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Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout

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. 

Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout

As oven baked fish recipes go, this one is quick and easy, super tasty and only has a few ingredients. 

Clean up is also easy. Wrap up the tin foil or parchment 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 flavors work really well together. And the trout is mild and succulent. The only tricks to this recipe are to buy fresh trout fillets and figure out portion size.

I love to serve this rainbow trout recipe with Cauliflower Rice with Pesto, Quinoa and Butternut Squash Salad, Parmesan Roasted CauliflowerGrilled Corn Salad (which you can make with frozen niblets) or Savory Rice and Roasted Veggies.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Use lime instead of lemon and add some lime or lemon zest when serving.
  • Substitute the maple syrup with honey.
  • Vary the heat with as much sriracha (or chili 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 that is 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 fish can I substitute for rainbow trout fillets in this recipe?

  • Try fillets of 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 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.

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 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

How to make maple balsamic baked trout

 
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout
Sprinkle trout fillets with salt, pepper, green onions
Maple Balsamic sauce
Make the glaze
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout
Spoon on glaze
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout
Bake trout for 9-11 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
piece of Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout on plate with parsley
Slip spatula between skin and flesh of trout to lift and transfer to a plate.
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout on plate with roasted cauliflower F
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4.49 from 100 votes

Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout

This moist, flaky, flavorful maple balsamic rainbow trout is a perfect weeknight meal, ready in 20 minutes. Just six ingredients. Simple and delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 (or 4 smaller portions)
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb rainbow trout fillets (2 large or 3-4 smaller)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Maple Balsamic Sauce/Glaze

  • 1 1/2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha or more (optional)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • 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: Line a pan, large enough to fit the trout, with parchment or tin foil sprayed with oil. Generously sprinkle trout with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chopped green onions over fish. Drizzle on half the sauce/glaze, reserving the rest for serving.
  • ROAST/BAKE TROUT: for 8-11 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Note 1. Remove from oven 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 garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
 
This recipe, originally published in 2016, has been updated to increase the amount of sauce  and thicken the glaze so that it stays on the fish better. Original Sauce/Glaze (from 2016): 1 tablespoon each: good balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon sriracha; 2 teaspoons oil. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Maple Balsamic Rainbow Trout
Amount Per Serving
Calories 335 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 134mg45%
Sodium 94mg4%
Potassium 1150mg33%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 47g94%
Vitamin A 445IU9%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 172mg17%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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12 Comments

  1. We are so eager to make this, but have a question: The cauliflower look like a great accompaniment? Is there are recipe for that as well?

  2. 5 stars
    Today was the first day of Trout Season, I caught my limit of 5, so tonight was fresh trout dinner. We were tired of the way we always cooked it, so tonight we looked for a new recipe. This was the recipe we found. It was the best trout we ever had, easy to make and it came out great. We used a maple balsamic vinegar and truffle infused olive oil plus the maple syrup and the lemon.

    Try it, you’ll love it!

    1. Lucky you John – freshly caught trout! I’m honored you chose our recipe and liked it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    2. Hey John, glad you were succesful fishing today!! I too decided to look for a new recipe, for my own fresh caught trout today, and its ready to go in to the oven…. can’t wait..Im using Speckled trout… what did you catch today?

  3. 4 stars
    I made this fir my large family and loved it! However I think the sauce in the double batch wasn’t very thick so I will make it again and add a tablespoon of corn starch for a single batch and 2 tablespoons for a double , I have never made fish with the skin on and was a bit sceptical of it but was pleased it turned out ! I will make it again and experiment with it a bit . Thanks

    1. Glad it worked out well Tami. Thickness of the sauce is a personal preference and it sounds like you’ve found the right formula for you and your family.

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