Pan Seared Halibut

5 from 183 votes

This simple pan seared halibut recipe is ready in 15 minutes and tastes amazing. With crispy skin and tender, flakey flesh, you can't go wrong!

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This pan seared halibut recipe is simple to make and delicious. If you’re looking for an impressive restaurant-quality halibut dish that’s easy to make at home, I’ve got you covered. The fish is seasoned with a simple blend of salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic, then pan seared for the perfect crispy skin and flakey fish. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal or a special occasion!

4 cooked halibut fillets on oval platter garnished with lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley.
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If you loved my pan seared salmon recipe, this pan seared halibut version uses the same technique but with a mild flakey white fish instead. When it comes to cooking fish, simplicity is key. All you really need is a few staple ingredients to make any fish dish shine, and this halibut dish is no exception. If you’ve been on the fence about cooking halibut at home, this recipe will make you fall in love!

Why you’ll love this pan roasted halibut

  • Delicious. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this dish is full of flavor and is restaurant-quality!
  • Healthy. Halibut is a low-calorie, lean source of protein that’s rich in important vitamins and minerals.
  • Pairs well with pretty much everything. Serve it with a light side salad, roasted vegetables, or your favorite grain dish.
  • Ready in 15 minutes! A quick and easy weeknight dinner protein that doesn’t require a lot of prep or cooking time.

Ingredients to make pan seared halibut

  • Halibut: I like to use skin-on halibut fillets for this recipe and then remove it when I’m eating because it’s easiest that way. If you’re not a fan of fish skin, you can opt for skinless fillets.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, dried parsley, and garlic powder add flavor to the fish without overpowering it.
  • Oil: I like to use olive oil or avocado oil for this dish – both are great at withstanding high temperatures and give you a crispy skin and a light brown on the meat as well.
Ingredients for recipe: oil, spice blend, halibut fillets, whole lemon, and 3 garlic cloves.

How to make pan seared halibut with skin

  1. Pat the halibut dry with a paper towel.
  2. Season each fillet with parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Place the halibut on the hot oil skin side up, and cook without touching until golden.
  4. Carefully flip the halibut and continue cooking until you reach your desired doneness.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- pat fish dry with paper towel, 2- seasoning added to fillets, 3- fish skin side up in skillet, 4- halibut after flipped on skillet.

Tips for making the best pan seared halibut

  1. Be careful not to overcook the fish. Before you start cooking halibut, it will look glossy. As it cooks, it becomes more white and opaque in color. You’ll also notice that the fish will easily flake off if you gently scrape it with a fork. When you see these cues, immediately remove the fish from the heat.
  2. Give the fish plenty of room. Avoid overcrowding your pan. You’ll end up with more of a steamed fish if you pack it full, resulting in a soggy skin. If you need to cook the fish in batches, make sure you use a clean pan for each batch
  3. Try it on a cast iron pan. While any frying pan or skillet will do, a cast iron skillet will give you the best searing and crispy skin.
  4. Don’t skip preheating your pan. Make sure your pan is preheated and hot before adding the fish to it – this will allow you to get a nice crispy skin on the outside while keeping the inside tender and flakey.
  • Switch out the spices. I keep it very simple here, but I love to switch out the spices regularly and make this more Mediterranean with my 7 spice or give it a Mexican flare with my taco seasoning.
  • Add a sauce to it after it’s done cooking. You can try my marinara, tahini sauce, or chimichurri sauce.
  • Try this recipe with other types of fish. You can use any type of white fish for this recipe, such as cod, snapper, or sea bass.

What to serve with halibut

How to store & reheat halibut

To store: Place the cooked halibut in an airtight container and refrigerate.

To reheat: You can either microwave or pan fry your fish to reheat it. You want to heat the fish until just warmed through, or it will become dry and tough.

To microwave: Place the cooked halibut on a plate, cover it with damp paper towels, and heat for 1-2 minutes or until just heated through.

To pan fry: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and place the halibut fillet skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until just heated through.

How long will cooked halibut last in the fridge?

Cooked halibut will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.

Can i freeze halibut?

Yes, you can freeze cooked halibut. Place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Frequently asked questions

How do you know when halibut is done cooking?

Halibut is done when it’s white and opaque in color, and easily flakes off when scraped with a fork.

What temperature should I cook my halibut?

The recommended internal temperature for fish is 145°F. That will make it “well done”. To keep it from overcooking, I’d shoot for 135°F. Keep in mind that your halibut will still continue to cook once removed from the pan. Cooking to 135°F helps ensure that it hits that “just right” doneness without veering into the realm of overcooked. Also, make sure you use a reliable thermometer to check the temperature of your fish.

Can I use butter instead of oil?

I wouldn’t. Butter does not stand up well to high heat and may start to burn before your halibut is ready to come out of the pan, which can cause an acrid taste. If you choose to add butter, it’s best to add it at the end of cooking.

Pan seared halibut fillet on top of green beans garnished with lemon wedges and parsley.

Pan seared halibut is a dish that will quickly become a favorite in your kitchen. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or something special to serve on the weekends, this recipe is sure to please. With its simple ingredients and easy steps, you’ll be able to master this dish in no time! Try it out today, and let me know what you think! 

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Pan Seared Halibut

This simple pan seared halibut recipe is ready in 15 minutes and tastes amazing. With crispy skin and tender, flakey flesh, you can't go wrong!
5 from 183 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Calories 189
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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  • Pat the halibut dry with a paper towel. Season each fillet with parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the halibut on the hot oil skin side up, and cook without touching until golden, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the halibut and continue cooking until you reach your desired doneness, 3 to 4 more minutes.
  • Transfer to a platter, squeeze lemon juice on top and scatter with fresh chopped parsley.


Tip: When cooking halibut or any fish with the skin on use a cast iron skillet for the best crispy skin!


Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 407mg, Potassium: 753mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.02g, Vitamin A: 116IU, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Entree

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Recipe Rating


  1. jojobe says:

    This looks like a winner. It will be tonight’s dinner.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay, I hope you enjoy!! You’ll have to come back and tell me what you think!

  2. Marion wright says:

    Love this..first time! Need something easy too.

    1. Yumna says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this simple recipe!

  3. Joan says:

    I tried this recipe tonight with wild caught halibut. It was awesome. Turned out way better than how I was preparing it (baked). Now we can’t wait to have more. 🙂

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yay! So happy to hear that!