4-Ingredient Stuffed Trout with Spinach Fennel Salad Recipe

4-Ingredient Stuffed Trout with Spinach Fennel Salad

Serves 4

Whole trout makes an elegant presentation and is easy to prepare. We stuff the fish with flavorful aromatics and cook it on the bone to keep it juicy. Thin-sliced fennel adds a crisp bite to a simple spinach salad to complement the fish.


  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 large fennel, stalks removed, bulbs thinly sliced, fronds picked
  • 2 large lemons, 1 juiced and 1 sliced thin
  • 2 whole trout (about 10-12 ounces each), ask your fishmonger for similarly sized fish


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Preheat a large, nonstick, oven-safe skillet until hot.
  2. Chef's Note:
  3. Make vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with juice of one lemon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  4. Pat fish dry with paper towels. Lightly season fish inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff interior of trout with lemon slices and fennel fronds. Add a splash of oil into pan and pan fry 2 to 3 minutes until crispy. Flip fish, then transfer to oven and bake another 5 minutes until internal temperature near backbone is 145°F. Remove from pan, drizzle with a couple tablespoons of vinaigrette, and set aside to rest.
  5. Add sliced fennel and spinach to bowl of remaining vinaigrette. Toss and adjust seasoning, to taste. Serve with trout.
  6. Cook’s Tips:
  7. Removing the cooked fish from the bone takes some practice. Take a flat knife and cut through the skin along the backbone. Carefully open the fish and gently peel it off the spine. Next, grab the tail (attached to the spine) and lift straight up, using the knife to gently coax the spine off the fillet. Using this technique, the spine and head should come off in one go. Trim off any remaining small bones near the fins. The fillets should be mostly boneless except for a single row of tiny pin bones along the fillet. You can remove them as you eat.
  8. Fennel has 3 useable parts. The bulb is great to slice thin for salad or dice and cook. The feathery fronds can be picked and chopped like a green herb – they are prized for their light anise flavor. The stalks can be too woody to eat but still are loaded with flavor. Save those in the fridge or freezer to fortify your next batch of chicken or vegetable stock!


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 420
Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Total Fat: 25 g
Cholesterol: 105 mg
Sodium: 640 mg
Carbohydrates: 12 g
Fiber: 5 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Total Sugar: 5 g
Protein: 38 g
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