This moist, flaky, flavorful maple balsamic rainbow trout is a perfect weeknight meal, ready in 20 minutes. Just six ingredients. One of our top 3 most popular recipes – simple and delicious.
Rainbow trout is a freshwater river fish native to North America. It’s one of my go-to recipes for weeknights. I can have it on the table from start to finish – with sides – in about 20-30 minutes.
As oven baked trout recipes go, this rainbow trout recipe is quick and easy, super tasty and only has a few ingredients.
Clean up is also easy. Wrap up the tin foil or parchment paper from the pan that the trout lays on, toss it in the garbage and put the pan back in the cupboard. 🙂
And how does it taste? Good! The sweetness and depth of the maple and balsamic glaze work really well together. And the rainbow trout is mild and succulent. For me, one of the best quick meals of the week.
The only tricks to this recipe are to buy fresh trout fillets and figure out portion size.
What to serve with this trout recipe
I love to serve this rainbow trout fillet recipe with Cauliflower Rice with Pesto, Quinoa and Butternut Squash Salad, Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Baby Cauliflower, Grilled Corn Salad (which you can make with frozen niblets), Oven Roasted Vegetables Recipe or Savory Rice and Roasted Veggies.
For dessert, I’d go with super moist whole orange cake or a gluten-free orange polenta cake.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice and add some zest when serving.
- Substitute the maple syrup with honey.
- Vary the heat with as much sriracha (or red pepper flakes) as you like.
- See below for substitutes you can use for rainbow trout fillets.
Rainbow trout tips and information
What does rainbow trout taste like?
- Rainbow trout has a mild, delicate flavor. The pale orange-pink flesh is moist, soft and tender when cooked well.
How to buy trout
- Buy trout fillets that are as fresh as possible. Fresh trout should have a mild scent and moist flesh. I buy fillets (bones removed) as seen the the pictures.
- Wild trout is best. If you buy farm raised, the flesh should feel slippery and slimy. That’s a good thing. A sign of freshness
- There are several types of freshwater trout including rainbow trout. Saltwater trout like Arctic Char and Steelhead are typically farm raised.
What type of fish can I substitute for rainbow trout fillets in this recipe?
- Instead of trout, try different types of fish with this rainbow trout recipe like Arctic Char, Bluefish, Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Steelhead Trout, Salmon.
How much rainbow trout should I estimate per serving?
- Figure 1/2 pound, 8 ounces or 220g per person. This is more than the 3 oz./90g serving suggested by caterers which I find too small for an adult serving.
- My husband eats a lot, so I buy 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of fish for the two of us. This sounds like a lot, but we remove the skin which takes up considerable weight on trout.
- For “normal” eaters, I estimate 1 1/2 pounds for 3 people. Of course portion size will also depend how substantial your side dishes are.
Is rainbow trout healthy?
- Yes. Like salmon, rainbow trout is one of the most healthy fish to eat. It’s packed with protein, niacin, vitamin B12, and omega 3.
How long to cook trout fillets
- The general rule of thumb for fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Start checking a minute or two earlier. Peek in the center to check if it’s done. If the flesh is just turning opaque, it’s done. It should be moist and warm pink, not dry, pale and flaky.
How to make a complete trout meal in one pan
- Roast the trout in the same pan with bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus (cut the veggies into small pieces). Here’s our Roasted Bok Choy and Broccoli recipe that will work perfectly. Just heat the oven to 425F and roast for 8-10 minutes (depending on thickness) or just until the rainbow trout is opaque.
- The glaze/marinade can be made a couple of days ahead, but it’s best to cook the trout just before serving.
- Alternatively, make the rainbow trout recipe the day before. Cool it completely, refrigerate, then serve it cold the next day. Delish!
Other easy fish recipes you might like
- lemon herb baked trout
- Canadian maple cedar plank salmon
- baked fish fillets with cherry tomato sauce (20 minutes)
- coconut curry salmon
- crispy baked fish (20 minutes)
- salmon stuffed with lemon ricotta
- citrus maple glazed salmon
- easy maple glazed salmon recipe
How to make maple balsamic baked trout
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout
- 1.5 pounds (0.68kg) rainbow trout fillets (2 large or 3-4 smaller)
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Maple Balsamic Sauce/Glaze
- 1 1/2 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or more (optional) (or use a pinch of red pepper flakes)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- HEAT OVEN to 400F/204C. Line a baking sheet, large enough to fit the trout, with parchment or disposable foil, sprayed with cooking oil (for easy clean up).
- MAKE SAUCE/GLAZE: Whisk together all ingredients in a small glass measuring cup or bowl. If you want a slightly thicker glaze, whisk in the cornstarch and microwave sauce for 45-60 seconds. I do this. If you prefer a thin glaze, don't use the cornstarch.
- PREPARE TROUT FILLETS: Generously sprinkle trout with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chopped green onions over fish. Drizzle on enough glaze to cover the fish, about half the sauce/glaze, reserving the rest for serving. Place fish, skin side down, on pan.
- ROAST/BAKE TROUT: for 8-11 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Note 1. Remove from oven to a large flat dish and cut into portions. If you want to remove skin, slip a spatula between the bottom of the flesh and skin, then lift trout off. Drizzle on the remaining sauce and sprinkle parsley, green onions or other fresh herbs on maple balsamic trout if desired.
- How to tell of trout is cooked: The general rule of thumb for fish is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Start checking a minute or two earlier. Peek in the center. If the flesh is just turning opaque, it's done. It should be moist and warm pink, not dry, pale and flaky.
- Make Ahead:
- The glaze/marinade can be made a couple of days ahead, but it's best to cook the trout just before serving.
- Alternatively, make the trout the day before. Cool it completely, refrigerate, then serve it cold the next day. Delish!