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This easy Oven-Baked Rainbow Trout is a flavorful and healthy way of preparing your fresh catch! Plus, it takes less than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table!

An image of two whole rainbow trout on foil with sliced lemon and herbs.

Today’s catch of the day is rainbow trout. Oven-baked rainbow trout is a delicious dinner that looks impressive but is incredibly easy to make. Seriously, doesn’t it just look like something a high-end chef would prepare?

Our family loves eating fresh fish, especially if Paul has gone fly-fishing and caught it himself. And one of my favorite ways of preparing it is to oven bake or grill it whole.

The taste of fresh lemon, herbs, and garlic infuse the delicate flesh of the rainbow trout while roasting the trout in a foil pouch keeps it moist and flavorful. Next to my easy pan-fried trout, this is one of my favorite simple fish recipes. It’s actually delicious with any type of fish, if you don’t happen to have access to fresh rainbow trout.

I’ve included easy-to-follow instructions to help you fillet the fish once it has cooked when, the bones are significantly easier to remove!

An image of baked rainbow trout fillets on a plate with homemade rice pilaf and roasted asparagus.

I wanted to include this oven-baked trout recipe as part of my American Eats series representing the state of Idaho, since I grew up fishing for rainbow trout in Island Park, Idaho with my dad. In this series, I’m cooking my way across the United States, one state a time, making the foods and exploring the flavors that each state is best known for. Be sure to check out all of the other states in the series and feel free to leave a comment with a suggestion for yours!

How to bake trout

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lay a giant piece of aluminum foil over a baking sheet. You want the piece to be large enough that it can completely wrap around the fish. 
  2. Place your rainbow trout on the foil and drizzle about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over the fish.
  3. Season the inside and the outside with salt and pepper.
  4. Place a few slices of lemon, one sliced garlic clove and a few sprigs of fresh dill (or your preferred herb) inside each trout.
  5. Fold the foil up and over the fish, crimping the edges as you go so you can create an envelope to bake the fish in. 
  6. Bake your trout for 10-15 minutes, but check after 10 minutes to see if the fish is done. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

An image of two large rainbow trout on a foil-lined baking sheet. An image of a foil pouch on a baking sheet to bake whole fish in the oven. 

How do you fillet a rainbow trout? 

If you want to make this rainbow trout recipe, you might want to fillet it after baking to get the meat off the bones, so here are some simple steps to help it along.

  1. Pull off the fins, then cut off the fish heads and tails using a sharp knife
  2. Use your knife to cut just to the bone, down the line along the middle of the trout on one side. 
  3. Slide the filleted meat off the bones on the top side.
  4. You should be able to lift the spine off of the fish and pull out the remaining bones easily from the bottom fillet.

An image of whole baked rainbow trout sliced down the side to remove fillets of fish without the bones. An image of baked rainbow trout on a baking sheet.

What to serve with baked rainbow trout

With the impressive-looking trout on the plate, it only makes sense that you’d want picture-ready side dishes to go with it. Consider a sturdy vegetable like roasted asparagus or a savory side like rice pilaf. Both can be made simply, while adding color to your plate. Oven Roasted Broccoli and Roasted Brussels Sprouts are also great choices!

An image of baked rainbow trout with the bones removed. 

More Easy But Impressive Dinner Recipes

Oven Baked Trout
Yield: 2-4 servings

Oven Baked Trout

This easy Oven-Baked Rainbow Trout is a flavorful and healthy way of preparing your fresh catch! Plus, it takes less than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 rainbow trout, gutted and cleaned, with heads still on
  • 2-4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 sprigs each of fresh dill and parsley (or rosemary or thyme)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tear a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil big enough to go completely around both fish and set it on a baking sheet.
  2. Place trout on foil and drizzle each trout with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season the inside and outside with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a few slices of lemon, one sliced clove of garlic, and a couple sprigs of fresh dill or the herb of your choice inside each of the trout. Fold the foil over the fish, crimping the edges well to create an envelope for the fish to bake in.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to see if the fish is done. It will be opaque and flake easily with a fork when done.

Notes

NOTE: The amount of servings will vary depending on your fish, which may vary greatly in size. A smaller trout may only feed one person while a larger trout can often be shared. But the size of the fish usually doesn't affect the amount of other ingredients needed such as lemon and garlic, since they are just aromatics that flavor the fish while it bakes.

NOTE: You can make this with the heads cut off if you don't like the look of whole fish. I rather enjoy the presentation though.

NOTE: You can use dried herbs instead of fresh if you don't have fresh on hand. Just use 1/4 teaspoon of whatever herb you choose for each fish.

NOTE: You can also grill the trout using the same approach. Just preheat the grill to medium-high heat, then place the foil wrapped fish over indirect heat (i.e., not directly over the flame), and close the lid. Cook for 10-15 minutes until it flakes easily.

Adapted from All Recipes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 46mg Sodium: 334mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 17g

Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Iowa • Louisiana • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • Texas