Newsletter Signup

Easy 20-Minute Oven Baked Trout

Learn how to cook trout in the oven for a tender, juicy, and flavorful fish dish. This oven baked trout recipe is easy to follow and only requires a few simple ingredients. Use this simple recipe for smaller freshwater varieties like rainbow trout. Tips for substituting larger varieties of fish are in the recipe. Jump to the Oven Baked Trout Recipe

Watch The Video

Baked Trout Recipe Video

How to Bake Whole Trout to Perfection

Freshwater trout, like rainbow trout, is one of my favorite fishes to cook at home. It cooks quickly after using our simple cooking method the fish is tender and succulent. You can buy trout as whole fish that has been gutted and cleaned (like in our photos) or as fillets. For this recipe, we’re using whole trout. Remember that even though we initially developed this trout recipe for freshwater varieties, you can adapt it for larger or saltwater types of fish like arctic char, steelhead trout, and even salmon!

Baked Trout on serving plate

Baking whole trout in the oven is genius — especially when you do it in foil or parchment paper packets. (called fish cooked en papillote or “paper”).

With our easy trout recipe, dinner will be on the table in about 20 minutes. You can’t beat that.

After sharing this recipe with friends — some were a little overwhelmed with cooking the whole trout (with the skin, tail, and sometimes head still attached). So if you think the same, stop. I promise it’s all going to be okay!

When it comes to shopping for trout, it’s easy to find already cleaned and butterflied trout. By butterflied, I mean that the fish is slit down the middle but still has the halves attached.

Buying the trout butterflied allows us to add a few fresh ingredients to the middle. For example, in our stuffed trout recipe below, we add lemon slices and fresh herbs to the center. Add even more if you like; consider thinly sliced garlic, onion, or greens (like spinach).

Since we are adding so much flavor to the packets, there isn’t much need for a marinade or additional seasonings.

To make the packets, we use parchment paper or heavy-duty foil.

How Long Do I Need to Bake Trout in the Oven?

The baking time depends on how large your fish is. In our recipe below, we call for small to medium rainbow trout and find that they take between 10 and 15 minutes.

The bake time will be longer if you have a larger variety of fish, like steelhead trout. Use our tips for checking for doneness as a guide.

By the way, you could put the trout packets on a grill instead. I’ve shared a temperature and cooking time in the recipe below.

How To Fillet Cooked Trout

In the video above, we show you how to fillet your trout once it has finished baking. It’s really easy — and I think, much easier than when the fish is raw.

It’s a simple process. I use a spoon and butter knife to do it. Here are the basic steps I follow. I highly recommend watching the video:

  1. Pull away all the fins. Since the fish is cooked, they come away easily.
  2. Press the knife into the soft flesh just before the head and cut up to the bone. Repeat this with the soft flesh just before the tail.
  3. Use the knife to follow the line down the middle of the trout (this follows the spine). Just cut up to the bone.
  4. Following the line you just made down the spine, use a spoon to carefully pull/push the top and bottom fillet away from the bones.
  5. Pull the tail up and away the fish. By doing this the spine and bones will come away with it.
  6. Clean all the fillets of small bones and transfer to a plate for serving.

Recipe updated, originally posted October 2009. Since posting this in 2009, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

20 Minute Oven Baked Trout Recipe

Easy 20-Minute Oven Baked Trout

  • PREP
  • COOK

Here’s how how to cook trout in the oven so that it is succulent and flavorful. Baking rainbow trout in foil packets helps the fish cook perfectly. While they bake, juices form at the bottom of the packet, which are delicious when spooned over the cooked trout. Other ingredients to consider adding to the middle of the fish are thinly sliced garlic, onion, or greens (like spinach). If you have larger varieties of fish like steelhead trout or even salmon, you can still use our method, but the bake time will be longer.

Makes 2 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Olive oil

2 small rainbow trout, cleaned and butterflied (opened up with the halves still attached), about 1 pound

1 lemon, sliced

4 fresh parsley or dill sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare Trout
  • Heat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Cut two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil that are larger than your fish.

    Place trout, skin side down, on each piece of foil. Lightly oil both sides with oil. Season both sides, inside and out, with salt and pepper.

    Place two parsley (or dill) sprigs and two lemon slices down the middle of each fish.

    Fold up the foil by grabbing at the edges and crimping together to make a packet.

    • Bake Trout
    • Place packets of fish onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one packet after 10 minutes. The flesh should pull apart easily with a fork.

      Place each packet on a plate. Carefully open the foil packets — take care not to let the steam burn you. Slide the fish away from the packet and onto the plate and pour juices over it. Serve with more fresh herbs and lemon slices.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • If you do not have heavy duty foil, use two sheets of regular foil to make each packet.
  • Parchment paper can be used instead of aluminum foil to make the cooking packet.
  • How to Make Grilled Trout: Follow the directions in the recipe above to make each packet. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place the packets over indirect heat. Grill 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 285 / Protein 32 g / Carbohydrate 1 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 16 g / Saturated Fat 4 g / Cholesterol 87 g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

More Seafood Recipes

Grilled Swordfish with Coriander and Lime
Grilled Swordfish Recipe with Coriander and Lime
Easy Garlic Caper Butter Baked Salmon
Garlic Caper Butter Baked Salmon
Garlic Butter Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Garlic Butter Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Subscribe Tour Inspired Taste's Kitchen

Take a look around where we create recipes and videos!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

68 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Sheldon August 9, 2022, 9:38 pm

    Excellence – Thank You.

  • Andrea August 3, 2022, 7:09 pm

    I just came across your video and it’s the only one I could find that described exactly what my fish looked like before cooking process. The other videos made me butcher and loose a LOT of meat. Now I’m left with half the meat of my trout. The next one I will be following these directions. Thank you!

  • Marlene & Tom Pantos June 17, 2022, 7:40 pm

    Great! The recipe and cooking time were perfect for our fresh Rainbow Trout. The filleting demonstration was helpful. From now on, we will always filet our trout using your method.

  • Paula Johnson May 20, 2022, 9:51 pm

    I am thankful to have found you. My trout is in the oven. You made it easy to prepare and I look forward to tasting it.

  • Roger Harrington April 22, 2022, 4:23 pm

    Just did three trout the way your video says and it was perfect. 15 minutes phones came out like you showed exactly. Put lemon onion salt pepper and some red onion with a little bit of granulated garlic. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you

  • Susan February 5, 2022, 6:41 am

    Loved this recipe, so simple, I had to cook a little longer, and have to work on the deboning but it was delicious and the trout tasted great. I like the natural taste and not using too many spices worked for me. Thanks.

  • Laura November 21, 2021, 7:12 pm

    Made it, came out great! My fish were still a bit frozen when I put them in the oven, so it was a bit longer than 20 minutes. But it was easy enough to check on them. Loved how easy it was to remove most of the bones!

  • Sandra June 24, 2021, 10:50 pm

    We made 3 good sized trout this way tonight. I stuffed the inside with lemon slices, a pat of butter, parsley, herbs de Provence, onion powder and garlic powder. It was done in 25 minutes. I will use this method again. Delicious!

  • Alexei June 6, 2021, 9:48 pm

    Took the fish out after 20mins, fish was still a little raw. Cook for 30 mins total to have delicious flaky fish

  • Robin Odom April 26, 2021, 4:57 pm

    Caught 3 large rainbows over the past 4 days and will fill you in on success after I’ve prepared and cooked according to your recipe

  • Paul Van Etten April 16, 2021, 4:09 pm

    Caught 4 rainbows early this morning. Going to fix two tonight with your receipe.

  • Edward April 11, 2021, 7:01 pm

    Awesome job. Your recommendation for filleting was spectacular!!! So soooo easy … Makes having trout very simple!!!! Thanks again

  • Olivier February 17, 2021, 7:50 pm

    great! but lemon and aluminium foil is a bad idea, the acidity will leach the aluminium into the food. you should correct the dish

    • Adam February 18, 2021, 2:07 pm

      In the article we say that you can use parchment paper instead of aluminium foil. To make it a bit more clear I just added this to the notes section of the recipe.

    • Terence August 14, 2021, 5:21 pm

      Put lemon on at the end . A good piece of trout doesn’t need much. A dry white wine,a small amount of good olive oil A pat of butter some herbes de Provence and some coarse salt and ofcourse a squirt of lemon at the end . You can also put some lemon zest on it as well.


Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: