A four ingredient oven baked trout recipe that is bound to be come your new go to fish recipe. Ready in under 30 minutes with minimal work required. Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Whole30, Keto and Low Carb.
Does cooking whole fish intimidate you? It used to intimidate me, and so I steered clear and only bought filleted fish. That has finally had to chance. I needed to venture out and dig deep into the world of cooking whole fish, and I’m never going to look back.
There’s nothing scary about preparing whole fish and in this post you’ll see how easy it is to make a whole trout recipe. When you cook a whole fish the flavor is preserved better since there is more fat and bones to keep that flavor in while you are cooking, and there’s always the skin to enjoy too!
While traveling in Asia last year D and I learned that many culture eat the skin and the bones for calcium. Since they do not drink dairy products a great source of calcium for them is fish and seafood skin and shells.
By shells I mean shrimp shell. Yep, I tell ya, we were seated at a Vietnamese dinner party, invited by our four day motorcycle tour guides to dine with their families and there we were, the only two people at the table peeling the shrimp. All around us we heard the squeak of those tough outer shrimp shells crushed between two sets of teeth and we couldn’t help but be bewildered.
For the extra calcium we were told. To be polite and not make ourselves look completely wasteful we tried to join in. Not for me though. It’s settled, I prefer my shrimp shelled, if not when cooking then definitely when eating.
Fish skin I have a higher tolerance for normally and don’t mind it as much, and especially if it has been broiled and therefore is lightly crispy, then it’s really quite good.
In the case of this oven baked trout, the baked trout skin is the bomb. Like out of this world. So crispy and crunchy, you definitely will not be discarding the fish skin on this whole baked trout.
Overall this is one of my favorite whole trout recipes and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. I find something magical in general about making whole fish and I feel like the presentation always makes a bold impression on dinner guests, yet it an incredibly easy way to prepare fish.
Trout is a mild and tender flaky fish that simply shines with minimal ingredients and never needs a strong overpowering sauce. Just a squeeze of lemon juice for acidity will do the trick!
Why my oven baked trout recipe is the best:
- easy 4 ingredient recipe
- ready in under 30 minutes
- healthy high protein low carb dinner
- Tender flaky fish with a crisped up crunchy skin makes for the perfect texture combination
- Works for different types of diets – gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, Whole30, keto
How to make my oven baked trout:
Start by purchasing whole trout from your local grocery store. Make sure to ask them to scale and gut the fish for you. They will do this free of charge.
You can also ask them to cut the head off, but this is entirely up to you. The whole trout can be baked with the head on or off. You can also freeze the head for making super flavorful fish stock later on.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Rinse off the fish to get any remaining scales off and pat it dry. If you’re using frozen fish, make sure it is completely defrosted.
With a knife make a few diagonal cuts on both sides of the body of the trout. Season the fish inside and along the cuts with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Place garlic slices into the cuts you made on the sides of the fish and place thinly sliced lemon slices into the cavity of the fish as well as on top. Give the fish a splash of dry white wine as a finishing touch.
Place fish on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Flip the fish over and broil for the last 5 minutes until the skin is crispy. Serve with drizzle of high quality olive oil and squeeze of lemon.
- Make sure to ask your fish monger to scale and gut the fish – you do not want to be doing this at home if you don’t have to
- If using frozen fish make sure it is completely defrosted
- Using a high quality olive oil will bring out the flavors more
- Don’t use any strong sauces as this will overpower the delicate taste of the fish
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of high quality olive oil
Is rainbow trout healthy?
- You bet! Rainbow trout is high in protein – with 19 grams in a 3 ounce serving. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids, with a great ratio of omega 3 to omega 6. It also is high in potassium, phosphorus rich, selenium, and an excellent source of the B vitamin complex. Most importantly whole rainbow trout is low in mercury and other contaminants. (source)
- In summary, this is a super healthy fish that you need to incorporate more of into your diet
You can find whole rainbow trout at your local supermarket. I can always find it at Whole Foods and you can ask the fish monger to scale, gut and dehead the fish for you. Trust me you don’t want to be doing this dirty work yourself at home without the proper tools or protective wear.
What does rainbow trout taste like?
- Rainbow trout meat is mild with a delicate flavor and tender flaky flesh.
- While trout has been compared to salmon, it has a milder less intense flavor.
- This is a good fish to introduce to someone who is wary on fish but interested in trying a mild fish
Do you need to debone the fish?
- There is no need to debone the trout before cooking. Once cooked it will be easy to cut the fish in half and remove the main bone line.
What temp should trout be cooked to?
- The safe internal temperature for cooked fish is 145 degrees, so if you are worried the fish is not cooked through please check with a food thermometer. Once cooked the fish meat will flake easily.
Do you leave skin on trout?
- Yes! There is no need to remove the skin. By baking and then broiling the skin for the last few minutes it becomes super crispy and delicious. The skin is edible and high in nutrients.
Is trout keto friendly?
Yes, with only 2 grams of carbs per serving, which is half the fish, trout is super low carb and keto friendly.
What to serve with this oven baked whole trout?
Looking for other fish recipes?
- Broiled Trout
- Seared Chilean Sea Bass Recipe over Spinach with Asian Sauce
- Roasted Branzino with Lemon Paprika
Let me know what you think of my rainbow trout recipe in the comments below, and please don’t hesitate to share your favorite rainbow trout recipes too!
- 2 whole trout cleaned, gutted and heads cut off
- 1 lemon cut into thin slices
- splash of dry white wine optional
- 1 large clove garlic thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife make diagonal cuts across the top of the fish, three or four of them on both sides.
Rub salt, pepper and olive oil on both sides of the fish and inside. Place lemon slices side by side instead the fish.
Place garlic slices into the cuts made on top of the fish. Top with lemon slices and a splash of white wine (optional).
Bake for 20 minutes. Turn over to broil and broil for 5-10 minutes until skin is crispy.
Yeah, no shrimp skins for me either. We ordered some with hot pot the other night…and it took forever to clean my hands, but uh-uh. I love fish in white wine. This sounds like a winner to me!
This was really good!!!!! Made it tonight.
Yay so glad you liked it! So simple right?!
Tanya Walker says
Yes, and I had all ingredients in the house! Very doable.
Tried the recipe, but the fish didn’t cook (still pink on the inside), and stuck to the baking pan.
Sorry to hear that Jason! If your trout was bigger than mine it could need longer in the oven, and adding a bit of olive oil to the baking pan will help prevent it from sticking next time.
Found the recipe on Pinterest. Made it tonight (minus the wine) and it was deelicious! I enjoy recipes with a few simple ingredients that I tend to have on hand. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
So happy to hear that Jan! Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know what you thought of my recipe : ))