Blackened Halibut with Mango and Avocado Salsa

4.54 from 39 votes
35 minutes
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Try this Blackened Halibut recipe for a healthy dinner idea for two with a tropical twist! Mild, fresh halibut is coated in a homemade blackening spice mixture, seared to form a lightly charred crust, then topped with a lively mango and avocado salsa.

“I made this over the weekend, and it was phenomenal! It was restaurant-quality and so easy. My family raved!”

Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plate with fork garnished with cilantro and lime wedge.

What is Blackening?

As in this blackened halibut recipe, blackening involves coating the fish in a spice mixture before searing it at a high temperature. This technique creates a lightly charred crust that perfectly contrasts the fish’s flaky and tender texture.

Chef Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans popularized this Cajun cooking technique during the 1980s. A good, seasoned cast-iron skillet is ideal for blackening food. This method can be applied to almost any protein, such as chicken, shrimp, beef, and pork.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Halibut’s mild taste makes it an ideal blank canvas for blackened fish recipes like this. In addition to the blackening seasoning blend, the fish is topped with a refreshing mango and avocado salsa for a kick of tropical flavor. Creamy avocado helps to mellow out the bold flavors of red onion and cilantro, while the sweetness of the mango balances out the spicy kick from the jalapeño.

Easy halibut recipes like this are a great summer dinner option if you want something light and healthy. The fish cooks quickly, so no need to worry about heating the house. The seasoning on the fish and the salsa are easy to customize for a dish that can be spicy or milder.

While this recipe is scaled for two and would make for an excellent date night, it can easily be doubled for family dinners or guests!  

This Blackened Halibut recipe with mango and avocado salsa is:

  • Quick! The blackened fish is fast and easy to cook. Briefly sear on both sides, then pop it into the oven to finish.
  • Fresh! The light and lean halibut is topped off with a tropical salsa.
  • Elegant! The presentation is beautiful and makes for a lovely warm-weather dinner.
  • Customizable! You can easily adjust the spice level in the seasoning and the salsa to your preference. The recipe is made for two but can easily be scaled to double for family dinners or guests!
Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plate with fork garnished with cilantro and lime wedge with a piece removed to show the inside of the fish.

How to Make Blackened Halibut with Mango and Avocado Salsa:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this blackened halibut recipe, along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa in glass bowls with the fish on a white plastic cutting board.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Halibut: Halibut is a mild, flaky white fish. Fresh halibut is available from March through October, and previously frozen halibut is available all year. Pacific halibut fishing is carefully regulated, making it a highly sustainable seafood choice. Other mild, flaky fish types, such as Chilean sea bass, grouper, cod, or tilapia, will also work in this blackened halibut recipe. Salmon can be used in this recipe.
  • Blackening Seasoning: While you can purchase commercial blends of blackening seasoning, I prefer to make my own to control the amount of salt and spiciness. This recipe for the seasoning blend includes both smoked and sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, dried mustard, and dried herbs, resulting in an intensely flavorful final dish.
  • Mango: Freshly diced mango adds a light sweetness to the salsa and recipe. When squeezed, a ripe mango should yield gently to pressure and have a light, fruity aroma at the stem end. Pineapple works well in place of mango because it holds its shape.
  • Avocado: The avocado you use for the salsa should yield gently to pressure.
  • Jalapeno: If you like a spicier salsa, leave the seeds in the jalapeno or remove them if you’d like it milder.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds color, but you can use yellow or orange bell pepper.
  • Red Onion: Red onions are great for salsas because they are milder than white or yellow onions and don’t overpower the other ingredients. Scallions can be used in place of red onion.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Combine blackening seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
Blackening Seasoning ingredients in glass bowl after being mixed together.
  • Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pat fish dry, then season liberally with blackening mix.
Two pieces of uncooked halibut coated with blackening seasoning on white plastic cutting board.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot.
  • Add the butter and oil.
  • As soon as the butter melts, add fish to the skillet.
  • Cook for 2 minutes per side.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Be careful not to overcook the fish! It should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. If overcooked, halibut tends to become very dry.
Two pieces of halibut coated with blackening seasoning in cast iron skillet after being cooked with blue striped towel wrapped around the handle.
  • Serve with salsa.
Two servings of Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plates garnished with cilantro and lime wedge.

How to Dice a Mango:

  • To quickly dice a mango, hold the mango half (flesh up) and make narrow slices all the way across.  Turn the mango 90 degrees, then cut the flesh in the other direction, creating a checkerboard pattern.  Scoop out the flesh, and you will have an evenly diced mango.  However, please be careful not to cut your hand.

Money-Saving Tip:

  • Halibut can be pricey. Cod is a great substitute because it has a mild flavor and similar flaky texture.
One serving of Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plate with fork garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can blackened halibut or blackened fish recipes be made ahead?

Halibut cooks very quickly so that part is best done right before you plan to serve. The blackening spice mixture can be made way in advance. For the salsa, you can prep the ingredients up to 8 hours ahead except for the avocado. Dice and add that just before cooking the fish.

How long does mango and avocado salsa last in the refrigerator?

I like to serve this salsa immediately so that the avocado retains its bright green color. If you have any remaining after making this recipe, it can last up to two days refrigerated. Although the avocado will start to turn brown despite the lime juice, it still tastes fine and is safe to eat.

What types of fish are suitable substitutes for halibut?

Other types of mild white fish like Chilean sea bass, grouper, cod, mahi mahi, barramundi, or tilapia work well in place of halibut.

One serving of Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plate with fork garnished with cilantro and lime wedges with piece flaked away to show the interior.

Storage:

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat leftover halibut in a 325-degree oven. Cover with aluminum foil.

Serve with:

More great, easy halibut recipes you’ll love!

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Blackened Halibut with Mango - Avocado Salsa on white plate with fork garnished with cilantro and lime wedge with a piece removed to show the inside of the fish.

Blackened Halibut with Mango and Avocado Salsa

4.54 from 39 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Try this Blackened Halibut recipe for a healthy dinner idea for two with a tropical twist! Mild, fresh halibut is coated in a homemade blackening spice mixture, seared to form a lightly charred crust, then topped with a lively mango and avocado salsa.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 375 kcal

Ingredients
  

Blackening Mix

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salsa

  • 1 large mango - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno pepper - seeded if desired, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 large lime - juiced
  • 1 tablespoon honey - or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Fish

  • 2 pieces (6-8 ounce) halibut - skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions
 

Blackening Mix

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Salsa

  • Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl; serve with fish.

Fish

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat fish dry then season liberally with blackening mix.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the butter and oil. As soon as the butter melts, add fish to skillet. Cook 2 minutes per side.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with salsa.

Notes

If you’ve already made or have blackening mix, you’ll need approximately 2 tablespoons.  Store any excess blackening mix in an airtight container and use it within six months.
SUBSTITUTIONS:  Can substitute any fish such as Chilean sea bass, grouper, tilapia even salmon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 322mg | Potassium: 930mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 3680IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.54 from 39 votes (32 ratings without comment)

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19 Comments

    1. Hi, Rusty, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed!! The recipe is easily doubled if you prefer AND it’s pretty forgiving, too. Thanks again!

  1. I made this over the weekend and it was phenomenal! Restaurant quality and so easy. My family raved!!

  2. 5 stars
    Omg just made this for my family and absolutely loved it! My husband wont stop raving about it. He told me next time his mom is in town this is what I’m making😂 thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Hi, Melissa, Love, love, love hearing that! So happy you all enjoyed and hope your mother-in-law enjoys too! Thanks again and please stay in touch!

  3. 5 stars
    Omg just made this for my family and absolutely loved it! My husband wont stop raving about it. He told me next time his mom is in town this is what I’m making😂 thank you so much for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow—just made this for the family….SO good! Thanks for sharing!!
    I used coconut oil and olive oil rather than butter/olive oil…..and added cumin in place of smoky paprika since I didn’t have any. Yum. We all loved!

    1. Thanks, Laura! So glad you all enjoyed! I have friends who make that recipe all the time and they rave about it too. Thanks again!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow—just made this for the family….SO good! Thanks for sharing!!
    I used coconut oil and olive oil rather than butter/olive oil…..and added cumin in place of smoky paprika since I didn’t have any. Yum. We all loved!

  6. My husband made this and can I just say it is now my new favorite Halibut dish! (2nd to Halibut Enchiladas which reigned for several years; sorry, not sorry). So glad he found this recipe! Thank you, Dorothy!

  7. 5 stars
    This looks so tasty! I’ve made blacked Tilapia before but I bet this recipe with the mango avocado topping is delicious!