This easy Oven-Baked Whole Rainbow Trout recipe is a flavorful and healthy way of preparing your fresh catch! Baked trout takes less than 20 minutes to make, so it's perfect for busy weeknight dinners or a filling lunch!
We love eating fish! Some of our other favorite easy fish recipes are this Easy Pan Fried Trout, my Hot Smoked Salmon, and this super quick and delicious 15 Minute Pan Seared Salmon.
Table of Contents
- Why we love cooking Rainbow Trout
- Oven Cooked Trout ingredients
- Baked Trout substitutions and variations
- How to cook Rainbow Trout in the oven
- Baked Rainbow Trout tips for success
- How to store this Baked Trout Recipe
- Baked Trout Recipe FAQs
- How do you fillet a rainbow trout?
- More Easy But Impressive Fish Recipes
- Baked Rainbow Trout Recipe
- More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Today’s catch of the day is rainbow trout. Oven-baked rainbow trout makes a quick and delicious fish dinner main dish. It's made with very basic ingredients but is incredibly easy to make and still looks impressive! 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. One of my favorite ways of preparing it is to bake or grill the whole fish.
Fresh lemon, herbs, and garlic infuse the delicate flesh of the rainbow trout while it's roasting. Cooking 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!
I wanted to include this oven-baked trout recipe as part of my American Eats series, which represents 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 at 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!
Why we love cooking Rainbow Trout
- Mix up the herbs and citrus flavors to your personal preference.
- We'll use fresh trout that's filled with healthy omega-3!
- This super quick and easy recipe only takes 20 minutes from start to finish.
Oven Cooked Trout ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Rainbow Trout - Gut and clean the fish, and leave the heads on.
- Oil - I like to use olive oil, but you can use canola oil or another cooking oil if you prefer.
- Lemon and Garlic - Use fresh lemon slices and fresh garlic that you slice yourself for the best flavor.
- Herbs - Use fresh herbs like Dill and Parsley, Rosemary, or Thyme. You can change them up to suit your preference.
- Salt & Pepper - Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper will season your trout fillets and enhance all those wonderful herbs and citrusy flavors!
Baked Trout substitutions and variations
- Use a different herb like Parsley, Rosemary, or Thyme.
- Add some other flavors like dijon mustard, red chili flakes, or
- Make this recipe with the heads cut off if you don't like the look of whole fish. I rather enjoy the presentation though.
- Use dried herbs instead of fresh ones if you don't have fresh ones on hand. Just use ¼ teaspoon of whatever herb you choose for each fish.
- Grill the trout instead, 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.
How to cook Rainbow Trout in the oven
Prepare oven and fish. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Tear off a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil big enough to go completely around both rainbow trout fillets and set it on a baking sheet pan.
Add oil. Place trout on foil and drizzle each trout with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil.
Season. Season the inside and outside of the trout with salt and pepper.
Add other seasonings. Place a few slices of lemon, one sliced clove of garlic, and a couple of sprigs of fresh dill, or the herb of your choice, inside each of the trout.
Fold in foil. Fold the foil over the fish, crimping the edges well to create an envelope for the fish to bake in.
How long to bake trout
Bake. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking the foil packets after 10 minutes to see if the fish is done. It will be opaque and flake easily when pressed with a fork when done.
Baked Rainbow Trout tips for success
- You can use parchment paper instead of foil to wrap your whole trout in if you prefer.
- Make a couple of cuts along the thickest part of the fish on each side to help the heat penetrate the flesh of the fish, allowing for even cooking. Cut at an angle down, almost to the bone.
How to store this Baked Trout Recipe
You can store the baked trout in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I usually try and consume the fish the day of or the next day. I don’t like it sitting for too long.
Baked Trout Recipe FAQs
This fish cooks well at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. You can tell if the rainbow trout is cooked through once its internal temperature is 145 degrees F in the thickest part of the fish. I tend to just check if it's fully done by using a fork to pull at a little bit of it. If the fish flakes off easily, it is done.
Citrus fruits are always a great option for trout, as are other fruits like apples. Herbs like dill, parsley, rosemary, and thyme are delicious with trout. Also, try flavorings with a bit of a kick like dijon mustard or red chili flakes. White wine also goes well paired with trout! It's a versatile fish, so you can creative!
With the impressive-looking trout fish fillets 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 with Orzo Pasta. For more colorful sides, try my Oven Roasted Broccoli or Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
Store baked trout in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Yes! Place in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 month. You can freeze raw fish in the same way too.
Trout has a very mild taste. Rainbow trout caught from the wild is especially delicious with a flaky texture and very easy on the palate. It has such a mild fish taste that even those that don’t like fish can handle trout.
Your trout should reach a temperature of 145 degrees. When done it will have a flaky texture and the filet will flake apart easily with a fork.
There is really no definitive answer for this- it is purely based on your preference! You can definitely eat the skin if you want to. When baking and roasting you leave the skin on and let the fats in the skin cook into the meat. The skin can also get a little bit crispy, which for some people is their favorite part!
Yes you should most definitely rinse the fish inside and out. Also, if you plan on eating the skin, make sure to scrape the fish scales off with a knife.
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.
- Pull off the fins, then cut off the fish heads and tails using a sharp knife.
- Use your knife to cut just to the bone, down the line along the middle of the trout on one side.
- Slide the filleted meat off the bones on the top side.
- You should be able to lift the spine off of the fish and pull out the remaining bones easily from the bottom fillet.
More Easy But Impressive Fish Recipes
- Baja Fish Tacos
- Garam Masala Salmon (Guide on How To Cook Salmon)
- San Francisco Seafood Stew
- New England Fish Chowder
- Grilled Whole Fish
Fish & Seafood
Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi
Fish & Seafood
Grilled Soy Brown Sugar Salmon in Foil
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Baked Rainbow Trout
- 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
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tear off a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil big enough to go completely around both fish and set it on a baking sheet.
- Place trout on foil and drizzle each trout with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Season the inside and outside with salt and pepper.
- Place a few slices of lemon, one sliced clove of garlic, and a couple of 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.
- 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.
- The number of servings will vary depending on the size of your fish. A smaller trout may only feed one person while a larger trout can often be shared. The size of the fish usually doesn't affect the amounts of other ingredients needed, such as lemon and garlic, since they are just aromatics that flavor the fish while it bakes.
- Store: Store baked trout in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Freeze: Place cooked trout a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 1 month. You can freeze raw fish in the same way too.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • New Jersey • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin
Reader questions and reviews
Anyone find the fish takes a lot longer to cook than 15 min ?