Recipe: Halibut en Papillote

by JJ Virgin on March 29, 2017

“En papillote” is French for “in paper” – in this case, flavorful halibut fillets are steamed inside parchment paper packets.

The result is tender, moist fish and vegetables that look and taste impressive. (What your guests won’t know: the parchment cooking technique is super simple and means no pots and pans to wash up when the meal is over!)

Quick tip: You can buy the parchment paper for this recipe in your grocery store in the same aisle as aluminum foil and plastic bags.

Halibut en Papillote joins Flank Steak Bistro Chopped Salad; Grilled Endive with Shallot-Bacon Vinaigrette; and Frozen Chocolate Raspberry Ripple on our French Bistro menu.

Halibut en Papillote


March 29, 2017

This elegant fish and veggie dish is steamed in parchment packets so it’s tender and flavorful. It’s perfect to serve dinner guests, and no pots and pans to wash up!

Virgin Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3
Sugar Impact Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yields: 4 Servings


1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

6 tsp olive oil

4 (6-ounce) wild halibut filets

12 oz. asparagus, trimmed

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

8 sprigs fresh thyme


1Preheat the oven to 450°F. Tear four 12x18-inch sheets of parchment paper.

2Combine the onion, tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a bowl.

3Arrange one sheet of parchment so that the long side is closest to you. Fold it in half, matching short end to short end; then open it like a book. Place one-fourth of the tomato mixture in the center of the right half of the parchment sheet. Place a halibut filet next to the tomato mixture and one-fourth of the asparagus next to the halibut.

4Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, and top with 2 sprigs fresh thyme. Season evenly with salt and pepper. Fold the parchment over the filling, then tightly crimp the edges to form a packet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

5Place the packets on a large baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until the packets are puffed. 11 to 12 minutes.

6Remove from the oven and transfer each packet to a plate. With the tip of a sharp knife, carefully cut and "X" into the top of each packet to allow the steam to escape. Then fold back the parchment and serve immediately.

Originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014

Want more delicious, nutritious recipes? Check out


Nutrition Facts

Sodium446 mg
Protein29 grams
Total Fat33 grams
Saturated Fat5 grams
Total Carbohydrates10 grams
Dietary Fiber3 grams

Thanks so much for reading! Don't forget to like this post and like us on Facebook.