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This rainbow trout recipe is a 10 minute meal that’s bursting with flavor! Pan fry it with herbs and lemon for a tasty, easy dinner.

Rainbow trout recipe

Here’s our new favorite 10 minute meal: this pan-fried Rainbow Trout recipe! The mild flavor of rainbow trout is absolutely irresistible paired with chopped rosemary and fresh lemon zest. Pan fry it in olive oil and the skin becomes beautifully crisp (in fact, we couldn’t stop nibbling on the skin). This quick meal pleases just about anyone, even people who are on the fence about fish. Pair with a couple quick sides for an easy dinner; we whipped up this pan for the family and it was gone in a flash.

Ingredients for this rainbow trout recipe

Rainbow trout is fish that’s a member of the salmon family. It is very delicious and easy to prepare, with a mild, delicate flavor. The flesh of rainbow trout can range from white to pink to orange. It’s a great option for people who don’t think they like fish or seafood. You can eat both the flesh and skin of the trout: pan-frying it in oil makes a tasty crispy skin. Here’s what you’ll need for this rainbow trout recipe:

  • Skin-on rainbow trout fillets: Fresh or frozen and thawed
  • Olive oil & salt: You’ll just need a bit for rubbing and sprinkling.
  • Fresh rosemary: This fresh herb highlights the nutty flavor of the flesh.
  • Lemon wedges: A few spritzes add brightness.
Rainbow trout recipe

How to cook rainbow trout

Rainbow trout is very easy to cook: the simplest method is to pan fry it in olive oil. Using this method, you’ll get a crispy skin and a tender, flaky flesh: both of which you can eat! The crispy skin in particular is outstanding in this method: we couldn’t stop sneaking bites like it was candy! Here’s what to know about how to cook rainbow trout (or skip to the recipe below);

  • Season both sides with salt and pepper. Pat the fish dry first, then season liberally with salt and pepper on the flesh and skin sides.
  • In a skillet, heat olive oil with chopped rosemary. This infuses a bit of flavor before you cook the fish.
  • Cook skin side down for 4 to 5 minutes, then skin side up to 30 seconds. Cook on the first side until it’s browned on the edges and nearly cooked through (with only a small stripe of pink on top). After flipping, it takes just about 30 seconds to finish cooking. Spritz with lemon juice and serve!

What to look for when buying rainbow trout

Is rainbow trout a sustainable fish? The vast quantity of rainbow trout available to buy is farm raised, so you’ll want to look for responsibly farmed trout. Here’s what Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommends:

  • Rainbow trout farmed in the U.S. in freshwater net pens is a Best Choice.
  • Avoid rainbow trout farmed in Colombia in freshwater net pens.
  • Look for fish from Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified farms.
Rainbow trout recipe

Ways to serve this rainbow trout recipe

This rainbow trout recipe is so fast and easy, it’s great to serve with some quick sides to make a simple meal. Here are a few quick sauces and side dishes we recommend serving with it:

What are you planning to serve with this rainbow trout recipe? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you love it as much as our family does.

More fish recipes

Fish is a great centerpiece for easy meals. Here are a few more tasty fish recipes you’ll love:

This rainbow trout recipe is…

Gluten-free, dairy-free and pescatarian.

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Rainbow trout recipe

Easy Rainbow Trout (10 minutes!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This rainbow trout recipe is a 10 minute meal that’s bursting with flavor! Pan fry it with herbs and lemon for a tasty, easy dinner.


  • 1 pound rainbow trout filets
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon to garnish
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. Pat the trout filets dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper (both the skin and flesh sides).
  2. In a large skillet, head the olive oil and rosemary over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the trout skin side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it is browned on the edges and nearly cooked through (with only a small stripe of pink on top). Flip the fish and cook for about 20 to 30 seconds until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and serve immediately, spritzed with the juice from the lemon wedges.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Rainbow trout recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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