Air Fryer Halibut With Pesto recipe is the easiest 2-ingredient halibut recipe that turns out so tender and flavorful! Make this healthy 20 minute recipe that's perfect for a quick weeknight dinner!
Cooking seafood in the air fryer is the perfect weeknight healthy and quick dinner. The fish cooks perfectly on the outside and stays juicy on the inside, you can't beat efficiency! Especially when you don't need to chop, mix, or blend anything. Making it the ultimate easy air fryer halibut recipe!
If you love garlic and don't mind to make your own sauce, try it with Toum, a Lebanese garlic sauce that's incredible when paired with seafood.
If you're a fan of air frying a quick and healthy meal, then try my absolute favorite air fryer seafood recipes like air fryer frozen fish, or this air fryer frozen shrimp. They come out perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Air fryer sea bass is also easy to whip up and so juicy! And for another 2-ingredient delicious go-to meal, try air fryer teriyaki salmon!
One of my all time favorite air fryer hacks is opening oysters in the air fryer, leaving you with oysters on the half-shell to enjoy with your favorite sauce. Works like a charm every time!
Table of Contents
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- HEALTHY. Being an air fryer halibut no breading recipe it's much healthier than most. Especially the fish itself is packed with nutrients!
- TESTED AND PERFECTED. This halibut in air fryer recipe has been tested numerous times to make sure the time and temperature work well. I air fry fish and other seafood at least once or twice a week and try out various methods, times, and seasonings to get you the best results.
- FLAVORFUL. Pesto transforms this recipe and adds the perfect amount of well-rounded flavor.
- TWO INGREDIENT RECIPE! Using your favorite pesto provides the oil and the herbs that pairs extremely well with this fish. Especially being a thicker cut fish with mild flavor. It's hard to beat this flavor combination!
- QUICK & EASY. QUICK! Your healthy halibut meal will be done from start to finish in under about 10 minutes.
THE 2 INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
FOR AIR FRIED HALIBUT
This is a lean fish that is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. It has a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with pesto and other herbs. When I cook it in an air fryer, it comes out perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Can't beat that on a time crunch for dinner!
Find fresh or frozen halibut from your local fish monger for the best and freshest filets. The filets come in a wide range of sizes, from ½ inch thick to 3 or more inches. Testing the temperature often is going to be the best way to get the perfect cook on halibut in air fryer.
One of the easiest and most delicious ways to prepare air fryer halibut is with pesto! You'll get the most flavor with the least effort!
Pick your favorite basil pesto to work with, or make your own.
EQUIPMENT YOU NEED
I love air frying a variety of seafood, and I recently changed the air fryer I was using to be 100% stainless steel. I'm really enjoying the new one. The cook times will vary between each air fryer, because they're not all created equal but it will be close!
Other Equipment You Need
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER HALIBUT
Prepare the fish
Remove the halibut fillets from the fridge and set them on the counter to come to room temperate for about 20 minutes.
Pat the fish dry using a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, score the top about 1 inch apart in order for the pesto to get in the grooves, this is optional.
Split the pesto in half and rub all over each of the filets.
Carefully place the filets in the air fryer basket.
Follow the instructions below depending on the size of your filets. Please note that halibut can range anywhere from half-an-inch thick to over 3 inches, so time may need to be adjusted accordingly.
How to air fry 6oz halibut filets
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F, and allow to come to that temperature for at least 5 minutes prior to cooking.
- Place the halibut in air fryer basket and cook until the internal temperate reaches 130°F, about 6-8 minutes depending on how thick the filets are.
How to air fry 10oz halibut filets
- Preheat the air fryer to 325°F, and allow to come to that temperature for at least 5 minutes prior to cooking.
- Cook for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of the filets. If you filets are 2 or more inches thick, you may need more cook time.
- Allow the halibut to come to room temperature prior to air frying. This ensures it's evenly cooked. I like to take it out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes prior to air frying.
- Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Halibut widely ranges in size. On a thicker filet that's 2 or more inches, you may need more cook time.
- Use a food thermometer. The last few minutes left on the timer, check the temperature of each filet to gauge how much time you need or if it's ready earlier than expected. The temperature should be 130F degrees for a perfect juicy fish filet.
- Keep in mind that no fish is created equal and cooking times will vary, so my number one rule is to always test the temperature of the filets the last minute or 2 of cooking.
VARIATIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Don't have pesto?
- Try using different herbs. Add your favorite herbs if you prefer not to use pesto. Thyme or parsley are always good choices with seafood.
- Dry rub. Use your favorite dry rub or seafood seasoning.
- Lemon garlic butter sauce. Make this sauce to use instead to create moisture and give it a ton of flavor.
Don't have fresh halibut?
- If you're working with frozen halibut, add more time and cook at the same temperature.
- For other white fish, use my air fryer frozen fish recipe, or my sea bass in air fryer recipe.
Cooking time can vary because:
- The size of each halibut filet can range from 6-12 ounces! Not just weight-wise, but also how the filet is cut. Some are thin and long, others are more of a traditional fish filet size. For this reason, air frying times will vary.
- The thickness of the filets can range anywhere from half an inch to 3+ inches. Not all fish are caught the same size, because of that, the amount of meant (thickness) on the fillets from yours to mine can range significantly, even though halibut itself is a fairly thick fish.
- How cold the fish was prior to cooking. One of my best tips for cooking fish is to allow it time to come to room temperature prior to cooking. I like to take mine out of the fridge at least 20 minutes prior to cooking.
- The type of air fryer can vary. Some are much stronger than others. Mine is average I would say.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
Always store seafood in an air tight container in the fridge for a maximum of 2 days. This ensures optimal freshness and less bacteria growth. It's a great option for lunch the next day!
HOW TO REAHEAT FISH IN AIR FRYER
Leftovers are great to whip up a quick healthy lunch or for dinner the next day, but let's face it, no one is over the moon about eating cold fish (unless it's Lox then I'm there!). So, let's heat them up!
Once you remove your leftover fish dish from the fridge, set the air fryer to 350F degrees. Place the fish in the air fryer basket and warm for 3-5 minutes. Check at the 3-minute mark and go from there.
Yes! Always preheat the air fryer when cooking fish to ensure it cooks properly. Preheat for at least 5 minutes and once you open the air fryer door, be sure to place the basket in and close it as soon as possible. When you preheat the air fryer for cooking fish, the result is a crispy outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Can't pass that up!
Low and slow is the only way to go for Halibut. It's a much thicker fish than other commonly used fish like salmon and cod, so how to cook it will vary in time and temperature because of that.
It depends on the size of your filet. For around 6 ounce fillet, the cook time will be about 8 minutes at 350F degree air fryer.
If your filet is larger, more like 10 ounces then decrease the heat slightly and double the cooking time.
Yes! It turns out great in the air fryer when cooked at the proper time and temperature. Low and slow is recommended to keep the filet tender, flaky and juicy once it's cooked. Use a juicy seasoning or sauce, like pesto to add in more moisture and fat, which is helpful for more lean fish.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH HALIBUT AND PESTO
I love pairing this recipe with a fresh salad like Fried Feta and Strawberry Salad. It also works great with any grilled vegetable, like asparagus or broccoli.
For a carb, go for a pasta salad or broiled potatoes with lots of great herbs on them.
I also live risotto or rice with a fresh dish like this one.
To drink, go for Spicy Mango Margarita! Or try a dry white wine, like a Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, or Viognier. Cheers!
MORE AIR FRYER SEAFOOD RECIPES
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Air Fryer Halibut With Pesto
- 2 fillets Halibut
- 3 tablespoon Pesto , use your favorite store-bought pesto, or make your own
- Remove the halibut fillets from the fridge and set them on the counter to come to room temperate for about 20 minutes.
- Pat the fish dry using a paper towel. Using a sharp knife, score the top about 1 inch apart in order for the pesto to get in the grooves, this is optional.
- Split the pesto in half and rub all over each of the fillets.
- Carefully place the fillets on the air fryer basket.
How to air fry 6oz halibut fillets
- Preheat the air fryer to 350F.
- Cook until the internal temperate reaches 130F, about 6-8 minutes depending on how thick your fillet is.
How to air fry 10oz halibut fillets
- Preheat the air fryer to 325F.
- Cook for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of your fillet.
- Removing the filets from the fridge and allowing them to come to room temperature before cooking will create a more even cook, and leave you with a juicy filet! I like to keep it out for at least 20-30 minutes.
- Stay close to the air fryer as the time is near the end to check the temperature of the fillets.
- Keep the skin on the fish filets to keep them moist while cooking.
VARIATIONSReplace pesto with another sauce or spices. Like, lemon garlic and herb sauce, seafood seasoning, Old Bay, Garlic powder, Fresh herbs, etc.
STORAGEOnce cooked, store in the fridge in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.
HOW TO REHEATReheat the fillets in the air fryer at 325F until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.
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