Pan-Seared Halibut with Lemon and Herbs

Pan-Seared Halibut with Lemon and Herbs

This quick and easy halibut recipe is simple enough for everyday dining but elegant enough for entertaining. The lemon slices add a lot of flavor to the dish but can be a little bitter, so feel free to eat around them on your plate. For a full meal serve this with buttered new potatoes and sautéed green beans. 

Pan-Seared Halibut with Lemon and Herbs | Sitka Salmon Shares

Active time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 2


  • One portion halibut (9 to 12 ounces), cut into 2 pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ small lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or parsley



Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the halibut and cook until golden, turning once, 7 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillet. Transfer the fish to a plate and tent loosely to keep warm.


Add the lemon slices and garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat just until browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, capers, and 2 tablespoons water and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter and cook, swirling the pan, until melted.


Spoon the sauce and lemon slices over the fish and sprinkle with the dill.

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

Look for a full-bodied white wine, such as Spanish Rioja or unoaked chardonnay, to balance the richness and tartness of the lemon-butter pan sauce.

Level it Up

Level it Up

Sprinkle the halibut with a pinch of za’atar before searing for added tartness.

Change it Up

Change it Up

Break up any leftover halibut into bite-sized pieces, chop the lemon slices, then fold into cooked risotto along with any remaining pan sauce.

Lighten it Up

Lighten it Up

Sweet creamy butter balances the tartness of the lemon. Omit it altogether and finish the dish with a drizzle of heart-healthy avocado oil or walnut oil.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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