Whether you’re still catching trout streamside or looking to clear out some freezer space ahead of fall, this grilled trout recipe is a great excuse to plate some fish. The beurre blanc, a French butter sauce with a hint of zest, delivers both bright and savory flavors that make it the perfect goodbye-to-summer and hello-to-fall topping for this time of year.

Beurre blanc sounds intimidating, but it’s incredibly easy to make. The sauce pairs well with any fish or even upland birds. It’s typically made with white wine, and I chose to make this version with Chardonnay. Pick a Chardonnay you like drinking, because the wine’s flavor will come out in the sauce—and because you might want to have a glass or two while cooking. 


Serves four 

  • Four trout, approximately 1 to 1-1/2 pounds each, scaled (optional) and butterflied
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Beurre Blanc

  • 2 cups Chardonnay
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound salted butter
  • Juice from half a medium lemon
  • 3½  ounces non-pareil capers


Make the Beurre Blanc

Add wine, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to a medium saucepan heated on medium heat. Once the wine reduces to half of the original amount, add the heavy whipping cream. Simmer for 15 minutes. While the cream simmers with the wine, cut 1 pound of salted butter into ½-tablespoon-size pats and leave in a bowl at room temperature.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and slowly stir in the butter (a few pats every 5-10 seconds). Stir frequently until all the pats have been added and melted into the sauce. Drain the capers and add to the sauce. Keep the burner off and leave the saucepan on the stove until you’re ready to serve.

Prepare the Trout

You can prepare the trout any way you like, but I prefer to scale, butterfly, and grill them for this recipe. It makes for a better presentation and makes the fish easier to eat. 

Once you’ve butterflied the fish, lightly salt and pepper the flesh. Heat the grill to somewhere between 500 and 600 degrees F, and make sure the grate is clean. Spray both sides of the trout with cooking oil and add to the grill flesh-side-down. Sear and flip and continue cooking the fish. Cover your grill and wait approximately 5 minutes, then pull the fish.

Read Next: How to Cook Trout Au Bleu

If you don’t have a grill, you can roast the trout in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and add trout to an oven-safe baking tray flesh-side-up. Roast for 8 minutes then turn on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes to brown and crisp up the flesh. Whichever method you choose, pour the beurre blanc over the fish immediately after cooking, and serve.