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Fish en Papillote Recipe

If you’re looking for healthy protein choices, white fish should be top on the list. Low in calories and fat yet packed with the nutrients your body needs to build muscle, fish is a go-to for a healthy diet. But, one needs to be careful of undoing all of that good health during preparation. Don’t fry that fish! Baking and grilling is the best option but can occasionally leave you with a dry dinner. Boo, because then you just might end up ordering pizza or something worse.

The French cooking technique, known as “en papillote,” steams the fish in parchment paper and does a spectacular job of locking in moisture and the flavors of other ingredients. For my first try at fish en papillote, I pulled my inspiration from what was left in my garden. Given we had such a rainy summer, the green stalks and vines grew faster than the weeds, yet, nothing ripened without the sun. However, the past few weeks weren’t so bad. And so, the tough little tomatoes finally started to ripen. I also had a bit of basil and thyme to throw into the dish.

The result? A dish with a mellow acidity to match the light and fluffy fish. I shared what ended up being a tasty morsel with a neighbor, and she agreed that cooking fish en papillote is a surprisingly easy way to ensure your fish stays moist and bursts with flavor. We drank it with a Gavi di Gavi wine, which was a perfect match.

Before you delve into the recipe’s details, watch this little prep video and see the magic unfold!

Video of Fish En Papillote Recipe

Ingredients – Fish en Papillote Recipe with Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs On Top of Tomato Reduction

Gavi di Gavi is a perfect wine pairing for Halibut en Papillote.
Ingredients for Fish en Papillote

Apologies for the willy-nilly measurements. I guess the details got away from me. 🙂 There are lots of white fish that would work with this recipe, but we chose halibut.


  • A smidge of garlic paste or crushed
  • Squeezes from a couple of lemon for fresh juice
  • A hearty splay of white wine
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Melted Butter


  1. Add all ingredients in a bowl or zip lock bag about one hour before cook time.


  • Chopped tomatoes
  • A few pats of butter
  • White wine
  • Lemon Juice
  • Couple of cloves of crushed garlic
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Melt Butter in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. Saute the garlic.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Let cook until a thick sauce is formed.


  • Lemon
  • Tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Fold parchment paper so there is a crease in the middle (length-wise).
  2. Build a layer of sliced lemons, tomatoes, shallots, thyme, and basil.
  3. Plop the marinated halibut (or any light white fish on top of the first layer).
  4. Continue layering the same ingredients on top of the fish. Feel free to drizzle any of the leftover marinade on top.
  5. Carefully wrap the paper and close the edges to form a half moon shape.
  6. Grill (on upper rack) or bake at 400° for about 12 – 14 minutes.
  7. Let the fish settle for about 10 minutes before opening.
  8. Generously drizzle the tomato reduction onto the plate.
  9. Carefully transfer the gorgeous and perfectly balanced fish onto the reduction.
  10. Enjoy – especially with a glass of Gavi di Gavi.
  11. Cheers!

We hope you’ll apply this technique with different fish, protein, vegetables, and so on – Happy experimenting!

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