap up any excess oil. Finish with a splash of lime juice. Serve immediately!
Can you eat trout skin?
I use trout fillets with skin on all the time! So yes, you can eat the skin. In fact, when you cook trout correctly, the skin is crispy and dripping with flavor.
What to serve along
For a tasty trout dinner, you can serve with a side of tangy tzatziki sauce and quick arugula salad, tossed with citrus and extra virgin olive oil.
But here are some great options to serve along:
- Salads: Shirazi salad, chickpea salad, or Mediterranean couscous salad
- Sides: crispy brussels sprouts, loaded baked potato, roasted cauliflower
Fish leftovers can be a bit tricky to reheat, which is why I suggest eating any leftovers you have either cold or at room temperature. Reheating a delicate fish like rainbow trout can be very easy to overcook and dry out.
Try adding the cold fish to a salad or eat the room temperature fish with your favorite warm side like rice, couscous, etc. Heck even use in some fish tacos if you’re feeling creative!
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Mediterranean Pan Seared Trout Recipe with Tzatziki
- Total Time: 16 minutes
- Yield: serves 4
One of the easiest and best trout recipes I've tried! Trout fillets, seasoned with a couple of warm spices, and quickly seared in extra virgin olive oil. Serve it with a dollop of Greek tzatziki and a big salad for an easy dinner.
More ideas in the notes, and be sure to see the step-by-step photos and tips in the post.
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp all-natural garlic powder (or 1 to 2 teaspoon garlic paste)
- 1 ½ lb trout fillet (or butterflied trout fillet as in the pictures)
- Salt and Pepper
- All-purpose flour for coating (no more than ½ cup)
- Extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Mix the coriander, paprika, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl.
- Pat the trout fillet dry. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper on both sides, then season with the spices on both sides.
- Coat the seasoned fish with the flour, shake off any excess flour (you only want a very thin layer).
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat about 3 to 4 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (see note). Sear the trout fillets for 3 minutes on each side (start with skin-side down, and use a spatula to very carefully flip the fish fillets over).
- Remove the fish from the pan and place it on a tray lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Transfer to serving platter and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- Cook's Tip for searing: to be sure the oil olive oil is just at the right temperature for cooking before you add the fish, watch the bottom of the pan while it is heating. Once you see wave-like ripples, the oil has reached its desired temperature. If you're still not sure, throw a pinch of flour in the pan and wait for it to bubble a little (don't wait until the oil is bubbling too much or smoking).
- Cook's Tip: you can use frozen fish fillets but they must be properly thawed in the fridge before using. If trout is not available to you, a thin fish fillet such as sole fillet will work in this recipe.
- What to Serve Along? Salads: Shirazi salad, chickpea salad, or Mediterranean couscous salad. Sides: crispy brussels sprouts, loaded baked potato, or roasted cauliflower
- Visit our online shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including spices and olive oil used in this recipe.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 6 mins
- Category: Fish and Seafood
- Method: Seared
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Trout recipe, how to cook trout, trout fillet recipe
- This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2017 and has been recently updated with new information for readers' benefit.
Amazing! I've never liked fish but have recently decided to try again. What a great first try! Quick, easy, and full of flavor. I can hardly wait to try another fish recipe 😋
There are so many great ones here to choose from, Dana! Three other really popular ones with those are not huge fish fans have been the baked sole , baked halibut and fish piccata.
Made this for the 1st time a couple of weeks ago and what a treat it was! Absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing 🙂
With Greek Lemon Rice! Awesome!!!
Used cod and cut it into "fish fingers" which made it easier to know when it is done. Family loved it! No need for dipping sauce/tarter sauce - these have great flavor.
Love this idea! Thanks for sharing, Kiki!
Simple, fast, and delicious. I used pacific rock cod, served with tzatziki over couscous (You can find the recipe under Sides). The fish was perfect!
Wonderful way to cook fillet fish.
Thank you 😊
Made this for the second time tonight. Easy and scrumptious flavors and don’t omit that twist of lime at the end. And we love the Tzatziki with it!
So glad you enjoyed it, Ellen!