This delicious pan-seared halibut is topped with a lemon butter sauce, dill, and capers. The briny, bold flavors pair incredibly well with the fish.
This flavorful recipe is an easy method for cooking a succulent halibut fillet. Halibut is a popular fish because it's a bit thicker and firmer than other fillets but still has a mild flavor, similar to tilapia.
I know you'll enjoy this easy halibut recipe and will love the combination of bright and bold flavors!
Why You'll Love This Pan Seared Halibut Recipe
This recipe is perfect for a special occasion or just an easy weeknight dinner since it's fancy enough to serve for date night but quick enough to make during the week.
I personally think pan-searing is the best way to cook a thicker fish fillet. By continuously basting the fish while searing each side you'll have a tender, well-flavored fish.
Halibut is in season from March through November, so enjoy it while you can!
Halibut - You'll need 1 pound of fresh halibut. You can use halibut fillets (cut from the dark side of the fish, from neck to tail) or halibut steaks (cut from the body of the fish).
These might come as a few smaller fillets or one large piece. Either will work, but just make sure you use a skillet that's large enough.
Toppings - You'll use 3 tablespoons of chopped capers and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill to top the fish.
S & P - You'll use ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper to sprinkle on the fish before cooking it.
Oil & Butter - You'll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. These will be the basting sauce you continually spoon onto the halibut to cook it.
Lemon - You'll need at least 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to add to the sauce.
Pat the halibut fillets dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the fish. Allow fish to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the halibut fillets to the hot pan (skin side down if your halibut has skin). Reduce to medium heat.
Sear halibut while spooning the oil and butter over the top of the fish, continuing to baste for 4 minutes while the fish cooks.
Flip the fish and add in the capers and continue to spoon the oil and butter over the top for 2 minutes.
Flip the halibut back over, then sprinkle the dill over the fillets and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes, continuing to spoon on the capers, butter, and oil.
Check the temperature of the halibut with an instant-read thermometer. The fish is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and flakes apart.
More Seafood Recipes to Try
If you like fish and seafood, check out some of our other favorite seafood recipes.
- Thai Fish Curry - the creamiest fish curry with loads of vegetables and white fish.
- Baked Sockeye Salmon in Foil - tender baked salmon with lemon butter.
- Coconut Crusted Tilapia - a fantastic crispy crusted tilapia that will be your new favorite.
- Grilled Red Snapper - a lightly spicy red snapper recipe topped with cajun seasoning.
- Baked Parmesan Panko Cod Recipe - another fantastic way to enjoy cod fish fillets.
What to Serve with Halibut
Want an easy side dish to serve alongside this halibut recipe? Try one of these pairings.
- The Easiest Green Salad - a simple side salad that's quick to pull together but absolutely bursting with flavor.
- Grilled Asparagus Recipe - an easy asparagus recipe that's ready in minutes.
- Sautéed Swiss Chard - gorgeous rainbow chard sauteed just till tender.
- Roasted Parmesan Green Beans - the crispiest and most delicious green beans!
- Roasted Golden Beets - mild, earthy roasted beets in foil.
Choosing Fresh Fish
Whenever you are considering which fish to buy, first make sure it's in season and is not overfished (check the Monterey Bay Aquarium to make sure it's sustainable).
Good fish will not smell overly fishy or sour. They should have bright, firm flesh that's blemish-free and doesn't have any bruised areas.
If the fish you're looking at is dull, mushy, or milky colored, it's probably past its prime and should be avoided.
Tips for Making this Recipe
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Cooking Tips - A common mistake people make when searing protein is to move it too much. Try not to move the fish around too much in the pan (except when you are flipping it twice) to help it develop a nice crust.
Substitutions - You can substitute the dill with other soft, fresh herbs if you prefer a different flavor. Parsley, oregano, and chives would all work.
Equipment Recommendations - A large non-stick pan is an easy pan to use for this recipe, as the fish won't stick when you flip it. You can also use a cast iron skillet if you'd like.
Storing Tips - The cooked halibut will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
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- 1 pound halibut fillets
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped capers
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pat the halibut fillets dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the fish. Allow fish to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the halibut fillets (skin side down if your halibut has skin).
- Spoon the oil and butter over the top of the halibut, continuing to baste for 4 minutes while the fillets sauté.
- Add in the capers and continue to spoon the oil and butter over the top for 2 minutes. Then sprinkle the dill over the fillets and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Check the temperature of the halibut with an instant-read thermometer. The fish is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and flakes apart.
- Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 427Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1066mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 52g