This baked halibut is cooked until tender and served with a tomato caper sauce. Prepare the sauce ahead of time for a quick and easy dinner!
What, do you think, is the most luxurious type of white fish?
The most meaty, flaky, sweet fish you can find?
Well, it's not a competition, but if it were, I would say halibut is a strong contender.
Halibut boasts a mild flavor that pairs wonderfully with bolder ingredients.
I've had some fantastic meals made with the halibut from the CSF (Community Supported Fishery) that we subscribe to.
But lately I wanted to opt for some brighter flavors.
This halibut is baked and then topped with a tomato caper sauce that can be prepped ahead of time for a quick dinner!
Can I Swap In Another Fish?
Sure! If you want to aim for something a little more off the beaten path, you can make this recipe with lingcod, another mild, dense white fish.
Or you can use cod, which is often easier to find, or another similar type of white fish.
How to Make Tomato Caper Sauce
This sauce can be made year-round, so whether you have fresh or canned tomatoes, you're good to go.
The sauce comes together pretty quickly, but if you're the type of person who likes to do meal prep, you could also make it and refrigerate it beforehand!
Start by dicing an onion and then cooking in a heavy saucepan until the onions are tender.
I like to use a Lodge enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
Add the capers and diced garlic. Then cook for a couple more minutes.
Then add the tomatoes, salt, and thyme. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens.
Juicy tomatoes may take a little longer to cook down.
At this point, you can cover the sauce to keep it warm while you cook the fish.
Or if you're doing this step as meal prep, let it cool and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. Then simply reheat!
How to Make Baked Halibut
Place the halibut in an oiled, oven-safe pan.
This Lodge 12" carbon steel skillet works well for me. You could also use a sheet pan or casserole dish.
Drizzle the fish with a little oil. Then salt the fillets and top with slices of lemon.
Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 8 minutes per one inch of thickness.
The halibut will be tender and easily pierced with a fork when done.
If your fillets are on the thinner side, watch them carefully to make sure they don't get overdone!
Serve the halibut immediately after topping with the warm tomato caper sauce.
If you've got extra sauce left over, it's tasty mixed in to rice or pasta side dishes!
Baked Halibut with Tomato Caper Sauce
Tomato Caper Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon capers or use diced Kalamata olives
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, cored + diced
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, removed from stems ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces halibut (2 fillets) Or swap cod (or another dense white fish)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ lemon (4 thin slices)
Tomato Caper Sauce:
- Add oil to a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onions and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.Add garlic and capers. Cook 1-2 more minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, salt, and thyme. Lower heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. (If your tomatoes are especially juicy, they may take a few minutes longer to cook.)Cover sauce to keep warm.Optionally, prepare the sauce up to 3-4 days ahead of time, and rewarm before serving.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.Brush an oven-safe pan with half the oil. Alternatively, use a baking sheet or casserole dish.Set the fish in the pan. Drizzle remaining oil over fish and sprinkle with salt. Cover the fish in lemon slices.
- Cover pan with foil, and bake 8 minutes per 1" thickness. The fish is done when tender and easily pierced by a fork.Note that thinner fillets of fish will cook more quickly, so take care to note the thickness of the fillets.
- Serve the halibut right away along with the tomato caper sauce.Any extra sauce can be used to top side dishes (such as rice, pasta, or cauliflower rice).