Baked Whole Rainbow Trout

Simple instructions for how to cook whole rainbow trout in the oven wrapped in paper using the en papillote method.

A cooked whole trout on a sheet of parchment paper.

Rainbow trout is one of my favourite fish to cook and it is great baking a whole trout in the oven. This recipe is very simple, with very few steps. The result is a fish that is moist and full of flavour! I typically bake two whole fish at a time and it is enough to feed a large family.

Baked fish with lemon and dill.

What Is ‘En Papillote’?

This recipe bakes the whole rainbow trout in the oven. The fish is in a parcel of parchment paper which is a method of cooking called en papillote. Using parchment paper to create a sealed pouch for baking fish, vegetables and more is simple and will result in a finished dish that is extremely moist because it is almost steam baked. I love using en papillote for baking fish and it results in a delicious baked whole rainbow trout.

Two whole fish cleaned and laying on a plate.

How To Get Whole Rainbow Trout

Many supermarkets sell whole rainbow trout and the great thing is that they come already prepped, cleaned and ready to go in the oven. The fish in the picture above is exactly how I purchased them at my local grocery store. Specialty fish markets will have far more selection and options in what is available.

This recipe will also work with fresh caught rainbow trout. The fish just needs to be scaled and gutted with all the insides removed. I have some friends who fish and will scale and gut the fish they catch. This is a simple recipe for cooking fresh caught fish.

Fresh dill and sliced lemons placed in a cleaned fish.

Lemon, Dill, Salt And Pepper

All of the ingredients to season the baked rainbow trout are added to the hollowed out centre of the fish. First, rub the oil all over the inside of the trout. Next, sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the interior. Finally, place the sliced lemons and a handful of the fresh dill inside.

A prepared fish on a sheet of parchment paper.

What Kind Of Paper To Use?

Cooking this fish with the en papillote method requires some parchment parchment paper. You can purchase special pre-made pouches designed for this very purpose. But, I like the use plain parchment paper and then use the length of paper I need for the size of the fish.

Paper being folded over a fish.

How To Wrap Fish In Paper

Place the seasoned rainbow trout in the middle of the piece of parchment paper. Lift up the sides of the paper and bringing them together. Fold the sides of the paper together, rolling it down to the fish. Then, fold the ends of the paper underneath the fish so that the rainbow trout is completely sealed in the paper. Repeat these steps with the second fish.

Two fish wrapped in paper and lying on a baking sheet.

How Long To Bake Rainbow Trout

Place the wrapped trout on a baking sheet and place the in a 400F oven. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish is 145F.

Baked fish with lemon and dill.

Once the fish has finished baking, take them out of the oven and unwrap the paper. The baked whole rainbow trout will be perfectly cooked and you will see the lemon and dill on the inside which will really enhance the flavour of the fish.

A baked fish with skin pulled back.

Remove The Skin

The easiest way to get at the fish meat is to peel back the skin. Then, carefully lift the meat away, watching for fish bones. The meat from the trout will be moist and extremely flaky which is part of what makes this dish taste so good.

Piece of fish on a plate with roasted vegetables.

Serve the rainbow trout right away because it is so moist and perfectly warm. I like to serve it with roasted vegetables. It is also great with risotto.

More Trout Recipes

  • Pan Seared Rainbow Trout – Using a different method to cook the trout, this pan seared fish tastes so amazing and is a little crispy on the outside while still being moist in the middle.
  • Smoked Rainbow Trout in a Wet Brine – Smoking a rainbow trout is similar to smoked salmon and it is delicious with this wet brine.
  • Cedar Plank Grilled Trout – Using a plank of cedar is common for grilling salmon, but it is also amazing for rainbow trout.
  • Smoked Steelhead Trout – Often mistaken for salmon, the steelhead trout is one of the larger fish in the trout/salmon family. It is great for smoking.

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout

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Simple instructions for how to bake a rainbow trout in the oven with lemon and dill. The trout is wrapped in parchment paper while being baked. A method called en papillote.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 whole rainbow trout (approx 1.5 to 2 pounds each) , cleaned and prepared
  • 1 lemon , sliced
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Rub the oil all over the inside of the fish and season with salt and pepper. Place the bunch of dill and the lemon slices on the inside of the trout.
  • Wrap with parchment paper, ensuring it is tight and the edges of the paper are rolled and the ends are folded under the fish. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the fish reads 145F.
  • Serve.


Per serving:

Calories: 469kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 70gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 687mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2g

Nutrition Disclaimer


A cooked whole trout on a sheet of parchment paper.

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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