Looking for a simple, yet delicious show-stopping dinner? Dredged and pan-seared trout filets finished with a classic French brown butter sauce makes for an elegant, yet incredibly easy meal.
The butter browns in the pan and becomes nutty and fragrant, and the toasted almonds add wonderful texture. Lemon juice and capers add just the right amount of acidity to brighten and balance this dish.
Just like my favorite green beans almondine, this is another approachable, yet elevated recipe. While Trout Almondine may sound fancy and elaborate, it is one of the best (and simplest!) ways to prepare fish.
What is Trout Almondine?
Trout almondine (commonly known as trout amandine) is a traditional and rustic French dish. While it’s popular in French restaurants, it’s also become a staple of Cajun cooking in New Orleans.
What makes this dish stand out? The simple Meunière-style pan sauce. Meunière sauce is a rustic, French pan sauce made from brown butter (beurre noisette), lemon juice, and fresh parsley. It is simple, delicious, and comes together very quickly.
Almondine, a popular variation of meunière sauce, is made with the addition of sliced almonds and briny capers. While there are many derivatives of the classic brown butter pan sauce, amandine is a personal and long-time favorite.
Why You’ll Love This Trout Almondine:
- Elegant – this classic French preparation will make you feel like you’re eating at a fine dining restaurant, but it couldn’t be simpler to prepare to home. The fragrant pan sauce is a true show-stopper.
- Everyday Ingredients – this dish is made with only a handful of ingredients that can be found at any grocery store: butter, sliced almonds, capers, parsley, and lemons.
- Quick & Easy – start to finish, trout almondine comes together in 15 minutes, making it perfect for even the busiest of weeknights. Be sure to prep all of your ingredients before cooking as the pan sauce comes together quickly and requires your full attention.
- Flavorful – the meunière style sauce is fragrant, buttery, acidic, and absolutely irresistible. It is the perfect accompaniment to the crispy, pan-seared trout fillets.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- TROUT: delicate in texture and mild in flavor, trout is the perfect fish for this classic dish. If you can’t find trout, flounder, sole, or delicate, lean fishes are good substitutes.
- UNSALTED BUTTER: the base of this simple pan sauce, butter is browned until deliciously nutty and fragrant. The more golden brown, the better!
- SLICED ALMONDS: adds flavor, texture, and a distinct crunch to each bite.
- CAPERS: the unripened, green flower buds of the caper bush, non-pareil capers add a signature briny touch to this dish.
- PARSLEY: for brightness and much-needed color. I always use flat-leaf Italian parsley for cooking.
- LEMON JUICE: fresh citrus cuts the richness of the brown butter pan sauce and is the final balancing touch.
How to Make Trout Almondine:
- Prepare and Pan Sear the Trout: Lightly dredge the trout fillets with flour on both sides. Heat a thin layer of clarified butter or avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Pan sear the fillets, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness, before flipping and briefly searing on the other side. Set on a plat and keep warm.
- Make the Pan Sauce: Wipe the skillet clean of any remaining oil and return to medium heat. Add the butter and cook until brown, nutty, and very fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Halfway through, add the sliced almonds, toasting them lightly in the butter.
- Finish: Add the capers, parsley, and lemon juice and immediately remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce on top of the trout and serve immediately.
How to Pan Sear Fish Perfectly:
- Dry the Fillets: Use a paper towel to dry both sides of the fillet before dredging. Any moisture on the fish will cause the oil to splutter and will prevent the flesh or skin from crisping up properly.
- Creating Crispy Skin: Carefully place and set the fillets into the pan away from you. This protects you from any potential oil splattering. Cooking the fish almost entirely skin-side down not only allows the skin to act as a heat barrier, but enables you to achieve crispy skin. Flip and cook flesh-side down for just seconds.
- Avoid Over-Crowding the Pan: This is one of the biggest culprits in proper searing. When in doubt, sear in batches or use a larger pan.
- Serving: When keeping them warm or plating your filets, serve the fish skin-side up – this will ensure the skin stays crisp as long as possible.
Other Elevated Seafood Dishes You’ll Love:
Looking for more inspired, trusted weeknight seafood dinners? Try these other favorites:
- 2 trout fillets, skin-on roughly 6-8 ounces each (*see notes)
- kosher salt
- unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging
- clarified butter or avocado oil for cooking
For the Pan Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons (60g; 2 oz) cold unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (25g) sliced almonds
- 1½ tablespoons (20g) drained non-pareil capers
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice or more to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Tips for Success: This dish comes together very quickly, so it is important to have all of your ingredients measured and prepped before you start cooking the fish and preparing the pan sauce.Warm a large plate or set aside a quarter sheet pan lined with a wire rack. You will use this to keep the pan-seared fish warm while you prepare the pan sauce.
- Prepare the Trout: Let the fish come to room temperature for at least 15 minutes, then pat dry on both sides with paper towels. Season the fillets with salt on both sides, then lightly dredge in all-purpose flour.
- Pan Sear: Heat a thin layer of clarified butter or avocado oil (any high-heat neutral cooking oil will work!) in a large stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once the cooking fat is shimmering, add the fillets to the pan skin-side down. Avoid over-crowding the pan, cooking the fillets in batches if needed. Immediately press the flesh of the fish down with a spatula, this prevents the skin from buckling and ensures the skin will lie flat and crisp evenly. Cook the trout skin-side down for for 2 to 4 minutes, total cook time will depending on the thickness of your fillets. The edges of the fillets should be golden brown and crisp – once the fillets are 80%-90% cooked through, flip and sear briefly on the other side. Transfer the trout fillets, skin-side up, onto the warmed plate or lined sheet pan. Keep warm while you prepare the pan sauce.
- Make the Pan Sauce: Using paper towels, carefully wipe the skillet clean of any remaining cooking fat – be careful as it will be very hot – and return to medium heat. Add the butter and cook, stirring frequently, until is foaming and just starting to toast and gain color. Add the sliced almonds to the butter, stirring constantly, until the butter is very nutty, fragrant, and golden brown and the almonds are lightly toasted.
- Add the drained capers, chopped parsley, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to the pan and immediately remove from the heat. Stir and season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and additional lemon juice (if needed) to taste.
- Serve: Spoon the pan sauce directly on top of the pan seared trout and serve immediately.
- If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review and ⭐️ rating! Thanks for your support!
- If you can’t find trout, you can prepare this dish with other flat delicate fish, such as flounder or sole.
- This dish makes two generous servings. If you scale up, I recommend keeping the fish warm in a preheated oven (170F-200F) while you are preparing the sauce – as you will most likely need to pan-sear in batches.