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

20 Minute Oven Baked Trout Recipe

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.

Baked Trout on serving plate

Baking whole trout in the oven is genius — especially when you do it in foil packets. (Parchment paper can be used instead of aluminum foil to make the cooking packet) 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 in the Oven?

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:

  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

Easy 20 Minute Oven Baked Trout

  • PREP
  • COOK

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.

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 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.

    • 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

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!

61 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Valerie Six December 7, 2020, 7:56 pm

    DELISH! I’ve cooked this now so many times and it’s always perfect 👌! Thank you!

  • Trez Condon-Yost October 8, 2020, 7:53 pm

    your directions were so easy to follow. My doctor tells me now I cannot have meat or eggs so was really at a loss. Thanks for making this so easy

  • Paul September 14, 2020, 4:51 pm

    Good Stuff.. My Grandfather use to cook trout like this after a day on the lake.. Would set the packs around the fire pit.. Foil, butter salt & pepper, He would also steam cabbage in foil with butter salt, pepper and Worcestershire… Off the planet good..

  • Kelsey August 31, 2020, 2:56 am

    This is the best way I’ve cooked trout. And I live in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. I had to cook it a bit longer than 20 min (probably my oven, it’s old) and I added lemon zest to the inside. Wonderful, thanks for sharing!

  • Marilyn Burch August 26, 2020, 8:44 pm

    I like how you show every step of a recipe!

  • Dale July 31, 2020, 3:30 pm

    I missed the temperature you recommend to bake the trout.

    • Adam February 18, 2021, 2:07 pm

      The temperature can be found in the full recipe above with lots more tips.

  • Jill Killian April 24, 2020, 6:10 pm

    AMAZING! Fun, easy, and delicious! You both gave a nice simple way to handle the fish, as well as taking the fear of deboning. Thank you.

  • Emilee Quirion April 7, 2020, 2:53 pm

    Thanks for that very helpful tutorial video on removing the bone!

  • Bruce Harris April 5, 2020, 5:19 pm

    Easy and delicious–the best kind of recipe I look forward to receiving more. Thanks

  • Marla Van Meter March 27, 2020, 4:00 pm

    Now that our country (Israel) is on lockdown because of the corona virus, I finally have time to cook and try all kinds of nice recipes. This one of yours for trout is absolutely fabulous. I ESPECIALLY APPRECIATED YOUR WONDERFUL VIDEO ON HOW TO DE-BONE THE TROUT. It worked perfectly! You make a good team, easy to watch and follow along.I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
    Thank you! As we say here in Israel these days (in Hebrew, though): Stay Alive, Stay Inside! Marla

  • Mona Benjamin February 7, 2020, 7:47 pm

    Was so delighted to find this recipe and method. I cook my trout in pretty much the same way but never had the confidence to serve it to guests because I’ve never known how to “carve” it for the table. This is the easiest, most idiot-proof method ever and I love it and shall use it always. Thank you so much!

  • James December 10, 2019, 12:44 pm

    Can you use bottle lemon Juice in place of lemon slices

    • Adam February 18, 2021, 2:08 pm

      Yes, you can use bottle lemon juice but the flavor will be very different to fresh lemon.

  • AllergicToOutside September 27, 2019, 3:23 pm

    I don’t like the taste of lemon in foods. Does cooking it with lemon give it a lemony flavor, or just enhance the fish flavor?

    • Joanne September 27, 2019, 6:18 pm

      You will taste some lemon. You can leave it out if you prefer.

  • Mags September 6, 2019, 11:20 am

    Made the trout was lovely first whole fish for us to

  • John Paul Cecil July 20, 2019, 8:49 am

    Made this today having never cooked whole fish before. It was fantastic and the trout was really easy to bone following your technique. Will definitely cook this again!


Leave a Comment/Review

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: