Tender, oven baked halibut is a real treat! It’s delicate flavor and firm texture are perfect for any number of cuisines and seasonings, and we love it with fresh peach salsa in the summer.
Halibut might seem like a pretentious fish, but that’s probably because you’re accustomed to ordering it in a fancy restaurant, amirite? You can save a few bucks and pack a serious nutritional punch by making it at home with this deceptively simply recipe for Baked Halibut with Peach Salsa.
Properly prepared, baked halibut is sweet, succulent, and utterly decadent. It’s also one of the simplest baked fish recipes to master, requiring basic tools and a few simple steps.
Halibut easily fits a variety of cuisines because it’s flavor is so mild, so you can go a bit wild with the seasonings. When ripe peaches abound, this simple fruit salsa is the perfect accompaniment. The entire dish is jam-packed with flavor, but takes just minutes to make. Quick enough for a weeknight dinner but impressive enough for a dinner party, this oven baked halibut with peach salsa is an essential dish that any home chef can master.
What is Halibut?
Halibut is a lean, firm white fish with a mild and delicate flavor – similar to tilapia, but a bit meatier. The skin is edible, but unlike salmon, not very delicious. Because it’s so lean, the flesh dries out quickly if cooked too long, so cooking at heat high for a short period of time is recommended.
Halibut is an oily fish, rich in micronutrients, high quality protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’a also one of the safest fish you can eat if you’re concerned about mercury contamination.
Choosing Sustainable Halibut
Sustainably sourced halibut can be extremely difficult to source fresh, especially here on the east coast. Wild Atlantic halibut is on the “avoid” list as it’s overfished, so we opt for frozen wild Alaskan Pacific halibut, which is available everywhere we shop. The fillets are flash-frozen in vacuum sealed packages and incredibly fresh-tasting once thawed. To defrost, place the frozen fillets in the fridge overnight and cook the next day (frozen fish should always be eaten as soon as it thaws).
If you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh Pacific halibut, look for firm, white, and odorless fillets. Ask your fish monger to remove the skin for you.
When buying either fresh or raw, look for the blue “Certified Sustainable Seafood” label.
How to Make Baked Halibut with Peach Salsa
Light, flaky and delicious, properly prepared halibut is a treat. But it can also be expensive! So proper cooking is a must. The delicate but meaty flavor of halibut is perfect for bold flavors, like this tangy peach salsa.
Pat the halibut fillets dry, then place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Transfer the baking sheet to a 450°F oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the flesh just turns opaque. The flesh should be firm in the center, but moist-looking, and should easily flake into large pieces with a fork. The ideal temperature is between 130°F and 135°F using an instant read thermometer.
While the halibut bakes, make the peach salsa. Combine two chopped ripe peaches with a chopped persian cucumber, half a chopped bell pepper, chopped parsley, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
Toss the salsa until thoroughly mixed, then adjust the seasoning to preference, adding more lime juice, salt, or pepper as necessary.
Generously top each halibut fillet with the peach salsa and serve immediately.
Tips for Making Perfect Baked Halibut
Baked halibut is deceptively simple, but since it’s on the pricy side you want to cook it perfectly. Follow these tips for a fool-proof fillet every time:
- If using frozen fillets, thaw in their packaging overnight and cook the next day.
- If using fresh fillets, look for firm, white and odorless skin. Purchase the day you’re going to cook.
- Pat the fillets dry before adding oil and seasoning.
- Season liberally! Halibut’s texture is meaty, but the flavor is mild, so season appropriately.
- Be sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper so that the fish doesn’t stick.
- Because this is a lean fish, it’s best cooked at a high temperature for a short period of time.
- Don’t overcook. I repeat: Do Not Overcook. This is probably the most critical point! Halibut is done when the flesh is opaque, moist-looking, and flakes easily with a fork. It probably needs less time than you think. If you’re not comfortable eye-balling, use an instant-read thermometer and cook to 130°-135°F.
- Enjoy your halibut immediately. Again, it’s a lean fish so it can dry out easily.
More Healthy Seafood Recipes
- Salmon Avocado Salad
- Crab Omelet with Avocado and Herbs
- Pan Seared Salmon with Mango Cucumber Mango Salsa
- Lemon Butter Shrimp
- Black Bean Salsa with Crab and Mango
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Baked Halibut with Peach SalsaPrint Recipe Rate This Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 6-oz halibut fillets
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 medium ripe peaches, diced to 1/2"
- 1 persian cucumber, diced to 1/2"
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced to 12"
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Heat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pat the halibut fillets until dry, then place onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub into both sides of the fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and baked 10-12, or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F-135°F using an instant read thermometer.
- While the halibut cooks, make the peach salsa. Combine the peaches, cucumber, bell pepper, parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine, then taste for seasoning. Adjust with additional lime juice, salt, or pepper as needed.
- Generously top the baked halibut with the salsa, then serve immediately. Leftover salsa will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- If using frozen fish, defrost in its packaging overnight in the fridge.
- The salsa makes a generous portion size and you'll likely have leftovers. It's delicious over grilled chicken or with tortilla chips.