This lemon butter halibut is baked to perfection and sits on top of a bed of couscous, asparagus, and tomatoes. It’s a fresh, flavorful meal that will make you want more.
There is not much that goes into this baked halibut recipe. It only takes 10-15 minutes to bake until it’s flaky. The couscous is cooked separately and then tossed into a baking dish with the asparagus and tomatoes.
To season both the fish and the couscous mixture, I used old bay and a lemon herb finishing butter. That is it. No need to create your own flavor profile or have a ton of seasonings on hand. It’s just not necessary for this recipe making the prep time for this very minimal.
As I mentioned above, seasoning the fish and couscous is super easy! There’s really not much to it. Below, I’ve laid out the simple ingredients you need to make this super flavorful dinner.
For The Fish
- 2 filets of halibut fillets patted dry with a paper towel (you can use frozen thawed or fresh halibut)
- 2 teaspoons old bay
- 2-3 teaspoons of lemon herb finishing butter
For The Couscous
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups couscous
- Asparagus cut into small pieces
- Grape tomatoes, halved
- Fresh parsley and or fresh dill
The old bay and lemon herb butter have all of the flavor that this meal needs. Old bay, if you didn’t already know, is a blend of 18 herbs that contain celery seed, paprika, mustard, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and more. It’s got a little heat but if you don’t go overboard with it, this won’t be a problem. Isn’t using that so much better than making your own blend? I think so.
The lemon herb finishing butter I used is something that I bought from my local grocery store. I did this for convenience. Plus I figured we would use it on a lot of other recipes in the future, or even over popcorn yum. It contains, you guessed it, lemon, herbs, and butter. If you don’t see this or something similar at your local grocery store, you can easily make it from scratch and keep it on hand for when you need some easy added flavor.
Making The Lemon Herb Butter
To make the lemon herb butter you first want to start with 1/2 cup of butter. Starting with a lot of butter is great if you plan to use this in other recipes. Make sure your butter is softened or at room temperature. This will make combining other flavors a lot easier.
To your butter, add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of each of your favorite herbs. When I made this from scratch I used thyme, rosemary, and dill.
If you’re using unsalted butter you can also add some salt. I like to use seasoned salt because it adds even more flavor, but you can stick with regular salt. If you want to ad some black pepper you can but I have not. I typically wait to add that onto whatever I am cooking.
There you have it, lemon herb butter that is going to be super delicious over this baked halibut and now you have more for later to toss on some pasta or baste over grilled chicken while it’s still hot to add so much moisture.
Alternatives to The Lemon Herb Butter
Not a huge butter fan? Or maybe you’re avoiding it all together. If that’s you, there are alternatives that taste just as delicious! Something else I’ve tried and loved doing is cooking with flavored oils. If you don’t have an oil shop that sells pre-flavored oils you can simply make your own with the ingredients you have on hand. This is just like using a flavorful sauce but it's oil based and will make your fish taste very rich.
You’ll want to start with olive oil. Heat about 3/4 cup olive oil over low heat to medium heat in a large skillet. Add fresh 1 head of fresh (whole) garlic, a few rosemary and/or thyme sprigs, and peeled lemon zest from 2 lemons. Keep over the heat until the oil begins to bubble slightly.
Once it reaches this point, transfer the oil and its contents to a heatproof bowl and let sit until it reaches room temperature. Once done, strain the oil free from the cooked lemon slices, garlic, and herbs and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use a few tablespoons to drizzle the butter lemon sauce over the halibut and couscous before and after it’s done baking.
Storing The Lemon Butter Halibut
This lemon butter halibut can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also use aluminum foil to cover your baking dish in the refrigerator. We have done that and it's worked great. When reheating, do so in the microwave for 30 second increments. Feel free to add more lemon butter sauce to give the fish and couscous that fresh out of the oven taste.
Baked Lemon Butter Halibut with Couscous and Asparagus
- 1 1/2 cup couscous
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bunch of asparagus chopped into bite sized pieces
- 10 oz grape tomatoes halved
- 2-3 filets of halibut
- 1-2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon herb finishing butter
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- In a sauce pan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Once your chicken broth is boiling add the couscous and cook uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is al dente.
- Once the couscous is cooked place at the bottom of a baking dish and add 1 tablespoon of lemon herb finishing butter and mix until the butter has melted and the couscous is covered. Add asparagus and tomatoes to the baking dish.
- Cover the halibut with old bay seasoning (top and bottom) and place over the couscous. Place the remaining lemon herb finishing butter over top of the filets. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until your fish begins to flake easily with a fork. This may depend on the thickness of your fish.
To Make Your Own Lemon Herb Butter
- Combine in a small bowl 1/2 cup softened butter, 1-2 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of each of your favorite fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, dill). Add salt to taste if using unsalted butter. Mix well with a fork until all the ingredients are fully combined. Refrigerate leftovers and use on pasta, chicken, fish, etc.