Grilled Walleye With Citrus Butter

Grilled walleye
peredniankina / Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2
Ratings (21)

This walleye recipe calls for the fish to be seasoned with a citrus butter and toasted pecan mixture. Grilled walleye is a delicious dish for any occasion. It can be the centerpiece of a quiet dinner for two or a small dinner party.

Walleye fillets have fine white flakes and a mild flavor, with few bones. This recipe for grilled walleye keeps it simple so the flavor of the fish shines through. Walleye is a versatile fish that you'll enjoy grilling.

Walleye is a favorite of recreational fishermen in the northern U.S. and Canada. You may have caught this member of the perch family at a lake, river, or by ice fishing. It is the state fish of three states (Minnesota, South Dakota, and Vermont) as well as being honored in Saskatchewan. You might also find commercially fished walleye fresh or individually quick frozen. 

When buying a whole walleye, look for a fish that has rich pink flesh. The eyes will be flat and opaque even when the fish is fresh, so they can't be used as an indicator of freshness.

What You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup/60 milliliters toasted pecans (chopped, divided)
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters soft butter (not melted, but room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters fresh chives (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons/10 milliliters orange juice
  • 12 ounces/350 grams walleye fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon/1.25 milliliters black pepper

How to Make It

  1. Combine the butter, chives, juice and half of the pecans in a small bowl and mix well. Reserve remaining half of chopped pecans for garnish.
  2. Preheat the grill. Once hot, take a 12-inch square piece of aluminum foil and cut 2-inch slits into it every two inches. Spray it with a nonstick spray or brush it with oil and place it onto the grill. By using aluminum foil you will keep the fish from sticking to the grill grates.
  1. Put the walleye fillets on the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill for 8 to 12 minutes. The fillets are done when the fish flakes easily with a fork and reach an internal temperature of 140 F.
  2. Two to three minutes before the fish is done, top the fillets with the pecan butter. Remove the fillets from the heat once the fish has finished cooking.
  3. Sprinkle the fillets with the remaining pecan pieces over top before serving.

Perfectly grilled walleye will have soft and flaky flesh. If your fish is tough, you may have cooked it too long or used too much seasoning.

Note that the mercury content of walleye is elevated. Adults should limit consumption to two servings per month while kids age 0 to 12 should only have one serving per month. The U.S. fishery gets an "OK" eco-rating while the Canadian fishery gets a "Worst" eco-rating due to using drift gillnets.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 453
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Unsaturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 31 mg
Sodium 612 mg
Carbohydrates 59 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Protein 12 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)