Something magical happens when the right spices come together with halibut.
This healthy and delicious fish deserves a flavor boost, which is why I’m so excited to share this list of my very favorite seasonings for one of my favorite ocean-caught species.
From comforting classics like garlic powder and paprika to welcome surprises like sumac, these tantalizing aromas and tastes make it easy to amp up the savoriness of every bite—no matter what cooking method you choose.
The Best Spices for Halibut
When you combine fresh halibut with the right spices, the result is a delicious seafood dish.
So below, I’ve put together a list of the best spices to use when cooking halibut.
If you’re looking to add the perfect flavor complement to your halibut dish, dill is definitely a great choice!
The feathery green leaves of the dill plant have a bright, sweet flavor—think somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery.
And if you get dried dill seed instead of fresh herb sprigs, it’s even more pungent.
Because dill has such bold flavor when used in dishes (especially seafood ones like with halibut), it’s best to start off small until you get the desired taste for your recipe.
A good starting point would be about one teaspoon for seasoning side dishes or batters for vegetables or fish when cooking for four people.
You can always keep adding more until it gets to where you want it.
2. Garlic Powder
When you’re cooking with halibut, garlic powder is a great choice!
Unlike fresh-chopped garlic, the flavor of garlic powder is much less assertive and it’s sweeter to taste.
Instead of the pungent overtones that you normally get when cooking with raw or sautéed garlic cloves, choosing to use garlic powder brings more of a caramelly flavor while keeping its richness at a minimum.
The best part about using this seasoning option is that you can easily control how much flavor goes into your dish.
When using even just half a teaspoon for every four-ounce filet, it’s enough to bring out the subtle notes without overpowering it.
If you want an extra garlicky hit then one full teaspoon should do the trick – just make sure not to mix too much as it could end up being all anyone will taste in your dish!
3. Onion Powder
I definitely use onion power in my dishes frequently.
I think the reason why it’s such a great choice to cook with is that you get all that flavor without any fuss.
Onion powder features a concentrated taste – similar to fresh onions but better – and plenty of nutrients, too.
Another thing about onion powder is that it doesn’t require preparation time, like cutting up and mincing an actual onion does.
Plus, since the end product has far more intense flavors than if you were using fresh onions, you can use lesser amounts for just as much flavor!
Personally, I usually stick to half a teaspoon or less per serving depending on how strong the flavor needs to be.
4. Sea Salt
When it comes to cooking with halibut, I always recommend using sea salt.
As opposed to regular table salt or iodized salt, sea salt goes through less processing which makes for a crunchier, sharper flavor that pairs perfectly with this fish.
On top of that, the extra minerals in sea salt mean you don’t have to use as much as you would regular table salt and still get great flavor.
It will also retain more of its flavor and color when cooked or dissolved – adding depth and complexity to your dishes.
When seasoning your halibut, I’d suggest you start by sprinkling 1/2 teaspoon per pound of fish over both sides lightly before cooking – adjust accordingly at the end if needed once cooked!
5. Cayenne Pepper
When it comes to cooking halibut, I highly recommend the use of cayenne pepper.
It adds a hot, fiery effect that will bring unbelievable flavor to your dish while not overpowering the delicate nature of fish.
Unlike other spices, cayenne has a mild aroma yet packs a strong punch in terms of heat!
This is why you need to be especially careful not to add too much – as it can take over a dish very quickly.
Just ¼ teaspoon should do – so start small and add more if needed for added flavor and heat.
6. Black Pepper
Black pepper is the perfect choice when cooking fish.
It boasts a sharp and penetrating aroma that will leave your home smelling delicious!
And its woody, piney flavor enhances the natural taste of this type of fish.
Not to mention its heat – it’s hot and biting to taste which makes for a unique dining experience!
In terms of how much you should use – there are a few things to consider.
If you’re looking for subtle flavors, then start with just 1/4 teaspoon of pepper per 4 ounces of halibut.
But if you prefer something more robust, double up on the pepper rate until you find your perfect balance.
With its strong aroma and slightly bitter, pungent flavor — composed of earthy/musty, green, hay, and minty notes — oregano gives a unique richness to your dish with an added bonus of a slightly astringent mouthfeel that is hard to replicate.
As far as how much oregano to use when cooking fish?
The right amount depends on personal preference — some like more of an herbal kick while others prefer just hints of oregano.
Start by using small amounts (half a teaspoon should do) in order to get acquainted with the flavors coming through before adding additional scoops if required.
As always, experiment until you find your sweet spot!
Another one of my go-to herbs is thyme; it’s earthy yet floral, with hints of mint and a deliciously balanced sweet and peppery flavor.
It also goes great with halibut!
Adding a pinch or two of fresh thyme or its dried counterpart encourages the other flavors in your dish to come alive in a way that perfectly complements the delicate taste of halibut.
And if you want something more subtle, just add half as much—a little bit can go a long way when you’re talking about herbs!
9. Sweet Paprika
I love to use sweet paprika as it adds a beautiful hint of color and flavor.
Often just labeled as “paprika,” this spice is quite versatile and can be used in many different recipes.
Whether sprinkled on top of devilled eggs or potato salad for an extra burst of flavor or incorporated into a dry rub for meat dishes, the sweet pepper flavor makes it perfect for any meal!
For my meals featuring halibut, I tend to mix up about a teaspoon of sweet paprika with some freshly ground black pepper and other spices like garlic powder and onion powder that suit the dish.
It’s best not to overdo it as every ingredient should be balanced accordingly – start off slow by using just enough to give your dish some kick without masking its true flavor.
9 Best Spices for Halibut For Maximum Flavor
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Sea Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Sweet Paprika
- Pick your favorite spices from this collection to use in your halibut recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Enjoy in no time!