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Published March 23, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This amazing pan seared halibut recipe is cooked to perfection and topped off with an elegant lemon butter sauce with fresh dill. You won’t believe how quickly this recipe comes together.
Halibut is a saltwater fish that is caught in the Atlantic water and is incredibly popular throughout the world. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and is firm in texture. I would compare the flavors of halibut to that of tilapia.
Halibut can be grilled, broiled, pan seared, poached, or baked. It is also best to remove the skin or scales as it is very rubbery and not overly flavorful. While it is on the more expensive side of fresh fish, you can find it on sale or frozen at a much cheaper price.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Pan Seared Halibut
- Oil – Any neutral flavored oil will work.
- Butter – unsalted butter helps to brown the fish, adds flavor, and assists in releasing it from the pan.
- Halibut – Use fresh, skinless halibut for this recipe.
- Dill – Fresh dill is best, but you can substitute it with half the amount of dry dill.
- White Wine – You can use chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc, and hit will help deglaze the pan.
- Shallots – Small diced shallots will help add a lot of flavors to the sauce.
- Garlic – Finely diced garlic will take the sauce to the next level.
- Lemon – This will add some acid and brightness to the sauce and fish.
How to Make Pan Seared Halibut
Use these easy-to-follow instructions and pictures to make this perfect Pan Seared Halibut recipe:
Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.
Add some oil to a large frying pan and heat over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly.
Place in the halibut, turn the heat down to medium-high, add in some butter and cook for 3 to 3 ½ minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout. Set aside.
Add the butter to the pan and cook the shallots and garlic over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until very lightly browned.
Deglaze with white wine and cook until there are about 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid left.
Turn the heat off completely and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes before adding in cold butter and mixing until the butter is melted but not broken.
Stir in the dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix until combined.
Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with more dill and lemon slices.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can keep it warm and covered in a pan for up to 15 minutes before serving, but this recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is cooked.
How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This will freeze covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
How to Reheat: Place the desired number of halibut with sauce in a pan and heat in the oven at 350° for 5-6 minutes or until hot.
chef notes + tips
- Take care that your pan is not too hot before adding in the cold butter to make the sauce, or else the butter will separate, and your sauce will be broken and runny.
- You can use frozen halibut; just be sure it’s completely thawed before using.
- Pat the halibut down with paper towels as it will help release it from the pan when ready to flip over.
- This recipe is very versatile, so just about any fish will work with the lemon dill sauce.
- If your butter sauce breaks, you can sometimes bring it back with 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold heavy whipping cream. Whisk it in until combined.
More Fish Recipes
- Broiled Salmon
- Halibut and Chimichurri Sauce
- Salmon Patties
- Halibut with Honey-Soy Glaze
- Honey Garlic Salmon
Pan Seared Halibut Recipe with Lemon Dill Butter
- 2 8- ounce fresh skinless halibut fillets
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- ½ peeled and small diced shallot
- 1 finely minced garlic clove
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Add the oil to a large frying pan and heat over high heat until it begins to lightly smoke.
- Place in the halibut, turn the heat down to medium-high, add in 1 teaspoon of butter and cook for 3 to 3 ½ minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked throughout. Remove the cooked halibut and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan and cook the shallots and garlic over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- Deglaze with the white wine and cook until there are about 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid left.
- Turn the heat off completely and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes before adding in 4 tablespoons of cold butter and mixing until the butter is melted, but not broken. See note on helping to re-emulsify the sauce.
- Stir in the dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix until combined.
- Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with more dill and lemon slices.