Pesto Crusted Halibut

This recipe was an unexpected hit. The flavor combination and inspiration came from a recipe I had at a friend’s house. I fiddled with it, as I always do, and came up with this: an incredibly flavorful, satisfying meal that happens to be quite healthy and comes across as kind of fancy but couldn’t be easier to prepare (4 ingredients!). The quantities can be scaled up or down with ease, and feel free to use your favorite fish, we prefer halibut, but Mahi Mahi is very good too. The first time I served it to my family, my table suddenly became the dinner scene from What About Bob. What?! You’ve never seen it??! Well click here and prepare to giggle. Bill Murray is the funniest. Ok, back to the fish. I was in crazy healthy mom mode when I made this once, and served it with quinoa (say it with me “Keen-Waaa”) and wilted fresh spinach. Talk about a meal full of super health foods. But this would be wonderful with any kind of rice or grain, mashed potatoes, or even just a simple salad and a hunk of good crusty bread. Try it… You’ll like it.


Pesto Crusted Halibut

Serves 4


  • 4 (6-8ounce) halibut fillets about 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup of your favorite basil pesto (plus some reserved for serving)
  • 1/4 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup pine nuts, lightly crushed (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can easily do this in a ziploc bag, just lightly press on them with a rolling pin, bottom of a measuring cup, wine bottle…)
  • Lemon for serving (optional)

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Pat halibut dry with paper towels, and place on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, allowing for some space between the fillets. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.

Combine pesto and breadcrumbs to form a paste (if reserving some for serving, make sure you reserve it before adding breadcrumbs.) Place about 1/4 cup of pesto-bread crumb mixture on each fillet, and press down to form an even layer covering the entire top surface of the fillet (I use my fingers for this).

Divide the pine nuts evenly over the pesto layers, each one should get 2-3 tablespoons depending on the size of your fillets.


Place baking sheet in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the pine nuts get toasted, and the fish is just cooked through and opaque.


Serve with lemon wedges and reserved pesto.


Enjoy! (and prepare for lots of “Mmmmmm” noises.)


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