Easy Oven Baked Trout

Learn how to cook trout in the oven so it is flaky, moist, and flavorful. This incredible baked trout recipe is easy and works for rainbow trout but can easily be adapted for larger varieties like steelhead.

Baked Trout Recipe Video

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, the fish stays super moist and dinner will be on the table in about 20 minutes. You can’t beat that. This truly is one of my favorite trout recipes!

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

Perfect Baked Trout on serving plate

Key Ingredients

  • Trout: 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. Look for cleaned and butterflied whole trout. By butterflied, I mean that the fish is slit down the middle but still has the halves attached. I’ve used rainbow trout in our photos, but this recipe works well for larger, saltwater varieties like arctic char, steelhead trout, and even salmon. Check my tips in the recipe for adjusting cooking time.
  • Lemon and Fresh Herbs: Since we use butterflied trout, we can sneak a few aromatics into the middle to infuse the fish while it bakes. I love lemon slices and a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or dill. Thinly sliced garlic or onion are also lovely.
  • Seasoning: I use olive oil, salt, and pepper to season my trout, but you can always use your favorite seafood seasonings instead. I’ve also made a Cajun spiced trout before and loved it. Try my Cajun seasoning if that sounds like something you’d enjoy.

How to Bake Whole Trout to Perfection

Freshwater trout, like rainbow trout, is my favorite fish to cook at home. Thanks to our simple cooking method, it cooks quickly, and the fish turns out to be incredibly tender and succulent.

We will bake our trout in packets. I used foil to make my packet in the photos, but parchment paper is a great option, too. I place my trout down onto the foil, lightly drizzle with oil, and then season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper (remember, you can use your favorite seafood seasoning instead).

Then, I stuff the trout with lemon slices and fresh herbs. Sliced onions are lovely, too! Finally, I fold up the sides of the packet to secure it and bake the trout in the oven until the flesh flakes easily with a fork.

The cooking time for your trout will vary depending on how large the fish is and the variety of fish you are baking. A small trout, like the one pictured in our photos, takes about 15 minutes in a 400°F oven. You can serve the fish as-is in the packets or remove them and remove the fillets from the bones. I love serving it next to a simple salad with my favorite balsamic vinaigrette or a dollop of homemade tartar sauce.

How to Debone Trout

Watch our video to see me debone our cooked trout. I’ve also shared my tips below for filleting cooked trout, which I find 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.
Oven Baked Trout

Easy Oven Baked Trout

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This is the best way to cook trout! I love baking whole trout in packets in the oven (see tips for doing this on the grill). The fish turns out succulent and flavorful. While the trout bakes, 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

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

Olive oil

1 lemon, sliced

Fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, tarragon, and thyme

Salt

Fresh ground black pepper

Directions

    1Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Cut two sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil larger than your fish, or use parchment paper.

    2Place the trout, skin side down, on each piece of foil. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, then season both sides, inside and out, with salt and pepper.

    3Place two parsley (or dill) sprigs and two lemon slices down the middle of each fish.

    4Fold the foil by grabbing at the edges and crimping it together to make a packet.

    5Place the packets of fish onto the baking sheet.

    6Bake, checking one packet after 10 minutes. Depending on the size of your fish, it will take 15 to 25 minutes. When ready to come out of the oven, the flesh will be opaque and flake easily with a fork.

    7Place each packet on a plate. Carefully open the foil packets, taking care not to let the steam burn you.

    8Slide the fish away from the packet and onto the plate, pouring the juices over it. Serve with more fresh herbs and lemon slices.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Parchment paper: If you do not have heavy-duty foil, use two sheets of regular foil to make each packet.
  • How to make grilled trout: Follow the directions in the recipe above to make each packet. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Place the packets over indirect heat. Grill for 10 minutes, check one packet for doneness, and then continue to cook until it is cooked through.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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
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88 comments… Leave a Review
  • Sharon Card May 11, 2024, 1:58 pm

    This was so easy and delicious! Makes so much sense to clean it after cooked.

    Reply
  • Lara M May 7, 2024, 8:48 pm

    My fresh fish turned out perfectly! The cooking toime was perfect.

    Reply
  • Sharon Jones April 29, 2024, 9:32 pm

    Great snd easy recipe! Soo yummy.Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne April 30, 2024, 12:47 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Sharon. Thank you for coming back.

      Reply
  • Sara February 17, 2024, 6:44 pm

    If only all YouTube channel owners would present material as clearly and simply as this one, what a bonus that would be! My trout took quite a bit longer to bake in the oven than the suggested 10 to 20 minutes but that’s OK. Everything else was straightforward and easy!

    Reply
  • Tommy January 11, 2024, 9:59 am

    The trout is AMAZING i have been reccomended this for so long and i finnaly tried it and it was the best fish i have ever had i extremely reccomend this recipie if you are going to cook rainbow trout!

    Reply
  • Ryan December 19, 2023, 7:34 pm

    Use this everytime

    Reply
  • Diane November 27, 2023, 11:54 am

    Got some fresh trout from a friend. Chose this recipe. 15 minutes wasn’t quite enough.Tastes great!

    Reply
    • Joanne June 7, 2024, 4:51 pm

      Hi Diane, So happy you enjoyed the recipe. I’ve added additional tips for cooking time in the recipe since other readers have said the same thing. Thank you for coming back!

      Reply
  • Christopher October 20, 2023, 5:51 pm

    I caught my first fish and am now using this delicious recipe. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Adam October 21, 2023, 10:09 am

      Congratulations! So glad you enjoy the recipe 🙂

      Reply
  • Mary Warden October 3, 2023, 7:38 pm

    BAKING IT TONIGHT.

    Reply
  • Beth May 11, 2023, 1:55 am

    This was so simple and delicious. It came out very tender. Couldn’t be easier. I did have to flip mine but that’s because it was in a toaster oven. It also took closer to 20 minutes for me fyi.

    Reply
    • Adam September 18, 2023, 6:08 pm

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

      Reply

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