Elevate your typical weeknight dinner routine by making this pan seared halibut with brown butter sauce recipe. Halibut fillets are seared to perfection with mouthwatering ingredients like shallots, garlic, and white wine. Topped with deliciously browned butter, you won’t find a halibut recipe better than this one!

A piece of cooked halibut sits on top of green beans and tomatoes on a white plate.

Pan Seared Halibut with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce

With spring and summer fast approaching, it’s time to slow down with the comforting cold weather meals and start whipping up some dishes like this! This recipe isn’t just diet friendly, though – it’s also incredibly filling and satisfying.

As much as I love fish, I really hate bland fish recipes. I need seasonings and aromatics to flavor my food, especially with fish! That’s why this pan seared halibut recipe is packed with flavorful ingredients that truly make this meal irresistible.

You can make this easy dinner for people that don’t even care for fish, and I can almost guarantee you’ll win them over. There’s just something so satisfying about a creamy brown butter and wine mixture covering a freshly seared fillet of halibut… It’s a delicious, guilt free dinner that’ll fill you up!

A fork has taken a piece of halibut from the plate, revealing a perfectly cooked white center.

How To Make It

While I definitely consider this recipe to be an easy weeknight dinner one, there are a few more steps than some other easy dinner recipes. However, the steps are simple, and the payoff is SO worth the extra effort!

Prepare the halibut. Start by patting the surface of the halibut fillets dry with a paper towel. Then, season both sides with salt and pepper. If the fillets have been refrigerated, allow them to come to room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Sear the fillets. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until it begins to simmer. Once it’s simmering, add each fillet to the pan skin side up. If the skin has been removed, that’s okay! The flatter surface of the fillet is where the skin would have been. Press gently on the fillet with a spatula to create direct contact with the oil to create a golden, crispy crust.

Continue cooking. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the fish for 3-4 minutes. When the fillet is golden brown and releases from the pan easily, flip the fillet over and continue cooking until it’s fully cooked through. This should just take about 2-4 minutes.

Brown butter sauce is poured over freshly cooked halibut.

Brown the butter. While the fish cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking the butter while swirling the pan occasionally until the butter begins to foam and then begins to turn a light, golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the fresh ingredients to the skillet. When the fish is done cooking, transfer the fillets to a platter and keep warm. Then, add the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic to the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Create the sauce. Whisk the brown butter into the wine mixture in the skillet until it becomes slightly creamy.

Enjoy! Serve the halibut with the tomatoes and butter sauce drizzled on top.

Halibut is ready to eat on a plate with green beans and tomatoes.

What are the health benefits of halibut?

Halibut is one of my favorite diet friendly foods to make for many reasons. It’s packed with vitamins like B12 and B6, and it’s a wonderful source of protein! One halibut fillet has around 40 grams of protein. It’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

How should I serve it?

Besides just serving with tomatoes and the brown butter sauce, I also recommend serving this halibut with fresh lemon and cilantro. Every time I offer those garnishes when I serve this dinner, everyone reaches for them! This dish is already packed with flavor, and lemon and cilantro pair perfectly with it!

Two plates are on a table, both containing servings of halibut and green beans.

If you’re looking for more delicious seafood recipes to introduce to your weeknight dinners, I’ve got you covered! Here are some I just can’t get enough of.

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Halibut is ready to eat on a plate with green beans and tomatoes.

Get the Recipe: Pan Seared Halibut with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce

Crispy, pan seared halibut is cooked until tender then drenched with a Brown Butter Garlic pan sauce that takes just minutes to prepare. Better than a restaurant!
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Ingredients

  • 32 ounces halibut fillets, four 8-oz pieces, about 2-inch thick
  • kosher salt, to season fillets
  • black pepper, to season fillets
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Equipment

  • skillet

Instructions 

  • Pat the surface of the halibut dry with a paper towel.
  • Season both sides of the halibut with salt and pepper. If refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until it begins to shimmer.
  • Add each fillet to the pan skin side up (if the skin has been removed, this will be the flatter surface of the filet). Press gently on the filet with a spatula to create direct contact with the oil to help create a golden, crispy crust.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes. When the filet is golden brown and releases from the pan easily, flip the filet over and continue cooking until cooked through, approximately 2-4 minutes.
  • While the fish cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Continue cooking the butter while swirling the pan occasionally until the butter begins to foam and then begins to turn a light, golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
  • When the fish is done cooking, transfer the filets to a platter and keep warm.
  • Add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the wine and deglaze the pan scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits.
  • Whisk the brown butter into the wine mixture in the skillet until it becomes slightly creamy.
  • Serve the halibut with the tomatoes and butter sauce drizzled over top.

Notes

Pan Seared Halibut is best if served right after cooking. 
Calories: 324kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 111mg, Sodium: 158mg, Potassium: 1108mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 463IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg