This pan-seared halibut with potatoes and spinach is an easy French dish that will make any novice cook look like a pro!
With its beautiful crispy golden crust and juicy on the inside, this super quick dinner recipe is exactly what you need for your next dinner party.
The flavor combination that’s included in this pan-seared halibut dish will give you a taste of spring and summer.
What is Pan-Seared Halibut?
Pan-seared halibut is a dish made with halibut fish fillets that are lightly seasoned and cooked in a hot pan with oil until crispy and golden on the outside while still tender and moist on the inside.
The pan-searing method is a great way to cook halibut, as it helps to preserve the delicate flavor and texture of the fish.
Atlantic Halibut is a flat fish that’s found in the Atlantic Ocean. The fish can vary in length and grow up to 8 feet long. The cooking method varies depending on the location.
Halibut is also rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6.
Why is halibut expensive?
Halibut is high in magnesium, and vitamins B3, B6, and B12. It is also high in selenium. However, lately due to a lack of fishers and transporting the fish to various destinations, the fish has become a lot more expensive in recent years.
How to cook Halibut in a pan – Perfectly?
To make pan-seared halibut, the fish fillets are seasoned with salt, pepper, and other herbs or spices. The full recipe is listed in the recipe card below.
Use a heavy base skillet to fry the fish. The skillet doesn’t have to be a nonstick skillet.
If using a cast iron skillet, I recommend that you heat the pan up first before adding the oil. This helps the oil to come to a temperature quickly and helps to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Pat the fish dry before applying the seasoning. This will ensure that your outer layer is crispy but remain moist and juicy on the inside.
Once you are done cooking or searing the fish, transfer the fish to a plate and set it aside in a warm place.
Cook the potatoes. Although we cooked the potatoes after the fish, I recommend that you cook the potatoes first as they take longer to cook.
I find that it’s easier to add ¼ cup at a time to the potatoes or par-boil them prior to cooking the in the skillet. This helps the potatoes to cook faster, retain their crunch, and you can still season the potatoes while they are in the skillet.
Lastly, sauté the spinach. I like to sauté the spinach with a little bit of olive oil and cook them just when they start to wilt.
Next, layer the potatoes, the spinach, then the fish. Drizzle the fish with brown butter and top with capers.
Pro – Tips
Cooking the potatoes and fish: To make it easier, Cook the Halibut and the vegetables in different pans, or par-boil the potatoes first.
Heating your pan first prior to adding in the oil will help the halibut not stick too much to the pan.
For optimal flavor, prepare the brown butter in the same skillet as you cooked the fish and potatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Halibut can take about 3 to 5 minutes per side to cook. The size of the halibut plays a factor in how long it should be cooked. The fish should be cooked until it reaches the temperature of 130 degrees.
Halibut is an easy fish to cook. To keep it moist, it is best you cook the fish until it reaches the internal temperature of 130 degrees and immediately remove it from the heat. Lightly cover it with aluminum foil to seal in the juice/moisture.
My preferred oil is Canola oil due to its high smoke point. Using Olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado will cause your fish to burn quickly and will alter the flavor and texture of your fish. You may also use sunflower oil or peanut oil.
With any fish or meat, you want to season the fish prior to cooking for optimal flavor.
What Is So Unique About Pan-Seared Halibut?
Halibut doesn’t take long to cook as it can be prepared within three to four minutes on each side. This is because halibut has a soft texture, and overcooking can lead to a rubbery texture.
In addition, the quick addition of lemon juice to the cooked halibut and fresh herbs adds a lot of flavor – we promise, you will end up licking your fingers.
Also, many people won’t tell you this, but there are different types of parsley, when making halibut, I like to opt for flat-lead Italian parsley because it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the fish.
As far as uniqueness is concerned, keep in mind that this fish can break apart pretty quickly, so it must be seared enough on one side before flipping.
This pan-seared halibut with spinach and potatoes can be eaten as a dish on its own. However, if you would like to add more sides, consider serving it with a green salad, this salad Niçoise, or with this kale salad.
Store any leftovers of this pan-seared halibut in an airtight container and store the fish in the refrigerator for three days.
The fish can also be frozen, but make sure you put them in one layer – don’t overcrowd them. As far as reheating is concerned, use the air fryer for better results or reheat them in the oven on low heat (275 degrees Fahrenheit).
More Fish Recipes To Enjoy
After trying this Halibut recipe, we recommend you try one of these fish recipes next.
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Pan Seared Halibut
- Large Skillet
- 4 Halibut Fillets; About 12 Ounces Total. Washed and pat dry.
- 1 Lb. Yellow Potatoes; Cut in wedges. We used the steam in bag yellow potatoes.
- 1 Lb. Baby Spinach
- 1 tsp. Salt or To Taste
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper or To Taste.
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter; Melted.
- Juice From 1 Lemon
- ¼ Cup Canola Oil plus 3 tablespoons; divided.
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Capers
- Water; if needed
Prepare the ingredients
- Start by washing the halibut fish and patting it dry. Set the fish aside on a platter.Next, cut the potatoes into wedges. Keep the cut potatoes in cold water while you cut the remaining potatoes to keep them from becoming dark. Wash and drain the potatoes after cutting. Set the potatoes aside.Roughly chop the spinach. Set the spinach aside. Prepare the seasoning blend: In a small bowl, add the salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well to combine.
Prepare the dish
- Cook the potatoes: Par boil the potatoes (see notes below). Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water for about eight to ten minutes. Once the outside of the potatoes is soft while the inside still raw and firm, remove the potatoes from the water and roast them in the skillet with ¼ cup canola oil. Lightly season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until golden brown. Remove the potatoes and sit them aside on a platter. Season and cook the fish: Season the fish on both sides with the seasoning blend.Heat a large cast iron skillet, then add the canola oil followed by the fish over medium-high heat. Sear on both sides for 3-5 minutes per side.Transfer the fish onto a plate.Saute the spinach: In the same skillet, add about ¼ cup of water to the skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the spinach in batches if needed to avoid overfilling the skillet. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook the spinach until it starts to wilt.Add the spinach on top of the potatoes, then top the potatoes with the halibut.Prepare the brown butter: To finish, in the same skillet, brown the butter on low heat. Tp the fish with about 1 tablespoon of capers and a spoonful of the capers liquid (optional), and finish off with the butter. Serve and enjoy.