Healthy, light, and satisfying is how I would describe this pan seared halibut with cilantro lime sauce. Perfect for nights when you want something fast and easy to make. This entire dish comes together in 30 minutes and is incredibly delicious.

I served my pan seared halibut with a red onion and Fresno chili salad dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lime. It was delicious. For a heartier option, enjoy this dish with some white or brown rice too.

Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce

For this recipe, I made a simple cilantro lime sauce that is hard to resist. You can drizzle it on meats, salads, fish or anything really. Store sealed in your refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you’re anything like me, this sauce will become a fast favorite.

Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce

I know a lot of people are intimated by cooking fish at home, but don’t be. Halibut is very easy to prepare. You’ll want to make sure the bones are removed from the fillet and leave the skin on. You’ll also want to pat it dry with a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture in the fish. This will help you get a perfect sear. Make sure to season the fish with salt, pepper, and olive oil directly before you add it to the pan. This locks in the flavor and promotes a crispy sear.

Internal temperature ranges:

For a medium temperature you will want to cook the fish to 130-135 degrees. For well done, 140 degrees. If you prefer medium rare, the internal temperature should be 125 degrees, and 120 for rare.

Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce

If you’re looking for more delicious fish recipes? Try my blackened salmon with coconut milk white bean puree. Or my teriyaki salmon skewers, both are so delicious.

Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce
Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Pan Seared Halibut with Cilantro Lime Sauce

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Cilantro Lime Sauce:

  • 2 cups cilantro , remove stems and pack into a measuring cup
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeños , slice in half and remove the seeds and veins
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice , fresh squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup olive oil

Halibut and Red Onion Salad

  • 1 lb. halibut – two large 8 ounce fillets , remove bones and leave skin on
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Fresno chili , diced or sliced thin
  • ½ large red onion , sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley , freshly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, to dress the salad
  • 1 lime , sliced into rounds or wedges


  • 11-inch skillet
  • 2 small mixing bowls
  • food processor or blender


Prepare the fish:

  • Remove the fish from the package and remove any bones. I like to leave the skin on. It helps prevent the fish from getting too dry.
  • Next, pat the fish dry with a paper towel.
  • Then, you’ll heat an 11-inch skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, season the fish with salt, pepper, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
  • Place the fish in the pan meat side down first. Do not move for 4-5 minutes. You'll want to see a golden brown sear.
  • Carefully flip the fish and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the fillets. The internal temp should be 130-135 degrees for a flaky, soft fish.
  • You can tell if the halibut is cooked when it is no longer translucent and firm to the touch. If it is hard to the touch it is overcooked, and if it is soft to the touch you need a little more time.
  • Remove the halibut from the pan and set it aside.

Prepare the cilantro lime sauce:

  • In a blender, combine the cilantro, garlic, deseeded jalapenos, salt, lime juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Give everything a light buzz until the ingredients are well chopped and combined but not creamy and smooth.
  • Pour the sauce into an airtight container and set aside. You can store any extra sauce covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Prepare the salad:

  • In a separate bowl, combine the sliced red onion, Fresno chilis, chopped parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and toss to well combine. Set aside.

Assemble the dish:

  • Grab a plate or serving platter. Add some of the cilantro lime sauce to the bottom of the plate.
  • Add the fish fillets and red onion salad on top of the sauce. Option to add some fresh lime wedges.
  • Serve warm and enjoy.