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Lemon Baked Halibut Recipe

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This mouthwatering baked halibut recipe will make you feel like a pro chef! Halibut is known for its delicate flavor and flaky texture, and so we’re keeping the preparation really simple to let those natural flavors shine. It’s easy to bake halibut in the oven, but I am sharing a few tips below so that it turns out perfectly for you. Serve with a simple veggie and a carb for a healthy weeknight dinner or for special occasions – no matter how you serve it, you’ll have a meal that is nutritious, delicious, and restaurant-quality.

I thought about topping the halibut fillets with panko bread crumbs (like my panko salmon or crispy cod – give them a try next time), but ultimately, I opted to keep the fish really simple to let the flavors and tender halibut texture shine.

Baked halibut with lemon slices on a plate with salad and bread.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What You’ll Love About Baked Halibut

  • Tender, flaky fish every time
  • Bright flavors that let the fish shine
  • Easy to make
  • Made with simple ingredients to let the fish shine

Ingredients

  • Halibut – Buy the best and freshest fish you can! Halibut is a pricy fish, which is why we’re keeping the seasonings really simple so the fish can shine. See more tips below for what to look for when you’re buying fresh halibut.
  • Butter – Use a high-quality butter for best flavor. You could also use a drizzle of olive oil if you prefer, but butter adds great flavor. Try my chimichurri herb butter for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Salt – We’re going to use both regular sea salt and finish the fish with flaky sea salt.
  • Lemon – Use fresh lemon slices, it adds the best subtle lemon flavor to the delicious baked halibut.
Ingredients to make baked halibut recipe

How to Bake Halibut

This is an overview on how to bake halibut in the oven, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Prep halibut. Thaw fillets if necessary and pat fish dry with a paper towel and place halibut onto a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
Baked halibut on a foil lined pan
Season halibut. Sprinkle fillets with sea salt and top with thin slices of butter. Top with lemon slices to cover the fillet.
baked halibut gif
Bake halibut. Bake fish until it’s cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Finish with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to taste and lemon wedges for a stronger lemon flavor.
Baked halibut on a plate with salad and bread
Baked halibut on a plate with a salad and bread.

Tips for the Best Baked Halibut

High Quality Fish

Sourcing your fish from a high-quality source, preferably a seafood market, is ideal. Or a trusted grocery store that you know has quality seafood. You can find frozen halibut at other stores and the quality was still good, but the fresh seafood market halibut was incomparable! You can keep the skin on or have it removed, it’s really personal preference and either will work with this easy recipe. I typically have mine cut off.

Use a Meat Thermometer

Using an instant read meat thermometer is the best way to ensure you cook your halibut perfectly every time. This piece of fish needs perfection to be perfection and the only way is to use a thermometer. I recommend putting the thermometer in the fish while baking if you can instead of pulling it in and out of the oven to check the temperatures. Cooking to 145 degrees F is recommended, and you can cook to 150 degrees F for a slightly firmer texture, but I don’t recommend going much higher than that.

Similar Sized Fillets

If you can, aim to get similar sized fillets so they all cook evenly and at the same rate. If you have some thinner pieces, they will cook much faster and should be removed from the oven as soon as they come to temp.

FAQs

What temperature should you cook halibut to?

Halibut should be cooked to 145 degrees F. You can cook it a bit higher (150 degrees F) for a slightly firmer texture if you prefer, but I don’t recommend going much higher than that.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the thickness of your fillets and if they vary a great deal, you may want to pull thinner pieces out early so you don’t overcook them. The cooking time will vary greatly, depending on the thickness of your fillet.

How do you cook halibut without drying it out?

I take a few approaches to ensure baked halibut doesn’t get dried out.

  • Top with pats of butter and lemon slices. The butter adds tender texture and flavor and the lemon slices on top help to keep in the moisture and almost steam it in a sense.
  • Use an instant read meat thermometer. Don’t overcook the halibut or it will dry out! The best way to prevent this is to use a meat thermometer.

What flavors pair well with halibut?

Because halibut is a mild-flavored fish with the best texture, I like to keep the flavors really simple to let the fish shine. A little butter, a little salt, and fresh lemon go a long way!

Is halibut healthy?

This easy baked halibut recipe is a lean fish that’s an excellent source of protein and is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Because it is a larger fish, there is some mercury in halibut, which is usually not a problem unless you are eating excessive amounts of it.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover baked halibut in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

How to reheat

Reheat halibut in a hot skillet or a 350 degrees F oven, just until heated through, being careful to not overcook it.

Flaky baked halibut on a plate with a fork

What to Serve with Baked Halibut Recipe

All this oven baked halibut needs is a few simple side dishes:

How to Feed Baked Halibut to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving a small flake of the fish in a pinch bowl (taster bowl) if it’s a new or learning-to-like it food. Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter. And beware, my youngest became obsessed with halibut! HA!

Want More?

Follow Emily on Instagram or TikTok for family dinner recipe videos and tips for feeding kids.

Baked halibut with lemon slices

More Easy Fish Recipes

If you like easy baked halibut recipes like this one, you might also like some of these other easy fish recipes:

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Baked halibut with lemon slices on a plate with salad and bread.

Lemon Baked Halibut Recipe

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Description

This mouthwatering baked halibut recipe will make you feel like a pro chef! We’re keeping the prep simple to let the natural flavors shine. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 24 oz. (4 fillets) halibut fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (chilled works better)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Thaw halibut if necessary. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat the fillets dry with paper towel and place onto a baking dish lined with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  3. Sprinkle fillets with sea salt and top with small and thin slices of the butter. Top with lemon slices to cover fish and bake for (8-12 minutes for a flatter 3/4-inch fillets or 16-22 minutes for a thicker 2-inch fillets), until cooked through to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (cook to 150-155 degrees F for a slightly firmer texture) and flakes easily.
  4. Finish with flaky sea salt if desired. 


Notes

  • The lemon flavor is subtle, if you want a stronger flavor, set aside some lemon wedges for a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure you cook your halibut to the perfect temperature. 

Keywords: baked halibut, baked halibut recipes

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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