Easy 20 Minute Oven Baked Trout
How to cook trout in the oven. This oven baked trout is incredible easy to make. The baked fish is tender, juicy, and flavorful thanks to lemon and herbs. Jump to the Easy Oven Baked Trout Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how to make it.
Watch How To Cook Trout In The Oven
How to Make The Best Baked Whole Trout
Trout is one of my favorite fishes to cook at home. It cooks quickly, is easy to season, and the fish tastes sweet and is tender. You can buy trout as whole fish that have been gutted and cleaned (like in our photos) or as fillets. For this recipe, we’re using whole trout.
Baking whole trout in the oven is genius — especially when you do it in foil packets. With our easy trout recipe, dinner will be on the table in 20 minutes. You can’t beat that.
After sharing this recipe with friends, some were a little overwhelmed with cooking whole trout (with the skin, tail, and sometimes head still attached). If you’re thinking that, too, stop. I promise it’s all going to be okay 🙂
When it comes to shopping for trout, it’s easy to find trout that is already cleaned and butterflied. By butterflied I mean that the fish is opened up down the middle, but still has the halves attached.
Buying the trout butterflied allows us to add a few fresh ingredients to the middle. In our stuffed trout recipe below, we add lemon slices and lots of fresh herbs to the middle. You can also add 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 heavy duty foil. Parchment paper works, too.
How Long Does It Take To Bake Trout?
The bake 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 in our kitchen. If you have extra large fish or a steelhead trout, the bake time will be longer. 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 note for temperature and cook 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:
- Pull away all the fins. Since the fish is cooked, they come away easily.
- 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.
- Use the knife to follow the line down the middle of the trout (this follows the spine). Just cut up to the bone.
- 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.
- Pull the tail up and away the fish. By doing this the spine and bones will come away with it.
- 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
Easy 20 Minute Oven Baked Trout
Baking rainbow trout in foil packets helps the fish cook perfectly. While they bake, juices form at the bottom of the packet. This is delicious when spooned over the cooked trout when serving. Other ingredients to consider adding to the middle of the fish are thinly sliced garlic, onion, or greens (like spinach). If you have large fish or have steelhead trout (usually much larger than rainbow trout), you can still use our method, but the bake time will be longer.
You Will Need
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
- Bake Trout
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 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.
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.
- 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.