Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb Caper Butter

4.67 from 9 votes
30 minutes
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Afraid to cook fish at home? You won’t be after making Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb-Caper Butter that’s ready in about 30 minutes!

Start with a green salad or Burrata Caprese Salad, add Garlic Herb Muffin Pan Potato Galettes and a simply roasted green vegetable for an easy, yet elegant restaurant-quality meal you’ll both love.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter in black skillet with lemon wedges.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb-Caper Butter is an easy fish dish that packs a serious flavor punch! Lovely, mild, sustainable halibut is wrapped in salty, savory prosciutto, browned then draped in a lemony herb and caper compound butter.

The flavor of halibut is very mild and the texture is lean, light and flaky. Those characteristics make it a blank culinary canvas. However, because of its lean nature, halibut can dry out easily when overcooked.

If you do overcook the fish a little bit, no worries! This flavorful compound butter comes to the rescue!

What Type of Fish is Halibut?

Halibut is a large wild-caught flatfish related to flounder that includes three different species: Pacific, Atlantic, and Greenland halibut (also called turbot). They live and feed on the seabed bottom in the waters of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), halibut is a smart seafood choice because the harvesting is closely managed under tight U. S. regulations.

What is Compound Butter?

Compound butter has its origin in French cuisine and is made with almost any combination of herbs, spices and seasonings. A compound butter makes a great “instant sauce” for fish, chicken, steaks and vegetables or can also be stirred into things like pasta or rice.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter in black skillet with lemon wedges.

How to Make Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb – Caper Butter:

Recipe Ingredients:

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

Ingredients for Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Halibut: Fresh or frozen and thawed halibut may be used. You can also use other thick, mild fish such as sea bass, grouper, cod, mahi-mahi, or salmon.
  • Unsalted Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter in all my cooking because you can adjust the salt level in whatever you’re making yourself. With the flavorful additions of capers, fresh herbs, lemon juice, zest, and garlic, you may not even need to add additional salt.
  • Prosciutto: Also known as Parma ham, domestic (U. S. produced) and imported are available near the deli section of your grocery store. Domestic is fine for this recipe; you’ll save a little money.
  • Capers:  Capers are the caper bush’s green, unripened flower buds. They’re available near the pickled products section.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Make the compound butter first so the flavors have time to marry:
    • Allow the butter to soften to room temperature.
    • Combine the butter with the capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, herbs, garlic and salt and black pepper.
    • Place the butter blend on plastic wrap.
    • Using the plastic wrap, form the butter into a “log” and refrigerate or freeze.
    • MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate or freeze until needed. You can leave it in a container in your refrigerator. However, forming the butter into a “log” allows you to cut off just what you want or need and rewrap and refrigerate the rest.
  • Then, season the fish with salt and black pepper and wrap each filet with a slice of prosciutto.
Two prosciutto-wrapped halibut fillets seasoned with pepper on a white plastic cutting board before being cooked.
  • Place the fish top side down in a preheated, oiled nonstick skillet.
  • Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until you can see the sides of the halibut fillets becoming opaque.
  • Carefully flip the fish and cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. There’s always a bit of carryover cooking (meaning, the fish will continue to cook a bit more) when taken off the heat, so keep that in mind.
Two prosciutto-wrapped halibut fillets in black skillet being browned.
  • Then, toss in some of the butter and let it melt over the Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut…
Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter with lemon wedges.
  • …spooning the beautiful melted butter back over the fish.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter with lemon wedges in black skillet.

That’s it! Hang onto any leftover compound butter to melt over vegetables or over chicken for the easiest piccata-style dish ever!

Tips for Buying Fish:

  • When buying fish fillets, here are some tips:
    • Shop carefully. Get to know your local fishmonger or the people who work behind the fish counter. Find out when they get fish deliveries and purchase your fish around that schedule. Make sure they have quick turnaround and their product moves out quickly.
    • When buying fresh fish fillets, they should appear plump and moist. Make sure the packaging is clean and dry.
    • Give it the “smell test” if the market will allow it.
    • Find out if the fish has been previously frozen. Flash-freezing techniques have improved so much that the texture is hardly affected by freezing. If it was previously frozen, it should not be refrozen.
    • Any fresh or thawed fish is best enjoyed on the day of purchase or within 24 hours.
    • Here’s a super helpful video from the Los Angeles Times on what to look for when buying fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What other types of fish can I use?

Any type of thick-cut fish fillets will work such as Chilean sea bass, grouper, cod, mahi-mahi or salmon. You could also cut the prosciutto into strips and wrap sea scallops with it.

What other herbs can I use?

I used parsley, basil and chives but rosemary or thyme would work in place of the basil. You want to be cautious when pairing fresh herbs together because the flavors can compete.

Can I make this ahead of time?

The butter for the Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut can be made ahead and makes more than you need so you’ll have plenty for another meal or to use another way such as over chicken, a steak or green vegetables. Refrigerate or freeze it until needed. I would not advise cooking the fish ahead of time and reheating.

Can I use dried herbs?

I don’t recommend it. Dried herbs are best used in things like sauces where they have a better chance of reconstitution.

Serve with:

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Close-up photo of Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb - Caper Butter with lemon wedges in black skillet.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb Caper Butter

4.67 from 9 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Herb – Caper Butter is an easy yet elegant, restaurant-quality dinner for two you'll both love! Lovely, mild, sustainable halibut is wrapped in salty, savory prosciutto, browned then draped in a lemony herb and caper compound butter.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 634 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick unsalted butter - softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons capers - drained, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • Salt - to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 2 (6-8 ounce) fresh halibut fillets - skin removed
  • 2 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lemon slices - optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Spread a piece of plastic wrap out on the counter or on a cutting board.
  • Place the butter in the center and roll into a cylinder. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Season the fish with salt and black pepper.
  • Place a piece of prosciutto over the fish widthwise and wrap around the fish.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet or saute pan.
  • Place the fish, top down in the skillet.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Cook 4-5 minutes or until you can see the edges of the fish turning opaque.
  • Carefully flip the fish and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  • Add the Herb – Caper Butter to the pan as desired, allow to melt then spoon back over the fish.
  • Serve with lemon slices if desired.

Notes

The amount of butter is generous so it’s easy to add two more fish fillets.
SUBSTITUTIONS:  Any type of thick-cut fish fillets will work such as Chilean sea bass, grouper, cod, mahi mahi or salmon. You could also cut the prosciutto into strips and wrap sea scallops with it.  Rosemary or thyme will work in place of the basil. You want to be cautious when pairing fresh herbs together because the flavors can compete.
MAKE AHEAD: Spread a piece of plastic wrap out on the counter or on a cutting board. Place the butter in the center and roll into a cylinder. Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 634kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 205mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2464IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

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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4.67 from 9 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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4 Comments

    1. Hi, Andi, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, absolutely but a thicker-cut fish fillet will work the best. In the Frequently Asked Questions section, I list Chilean sea bass, grouper, cod or salmon. You could also cut the prosciutto into strips and wrap sea scallops with it. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!