A good source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, trout also happens to be one of the EPA’s top recommendations for fish low in contaminants such as mercury.
And while you can find trout in most well-stocked grocery stores, you can also try your luck at catching it in freshwater lakes and rivers, turning an already exciting and flavorful meal into an adventure of its own.
Because trout tends to be a mild-tasting fish compared to saltwater species such as salmon, it will not overwhelm your side dishes, allowing you to get creative with sauces, herbs, vegetables, and other accompaniments.
10 Best Vegetables to Serve With Trout
Here is a list of the top 10 vegetables you can serve with trout throughout the seasons, from baby greens to sturdy root vegetables.
These vegetables were specifically picked for the way they compliment this favorite of fishermen and Michelin-starred chefs alike.
One of the top vegetables for health due to its high sulforaphane content, broccoli is a fantastic side dish for trout because of its firmer texture which compliments tender white fish so well. It is also incredibly easy to roast.
Simply cut a couple heads of broccoli into florets, trimming away any fibrous or tough stalks, toss them in a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in a hot oven for about 15 minutes. You can do the same with cauliflower, or mix and match for a beautiful splash of color on your plate.
Try adding some freshly chopped garlic towards the end of the cooking process, or a sprinkle of spicy pepper flakes.
Crispy Brussels sprouts
Move over, boiled and mushy Brussels sprouts of old. The key to truly making them shine is to roast them in an oven using a two-part process, and their crispy exterior is a great contrast to most types of fish including trout.
First, trim the sprouts, removing any tough or yellow outer leaves. Cut any large ones in half.
Toss the sprouts with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt, pour into an oven-proof pan, add a couple tablespoons of water, and cover tightly with foil.
Bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes, uncover, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated, and the Brussels sprouts are fully cooked with crispy outer leaves.
You might want to be in charge of this dish to keep any crispy stray leaves to yourself!
You have probably tried cooking asparagus on the stovetop, but did you know you can also bake them? In this almost hands-off method, all you need to do is coat the asparagus with olive oil, and roast them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes.
Just before serving, sprinkle salt and freshly grated parmesan cheese on top. Another popular addition is a little grated lemon zest. Asparagus is a good choice for trout, because they both have similar cooking times.
Smashed Baby Potatoes
A star in many upscale restaurants, smashed baby potatoes are actually easy to make at home. Simply boil baby red potatoes until they are easily pierced with a knife.
Then, press down on them gently with a spatula until the skin breaks but they are still holding together.
Fry them in a hot pan with avocado oil or olive oil until deeply golden and crispy on each side. Sprinkle them with flaky salt before serving.
You can also deep fry them or finish them in an air fryer. Potatoes have long been a favorite side dish of fish, and cooking them this way adds a little decadent to trout, which is generally considered a low-fat food.
Lettuce and Other Tender Greens
You don’t need to fire up the oven every time you want to make a satisfying side dish. You can also simply toss a fresh and vibrant green salad, enhanced with a flavorful salad dressing.
A perfect addition to trout due to their quick prep time, tender greens have the added benefits of complementing the fish’s naturally mild flavor.
Leafy greens come in a large variety of colors and textures, from sturdy radicchio to spicy arugula, without forgetting tender butter lettuce and Spring greens, or even baby kale and Swiss chard.
All you need to add to them is a homemade vinaigrette, such as one made of one part vinegar to two parts olive oil, a pinch of salt, and your favorite additions like creamy Dijon mustard, or chopped fresh herbs.
Garlic Haricot Beans
You might not have grown up liking green beans, but this recipe will convert nearly anyone. Trim Haricot Verts beans, also known as French green beans, and place them in a pan with a few tablespoons of water.
Cover, and steam for about 5-10 minutes, or until just crisp tender.
Drain off any remaining water, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with 2 minced garlic cloves, and saute until the garlic is fragrant and the green beans are fully cooked to your liking. Serve hot.
Greens beans are often served with white fish including trout in restaurants, because their fresh flavor and tender texture makes a beautiful contrast to crispy trout skin.
A favorite of French restaurants and big families alike, potato gratin is a dish that, when mastered, is sure to have a recurring spot on your menu whenever you are serving trout, elevating this mild white fish with the addition of cream and cheese.
For the perfect potato gratin, rub a square baking dish with butter and a cut garlic clove. Arrange thin slices of potatoes over the butter, and pour enough half-and-half to reach the bottom of the top layer.
Generously season with salt and pepper, add freshly grated gruyere cheese, and bake, covered, until the potatoes are tender.
Uncover, and bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden, and the sauce has thickened. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving.
Sweet Potato Fries
Regular fries may be a fast-food favorite, but they have nothing over sweet potato fries.
Tossing sweet potatoes cut into sticks with a little avocado oil and salt is all you need to do before cooking them in a hot oven until they are both tender and crispy.
This is also a great recipe for your air-fryer! For variety, try adding spices such as paprika, chili powder, or even cumin.
While fries in general are a beloved side dish to most white fish, sweet potato fries go especially well with trout because of their firm, crispy texture, and distinctive sweetness.
Garlicky Braising Greens
In early Spring, farmers markets are often overflowing with braising greens such as kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard.
Sturdier than baby spinach and other tender greens, these take well to a more vigorous sauteing without losing their shape and much of their volume.
Place braising greens, roughly chopped, into a large pan with a few tablespoons of water. Cook, covered, until tender.
Push the greens to one side of the pan, add some butter, olive oil, and freshly minced garlic, and cook uncovered, stirring often, until the garlic oil mix is fragrant and hot.
Once you try serving garlicky braising greens with trout, you might find that it is the perfect side dish, adding a dimension of flavor and texture that you might miss serving trout with a dish that blends into the background.
Delicious with trout and a brown butter sauce, roasted beets are a nutritionally packed vegetable that mellows out to a sweet earthiness when baked, making the two ingredients a match made in heaven.
All you need to do is toss small beets in olive oil and salt, wrap them in aluminum foil, and bake them until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Peel, chop, and serve with a little olive oil, or a garlic and lemon juice dressing.
When it comes to eating healthy with plenty of protein and heart-healthy fats while being mindful of sustainability, freshwater trout is one of your best options.
With its mild flavor, it shines without being overwhelming, allowing the fresh flavors of vegetables to come through.
From roasted Brussels sprouts to tender leafy greens, without forgetting creamy potato gratin and garlicky beans, you can serve trout in a wide variety of ways that will leave you both nourished and satisfied.
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.