Last updated May 8, 2018

Forget cedar planks. Rest your fish filets on sweet and tangy tangerine slices to create grilled halibut with citrus herb butter.

grilled halibut resting on tangarine slices with sage flowers

Halibut is a mild, flaky white fish with a buttery flavor. It’s fantastic grilled up with olive oil, salt and pepper, but if you’re looking to bring out its natural essence, accentuate the filet with butter, tangerines and fresh sage.

The basting liquid is a simple combo of butter, shallots, garlic and sage. If you prefer rosemary or oregano or a combo of all three, mix it up, and go with your fave.

One of the challenges of grilling fish is that it can stick to the grill. That’s why some people use wood planks. I prefer using a base that I can devour, so I layer two rows of tangerines on the grill grate before adding the fish on top.

As the tangerine slices char on the grill, they impart a bright, sugary sweetness to the delicate fish. And the burnt bits are like sweet and sour candy that adds an additional texture to the dish.

grilled halibut resting on tangarine slices with sage flowers

When working with large pieces of fish, an extra large grill spatula will help you easily remove it from the grill.

grilled halibut resting on tangarine slices with sage flowers

Grilled Citrus Herb Halibut

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled, halibut
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 489 kcal
Author: Christie Vanover
Forget cedar planks. Rest your fish filets on sweet and tangy tangerine slices to create this buttery Grilled Citrus Herb Halibut.


  • 3 tangerines
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 sprig fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large halibut filet


  1. Slice 2 tangerines. Zest and juice the other tangerine.
  2. Heat the grill to 375-400F degrees.
  3. Place a small saucepot on the grill, and melt one tablespoon of butter in it. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add 2 chopped sage leaves, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, the tangerine juice, the remaining butter and half of the tangerine zest. Stir until melted and combined. Remove the pot from the grill.
  4. Season the halibut with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper on both sides.
  5. Arrange the tangerine slices on the grill in two overlapping rows the length of your fish filet. Place the fish on top of the orange slices. Spoon some of the tangerine butter sauce on top. Close the lid and grill for 10 minutes.
  6. Open the grill lid. Spoon more sauce on top of the fish. Set the remaining sage leaves on the grill off to the side. Close the lid and grill for 5 more minutes.
  7. Remove the halibut to a platter. Drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining tangerine zest and crispy sage leaves. 


This recipe is also great with sea bass, tilapia and salmon.

Tangerines are a little more tangy than oranges, so they work really well in this recipe, but you could definitely substitute oranges, grapefruits or lemons.

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Citrus Herb Halibut
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 172mg57%
Sodium 1523mg66%
Potassium 1205mg34%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 1790IU36%
Vitamin C 35.7mg43%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.