Pan-fried halibut with lemon-yogurt sauce in 20 minutes flat

Fried fish is like everything else that’s fried — amazing. That crispy exterior that gives way to a perfectly moist middle will always be my favorite way to eat fish. The only thing is, when it comes to making it at home, the mess and the fried smell that permeates the house just isn’t worth it.

Good news is, perfectly crispy fish can be achieved with a quick breading and pan-fry approach too. It’s also a 20-minute meal from start to finish, making it a great weeknight dinner.

Serve it with a simple side salad and this refreshing lemon-yogurt sauce, and you’ve got a quick and healthy dinner on your plate without any of the deep-frying annoyance.

Pan-fried halibut with lemon-yogurt sauce recipe

This pan-fried halibut proves it’s possible to get crispy fish without deep-frying. This method will work with any white fish if halibut is too pricey or you have difficulty finding it.

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes


For the halibut

  • 1-1/2 pounds halibut, about 2 large fillets
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter

For the lemon-yogurt sauce

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon


  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the fish.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, flour, salt and pepper.
  4. To another shallow bowl, add the milk.
  5. Dip the fish into the milk, then coat it in the cornmeal mixture on both sides.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, place the fish into the skillet, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip carefully, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and crispy.
  7. Repeat with the other fillet, using the remaining butter to re-grease the skillet.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and yogurt, and serve with the fish.

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More halibut recipes

Healthy Alaskan halibut
Halibut chowder
Roasted coconut-pineapple halibut


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