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Braised Halibut Recipe with Leeks

This simple Braised Halibut Recipe with Leeks is fast and easy to make. It’s got a meltingly delicious flavor thanks to real butter, fresh leeks, and sliced mushrooms. Crushed red pepper, parmesan cheese, and parsley top it off.

A seafood dinner plate with sliced baguette.

An Easy, Gourmet Seafood Dinner!

Some people are a little bit intimidated by cooking fish and shellfish, but this easy dish makes it something you’ll want to do regularly! If you have never cooked halibut, clams, or mussels before, this is a great recipe to get started with. It’s very easy to pull together and takes less than half an hour to prepare.

In terms of flavor, braised halibut with leeks, mushrooms, clams, and mussels is a melt-in-your-mouth, gourmet dish with a mild, buttery flavor. Fresh or frozen halibut will work (thaw out frozen fish in the refrigerator first), or substitute another firm white fish. I serve this with crusty bread because you definitely don’t want to miss soaking up the sauce! 

Braised white fish and shellfish in a fragrant broth.

What Is So Special About Halibut?

Halibut is a lean white fish that comes packed with nutrients. Like salmon, halibut provides protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as selenium, niacin, and many more micronutrients. Protein helps your body rebuild itself and heal itself, while Omega-3s may lower inflammation and even fight cancer. Selenium and other micronutrients all play important roles in fighting disease and maintaining good health.

From top: seasonings, sliced leeks, mussels, halibut, and clams, fresh herbs, butter, mushrooms, chicken stock.

Recipe Ingredients

These simple ingredients come together to make a lush, flavorful dish with tons of nutrients. Fair warning: you might get hungry just reading this!

  • Butter: I use unsalted butter, but you could use salted butter if you like – make sure to lower the amount of salt in the recipe, as needed.
  • Mushrooms: Dried or fresh oyster or shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced.
  • Leeks: Use the white and light-green parts only.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chicken Broth: A lower-sodium chicken broth is a good choice, but you could substitute regular chicken broth, bone broth, or vegetable broth.
  • Halibut: Skinless Pacific halibut fillets. Look for fillets that are about the same thickness and weight for more even cooking. 
  • Clams: Littleneck clams, scrubbed.
  • Mussels: Scrubbed and debearded.
  • Parsley: Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes: You can omit the red pepper flakes if you don’t like them.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Finely grated.
A large shallow bowl with braised halibut, leeks, shellfish, and mushrooms.

How to Make this Braised Halibut Recipe

Even a beginning cook can make this easy recipe, but it looks (and tastes) like a restaurant-worthy meal. Healthy, easy, delicious, and gorgeous to look at – it doesn’t get better than that.

  • Cook the Leeks and Mushrooms. Place a high-sided saute pan over medium heat, and melt the butter. Then add the mushrooms and leeks, and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not browned. 
  • Add Broth and Braise the Seafood. Add the broth to the saute pan, and turn the heat up to medium-high, so that the mixture comes to a boil. Sprinkle the halibut with salt and pepper, and then nestle the halibut, clams, and mussels among the vegetables in the skillet. Bring the broth back to a boil, cover the pan tightly, and turn the heat down to low so that the seafood cooks gently.
  • Check for Doneness. When the fish is just cooked through and most of the clams and mussels have opened (this should take about seven minutes), take the fillets and opened shellfish out of the pan and set them in a warm dish, covered. If there are unopened shellfish, let them keep cooking for two or three minutes longer. Take any opened ones out and add them to the dish with the halibut, and throw away the ones that still haven’t opened up.
Shellfish and white fish cooking in a pot.
  • Enjoy! Arrange the halibut in shallow soup bowls, top with leeks and mushrooms, and add clams, mussels, and broth. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, red pepper and Parmesan, and serve immediately.
A large, shallow bowl of seafood and broth.

How Do You Cook Halibut Without Drying It Out?

Halibut is a leaner fish, so it’s important to cook it in a way that won’t dry it out. For dry cooking methods like grilling, it’s helpful to coat the fish with something like oil or mayonnaise. This braising method is naturally moist because of the cooking liquid, so the halibut should stay moist and tender as long as you don’t overcook it. (See the Tips section below for advice on cooking to a safe internal temperature!)

Tips for Success

Cooking halibut doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with this easy recipe and a few helpful tips up your sleeve. These tried-and-true pointers will help ensure that this recipe turns out just right.

  • Warmed Serving Dishes: Warm plates or bowls can really make a difference to the final dish, so it doesn’t get too cool as you plate it up and serve it. You can warm plates and bowls easily by soaking them in hot water and then giving them a quick dry with a clean kitchen towel before serving.
  • Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to make sure of the fish’s internal temperature. The official safe temperature recommended by the USDA is 145F. However, most recipes recommend going for “rare” at about 120F or medium at about 130F, for a more moist and tender result.
  • Halibut Substitute: You can use cod in place of the halibut for this dish, or another firm white fish of your choice.
Overhead shot of a bowl of seafood, broth, leeks, and mushrooms.

Side Dish Suggestions

All you need to make this seafood dish a meal is a simple side dish or two. These are some of our favorite ideas for serving this braised halibut recipe:

  • Sweet Potato: A well-seasoned fish fillet is great with sweet potatoes, so try serving this dish with a simple Sweet Potato Pave. You’ll love the thin layers of sweet potato, baked with silky cream.
  • Bok Choy: Crisp, fresh bok choy is amazing roasted with a bit of tamari, lemon, and red pepper flakes! Try this simple recipe for Roasted Bok Choy and you will make it again and again.
  • Zucchini Fries: For a simple, hearty side that’s low-carb, try these Baked Zucchini Fries! They’re savory, crisp-tender, and great with any main dish.
Braised halibut with shellfish and vegetables.

How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days. To reheat, just place the leftovers in a covered skillet over low heat until everything is heated through. Be careful not to overcook the fish and shellfish as you reheat them.

Can I Freeze This Dish?

It’s not recommended to freeze clams, but you can successfully freeze the halibut and mussels for up to six months. To do this, cool them down first. Then remove the mussels from the shells, and freeze them along with the fillets in the broth (this helps to seal out any air). They will keep for about six months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

A seafood dinner plate with sliced baguette.

Braised Halibut with Leeks, Mushrooms, Clams & Mussels

5 from 2 votes
This simple Braised Halibut Recipe with Leeks and Shellfish is fast and easy to make. It’s got a meltingly delicious flavor thanks to the real butter, fresh leeks, and sliced mushrooms. Crushed red pepper, parmesan cheese, and parsley top it off.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups thinly sliced oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 large leeks white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 skinless Pacific halibut fillets about 4 oz. each
  • 12-14 small clams little necks, scrubbed
  • 12-14 mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Red Pepper flakes
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a high sided saute pan with a lid. Add the mushrooms and leeks and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the broth, raise the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.
  • Season the halibut with salt and pepper. Nestle the halibut, clams and mussels among the vegetables in the skillet. Bring the broth back to a boil, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low.
  • Cook gently until the fish is just cooked through and the clams and mussels have opened, about 7 minutes. If some of the clams or mussels are not open, remove the halibut and any opened clams and mussels to a bowl and cover. Continue cooking unopened clams or mussels another 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any that do not open by this time.
  • Serve the fish in warmed shallow soup bowls, topped with leeks and mushrooms, surrounded by clams, mussels and broth. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, red pepper and Parmesan.

Notes

  • Storing and Reheating: Leftovers should be store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days. To reheat, just place the leftovers in a covered skillet over low heat until everything is heated through. Be careful not to overcook the fish and shellfish as you reheat them.
  • Warmed Serving Dishes: Warm plates or bowls can really make a difference to the final dish, so it doesn’t get too cool as you plate it up and serve it. You can warm plates and bowls easily by soaking them in hot water and then giving them a quick dry with a clean kitchen towel before serving.
  • Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to make sure of the fish’s internal temperature. The official safe temperature recommended by the USDA is 145F. However, most recipes recommend going for “rare” at about 120F or medium at about 130F, for a more moist and tender result.
  • Halibut Substitute: You can use cod in place of the halibut for this dish, or another firm white fish of your choice.
 
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American

Categories:

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3 comments on “Braised Halibut Recipe with Leeks”

  1. 5 stars
    I made this with mahi-mahi (because halibut wasn’t in season) and added some other ingredients and it was delicious. I love that it came together quickly. Thanks!

    1. Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me
      Amy Stafford

      Thanks for Sharing Erin. Love Mahi-Mahi, but I don’t have a lot of luck getting fresh here. I think any heavy, meaty fish would work great in this dish!

  2. Avatar photo
    Mushrooms Canada

    5 stars
    As a seafood fan and mushroom lover, this dish would be a real winner at my dinner table! Thanks for sharing…

    -Shannon

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