Baked Halibut

April 10, 2010
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

Fish has always intimidated me. I'm not sure why. It probably stems from growing up in a house where fish wasn't cooked -- well, except for a few meals of fried catfish. Not long ago I decided to take the plunge and jump in feet first. I wish I hadn't waited so long -- baked fish is so easy! When you buy your fish, be sure that it doesn't smell too fishy. Fresh fish will be best, but frozen will work fine. Also, ask the cute fish guy for a cut that is pretty consistent in thickness from one end to the other. If they are customer-oriented, they will do so with a smile on their face. If not, find another cute fish guy. —vivisue

Test Kitchen Notes

I like to do all manner of fun things with fish, but I confess that baking is my favorite. High oven temperatures met with a watchful eye create the best texture for most fish, except maybe the crab cake, which I guess is not really fish.

Sometimes, the simplest, most old-fashioned preparation is in order. This halibut reminds me of something someone’s mother would make (not my mother, who largely contained herself to roast beef and rare steaks), or the sort of thing you order at lunch at an expense account fish restaurant in downtown Washington with a colleague because you guys are keeping it simple as you try to convince him, unsuccessfully, to take over the world. That’s one example.

All you are really doing here is adding old-fashioned salt and pepper and breadcrumbs, aided by butter, not oil. Watch your fish; mine was done in about 15 minutes, but this does depend on how thickly it is sliced. —Jestei

Watch This Recipe
Baked Halibut
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1 1/2 pounds halibut or cod
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Canola or olive oil
In This Recipe
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Remove the skin from the fish either now, or before serving.
  3. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper to taste and place it in a baking dish that has been sprayed with a little oil.
  4. Melt butter in a medium-sized bowl in the microwave. Be sure to cover the top of the bowl with a paper towel to save yourself clean up time inside the microwave.
  5. Combine the bread crumbs with the butter until well coated, and spoon the crumb mixture over top of the fish. Cover the top of the fish evenly.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes if about 1 inch thick; about 15-20 minutes, depending upon thickness. Mine was about 1.5" thick and I baked for about 20 minutes. Check flakiness with a fork. Be careful not to over bake. When done, the fish should flake with a fork. Begin checking the fish for flakiness 5-10 minutes before it should be done. Sprinkle it with chopped fresh chives, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marty Terry
    Marty Terry
  • David B Neitzke
    David B Neitzke
  • juliunruly
  • vivisue
  • Janice Webb
    Janice Webb

9 Reviews

Marty T. September 23, 2020
Listen to David, halibut is much better at med rare. Once it’s overdone it’s like cardboard, dry and lifeless. Less cooking is better, Watch it like a hawk And get it out before it is done
David B. April 1, 2018
I have fished Halibut in Ak for 15 yrs, caught all size up to 85#.. I do not waste freezer space with bones nor skin.. If you folks are buying market fish, at $24. per lb your fish should be skinned when you take it home, don't pay for parts you cannot use... 20 to 30 minutes at 400 is way to long for halibut, start to check at 15, if fish is slightly opaque - good, it will firm up between oven and plate.. Nothing is more disgusting than paying top dollar for the most very expensive fish, and ruining it with bad advice...
Rubyobwan September 7, 2020
Thanks ; very important since this is my first time with this type of fish.
mwm September 11, 2016
fabulous, super easy fish dish. Thought it would be bland but not so. Added a sprinkle of paprika.
juliunruly January 4, 2016
This is a lovely dish, but I have to second the author's advice (from this article: to check on your fish as it cooks.

I had two pieces that were a tad bit over 1.5" thick, and after 30 mins at 400f they were overbaked and dry. Luckily we had delicious leftover romesco sauce to top the fish with, and it wasn't a total loss. I'll definitely try this again with less cooking time though.
Author Comment
vivisue January 4, 2016
I'm so sorry you had that experience. Yes, checking the flakiness after 15 or 20 minutes is a great idea for any cut of fish. Thanks for the additional information!
Author Comment
vivisue November 15, 2014
YAY!!!! I'm so glad. It is just so simple that there is no reason not to have more fish in our diets! And delicious! I love adding the parm to the crumbs.
Janice W. November 15, 2014
This recipe turned out great! I did add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to the panko crumbs.
Author Comment
vivisue September 8, 2020
Oooooo, love this!!