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Apr 14, 2016

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño

This Baked Whole Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño is so moist, succulent, and flavorful. It is also amazingly easy to make.

When I was growing up, our family used to take summer vacations at Lake Tahoe, usually renting a house on the lake. One memory that stands out for me is my dad taking us kids fishing at a Lake Tahoe trout farm (possibly this one). We weren't a camping family by any stretch of the imagination, so this was my first experience with fishing. We barbecued the fish that we caught, and it was amazing.

Trout was actually the first fish (besides fish sticks, which I hated) I was willing to try, probably because I caught it myself.

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño

It's been a long time since I've had trout, and I'm not sure why, because it is one of the most flavorful fish dishes, and is relatively inexpensive. As an oily fish, it also stays very moist.

This fish would be perfect for an amazing elegant dinner for four. You can assemble them earlier in the day, and then bake them about 20 minutes before serving. You can always cut off the heads if you're worried about freaking out your guests. Mr. Kitchen was a little squeamish at first, but he luuurved this trout.

This month, the Fish Friday Foodies are making whole fish, a theme chosen by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I want to thank her for encouraging me to flex some new cooking muscles by making whole fish, head and all! This was the first time I've ever prepared whole fish, and I'm hooked (no pun intended). After the recipe, check out what the rest of the Fish Friday group created using the Whole Fish theme (including Camilla's octopus!).

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño

Baked Whole Rainbow Trout with Shallots, Herbs, and Jalapeño Recipe

Serves two


2 very fresh whole rainbow trout (about 8 to 10 ounces each) cleaned and butterflied (ask your fishmonger) with the head and tail left on
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried dill weed (or 2 tablespoons fresh dill weed)
1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 to 18 thin lemon slices (depending on the size of the lemon)
4 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with a rack placed in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the trout on the paper. 
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the shallot, parsley, dill, thyme, and jalapeño. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  3. Open up the butterflied trout and spread half of the shallot/herb/jalapeño mixture onto one half of each trout, and lay lemon slices in a single layer over the herb mixture. Fold the trout closed. 
  4. Lay more lemon slices over the top of the fish in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil.
  5. Bake the trout for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Turn on the broiler, and broil the fish until the fish and lemons are slightly charred. The fish should flake easily when it is done. 
  6. Serve immediately. If your guests are squeamish, cut off the head before serving. 
Inspired by The View from Great Island adapted from Eat Drink Paleo

Would you like to comment?

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Citrus always works so well!

  2. Rainbow trout is one of my favorites. Don't you just love food memories? They are the best!

    1. Even if they are a bit faded. It's hard to tell what is real and imagined =)

  3. This looks fabulous...and I love that trout was the first fish you were willing to try. Thanks for joining us this month, Karen.

  4. I love trout and this looks so good. I remember fishing for trout in our creek when I was growing up and then being too squeamish (am still too squeamish) to kill them. But I was a whiz at cleaning and filleting them, along with eating fresh caught trout.

    1. Don't even ask me about how long it took me to kill a lobster. =)

  5. A little bit similar to mine this month except I used tons of fresh herbs with lemon. It's nice to see similar things done different ways! Love the idea of using jalapeno! Spicy sounds great!

  6. This is a recipe to try…just look at those gorgeous lemons! They make you want to grab a fork and dive right in, as you cover your eyes and ignore the sight of those fish eyes of course!

  7. I just love that you gave these trout a little bit of a kick with the jalapeño! They are gorgeous and I know they were delicious. P~

  8. Karen I sped over to your blog right after Camilla's octopus as I wanted to see what the Rainbow trout looked like (Rainbow being one of my little girl's fave things :D ). Lovely recipe and I actually thought the lemons were slices of sweet lime. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your childhood. Loved reading your post and your recipe too. Sure looks yummy!

  9. Gorgeous looking fish, love the citrus on the fish..delicious.


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