This fool-proof recipe for halibut pairs broiled fillets with a zesty variation on a classic pesto made with fresh kale.

Broiled Halibut Fillets with Kale Pesto

With its delicate flavor and firm texture, halibut is an easy, versatile fish to prepare at home. It’s the largest member of the flatfish family, which includes both flounder and sole.

Most fish markets carry halibut already cut into easy-to-prepare steaks or fillets, and if necessary, you can ask your fish monger to remove the skin for you too.

Our favorite way of cooking halibut is to broil it seasoned with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then serve it topped with some sort of tasty sauce or a pat of compound butter.

Broiling is a nearly fool-proof way to cook many varieties of fish in a home kitchen and given its firm flesh, halibut is an exceptionally good choice for this method.

This recipe pairs our broiled halibut fillets with a delicious variation on pesto sauce made with fresh kale. Kale pesto has a somewhat milder flavor than its basil-based cousin and it complements the delicate flavor of the halibut perfectly.

Our recipe for Kale Pesto makes approximately 1/2 cup, and you only need about half of that for topping the halibut fillets. We suggest tossing the remainder with some pasta (a small cut like cavatelli or elbows is ideal) and serving it as a side dish.

Broiled Halibut Fillets with Kale Pesto

Broiled Halibut with Kale Pesto

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

This fool-proof recipe for halibut pairs broiled fillets with a zesty variation on a classic pesto made with fresh kale.


  • 4 skinless halibut fillets (about 1-inch thick, 4 to 5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Kale Pesto


  1. Position a rack 4 inches from the top of the oven and preheat the broiler for 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and coat liberally with nonstick spray.
  3. Squeeze some lemon juice over each of the halibut fillets, then rub them with olive oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange the fish on the prepared broiler pan and broil for 4 minutes.
  5. Carefully turn the fillets over and baste with some of the pan juices.
  6. Return them to the oven and broil for an additional 4 minutes, until the fish flakes easily and is opaque all the way through.
  7. Plate individual servings of fish, top each with about 1 tablespoon of the pesto and serve immediately.


If halibut isn't available you can definitely substitute another firm-fleshed fish like cod, grouper or haddock. Check out our Simple Guide to Broiling Fish for cooking guidelines.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 72g

Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.