Easy Baked Whole Trout with Garlic

Healthy baked whole trout recipe for the seafood lovers. Tender and tasty, our easy trout recipe goes well with salads, potatoes and all sorts of vegetables. Fresh vs frozen fish & how to buy fresh fish ideas included.


Trout was first introduced to Europeans from the USA. It’s a type of fish that is a pretty close relative to salmon, but it’s less oily. It is best if you can source organic trout as fish stocking densities are generally lower in comparison to non-organic farms. However, a store-bought version is also fine as most trout is farmed in freshwater (we almost never find fresh organic fish around here).  If you want to read more about sustainability check out Sea food watch’s website (here)



If you get your hands on freshly caught fish (from a fish market) there are a few ways you can tell if the fish is old / spoiling: 

  • Skin of fresh fish has natural metallic glow and does not look dull. Cracked skin or loose scales could be a sign that the fish is starting to go bad.
  • Eyes of the fish (the best sign I always use) should be shiny and clean. Sunken or clouded eyes could be a sign the fish is older.
  • Smell-y fish that has a strong, rather unpleasant odor might mean fish is starting to spoil. The smell of the fish is specific to the sea/river/farm it has been caught, but it’s mild and natural.


Most of the fish we get from local (super) markets has been previously frozen once caught (and then defrosted at the store and sold as fresh). In the case of farmed fisheries, fish gets frozen on the spot as most fish farms have freezers incorporated onto the farm site. There are a number of sources that say frozen fish is actually better than fresh (or defrosted at the store) – see here and here.

When it comes to choosing though, we also look at the price tag (important, right?). In general, we buy both frozen and fresh. A trick we use when buying fresh from the supermarket (that has been defrosted before displayed on the fish stand) is to go early in the morning – shortly after fish has been thawed. Then cook it when we get home. That way I feel like we skip the defrost-at-home period & get to cook it right away while preserving the nutrients and taste of fish.  


This fish goes incredibly well with all sorts of side meals. We often enjoy it with simple Honey Glazed Carrots and a salad (this spring feta cheese salad is amazing); alternatively i pair the trout with this simple herb infused New potatoes bake.

Easy Baked Whole Trout with Garlic

Crispy oven baked whole trout. The infusion of herbs and garlic, this easy fish recipe makes for a wonderful quick dinner meal. 
CourseMain Course
KeywordFish, Quick, Seafood, Trout
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 small rainbow trout (approx 1 pound / 400g), gutted (with or without head)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from one lemon, for marinate
  • 1 bunch Fresh rosemary, (approx. 1/2 cups rosemary leaves)
  • 1 tbsp all purpose seasoning , preferably organic
  • one lemon, for slicing


  • Wash fish under cold water, place on board of choice (we use plastic boards like this one for all meats). Remove head (if not removed), gills, tale and all the fish scales using a sharp knife. 
  • Wash rosemary under cold water, cut one lemon in thin circles and set aside. Place trout in non-stick pan and fill the inside of the fish with fresh rosemary and lemon slices. 
  • In a small bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice from the other lemon and minced garlic. Pour liquid mixture over the fish’s skin and distribute evenly. 
  • Cover with aluminum foil and place in fridge for 10 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven (I set mine at 180 C/360F). Place fish (with foil) in the oven and bake until almost ready (around 15-20 min in my oven). Then remove foil and return for 7-10 min in the oven to get a crispier feel (optional). 
  • Serve immediately or while still warm with salad or vegetable side.

Recipe Notes

We prefer our fish baked with skin on and whole without head, but as any other recipe this can be modified to preferences. For more on fresh vs frozen fish and how to recognize old fish – head above recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

Share on INSTAGRAM and tag it #shinelittlehouse. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you!

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