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This easy pan seared halibut recipe with lemon butter sauce will show you how to pan sear halibut perfectly every time! Pan fried halibut could pass for a fancy meal out, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. In just 5 minutes prep and 15 minutes cooking time, dinner is ready. It tastes plenty decadent, thanks to the butter lemon sauce for halibut, but it’s plenty healthy, too! If you have any hesitations about fish, this might just be the recipe to turn you into a fan. Try it out for an easy dinner or a meal to impress.
I was inspired to make this pan seared halibut recipe when I got my new Zulay Kitchen Metal Lemon Squeezer. Right away, I got the idea to make lemon butter sauce for halibut.
I have to admit, more often than not I used to either buy bottled lemon juice or just squeeze using my hands, and this new tool made such a huge difference:
- It didn’t strain my hands. So much less effort than just squeezing manually!
- I got way more lemon juice out. Probably double what I normally do when squeezing lemons!
- Can’t beat the fresh taste. The bottled stuff is convenient, but totally flavorless compared to fresh squeezed lemon juice.
- It caught all the seeds. No more fishing them out like I do when I use my hands.
- It’s metal and feels sturdy. I can tell this thing will last forever.
- It was easy to clean. It’s even dishwasher safe!
(Use code WHOLESOMEYUM15 for 15% off!)
How To Pan Sear Halibut
I know you are wondering how to pan sear halibut! Is it hard? Nope, not at all.
Here’s how to make the best pan seared halibut recipe:
- Dry halibut. Use paper towels to pat the halibut fillets dry. This will ensure even browning, so don’t skip this step!
- Season halibut. Season fish generously on both sides with garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Sear halibut fillets. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the fish in a single layer, and sear, without moving, for 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip over, and sear for another 2-4 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
TIP: Avoid moving the fish around! This is what helps it get a nice, browned sear.
That’s how to pan sear halibut! Told you it was easy. 😉
How To Make Sauce For Halibut
Once your pan fried halibut is done cooking, it’s time to make the butter sauce for halibut! You can simply remove the fish, cover to keep warm, and re-use the same pan.
- Brown butter. Reduce pan to medium-low and add the butter. Once it melts, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes, until the butter is brown, frothy, and smells nutty.
Add lemon juice. Use the Zulay Kitchen Lemon Squeezer to squeeze all the juice from both halves of the lemon into the pan. Bring to a simmer for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until volume is reduced by half.
TIP: Place the halved lemon into the squeezer open side down, then squeeze! You can open and close again several times to get it all out.
- Plate your pan seared halibut with lemon butter sauce. Drizzle a little of the sauce for halibut over the plate, top with fish, then drizzle more sauce on top.
How Long To Cook Halibut In A Pan
The halibut sauteed in butter will take about 5-9 minutes to cook, depending a bit on the size of your fillet and how hot your pan is. A good starting point is to cook it for 3-4 minutes on the first side, undisturbed.
TIP: The first side is done when you see the edges are opaque, and it’s browned underneath.
Carefully flip it over, and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes, until it’s cooked through.
TIP: The lemon butter halibut is done when the whole filet is opaque and flakes easily.
Can You Make Pan Seared Halibut Recipe Ahead?
For the best results, make this pan seared halibut with lemon butter sauce right before you plan on serving it. It takes just 10 minutes to cook, so it’s easy to make quickly!
Fish tends to get a little rubbery when it’s reheated and it can be easy to overcook it, so I always recommend making it fresh.
What To Serve With Pan Fried Halibut
This pan seared halibut recipe is pretty versatile, so it can go in many different directions. And I’ve got them all! Whether you’re looking for salads, veggie sides, or anything in between, check out my low carb side dishes. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Oven Roasted Green Beans with Garlic – Roast these easy green beans in the oven while you’re making pan fried halibut with lemon. Your healthy dinner is ready to be devoured!
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower – This one is a show stopper, but so is this pan seared halibut fillet recipe, so it’s a good match. 😉
- Asparagus In The Oven – I think asparagus is a great match for pan fried halibut in butter. Give the asparagus a squeeze with lemon, too!
- Rainbow Salad – If you’re looking for a fresh option, try this easy (and colorful!) salad.
Tools To Make Pan Fried Halibut:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Fish Turner – This special angled spatula will help flip your pan fried halibut in butter, without it flaking apart. Worth having if you cook a lot of seafood.
- Zulay Lemon Kitchen Squeezer – Fresh lemon juice makes this the best sauce for halibut and my Zulay citrus press makes it beyond easy.
Reader Fave Keto Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Pan Seared Halibut Recipe With Lemon Butter Sauce
This pan seared halibut recipe with lemon butter sauce takes just 20 minutes... which you'd never guess with how fancy pan fried halibut looks. I'll show you how to pan sear halibut, plus how to make the perfect sauce for halibut.
Recipe VideoClick or tap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!
Click underlined ingredients to buy them!
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Lemon butter sauce:
RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Use paper towels to pat the halibut fillets completely dry - this will ensure even browning. Season the fish on both sides with garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
Add the fish fillets in a single layer (you can do it in batches if all the fish won't fit in a single layer). Sear, without moving, for 3-4 minutes, until the edges of the fish are opaque. Flip and cook for 2-4 minutes, until cooked through.
Remove the fish from the pan and cover tightly with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the butter to the same pan. Wait for it to melt, then heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browned and smells nutty.
Use the Zulay Kitchen Lemon Squeezer to squeeze all the juice from both halves of the lemon into the pan. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for about 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until volume is reduced by half. The lemon butter sauce will still be thin.
Drizzle a little lemon butter sauce over each serving plate. Place the pan seared halibut fillets over the sauce, then drizzle more sauce on top.
Made this recipe? Leave a rating! ★★★★★
Serving size: 1 halibut fillet + 2 tbsp lemon butter sauce
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Video Showing How To Make Pan Seared Halibut:
Don't miss the VIDEO above - it's the easiest way to learn how to make Pan Seared Halibut!
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. We'd LOVE for you to share a link to this recipe, but please DO NOT COPY/PASTE the recipe instructions to social media or websites. You may share a photo with a link back instead.