How To Stuff Your Halibut Like The Italians

Stuffed Halibut Italian Style

When it comes to enjoying fresh halibut, it’s all about the flavors you add. If you live and eat in SoCal, any flavors and ingredients from around the world will do. With that in mind, my new recipe is baked stuffed halibut with an Italian classic tomato sauce made with anchovy fillets, pine nuts and fresh basil.

This video recipe will show you how easy it is to stuff a halibut fillet. Then, learn to fry and pan roast your fillets. This is such an easy, simple and fool-proof cooking skill you need to have. Once mastered, pan roasting fish dishes can lead to infinite possibilities. Check out my pan roasted Yellowtail Mexican Style video recipe.

This spring our coastal fishing is off the charts. Big halibut are showing up in their traditional spots. Whether you’re on a sportboat or fishing from a dingy, drop a line straight down so you can come home with some fat halibut fillets. Or, just head out to your favorite fish monger and buy some fresh halibut fillets. Then use this recipe to learn how to make stuffed halibut.

halibut recipeStuffed Halibut With Italian Tomato Sauce

2 Servings


  • 2 Halibut fillets, 1 pound total
  • 4 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 4-5 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 Salted anchovy fillets
  • ½ Onion diced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 14-oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup of cut fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. Start by toasting the pine nuts in a hot frying pan. This should only take a minute or two until most of the pine nuts begin to char.
  2. Now start the tomato sauce by first heating 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and then adding the onions. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and continue to saute for 3 minutes. Now add 3-4 anchovy fillets and the garlic. Very quickly you’ll notice the anchovy fillets start to fall apart. Continue to saute for another 2 minutes and then add the whole canned tomatoes. Finally add the tomato paste and begin to mash the whole tomatoes with a potato masher. Continue to cook over a medium high heat until the tomato sauce thickens to a paste-like consistency (around 15 minutes). Finally add the toasted pine nuts (reserve a few for garnish) and fresh cut basil. Mix and set aside to cool off.
  3. Prepare your halibut fillets by first determining whether you have a thick fillet, that is 1-inch or thicker, or a thin fillet, that is less than 1-inch thick. If you have a thick fillet, make a horizontal cut, dead center, through the thick portion of the fillet thereby creating a pocket inside the fillet. Season your fillets top and bottom with paprika and salt. Now stuff the inside pocket of the thick fillet with a dollop of the tomato sauce. If you have a thin fillet, spread out a layer of tomato sauce over the fillet and then roll the fillet and use 2 tooth picks to keep its rolled shape.
  4. Preheat the oven at 350F. Now, add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a hot frying pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the stuffed fillets. Only cook each side for a minute and then place the frying pan into the oven for 7-8 minutes maximum. Plate and garnish with a few toasted pine nuts. Enjoy.

Get the full video recipe here from Fisherman’s Belly!

Fisherman's Belly

Please visit Fisherman’s Belly for many more delicious recipes and unique ideas for preparing your seafood and fresh catch or visit the “FishermansBellyChannel” on Youtube to subscribe for weekly updates:

More great recipes from Fisherman’s Belly on BD.

Fisherman's Belly is the brainchild of Yanni Hassir, a SoCal waterman whose passion extends from the ocean to his kitchen. offers a growing list of seasonal SoCal sport fish recipes. There are tips and tricks for cooking yellowtail, rockfish, white seabass, halibut, lobster, tuna...