This Cast Iron Halibut dinner is a healthy Mediterranean style dinner that you can prepare in less than half an hour. We serve this halibut meal with a fresh salad and couscous. Lemon & dill tie this whole meal together as I use both when cooking the halibut and couscous. Hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do:).
Halibut is a flat, white fish that is great served in fillets. This fish has a mild flavor. It’s great served with sauces, roasted or pan fried.
I love using a cast iron skillet to cook halibut. This fish cooks fast and you don’t want it cooking for long because it dries fast. So usually I cook seasoned halibut fillets in olive oil in cast iron, flip once after 3-4 minutes then cook the other side and you’re done. Serve right away for best results:).
Couscous Side Dish
I use pearl couscous to make this yummy side dish. Pearl couscous is also commonly known as Israeli Couscous. There’s smaller size couscous that looks more like quinoa than the pearled version below. That would be similar to the Moroccan couscous. Whichever version of couscous you choose, just follow the cooking instructions on the package. Then add lemon and dill for flavor.
I toasted lightly the pearl couscous in olive oil. Then added water. Once it’s boiling, add salt, dill and lemon. Let cook until done. Fluff with fork and serve with your protein of choice. It’s that easy!!
Oh and contrary to what some people believe, couscous is not a grain, it’s made of semolina so it’s pasta!
Tips & Notes
My first tip is to use a Fish Spatula. I resisted getting one for the longest time and I would break the fillets occasionally when serving. It makes flipping halfway through cooking easier too.
- You can use rice instead of couscous, this jasmine rice recipe would be great.
- Add any salad of choice, greens, tomatoes, cucumbers are a great choice for halibut.
- Add tomatoes to skillet towards the end, maybe just last minute. You don’t want them to overcook.
- Pat dry halibut before cooking then season.
- I love using coarse Mediterranean Sea Salt to season on both sides.
- Make sure you heat the cast iron skillet for few minutes before you start cooking. I like using medium heat (slightly higher than medium but not high). On a stovetop I use a 6-7 setting out of 10.
Cast Iron Halibut Dinner with Couscous
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 1 tsp freshly chopped dill
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1.25 cups water
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch salt to taste
- 4 halibut fillets standard is 6 ozs but you can go up to 8 ozs if desired
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsps olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp coarse Mediterranean sea salt use less if trying to keep sodium low
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill add extra for garnish as needed
- 1 lemon
- 0.5 tsp white pepper
- I usually get couscous started first and once it is cooking, I sear the halibut so both finish cooking almost simultaneously.
- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil in a small to medium pot. Set heat to medium. Then add a cup of couscous, toast slightly using a wooden spoon. This gives couscous a nutty flavor.
- Add 1.25 cups of water (pre-heat water if you can in an electric kettle). Then add a pinch of salt, dill and lemon juice. Mix it once. Once the water boils, cover with a lid and lower heat to simmer. Couscous should be done in about 10 minutes. Turn heat off! Set pot aside. When ready to serve fluff up with a fork, then garnish with fresh dill and lemon slices.
- Since couscous cooks so fast, I don't cook huge quantities to avoid leftovers. It always tastes better when cooked fresh!
- Use fresh halibut or thawed halibut fillets. Pat dry fillets with a paper towel. Then season with coarse Mediterranean salt, white pepper, fresh dill on both sides. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice over fillets.
- Place cast iron skillet on the stovetop, medium heat until skillet is hot. Add olive oil to skillet.
- Place halibut fillets carefully on the cast iron skillet. Don't move them around or try to flip them. You'll flip them only once after 3-4 minutes. Usually fish becomes white from the bottom up. Flip carefully, it helps to use a fish spatula. Let cook on the other side as well for same amount of time. Towards the last 2 minutes add the cherry tomatoes around the skillet. You want them to sear lightly but not overcook. Don't stir the tomatoes!
- Garnish with fresh dill and lemon slices. I also sprinkle fresh lemon juice over fish right before serving. It's best to serve right away for best flavor. Enjoy:)
- This is a high protein dish. If you would like to lower the carbs, cut couscous out and add steamed vegetables or another salad.
- I use olive oil when cooking this dish, both for the fish and couscous because I like to keep it Mediterranean Diet friendly. If you don’t adhere to Med Diet, feel free to substitute olive oil with butter.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please pin the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions. Feel free to tag me in social media with pictures of your halibut dinner. Thank you for reading my post!
Other seafood recipes from my blog:
- Pan seared Chilean Sea Bass
- Baked Mediterranean Branzino
- Baked Whole Red Snapper
- Salmon & Onions Casserole