*FAVORITE* Pacific Halibut in Parchment

This is a great light and easy post-holiday meal.  I found it years ago in a Delicious Living flyer at Vitamin Cottage (a local grocer in Denver).

The Pacific Halibut season just ended in November, but thawed previously frozen halibut is sold now at good fish markets (call ahead to find out) and it works fine in this recipe (and it is cheaper).  You can replace the halibut with another in-season white fish, but be sure to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes based on the thickness of the fish filet.  If you do find fresh halibut in December/January it is Atlantic halibut (farmed).

Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • If necessarily prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, then assemble the parchment packages right before it goes in the oven.
  • Definitely serve it right away (don’t let it sit and overcook).
  • I often double the recipe, and I can fit 8 parchment packages on my 13″x18″ jelly roll pan (it’s tight, but it works).
  • I serve it in the parchment – I remove the paper clips and fold back the parchment a little to not overcook the fish.
  • Have your fish cutter trim the skin off the halibut and cut into desired number of filets.
  • Be sure to adjust the cooking time by a few minutes depending upon the size of your filets.
  • If you want to make the meal heartier without adding more fish, add more white beans.  You could serve with a side of steamed mini potatoes (any variety).

Serves 4

  • 4 13×13-inch pieces parchment paper
  • 8 paper clips
  • 4 5-ounce halibut filets, each 1-inch thick, skin removed
  • 16 plump asparagus spears (not too thin, or they’ll overcook)
  • 32 cherry tomatoes, stemmed
  • 1/2 cup or more white beans (I use Eden canned beans, rinsed and drained.  Any white bean will work – navy, cannellini, etc.)
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place one halibut fillet in the center of each parchment square. Break off and discard woody ends of asparagus, then cut spears in half crosswise. Arrange asparagus around fillets (two pieces per side). Top asparagus with tomatoes and white beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together dill, mustard, broth, and olive oil. Pour sauce over fillets.
  3. Bring two ends of parchment together over top of each fillet. Fold down 1 inch to seal, then fold over again, flat against fish. Fold up sides and secure each end to middle seam with a paper clip. Arrange parcels on a baking sheet. Bake on middle oven rack for 13 minutes. Open parcels with gloved hands. Test fish by inserting a sharp knife into thickest part; it should enter without resistance, and centers should be opaque. If not fully cooked, rewrap and cook 2–3 minutes more. Place parcels on serving plates, slit paper, and serve.

PER SERVING: 263 cal, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 45mg chol, 35g protein, 11g carb, 5g fiber, 284mg sodium


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