Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette is one of my favorite ways to cook fish on the grill, and this post has lots more ideas for using basil vinaigrette! 

PIN the Grilled Halibut to try it later!

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette cooked fish on plate with tomato-cucumber salad

For many summers now I’ve been infatuated with Basil Vinaigrette, which I love to eat drizzled over tomatoes or served over vegetables. And this summery dressing with chopped fresh basil is also amazing served with grilled chicken or fish and Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette is a perfect recipe to make when you have basil vinaigrette in the fridge! But this favorite grilling recipe that I’m reminding you about for Friday Favorites is such a flavor-filled combination, that it’s worth making basil vinaigrette just so you can serve it over this tasty grilled fish. I first made this recipe before halibut got so expensive, so you can definitely use another type of firm fish if halibut isn’t in the budget.

The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a week or a little longer, so check after the recipe for other ideas for using it. And if you use my tips for Freezing Fresh Basil, you can make this delicious basil vinaigrette all year long with frozen basil, so if you have basil growing at your house be sure to try that!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

What other fish can you use?

Halibut is so expensive these days that you might want to use another type of fish. This recipe would also be great with any other firm meaty fish such Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Tuna, Cod, Shark, Snapper, and of course Salmon.

How can you keep fish fillets from sticking on the grill? 

Be sure your grill grates are completely clean. Spray the grill grates well with a non-stick spray like Pam for Grilling (affiliate link) or rub with a paper towel dipped in a high smoke-point oil if you don’t have a non-stick grilling spray. Rub both sides of the fish well with olive oil (or another type of oil of your choice) before you season the fish. Preheat the grill to high, then immediately turn to medium-high when you put on the fish. Let fish cook 3 minutes without touching it, then lift the edge of a piece to see if you have nice grill marks and if the fish is ready to rotate. Rotate to cook 2-3 minutes going the other angle on the grill grates to make grill marks. Then carefully turn, using a Fish Spatula (affiliate link) will make that easier. Cook 3-4 minutes on second side, or until fish is firm.

What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?

If you don’t have an outdoor grill (or it’s not grilling weather), grilled fish like this can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges (affiliate link) or a George Foreman Grill (affiliate link) with good results. Remember that the George Foreman Grill cooks both sides at once so grilling time will be a lot shorter!

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. Make the Basil Vinaigrette. (Or simply blend together 1 part chopped basil with 3 parts low-sugar vinaigrette dressing. Use any low-sugar vinaigrette if you don’t find the brands I mention.)
  2. Blot away excess moisture on the fish and let it come to room temperature.
  3. Spray clean grill grates with non-stick grill spray like Pam for Grilling (affiliate link) or rub with paper towel soaked with high smoke point oil.
  4. Heat the grill to high.
  5. Rub both sides of fish with olive oil and Szeged Fish Rub (affiliate link) or any fish rub you prefer.
  6. When fish is room temperature, lay top-side down at an angle to the grill grates and immediately turn the temperature to medium-high. 
  7. Cook about 3 minutes in this position without moving the fish, then check grill marks and make sure fish lifts easily.
  8. Then rotate fish at the opposite angle and cook about 2-3 minutes more.
  9. Carefully turn the fish over, with a Fish Spatula (affiliate link) if you have one, and cook 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  10. Total cooking time will be 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish and temperature of the grill.
  11. Serve hot, with basil vinaigrette spooned over.

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette square thumbnail photo

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette would taste amazing with Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan, Hungarian Cucumber Salad, Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, or Spicy Chopped Greek Salad with Peperoncini for a low-carb dinner.

More Ideas with Basil Vinaigrette:

Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese
Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
Tomato Salad with Hearts of Palm, Olives, and Feta
Artichoke Antipasto Salad
Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette
Green Bean Salad with Sausage and Olives
Spaghetti Salad with Italian Sausage

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Basil Vinaigrette is one of the best things about summer and it's perfect with grilled halibut.


  • 4 halibut fillets (see notes)
  • olive oil for rubbing fish
  • 2 tsp. Szeged Fish Rub fish rub (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup mixed Basil Vinaigrette


  1. Make the Basil Vinaigrette and let the flavors blend together while you cook the fish. (If you want to make a smaller amount, simply blend together 1 part chopped basil mixed with a little olive oil with 3 parts low-sugar vinaigrette dressing. Basil Vinaigrette keeps in the fridge and it's good on so many things, so I'd make the whole recipe!)
  2. Remove the fish from the fridge so it can come to room temperature.
  3. If the fish looks wet, press down on both sides with paper towels to blot away any excess moisture.
  4. While fish comes to room temperature, spray the grill grates with non-stick grill spray or rub with a paper towel soaked with a high smoke point oil (like grapeseed or peanut oil.)
  5. Heat the grill to high temperature. (Use medium-high for charcoal grill.)
  6. Rub both sides of halibut with olive oil and fish rub.
  7. When the fish is at room temperature, lay it on an angle across the grill grates, top side down and immediately turn the temperature to medium-high.
  8. Cook 3 minutes in that position without moving the fish, or until you can see good grill marks. (Carefully lift a corner of the fish and check. It should lift easily when it’s ready to rotate.)
  9. When you see good grill marks, carefully rotate the fish so it’s laying at the opposite angle across the grill grates.
  10. Cook 2-3 minutes more on that side, again checking for grill marks.
  11. When you have good criss-cross marks, carefully turn the fish and cook about 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  12. Total cooking time will be 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish and the temperature of your grill.
  13. Fish should feel firm but not hard to the touch when it’s done; don’t overcook.
  14. To serve, spoon two tablespoons basil vinaigrette over each piece of fish and serve hot.


I used frozen halibut from Costco which had thawed in the refrigerator, but if you have access to fresh halibut it would be fantastic. I love Szeged Fish Rub (affiliate link) but there are many good brands.

I love to make Basil Vinaigrette with Le Parisien Vinaigrette, which is only sold in the west; sometimes I can find it at Costco. Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) is another good choice. You can also make the basil vinaigrette with purchased basil pesto or frozen basil if it’s not fresh basil season.

This recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 241mgSodium: 383mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 95g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Grilled fish like this is a great main course for any phase of the original South Beach Diet and it would be perfect for other low-carb eating plans, including Keto.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more ideas for grilling. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2006, in the very early days of my blog! I’ve been making it ever since, and in 2013 the post was updated with better photos. It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette

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    25 Comments on “Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette”

  1. This sounds like a delicious way to serve up one of my favourite fish. Halibut is a favourite made all the better by this lovely sauce.

  2. Leslie, glad you enjoyed it so much. When it's basil season, I always have basil vinaigrette in my fridge!

  3. I made this for dinner last night with grilled zucchini. It was absolutely delicious! That basil vinaigrette is another keeper, Kalyn. It will be in heavy rotation this summer. Thank you!

  4. Meeta, my condolences on the basil! I am growing it both indoors and outdoors, so I'm set here!

  5. With all the rain we've had my basil has not survived well – I am loving the idea of fish with a basil vinaigrette. Looks awesome!