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Baked Halibut with Pesto

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Baked Halibut with Pesto

Baked Halibut with Pesto

Jessica Braider
This 3-ingredient dish is mild enough for the kids. The white fish with the contrast of the green pesto sauce provides a touch of style, and as Scramble recipe tester Alice Clark said, this is “restaurant quality fabulous.”
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. halibut fillets (with or without skin) or other thick white fish fillets
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade) See below for homemade directions


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the butter in a casserole dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer, and place the dish in the oven to melt the butter. Remove the dish from the oven and coat both sides of the fish with butter by flipping it once in the dish. (If the fillet has skin, the skin side should be down after you flip the fish.)
  • Brush the pesto on top of the halibut flesh. (At this point, the fish can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.) Bake it for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is just cooked through and flakes easily. Serve it immediately.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Place each piece of fish on a separate piece of aluminum foil large enough to fold into a packet. Melt the butter, then brush each fillet with the butter and top it with the pesto. Fold the foil around the fish, making a packet. Place the packets in the slow cooker, stacking as necessary, and cook on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 3 1/2 - 4 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)

Homemade Pesto Sauce

  • To make delicious fresh pesto, in a blender or food processor, combine 2 cups (tightly packed) fresh basil leaves, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp. pine nuts, 1/2 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Process or blend it until it is coarsely mixed.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Prepare and refrigerate the pesto if making your own, assemble and refrigerate the fish as directed above.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Before cooking, top the pesto with plenty of freshly ground black pepper, fresh lemon zest, or lemon pepper seasoning.
Tip: Halibut, a nutrient-dense fish that is very high in both tryptophan and selenium, antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. When selecting halibut, look for firm, white flesh with no signs of browning and a fresh scent that smells like the sea, and not too fishy.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 315, Total Fat: 11g, 17%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 15%; Cholesterol: 83mg, 27%; Sodium: 180mg, 8%; Total Carbohydrate: 1g, 0%; Dietary Fiber: 0g, 0%; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 48g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Company/Entertaining, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Kosher, Low Carb, Low Fat, Main Dish, No Added Sugar, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter
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