We’ll explore the 13 Best Walleye Recipes so you can discover the diverse flavors and cooking methods that make walleye such a beloved catch. Walleye, with its mild and delicate flavor, is a favorite catch among anglers and fish enthusiasts.
Whether you have reeled in your own freshwater fish or picked up some walleye fillets from the market, the culinary possibilities are endless. Discover the best ways to prepare them, address whether you should remove the walleye skin before cooking and find out why this is my families freshwater fish of choice.
Choose from the simplicity of pan-frying, the fan favorite of oven baking using a baking sheet pan, or the art of deep frying. My husband, Randy, has fished all over Michigan to hook this tender white fish.
Michigan walleye tastes amazing!! So, grab your favorite walleye fillets and embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the deliciousness of this prized fish!
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What is Walleye Fillets Like?
Walleye is a white fish that can be hard to catch if you don’t know how to fish them. Freshwater fish are sought after for their delicate white meat.
When properly processed, walleye fillets have a super mild fish flavor and is white in color. After it’s cooked the fish flakes easily when eaten and is very tender to the palate.
Do You Remove the Walleye Skin Before Cooking?
Whether or not you should remove the fish skin before cooking is a matter of personal preference. The skin of the walleye is edible and can add a slightly crispy texture when cooked.
If you choose to leave the skin on, make sure it’s well-cleaned and cooked until it’s crispy and golden. However, my husband prefers to remove the skin for a smoother texture, especially when preparing fillets for certain dishes like pan-frying, fish chowder, or oven baking.
To remove the skin, gently slide a fillet knife between the flesh and the skin, carefully separating them.
Best Ways to Prepare Walleye
Walleye can be prepared in many different ways. Some of the most common ways to cook walleye are pan-frying, grilling, oven baking, or deep frying.
Try fish tacos, fish patties, fish sandwiches, and even fish chowder. Each cooking method has its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles, depending on your desired final outcome.
Great walleye ingredients are lemon juice, breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs, lemon pepper seasoning, garlic powder or onion powder.
Popular Walleye Recipes
A simple oven baked walleye recipe is one of the most popular fish recipes because of its easy preparation as well as being a healthy technique of making it. Easily swap out different seasonings, flavored oils, or add a sprinkling of your favorite cheese to change the flavor profile.
Pan fried walleye or deep-fried walleye recipes are right behind in popularity. Both techniques can be made in just a few minutes and the ingredients easily swapped out to enhance the flavor.
Health Benefits of Walleye
Walleye is a nutritious fish with several health benefits. It is known for heart-healthy benefits, which include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammation. A 3-ounce cooked portion of walleye has an approximate nutritional value of:
- 105 Calories
- 21 Grams of Lean Protein
- 2 Grams of Total Fat
- Excellent Source of Essential Nutrients like Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin B12, and Selenium.
Tips for Cooking Walleye
Do not over-season the fish! You want to season the fish filets to enhance the flavor but don’t over-season it. You can completely ruin a fish dinner if it has too much seasoning. Believe me because I have done it before!!
Avoid overcooking the walleye fillet. Test the fish doneness by using a fork and try pulling the fish layers apart. If the meat is white in color (no translucent color) and pulls apart easily, it is done. Walleye cooks quickly, so check it often.
Fresh fish is best! But you can use frozen walleye that has been properly thawed. To properly thaw, place in the refrigerator and let it thaw. If the walleye filets are vacuum sealed, place in a bowl of cold water and let the faucet of cold-water drip into the bowl until the fish thaws.
Do not dry out the walleye fillets. Make sure to use enough liquid such as oil, water, or broth to keep the fish moist. When cooking oven baked walleye or grilled walleye, wrap the fillets in a foil pouch to help keep the moisture in.
Take the fish to the next level by creating a sauce from the leftover juices, serve with a dipping sauce such as tartar sauce, add fresh herbs when preparing the fish recipe, or top with parmesan cheese and place under the broiler to get a crispy golden brown top layer.
What to Serve with Walleye Recipes
Walleye is a very easy recipe to make and can be served with many different things. Must serve items with this main dish cuisine are lemon wedges that you fresh squeeze overtop the walleye recipe.
Chef Sherry’s Cookbook
Wine and Beverage Pairing with Walleye
Pairing the right wine or beverage with walleye can enhance the dining experience by complementing the fish’s flavors and texture. Remember, it’s a personal preference that play’s a significant role in wine and beverage pairing.
The key is to find a beverage that complements the fish without overpowering its delicate taste, allowing you to savor the flavors of both the dish and the drink. Here are some pairing suggestions that you might like:
- Fish and white wine are most commonly paired together because of the walleyes light, mild, and delicate flavor. Try Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio.
- Try Brut Champagne for a sparkling wine option. But if you are looking for a red wine, try this light-bodied Pinot Noir.
- If you are looking for a beer option, then try a light beer with its crisp and refreshing flavor.
- Non-alcoholic options are iced tea, lemonade, or herbal teas.
Walleye Recipes – FAQ
You can often find fresh walleye fillets at well-stocked seafood markets, specialty fish markets, or online seafood retailers.
Common seasonings include lemon, garlic, paprika, dill, flavored olive oil, freshly ground salt, and black pepper. The choice of seasoning depends on the recipe and your personal taste.
For the full list of recipes below.
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