Healthy Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives ~ it’s like putting a pan of Mediterranean sunshine on the dinner table, but it’s a lot more delicious. Roasting is the best way to cook a firm white fish like halibut, it comes out tender, juicy, and so darned pretty!
This yummy meal is low in fat, carbs, and calories, but high in protein, and gluten free. It’s easily adapted for Whole 30 and paleo diets, so basically no one’s left out.
Serve this healthy baked fish with some crusty bread and a nice white wine…you’ll be living large with very little effort. This is the real life kind of meal you’d find in my kitchen if you happen to drop in on me on a random night. And did you know we’re supposed to be eating fish at least 2 times a week according to the American Heart Association?
Is halibut a healthy fish?
- Omgosh it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
- Halibut is a high quality protein, and rich in heart healthy omega-3s.
- Halibut is loaded with selenium, an important trace mineral and powerful antioxidant.
- It’s a delicious source of Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6.
- Because halibut is a low fat source of protein it’s ideal for weight loss diets.
Is halibut sustainable?
- Pacific halibut is rated thumbs up by Seafoodwatch.org, but Atlantic halibut is overfished and has bycatch issues. Bycatch is when other fish are caught up unintentionally in fishing nets, etc. You probably won’t find Atlantic halibut for sale in the US right now, but you should always read labels or ask your fish monger.
- My halibut is from Norway where the fish is farmed sustainably.
- You can substitute another firm white fish for the halibut, which does tend to be expensive. Cod would be ideal.
Roasted halibut with sunny Mediterranean ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, and olives, is a great way to eat healthy and low carb all year long.
It’s the middle of winter and yet I can always find red plum tomatoes in the produce section. If you can’t, a good can of crushed tomatoes will do. I love to buy American whenever I can, but when it comes to canned tomatoes, imported are the only way to go 🙂 My current fave brand? Mutti.
ingredients for this roasted halibut recipe
- halibut fillet ~ it’s $$$ so feel free to substitute.
- crushed tomatoes ~ I used fresh plum tomatoes that are pretty good year round, but you can use a good quality canned.
- garlic ~ gotta have it.
- wine ~ either white or red is ok.
- bell peppers ~ the more colors the merrier.
- olives ~ I love my pitted bright green Castelvetrano olives, but you could us inky kalamata if you prefer them.
- capers ~ don’t be afraid of them!
- fennel seeds ~ these little seeds burst with flavor when you bite down on them.
- lemon ~ I used Meyer lemons, because I’m in California and I can 😉
- parsley ~ substitute basil if you like.
- red onion ~ sliced wafer thin, and added raw at the last minute for some bite and some crunch.
What the heck are capers?
One of the most misunderstood foods on the planet, that’s what.
- Capers are little flower buds!
- They grow on a plant in the Mediterranean.
- They’re pickled and sold in little jars. Why little jars? Because their flavor is nice and strong, and a little goes a long way.
- Capers taste like a cross between a pickle and an olive, with a bright, briny lemony taste.
- See them in action in my Creamy Lemon Dill Salmon and my Tossed Salad Nicoise.
roasted halibut assembly
- spread the fresh tomato sauce into a baking dish
- top with the halibut fillet
- arrange sliced peppers around the fish
- scatter olives and capers around the fish
- dot the fish with butter and season with salt
- after roasting, scatter fresh parsley and thin sliced red onions on top of the fish
- drizzle with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper
The fish is done to flaky perfection in 40 minutes, the butter melts and caramelizes the top of the fish, the peppers soften and sweeten, the sauce deepens in flavor, and the olives, capers, and lemons make everything pop. This is a great meal.
Serving suggestions for roasted halibut
This meal doesn’t need much to complete it, there’s plenty of vegetables built right in.
- When we’re feeling lazy we serve this with boxed couscous, easy peasy. You could also do rice, quinoa, or lentils.
- Crusty bread is always great for mopping up that tomato sauce.
- Of course a big green salad always works.
Roasted Halibut with Tomatoes, Peppers, and Olives
- 1 1/3 lbs ripe plum tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1-2 Tbsp tomato paste (the kind in the tube is handy)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lb Norwegian or Pacific halibut fillet
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced (I used 1/2 of 4 different color peppers)
- handful of olives, I used Castelvetrano
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 Meyer lemon, cut in wedges
- 1 Tbsp butter
- handful fresh chopped parsley
- very thinly sliced red onion slivers
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Rinse and chop the tomatoes into large chunks. Put them into a food processor with the garlic, and pulse/process them until pureed, but they don't have to be super smooth, some texture is good.
- Put the tomatoes in a skillet and bring up to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and add the wine and paste. Let it cook for about 15 minutes at a gentle bubble, so it can thicken. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce into the bottom of your baking pan. Top with the fish. Add the sliced peppers, olives, capers, fennel seeds and lemon wedges around the fish and nestle everything into the sauce.
- Dot the fish with butter and loosely cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil half way through. Finish the dish under the broiler for some last minute color.
- Top the fish with the parsley and onions, drizzle with good olive oil, shower with fresh cracked black pepper and serve.
Questions and Reviews
What a keeper. Tried and true fresh and flavorful basic ingredients just can’t be beat! I used the halibut but u r right, I think any mild fish would do just as well.
Can the tomato sauce be prepared ahead of time? This looks like a great dish for a girls’ weekend but I’d rather prep the sauce the day before. Thank you!
Absolutely! It will probably get better overnight.
This recipe is wonderful! Beautiful presentation and delicious flavors! I added my favorite seasoning to the fish and topped with basil instead of parsley. Restaurant quality, everyone loved it ! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Can i leave the wine out or substitute it with something else?
Well, thank you Sue! We had a very flavourful and good looking dinner, but with salmon -not halibut as is not available here-. We love capers, they grow as a ground cover. We pickle the flowers but in the summer we also steam or eat raw the leaves which are delicious. Only the recent years I eat capers ; for some inexplicable reason – like you- I simply avoided them . Could be the mat-green-grey looks and strong-salty taste? Now they got a second chance…..
What a gorgeous dish, Sue! I love halibut and have been seeing it at the grocery quite a bit, and this recipe looks so tasty! I love anything with olives and capers – so much flavor! Thanks for the lovely recipe!
Could you give me the nutritive value for this recipe. Thank you.
When I get to my desk I’ll try to calculate that for you 🙂
I had no idea that capers were little flower buds – thanks for enlightening me! This is such a colourful dish, it looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing.
I used to avoid them too, I have no idea why, but now we always have a little jar in the fridge.