Ina Garten’s Halibut With Tomatoes And Capers Recipe

Ina Garten’s halibut with tomato and capers sauce recipe is a great way to enjoy a white flesh fish with a rich and punchy tomato based sauce.

Rather than being overpowered, the halibut’s mild flavors are complimented by the tomato and caper sauce, which delivers sweetness from the vegetables and saltiness from the capers.

The complimentary flavors make this halibut recipe a perfect choice for people who don’t usually eat fish and anyone looking for a dish that will wow your guests.

It certainty makes out list of Ina’s best grilled halibut recipes, but we will go further than that and say it even makes our list of Ina Garten’s best fish recipes generally.

What to Serve The Baked Halibut With Caper Sauce With

The fish on its own with the caper sauce may just be enough as a light dinner, but for a more filling meal, especially if you have guests, you might want to consider some sides too.

Here are some sides I love to serve the halibut with:

  • Garlic & Herb Potatoes (roasted or boiled).
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Spinach gratin
  • Buttered Green Beans
  • Butter Bean Or Chickpea Salad
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Herby Couscous
  • Steamed Asparagus
Baked halibut on a tomato and caper sauce

Recipe Variations & Customizations

To elevate the fish dish further, you can add or alternatively swap ingredients. 

If you love bold flavors for example, you can add some olives, which work very well with tomatoes and capers.

Here are some more tasty ideas for customizing this halibut recipe:

  • For a smoky meaty dish, add sliced chorizo sausages. ½ cup of chorizo added to the recipe is usually enough whenever I have experimented with it. Chorizo adds a delightful richness and smokiness to the dish, I recommend it! 
  • Add some hearty butter beans! Butter beans work very well with fish and tomato sauces. Butter beans can make the dish more filling and richer in nutrients, such as vitamins, fiber, and protein. I usually add ½ can of drained cooked butter beans towards the end of the cooking of the recipe.
  • Grill the halibut instead of baking it. Grilling the halibut rather than baking it or frying it is an alternative which I love, especially if you are trying to cut down on some extra calories!
  • Swap the fennel. Ina Garten’s halibut recipe calls for fennel. Fennel has a very strong distinctive flavor, which can be disliked by some people. Especially sensitive palates. I only ever made the recipe with fennel once, since then I swapped it for celery or leeks.
  • Herb it up! The dish is finished with fresh basil leaves, however, I personally love sprinkling chopped parsley. Parsley complements tomatoes and fish very well. You can either substitute the basil for parsley or use both!
  • Throw in some olives. Any type of olive is fine in this dish, just make sure they are pitted. ½ cup of olives added right towards the end of the cooking of the caper sauce is the best time to mix them through.  
  • Serve the dish with crumbled feta cheese! I once had leftover feta cheese that I was desperate to use, so I crumbled it on top of my halibut dish when I cooked it again, and the result was surprisingly good. If you like to experiment with unique flavor combinations, this is a twist you have to try in this recipe!

Ina Garten’s Halibut Recipe Commonly Asked Questions:

1. Can I Use Other Fish To Make Ina Garten’s Baked Halibut Recipe?

Halibut can easily be replaced by other white fish such as; cod, haddock, and seabass. Avoid using ‘thin’ fish filets, such as from sole or turbot. You need thick white fish portions to make the recipe just perfect!

2. What should I do if my halibut has a fishy smell>

3. How Do You Cook Halibut Without Drying It Out?

Halibut can dry out if not cooked correctly. If frying the best way to cook halibut without drying it out is to cook it in plenty of fat (e.g. butter or oil) if frying, which helps keep it moist. You should also only fry halibut portions for 3-4 minutes max. If you poach it, never add it to boiling liquid, always simmer it gently, and for no longer than 10 minutes. If baking, as I did with this recipe, space the fillets on a large baking tray and cover liberally with oil and seasoning. Cook for about 10 minutes and watch carefully for when the fillets are white and flake apart easily. Halibut fillets ready for baking in the oven

4. How Do I Store Leftover Roasted Halibut With Tomato and Caper Sauce?

The sauce and the fish are cooked separately for this recipe, so once the leftovers are completely cooled, they can be stored in separate air-tight containers. Put the containers in the fridge and consume the leftovers within 2 days. Another reason for storing separately is the sauce can be used for something else so you may want to keep it separate from the fish. You can see from the pictures that the fish is only placed on top of the sauce. a portion of Ina Garten's baked halibut with tomato and caper sauce on a white plate

More Ina Garten Seafood And Fish Recipes You May Like To Try:

  1. Ina Garten Salmon Cakes Recipe
  2. Ina Garten Orzo Shrimp Salad Recipe
  3. 8 Amazing Ina Garten Salmon Recipes
  4. 9 Amazing Ina Garten Seafood Recipes
  5. 8 Amazing Ina Garten Fish Recipes

Ina Garten’s Halibut With Tomatoes And Capers Recipe

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Ina GartenCuisine: Italian


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Enjoy Ina Garten’s delightful halibut with tomatoes and capers recipe – a perfect blend of flavors for a memorable seafood dish.


  • 8 halibut fillet portions, skinless, about 1 inch thick, each weighing roughly 6 to 7 ounces.

  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the fish

  • 2 large onions of finely diced

  • 2 large bulbs of fennel, green tops removed and discarded, and the white part is chopped.

  • 2 large garlic cloves minced

  • 2 28-ounce cans of Italian plum tomatoes, thoroughly drained

  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine

  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup of capers, drained and chopped

  • 1 cup of basil, coarsely chopped, and save some leaves for garnish later

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • In a large deep skillet, heat roughly 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add the diced onions and chopped fennel, and cook over low to moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until they become tender, which should take about 10 minutes. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute until it becomes fragrant.
  • To the skillet, add the tomatoes and use a fork or a potato masher to break them up. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, which should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Next, add the dry white wine, chicken stock, and capers, and let it simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Finally, mix the chopped basil and the butter into the sauce.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush the fish fillets with olive oil, and season them generously with salt and pepper.
  • Place the fish fillets onto a lined baking sheet, and place the sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake the halibut fillets in the oven for about 12-15 minutes.
  • Spoon the sauce onto a large deep platter, place the fillets on top of the sauce, and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve the dish with your favorite sides and enjoy!


  • Halibut has a strong fishy smell. A fishy smell can be normal, but if it smells spoilt, don’t eat it. Provided it’s only a normal fishy smell, you can soak the fish in milk for about 30 minutes. The milk helps attract the enzymes that can cause the smell. After about 30 mins wash the fish and pat dry.
Barbara Hunt


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