Easy Baked Freshwater Fish
A fresh take on the old fish fry in this recipe featured in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild
A recipe contributed by Sarah and Jay Kozlowski
Do you ever feel like changing up your normal fish recipe? Across the Great Lake states, including our home state of Wisconsin, people love a good fish fry. But baked fish is a tasty option for transforming your freshwater catch that often gets overlooked, and if truth be told, it is seriously underrated. Whether you have a bag of panfish, or a few nice walleye fillets, we have a quick, delicious recipe for baking your catch, that you can add to your kitchen arsenal.
Start by preheating your oven to 375° F. Rinse fillets (fresh or thawed) that have the skin removed, under cold water, pat dry with paper towel, and place into a 9×13 glass baking pan or foil-lined cookie sheet.
Now the fun begins, because you can adjust the recipe to play with whatever seasonings your heart desires. From Creole to Cajun, to Southwest or citrus and pepper, you can adapt this core recipe. We included our go-to favorites in this version, but feel free to improvise.
Note that if you saved our DIY Wild Ramp Powder recipe that was featured last spring in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild, this makes a great seasoning as well!
Simply sprinkle seasonings over top of fish filets, using:
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Creole seasoning powder (or your favorite)
Salt and ground pepper to taste. (Note that many seasoning blends include salt, so consider this before adding any more to the dish.)
2-4 tablespoons of butter (tabbed out into chunks, place over fish)
Half of a yellow onion cut into slices and placed over the top of the seasoned fillets.
For a full pan of panfish or smaller, thinner fillets, we recommend about 15 minutes of cooking time.
For walleye or larger, thicker fillets, we recommend about 25 minutes.
There is no need to flip the fillets while cooking.
Fish are done when the meat flakes easily with a fork.
Hint from the Kitchen: Skip the lemon pepper and use a lime instead of the lemon, sprinkle generously using a Southwest-Chipolte seasoning blend, and use the cooked fish in fish tacos.
About the Contributors: Sarah and Jay Kozlowski are from Hayward, Wisconsin. They are an avid outdoor couple who enjoy sharing their hunting and fishing experiences and knowledge. You can join their adventures by following @skozlowskiii and @kozlowskijay on Instagram.