Grilled Trout With Dill and Lemon

Grilled trout is an easy and delicious meal, especially when grilled with lemon slices, fresh dill, and butter. Perfect dinner for two!

grilled trout
Elise Bauer

I once was the proud owner of a fly reel.

Just the reel mind you. I was 10 years old, and I never did get a fishing rod for that reel. The fishing rod I did have came with its own reel and was the type with which you used a little bobbing float and a hook to attach something wriggly.

Hapless in the fishing department, I eventually gifted my gear to my younger brother and stuck to collecting crawdads, tadpoles, and minnows.

Over the years my brother regularly brought home trout (usually steelhead), salmon, and assorted other fish he caught in the American River, a short walk from our house in Sacramento.

grilled whole trout
Elise Bauer

It was only years later, on a trip to western Montana, that I learned that a fly reel is what is used in fly fishing, which is how one fishes for trout.

So now, every time I pass by the fish counter at the market and see beautiful fresh trout staring back at me, I think of fly fishermen standing in their waders in the shallows of either the Madison or American rivers, casting for a bite.

The Best Way To Cook Trout

Trout is, one of the most delicious fish you can eat, and not only is it relatively inexpensive (for fish), it's really easy to cook. It's usually sold deboned and with head and tail.

Trout does have rather delicate skin.

So rather than grilling it directly on the grill grates, the best way to ensure that the fish holds together and results in a beautiful presentation is to create an aluminum "boat" to hold the fish and place that boat on the grill. Keep the boat open and cover the grill so that the trout absorbs some of the smokiness from the grill.

The Best Trout for This Recipe

Any trout works for this recipe, but we recommend buying these types if they're available to you.

  • Rainbow trout
  • Arctic char, also known as Alpine trout
  • Brook trout

Regardless of the variety, look for the freshest trout you can purchase. The fish should have bright, bulging eyes and red or pink gills. If the fish has sunken eyes or the gills have turned gray, the fish is older. The flesh should be moist, not dry. And, the sniff test is very important. If the trout has a strong, fishy smell, pass it by. It's best cooked the day you buy it.

5 Sides To Serve with Grilled Trout

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Grilled Trout With Dill and Lemon

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Preparing the grill 15 mins
Total Time 33 mins
Servings 2 servings

Assume one trout per person.

These directions are for grilling trout. If you don't have a grill, you can easily prepare the fish in an aluminum boat in the same way and bake in the oven at 350°F until done.


  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 trout, boned and cleaned (also called "butterflied"), head and tail still on, or headless if you want

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 6 paper-thin slices fresh lemon, seeded

  • Several sprigs dill, or basil, tarragon, parsley, or other tender fresh herbs

  • 1 teaspoon butter, cut into small cubes


  1. Prepare the grill:

    Prepare your grill for direct high heat, with one part of the grill cool.

  2. Make an aluminum "boat":

    While the grill is heating, make a "boat" with heavy duty aluminum foil. Double or triple layer the foil and make a 1-inch rim around the edges.

    Coat the bottom of the "boat" generously with olive oil so that the trout does not stick while it is cooking.

  3. Prep the trout:

    Rinse the trout with water and pat them dry. Open up the fish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add lemon slices to the inside of the fish in a single layer. Top with sprigs of dill and dots of butter. Close the fish over the stuffing. Brush both sides of the fish with olive oil. Place fish in the aluminum foil boat(s).

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Grill the trout:

    Place fish boats on the hot side of the grill. Cover and let cook for 3 minutes. The oil and the juice from the fish will get bubbly.

    Move to the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the fish are just cooked through. You can peek inside the fish for doneness. Once opaque, the fish should be removed from the grill.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
202 Calories
14g Fat
2g Carbs
17g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 202
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 215mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 324mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.