Halibut with Pearl Couscous Baked in Parchment

Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach and Fresh Herbs

Baking fish in parchment paper is a great way to seal in flavor using very little oil or butter. This closed cooking method intensifies the flavors because they are captured inside the parchment paper. This Halibut recipe is bursting with flavor from the sun-dried-tomatoes, spinach, fresh herbs and lemon. The scent of flavor is immediately released when the parchment is opened after baking. Pearl couscous is also referred to as Israeli couscous. Pearl Couscous is not a grain but is actually a pasta. It is made with wheat and semolina flour that is rolled in wet hands until tiny pearls are formed. The pearls are then toasted which gives it a nutty flavor that stands out in recipes.

Can I make this ahead of time?

The couscous can be made ahead of time so all you have to do is wrap the ingredients in the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes before serving. It is a one dish meal because the recipe includes a protein, starch and vegetable. There is very little clean up as well because everything is baked together in the parchment paper. I like to serve the fish with the paper slightly open on the plate so you can see all the beautiful colors inside.

Can I use a different fish?

Yes, you can substitute another fish. Any firm white fish would work well such as cod or fluke. It’s best to choose a mild flavor fish that won’t overpower the couscous.

Halibut in Parchment Paper
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Halibut with Pearl Couscous Baked in Parchment Paper

Halibut with spinach, couscous and fresh herbs
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Spiked Cupcakes, fish, healthy recipe, seafood
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 549kcal


Pearl Couscous

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup shallot minced
  • cups pearl couscous
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  • 2 lb halibut fillet cut into 4 serving
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • cups baby spinach



  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan and add minced shallots
  • sautee until soft and then add couscous and stir contantly for 2 minutes
  • stir in sun-dried tomatoes
  • add vegetable broth and pepper
  • bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover until broth is absorbed. 10-15 min.
  • Fluff with fork and set aside


  • preheat oven to 375
  • rub each Halibut fillet with a little olive oil
  • Season Halibut with Salt and pepper
  • cut 4 12 inch pieces of parchment paper
  • spoon some couscous in the middle of each piece of parchment paper
  • top couscous with spinach, a piece of halibut, 2 sprigs of thyme and a slice of lemon
  • Join edges of parchement together and then fold the paper down. Tuck ends of paper under.
  • place on baking sheet and bake on middle rack for 15 minutes
  • remove from oven place on serving plate and slightly open paper before serving


You can substitute chicken broth instead of vegetable broth in this recipe. I decided to use vegetable because I wanted to keep the recipe vegetarian. 


Serving: 1person | Sodium: 203mg | Calcium: 59mg | Vitamin C: 10mg | Vitamin A: 1375IU | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 5g | Potassium: 1609mg | Cholesterol: 111mg | Calories: 549kcal | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 14g | Protein: 52g | Carbohydrates: 52g | Iron: 3mg

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