Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout: A Recipe You’ll Love!

Video how to cook trout on the grill

Prepare to be Amazed by this Grilled Fish Recipe!

I can’t stress this enough: our Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout recipe is truly incredible. We put a lot of effort into perfecting this dish, ensuring it’s not only delicious but also perfectly cooked. We faced the challenge of grilling a whole fish that stays intact, and we’re thrilled to share our findings and guide with you. Trust me, you’re going to absolutely adore this grilled fish recipe!

A Popular Addition to Your Favorite Recipes

Just like our other essential recipes, such as Roast Goose, Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Easy Grilled Pork Chops, and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, we believe this recipe will become a new favorite. We have something for everyone!

The MISEN 5-piece knife set

In this recipe, we’ll also show you how to properly debone a whole fish. It’s easier than you think, especially with the right tools. For this task, I used my new MISEN Chef Knife. You can find these amazing knives here and use the code “COTTAGE” to get a 20% discount.

Let’s Get Cooking: Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout!

Ingredients for Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout

Tackle Box

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients. Visualize them as a tackle box for this fish story. Don’t worry; it’s pretty straightforward. You’ll need your favorite herbs, a sweet white onion, and juicy lemons. With these simple ingredients, you’ll breeze through this recipe without any issues.

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The whole trout cleaned and ready to be stuffed

Catch This!

If you want to learn more about Rainbow Trout, a fish known for its fantastic flavor, head here. Rainbow trout and its popular cousin, steelhead trout, have always been a favorite among fly-fishers. Even if fishing isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy a freshly caught trout from a local fish market or grocer.

When buying whole rainbow trout, you’ll usually find them already cleaned. Some are scaled by professionals, but scaling isn’t necessary. Nevertheless, a scaled trout looks more appetizing. A good tip when selecting market-bought trout is to choose one weighing between 1 and 1½ pounds. Also, take a look into their eyes. Clear eyes indicate that the fish is fresh, while cloudy or hazy eyes might mean the fish has been around for quite a while. Trust your eyes!

Lemon, onion, and fresh herbs ready to be used to stuff the fish


We often think of stuffing for whole birds like goose, turkey, and chicken, but it adds a lot of flavor to this recipe too. Don’t worry too much about our simple stuffing of lemon, onion, and a mix of fresh dill, parsley, and chives. The stuffing won’t be eaten, but it enhances the overall flavor. Feel free to experiment with other herbs like tarragon, basil, and fresh thyme. Just remember to bring the fish to room temperature and pat both the inside and outside dry before stuffing to prevent sticking to the grill.

The whole fish flipped and cooking on the grill

Grill Time

Let’s talk about how we cook this delicious Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout. First, oil your grill before turning it on. Lightly brush it with extra virgin olive oil or rub a bit on a clean cloth and wipe it across the grill surface. Second, maintain a consistent temperature of 450°F for the best results. Lastly, the cooking time depends on the weight of the fish. For our 1½ pound trout, we cooked it for 7 minutes per side, totaling 14 minutes. Adjust the cooking time to around 12 minutes for a smaller trout and 16 minutes for a larger one. You’ll know the trout is done when the skin is perfectly crispy, and the flesh is tender to the touch.

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Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout

High Turn Over

The key moment in this recipe is when we flip the fish after the first 7 minutes of grilling. The goal is to flip the fish without breaking the skin or causing it to fall apart. Before you begin, I suggest watching this helpful video to understand our two-tongs method. We use the first pair of tongs to lift the head of the fish off the grill, providing enough room for the second pair of tongs to securely grab the midsection. This way, you can flip the whole trout without any incidents and cook it for the remaining 7 minutes.

The whole fish deboned

Off Grill

Once the fish is cooked, use both sets of tongs to gently lift it off the grill and transfer it to a large plate or platter. Unlike some mains that require a resting period, rainbow trout can be served immediately. However, there’s still one decision to make: serve it as-is or debone it. We vote for deboning, and the next section will guide you through the process.

Beurre blanc flavored with chopped fresh herbs


Taking a few moments to properly debone the trout makes a huge difference. While there might still be one or two bones left, most of them will be removed if you follow our simple process. Watch this informative video for a step-by-step guide. Trust me; after one try, you’ll proudly add “I can debone fish” to your culinary repertoire.

The fish served with herbed beurre blanc


Here’s a special treat: a delicious sauce that perfectly complements the trout. We’ve prepared a classic Beurre Blanc and added the same herbs used in the stuffing right before serving. You can also enjoy the sauce with your veggies. It’s bursting with flavor and pairs seamlessly with this fish main course.

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The trout served with a fresh salad and sauteed peas and carrots


Look at that photo of the beautifully served dinner. It’s undoubtedly special, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a lot of work. The preparation and serving of this trout dinner are quite simple. Pair it with a tossed salad, our Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, and an easy side like buttered peas and carrots. And let’s not forget a chilled bottle of your favorite white wine. Fingers crossed you have a refreshing Pinot Grigio or a robust Cabernet Sauvignon on hand. A lovely white wine and this incredible main course—what more could you ask for?

What a Catch! Grilled Whole Rainbow Trout Is Pure Perfection!

Products Used in This Recipe

Just click on the links below to purchase the items through and add them to your collection. Happy shopping!

Related by Recipe Type

  • Dinner

Related by Ingredient

  • Black Pepper
  • Butter
  • Chives
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Dill
  • Kosher Salt
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  • Shallots
  • White Onion
  • White Wine
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Whole Rainbow Trout

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