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Home » Main Dish » Seafood » Whole Baked Stuffed Trout Recipe with Easy Stuffing

Whole Baked Stuffed Trout Recipe with Easy Stuffing

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Our stuffed trout recipe makes a stunning and sophisticated main course and beautiful centerpiece for any dinner table! The whole fish are stuffed with sautéed leeks, red peppers, garlic, fresh dill and capers, then baked until perfection and topped with more fresh lemon and dill. It’s an elegant dish that tastes as impressive as it looks!

Two baked stuffed trout on a platter with lemon wedges and fresh dill.

There are so many ways to enjoy fresh fish and this recipe is a must-try! It has a slightly different flavor profile than our Rainbow Trout Recipe and our Trout Amandine Recipe, but we know you’ll love it just as much. 

Why This Recipe Works

If you feel intimidated by the idea of preparing stuffed rainbow trout, this is the recipe for you.

We’re sharing all of our tips and tricks– from how to create the best filling to how to prepare the fish and stuff it– to ensure the end result is dinner perfection. 

Here’s why you’ll love this dish:

  • It’s a sophisticated fish recipe and a fun change-up from the ordinary!
  • The fish cooks in the oven rather quickly, so there’s no long dinner prep required.
  • This dish pairs perfectly with a variety of sides, whether it’s a salad, soup or roasted vegetables.
  • It’s a healthy recipe packed with protein, fresh vegetables, and herbs! There are no bread crumbs needed, which means this simple recipe is also low carb and gluten free.

Ingredients Needed

Here’s a look at the main ingredients you will need to make it (check out our printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for the full list and ingredient amounts!):

  • Trout. You will need two trouts for this recipe. Make sure the whole fish is gutted. 
  • Seasonings. ​Salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika are the simple spice cabinet seasonings you need.
  • Lemons. ​For a bright and tangy flavor that always pairs so well with fish!
  • Vegetables. Red bell pepper, leek, garlic and briny capers come together to create a savory filling. 
  • Fresh dill. Dill gives this dish a deliciously fresh and subtle grassy flavor that is herbaceous and yummy.
  • Garnishes. Lemon wedges and dill sprigs make a pretty garnish.
Two fresh rainbow trout on butcher's paper.
Ingredients for the trout stuffing.

A Simple Stuffed Trout Recipe

Here’s a look at the steps. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view our printable recipe card with all of the details and recipe notes. 

Prepare the Fish

The first thing to do is prep the fish. Use kitchen shears to clip the fins. Rinse the inside of the fish with cold tap water, removing any residual guts. Pat the inside of each fish with a paper towel and brush it with olive oil. 

​Mix together the seasonings in a small dish and sprinkle the inside of each. Set it aside. 

#1, scissors removing the fins from a trout. #2, Stuffing mixture in a skillet. #3 Sauteed stuffing mixture. #4 Adding herbs, lemon, seasoning and capers to the sauteed vegetables. #5 Spooning the stuffing into a trout. #6, Brushing oil on the stuffed fish.

Make the Stuffing

Slice the ends off the lemons and stand it upright. Remove the rind and pith, slicing from the top to bottom. Slice between the lemon sections to remove lemon pulp. Chop the pulp finely and set it in a small dish. 

Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the bell pepper, sliced leek, garlic and the rest of the seasonings. Sauté the vegetables for about 3 minutes, stirring until lightly softened. 

Remove the skillet from the heat and mix in the chopped dill, capers and lemon. Stir to fully combine, then let it cool to room temperature. 

Stuff the Rainbow Trout

Place the fish on its spine and hold it open. Spoon half of the filling into the cavity, spreading the mixture evenly from head to tail. When both are stuffed, place them on a baking sheet, open up each, and add the dill sprigs. 

Brush the remaining oil over the top of the fish and sprinkle with a little bit of course salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes at 400°F. When done, transfer to a serving platter and let them rest for 5 minutes. 

Remove the fish bones (see that section below!). Scoop the stuffing and plate it with a portion of the fish, garnished with additional dill sprigs and lemon slices.

Two stuffed trout on a serving platter with a knife preparing to remove the trout spine bone.

How to Remove the Fish Bones

Rainbow trout has a distinctive line on each side. By following that line, you can easily remove the fish bones.

  1. To remove the bones, starting at the head of the trout, insert a sharp knife into its flesh on the line until you can feel it touch the bone. Slice down the line from head to tail. 
  2. Use your knife to push the flesh to the sides and expose the bone. Gently lift the bone from the flesh using tongs or a fork. 
  3. Carefully push the sides of the fish back together again. 
Tongs removing the spine bone from a baked trout.

Tips for the Best Results

  • The cooking time may vary slightly, depending on the size of your fish. Bake it until the internal temperature is 140°F when tested with an instant-read thermometer (insert it in the thickest part of the fish). 
  • Leeks are quite sandy inside so here’s a tip for washing them thoroughly. When slicing the leek, cut it in half lengthwise leaving the root on. Hold each leek under cold tap water to remove any sand that accumulated. Pat the leek dry with a paper towel before slicing. 
  • If you’d like a more colorful filling, you can use half a yellow bell pepper and half a red bell pepper. 
  • Make sure you take the time to cool the mixture before using it to stuff the fish.

​Frequently Asked Questions


How do you prepare trout before cooking?

It’s important to wash out the whole trout (get any remaining bits of guts) and clip the fins before cooking. Since you’ve rinsed the fish, make sure to pat them dry with paper towels to remove any excess water.

How do you know when trout is fully cooked?

Trout is done when the internal temperature is 140°F when measured with an instant read thermometer. Make sure to test the thickest part of the fish.

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Two stuffed trout on a serving platter with lemon wedges and fresh dill.

Stuffed Trout

Upgrade your dinner routine with an elegant Stuffed Trout. The easy stuffing includes sauteed leeks, red bell pepper, garlic, fresh dill and capers. These whole baked stuffed trout will make a stunning presentation on your table!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 Servings
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

  • 2 whole trout 1-¼ pound each, gutted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons peel, pith removed and segmented
  • 1 red bell pepper steamed, seeded and diced
  • 1 large leek halved, rinsed and sliced (white and light green only)
  • 2 garlic cloves grated or minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup capers
  • Fresh dill sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon wedges and dill sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and coat a baking sheet with oil. Preheat the oven to 400°F

Prepare the Trout:

  • Using kitchen scissors, clip the fins from the trout and discard.
  • Rinse the inside of fish with cold tap water, removing any bits of guts that may be remaining. 
  • Pat the inside of each fish with a paper towel and brush with olive oil.
  • Combine the salt, pepper and paprika together in a small dish and sprinkle the inside of each trout. Set aside until ready to stuff.

Make the Stuffing:

  • Slice both ends from the lemons and working with one lemon at a time, Stand it on one end, remove the rind and pith by slicing from top to bottom, discard the rind and pith.
  • Holding the rindless lemon over a dish to catch any drips, slice between the membrane sections to remove the lemon pulp. Chop the lemon pulp finely and reserve in a small dish. Reserve the remaining lemon juice for another use.
  • Set a skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and when it is hot add the bell pepper, sliced leek, garlic and the remaining seasoning mix. Sauté the vegetables for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly softened. 
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped dill, capers and the lemon. Stir to fully combine then set aside to cool to room temperature.

To Stuff the Trout:

  • Working with one fish at a time, place it on its spine and hold it open. Spoon half of the mixture into the seasoned cavity, spreading the mixture evenly from head to tail. When both trout have been filled with the stuffing mixture, place them on the baking sheet, open each one and add fresh dill sprigs.  
  • Brush the remaining oil over the top of each trout and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes to an internal temperature of 140°F when tested with an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the fish. Transfer to a serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  

To Remove the Fish Bones:

  • Rainbow trout will have a distinctive line on each side. With the trout on its side, and beginning at the head, insert a sharp knife into the flesh on the line until you can feel the knife touch the bone, slice down the line from head to tail. 
  • With your knife, push the flesh to the sides, exposing the bone. With tongs or a fork, gently lift the bone from the flesh, discard the bone.  
  • Carefully, push the sides of the fish back together again.  Repeat with the remaining fish.

To Serve:

  • Scoop the stuffing from each fish and plate and serve with a portion of the trout, garnish with additional dill sprigs and lemon wedges.

Notes

  • We used Rainbow trout for this recipe, but any species of trout can be used.
  • Cut the leek in half lengthwise leaving the root on. Hold each half leek under cold tap water to remove any sand that accumulated. Pat the leek dry with a paper towel before slicing.
  • For a more colorful filling, try using half of a yellow bell pepper and half of the red bell pepper.
  • Let the cooked vegetables cool to room temperature before stuffing the fish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 418mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating




angiesrecipes

Monday 1st of April 2024

I love rainbow trouts, but have never thought of stuffing them. Such a delicacy, Pat.

Dahn Boquist

Monday 1st of April 2024

They are so good! Thanks for the comment Angie.

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