Get ready to enjoy the delicate, mild flavor of halibut paired so nicely with lemon–caper-wine saucy goodness for a delicious Halibut Piccata meal. This easy weeknight dinner or impressive meal for guests is nutritious and ready in 30 minutes or less. This post is sponsored by Llano Estacado Winery.
Dustin and I are HUGE fans (yes, huge enough fans to put “huge” in all-capitals, in case you were wondering) of fresh fish and look forward each week to what deals I can find at the market. This week, I bought halibut fillets and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.
For weeks, I’m not ashamed to admit that I have been stalking monitoring the fish section, waiting to find fresh halibut. I love me some halibut. Fortunately, this week I was able to find what I was looking for. And asparagus was also on sale. Exciting, I know. I love to pair asparagus with halibut and salmon.
This pan seared halibut recipe requires so few ingredients and preparation that it’s almost unfair… almost. When using such bold flavors as fresh lemons and capers, I find it better to leave things simple. Plus, the delicate, mild flavor of the halibut pairs so nicely with the lemon, capers, and Llano Estacado white wine, making this halibut with lemon caper sauce so darn delicious.
Oh, and PS: this halibut dish is totally healthy. Wooot! I know, yay, right?
WHAT DOES PICCATA MEAN?
Piccata is a cooking method for meat and fish where the food is sautéed or seared and then served in a lemony sauce, which is usually made with butter and capers. Sounds simple but delicious at the same time, right? Yeah, that’s because piccata is Italian and Italians know how to make simple yet amazing dishes.
To lessen the fat in this recipe, I didn’t make this piccata with butter. But this halibut with capers tastes exactly like my old halibut piccata recipe so no one will even notice it’s healthy. Do I get an extra point or two for that???
To make this halibut picatta healthy, I used…
- chickpea flour instead of all purpose flour to lightly coat the halibut fillets;
- then for the piccata sauce, I used:
- lemon juice
- a whole siced lemon
- low sodium chicken stock
- Llano Estacado Pinot Grigio wine (goes great with this recipe!)
- capers <— LOVE!!
- Italian parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
See? No butter on the ingredients list!
FRESH VS. FROZEN FISH
For this pan seared halibut recipe, I used fresh halibut fillets. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with frozen fish…it’s just faster to use fresh halibut fillets if you can and you don’t have to thaw them.
Honestly, the fresh vs. frozen fish debate is not really a debate. Frozen fish is just as good as fresh fish, as long as you’re getting the same quality wild-caught fish. But when you’re in a hurry to prep dinner, fresh fish is the quicker option.
IS HALIBUT HEALTHY?
Halibut is a very healthy fish option. It’s a great source of protein (20 g per 3-ounce serving), low in calories (only 94 calories per serving), lower in fat compared to salmon, and packed with nutrients including…
- minerals (selenium and magnesium);
- vitamin B12;
- omega-3 fatty acids.
THE BEST WINE FOR COOKING HALIBUT
Piccata wouldn’t be piccata without white wine. Sure, you can make it without, but it’s not the same. When it comes to halibut piccata, I really like this Llano Estacado Pinot Grigio. It is a fruity and aromatic wine that works perfectly with seafood. Or chicken for that matter. Llano Estacado Pinot Grigio is fresh and it has light melon, lemon, and grapefruit aroma. Perfect! It’s delicate and subtle and it makes this halibut piccata taste absolutely incredible.
Pro tip – pour yourself a glass and enjoy while cooking the halibut piccata. Thank me later!
HOW TO COOK HALIBUT
Cooking fish and seafood can be intimating. In a matter of seconds, fish can go from undercooked to overcooked. I don’t want you to be afraid to try this amazing halibut piccata recipe, though, so I have a few extra tips for how to cook halibut. Specifically, how to cook halibut in a pan.
All pan seared halibut recipes are fast – the halibut fillet needs to cook for 3-5 minutes per side.
Check to see if the fish is cooked through…
- by looking at the texture and color of the fish – undercooked fish is translucent and resists flaking while cooked fish is opaque and flakes easily;
- to test if halibut flakes easily, poke the fillet with a fork at a 45-degree angle and pull up some of the fish or twist gently.
- if it flakes easily, it’s done. If not, continue cooking.
HOW TO STOP HALIBUT FROM STICKING TO YOUR PAN
Another problem you might have with seared halibut is that it tends to stick to the pan if you don’t heat the oil enough. So make sure you heat the olive oil on high-medium heat until hot. Then and only then add the halibut fillets to the pan and sear.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HALIBUT
Time to plate this halibut dish and start eating! But… what to serve with halibut? Traditionally, halibut piccata is served over pasta. I prefer a low-carb version, thank you very much. So I use quinoa noodles instead of regular pasta and I add some asparagus for extra nutrients.
Quinoa noodles and steamed asparagus are perfect with the amazing flavors of halibut piccata. You can garnish with lemon slices and parsley or squeeze some lemon juice over the halibut dish if you really want refreshing flavors.
HOW TO STEAM ASPARAGUS
Asparagus can be as delicate as fish – you want it crunchy and not overdone so here are some tips for how to steam asparagus:
- To steam asparagus, use the same water you use for cooking quinoa noodles – I find that asparagus tastes better when I do this;
- Then cook for 6-8 minutes;
- You want asparagus to be mostly tender, not mushy so make sure you check from time to time.
HOW LONG DOES HALIBUT PICCATA LAST?
Halibut piccata is a great weeknight dinner cuz’ it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. However, I know that during busy weeks 30 minutes sound like a lot. The great news is – you can make halibut piccata ahead of time ad store it to reheat later in the week!
HOW LONG DOES FISH LAST?
- 3-4 days in the fridge
- up to a month in the freezer.
HOW TO STORE HALIBUT PICATTA IN THE FRIDGE
- transfer halibut to meal prep container;
- pour the sauce over;
- store in the fridge;
- reheat for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.
HOW TO FREEZE HALIBUT PICATTA
- Place halibut piccata and sauce in freezer-safe airtight containers or Ziploc bags;
- Keep for up to a month in the freezer.
3 MORE HEALTHY FISH DINNER IDEAS
Before I go, I want to share with you 3 more healthy fish dinner ideas. Because fish is healthy, good for you, and the perfect choice for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.
PAN FRIED SALMON
This Pan Fried Salmon is the best pan fried salmon ever! It’s perfect, I’m telling you!
You’ll find all the tips for how to cook salmon perfectly in this post. And bonus- side dish recommendations for a delicious salmon dinner. Get the recipe.
BAKED SEA BASS AND ZUCCHINI SHEET PAN RECIPE
When it comes to easy-peasy dinner recipes, nothing beats sheet pan recipes. They are so easy! Since I promised you more fish recipe, the sheet pan recipe recommendation for today is this Baked Sea Bass And Zucchini Sheet Pan Recipe.
This fish dinner is not only easy but also delicious, healthy, and you make the main and the side at the same time! Get the recipe.
BAJA FISH TACOS
Crispy, fresh and perfect for Taco Tuesday, these Baja Fish Tacos are what tacos dreams are made of, yes, they are so YUMMY!
These fresh fish tacos are made with homemade Pico de Gallo and Creamy White Dill Sauce. Talk about YUM. Get the recipe.
30-Minute Halibut Piccata with Asparagus
Get ready to enjoy the delicate, mild flavor of halibut paired so nicely with lemon–caper-wine saucy goodness for a delicious Halibut Piccata meal. This easy weeknight dinner or impressive meal for guests is nutritious and ready in 30 minutes or less.
- 2 lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 8-oz package quinoa noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 6-oz halibut fillets
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed (about 1 lemon)
- 1 whole lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup Llano Estacado white wine (I used this Pinot Grigio)
- 2 tbsp capers
- Italian parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
Fill a deep stock pot with water and heat over high heat. Once boiling, add the quinoa noodles. Cook just until al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Remove noodles, and rinse with cold water, and then set aside.
- In same water, add the asparagus, and cook 6-8 minutes, until mostly tender. Remove from water, and set aside until ready to plate.
- Season both sides go the halibut with sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Combine the chickpea flour, remaining sea salt and ground black pepper in a shallow dish.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Take each seasoned halibut and dredge into the flour mixture, taking care to shake off excess each time.
- Once the oil is hot, transfer the dredged fish to skillet and cook until golden-brown, approx. 3-5 minutes per side.
- Once golden on each side, add the lemon juice, lemon slices, chicken broth, wine, and capers.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the halibut is cooked through and the sauce is reduced.
- To serve, plate halibut over the asparagus, and drizzle sauce over and around on the plate. Garnish with cooked lemon slices and chopped parsley, if desired.
This post contains affiliate links for products I use often and highly recommend. This post is sponsored by Llano Estacado.
I've got your dinners covered this week
- Get my FREE 5-Day Meal Plan plus...
- Organized grocery list to save time and money
- Helpful cooking tips and tricks
- Free videos on forming better cooking skills
- Kitchen conversion and substitution charts