Pan Seared Halibut with Quinoa and Caramelized Fennel

Fennel lovers, rejoice.

By Katherine Fluor

*editor’s note: this recipe is part of Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen’s One Sauce, Three Dinners and is meant to be paired with her Green Herb ‘Boss Sauce’. Hop over to read the full post and get the recipe for the Boss Sauce to accompany this dish!

Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables – both raw and roasted. I think you’ll really like it here. I find most grocery store and farmers market bulbs are small, and those from Trader Joe’s are large. You’ll have to use your judgement here, but assume about 1 bulb per person for this recipe.

We are using quinoa in both this dish and the Quinoa Patties, so if you are planning to make both, make extra for that recipe too.

Sara’s tips to make the most out of this recipe:

Make Ahead.

The “Boss Sauce” can be made in advance. The quinoa may be cooked up to three days in advance and reheated. (Get the recipe for the Green Herb ‘Boss Sauce’ here.)

Use it twice.

The halibut is not seasoned any which way because you are drizzling with the green sauce at the end. Any leftovers can be stuffed in a taco or put on top of a salad for lunch the next day.

Kid Friendly.

If you chop the fennel into smaller pieces, you can stir it into the quinoa and it will be less distinguishable (it will take less time in smaller pieces). When roasted, it becomes sweet and tender and is totally likeable! The challenge is getting them to try new things.

Vegetarian Swap.

You could make a meal of the quinoa, fennel and sauce! Perhaps stir in some cooked lentils to bulk it up or add avocado wedges.

Pan Seared Halibut with Quinoa and Caramelized Fennel

Serves 4

Pan Seared Halibut with Quinoa and Caramelized Fennel

By Camille Styles


  • 3 bulbs of fennel
  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo or paprika, optional
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups broth
  • “Boss Sauce” (click here for the recipe for the Boss Sauce)
  • 1 1/4 lbs. halibut, portioned into 4 fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil, for cooking


  1. Preheat the oven to 375’. Trim the ends, and slice the fennel in half, top to bottom, and then into wedges, keeping the core intact. Put the wedges on a baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil, oregano, salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper if using. Roast them in the oven for 25 minutes under tender and caramelized around the edges.
  2. While the fennel roasts, cook your quinoa. Combine the quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring it up to a boil, turn it down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until cooked through. Turn off the heat, fluff it with a fork and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat a generous slick of coconut oil. Use a paper towel to dab both sides of the fish dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the coconut oil is hot, add the fillets. Do this in shifts if needed to not crowd the pan. Sear, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes until you can see from the side that the fish is turning opaque about halfway through. Gently flip the fish and sear the other side for a minute or two. You want to pull it before it is completely cooked through as it will continue to cook from residual heat.
  4. Stir in a few spoonfuls of the “Boss Sauce” into the quinoa. Plate your meal with a scoop of the quinoa, some of the roasted fennel and a portion of the fish. Drizzle green sauce over everything and garnish with fresh herbs.

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