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Easy Fish Mains

Baked Trout with Lemon and Herbs

A sure-to-impress one-dish recipe for perfectly baked trout with lemon and herbs — who says preparing fish at home has to be difficult?

Whenever I eat baked trout I feel as though I’m somehow instantly becoming a healthier and better person by proxy. This sensation is partly psychological, although there’s no denying the nutritional benefits that are to be gleaned from eating fatty fish. I live with someone who doesn’t eat fish so I limit these sessions of trout-induced superiority to evenings when I’m alone in the apartment.  This baked trout recipe is easy to assemble quickly when you’re hungry (and craving feelings of robust healthiness). From start to finish, the process takes less than 30 minutes. The trout’s pale coral flesh becomes buttery soft once baked in a hot oven for a very brief amount of time. The fruity sourness of the lemon and the heat of the crushed black pepper once again prove to be an effective marriage of flavours and the Dijon mustard binds the two together with unwavering certainty.

Close-up of a raw trout fillet beside a bunch of fresh parsley on a white background.

Tips for making this baked trout recipe:

  • For even baking, use a trout fillet with a uniform thickness throughout. You can also use two smaller, similarly-sized fillets in place of a large fillet.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a flavourful olive oil! Like other fatty fish (think salmon, tuna and sardines) trout is loaded with flavour—which means it can hold its own when it’s paired with an assertive olive oil.
  • Remove trout from the oven a minute or two before you think the fish is completely cooked through. This task becomes easier with experience, but the flesh should fall apart fairly easily in large-ish sections with a gentle prod from a fork. In other words, avoid baking the trout until it’s dry and flaky. With practice this step becomes intuitive, but in the meantime may I direct you to this handy chart for information on cooking fish.
  • Get creative with fresh herbs! I like to use parsley, oregano, basil, cilantro, and dill, either alone or in combination. Boost the pot by adding a pinch of dried herbs to the fresh.
A round white baking dish next to squeezed lemon halves that contains an uncooked fillet of baked trout in olive oil with herbs.

How to serve trout with lemon and herbs:

  • Baked trout is fairly rich on its own, so I like to serve it with something lighter, such as a scaled-back take on my Big Green Salad For a Crowd. If I need something more substantial or I have more time for prep, I make a version of this Roasted Golden Beet Salad with any root vegetables that might be lingering in the fridge or pantry.
  • This trout can be made a day in advance and served cold, either as part of a breakfast spread or a composed salad. Serve with plenty of lemon slices, capers, and a delicious homemade aioli.
Finished baked trout on a white plate with lemon wedges.
A round white baking dish that contains a fillet of baked trout in olive oil with herbs.

Baked Trout with Lemon and Herbs

Ashley Linkletter
An easy-to-make baked trout recipe that's equally as delicious on weeknights as it is for special celebratory meals.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large trout fillet skin on
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs of your choice (wash and remove stems first) chopped and loosely packed
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice and zest, fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper in a shallow baking dish.
  • Place trout fillet in the oil and herb mixture, spooning the marinade over the fish until covered.
  • Bake the trout, uncovered, until the flesh is just cooked enough for it to fall apart with the touch of a fork—about 10-14 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the trout just before it's completely cooked through, cover loosely with foil, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove trout from baking dish, drizzle with extra marinade, and serve hot.
Keyword baked trout, baked trout with lemon

 

Four Tet’s latest album “Sixteen Oceans” was released right before the quarantine began and boy, was I happy to have something so beautiful around during those first few months. “Baby” is the single, but I can’t recommend the entire album enough — it’s so breezy and playful. I saw Four Tet in Vancouver over a decade ago with my sister and we had such a blast dancing together, it’s truly impossible to imagine being in a packed music venue right now (or in the future). For now, at least, all dancing is limited to the living room. My other favourite tracks from this album are “School” and “Insect Near Piha Beach.”

Four Tet – Baby

By Ashley Linkletter

I'm a food writer living in Vancouver, BC.

2 replies on “Baked Trout with Lemon and Herbs”

Wow, this sounds delicious this morning which in my mind is the time to eat a trout. Brings me back to when i was a young lad when i was lucky enough to have been able to fish in a very small creek with native trout to catch starting before day break.
Gave up my fishing when all there was to catch was planted trout with their tale tale top fin cut off for ID purposes i guess. Seemed like a form of genocide.
That someone you live with needs to be taken into the woods er high mountain lake with nothing else to eat. Seem to work for my two young boys when i did that same thing when they refused to eat what was served at the table. Only i brought that vegetable receipt up to that mountain top. They ate it and to this day i think they are able to slow down and taste any food for what it has to offer.
Worked for me, your on your own.
Still amazes me how diversified your music is. Hard for me to find a way to break away from my stale old selection that i have been listening to for 30 years. Someday i will figure out how you do it.

Ashley, this looks great and I am glad you are making seafood easy to prepare for folks not used to cooking it. Simple is best!

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