Perfect Baked Trout Recipe
How To Clean Fresh-Caught Trout - How To Bake Rainbow Trout

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My husband came home from his fishing trip today with three (3) large Rainbow Trout. These were large 12-ounce (without the heads) trout. Too big to make Pan-Fried Trout, so I decided to oven bake them instead. Actually I was glad because when my husband fries trout in the kitchen, he makes such a mess! These baked trout were so good that my husband said we should always cook trout this way. Bingo!

More delicious Trout Recipes and also How To Select, Buy, and Cook Fish.

Baked Rainbow Trout

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Oven-Baked Rainbow Trout Recipe:

Recipe Type: Trout, Fish, Wine
Yields: 2 to 3 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min


2 to 3 whole Rainbow Trout, cleaned (head can be off), gills removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Thinly-sliced lemons
1 cup pinot noir wine*

* Use any light red or white wine of your choice. As the trout meat is very delicate, you need to use a light wine that won't overbear the trout. My husband and I grown pinot noir grapes and make wine, so this was our choice.


My husband cleaned the trout just after he caught them by gutting them, cutting off the gills, and most importantly, scraping off the blood line off the backbone. I also want the head cut off!

How To Clean Fresh-Caught Trout:

Cleaned Trout

First you need to cut the head off just before the Pectoral fin (this fin can be nipped off or left on). This is an optional step, as some people want the head left on when cooking.

Hold fish with belly facing up. Using your fillet knife, cut from the anal hole forward towards where the head was or still is.

After pulling out the entrails, take an old tooth brush and clean the blood vein that runs along the spine. If that is not cleaned out it, will effect the taste.

Rinse the trout thoroughly (inside and out) and prepare to cook as you wish.

NOTE: If you like to eat the fish skin, make sure you remove all the fish scales before cooking. With the trout held firmly by the tail, scrape very firmly from the tail to the gills several times on both sides with a sharp knife. I, personally, like to have my trout scaled before cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

When ready to cook, rinse the cleaned trout under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Drying will prevent the fish from steaming when you cook it. Cut a few diagonal slashes along each side of the fish.

trout in wine

trout ready to bake

Place a large piece of aluminum foil in a large baking dish. Brush the foil with some olive oil. Place some of the lemon slices on the bottom of the baking dish.

In the cavity of each Rainbow Trout, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and add some lemon slices. Lay the prepared trout on top of the lemon slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Lightly rub the top of the trout with some olive oil. Place additional lemon slices on top of the trout. Pour the wine around the trout. Bring the aluminum foil up and tightly around the baking dish.

Bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes (depending on the size of your fresh trout). To test for doneness when cooking the trout, insert a fork at the thickest point of the fish. Perfectly cooked fish is nearly opaque, should be very moist, and will flake easily with a fork. Fish that looks slightly dry is overcooked. Undercooked fish will look translucent and raw. If you have a digital meat thermometer, the internal temperature in the center of the fillet should reach 140ºF.

This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.

When done, remove from oven, remove from the aluminum foil, and serve on individual serving plates.

baked trout

Makes 2 to 3 servings.


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