Tomato-Herb Halibut en Papillote

Tomato-Herb Halibut en Papillote

A couple weeks ago, I was promoting my cookbook at a pre-holiday bazaar here in Kansas City. At the table next to me was a Pampered Chef booth filled with fabulous kitchen gadgets, pots, baking ware, and cookbooks. Pampered Chef is a company that I’d certainly heard about before, but I’d never been invited to a party, or even exposed to the products. That day, everything changed. Throughout the event, I kept overhearing other women rave to their friends about their favorite Pampered Chef products and all of the items they still have on their wish list. Eventually, I became friends with Kristi (the girl running the table) and started to ask some questions. By the end of the event, I was walking out with a new cookbook in hand, and plans to spend an afternoon cooking with my new friend and her fun gadgets soon.

The day after Thanksgiving, that is exactly what we did.

Pampered Chef Tools

Kristi brought a bunch of useful tools that would help make my time in the kitchen more efficient, and my food more aesthetically pleasing. As we cooked, I shared with her why our family uses the ingredients we do, and offered some small changes she could make to increase the health of her family. (Of course, we also discussed how we knew our 8 mutual friends on Facebook, and how we met our husbands. Because that’s what girls do.)

Shaving Fennel with Pampered Chef


Zesting A Lemon with Pampered Chef


(Are you drooling yet?)

The first time I browsed through the Make it Fresh, Make it Healthy Pampered Chef cookbook, this was one of the very first recipes I bookmarked. I absolutely loved all of the fresh ingredients, colors, and how easily it came together. You are basically just wrapping a piece of fresh fish in parchment paper (a coat!) alongside a bunch of veggies, aromatics, and herbs. Tie it with a string, and then let a hot oven create a medley of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds!

We served this dish alongside whole wheat parmesan couscous, but it could easily stand alone as a one-dish wonder. If halibut is out of your price range, any white fish will do. Our family enjoyed this meal twice this week, once with halibut and once with cod. Both were equally delicious and a welcome break from all of the heavy holiday fare.

Cooking Fish in Parchment Paper

Cooking in parchment paper, especially the unbleached variety, is a tasty and healthy way to avoid the carcinogens that often develop when fish (or other meats) are grilled or seared at high heat. According to Dr. Mercola, fennel is one of the strongest detoxifying foods available in nature, and the use of thyme and fresh basil will give your immune system a boost, increase your body’s ability to resist bacteria, and provide you with 100% of the RDA for bone-strengthening vitamin K.

Fish in Parchment

Tomato-Herb Halibut en Papillote

adapted from the Make it Fresh, Make it Healthy Pampered Chef Cookbook

Ingredients (Serves four):

4     carrots
1½  cups grape tomatoes
1       fennel bulb (also called anise)
½    cup fresh basil leaves, divided
1       medium shallot
1       lemon, zest and juice
3       cloves garlic
2       tsp fresh thyme leaves (may use 1 tsp dried)
½    tsp sea salt
½    tsp black pepper

4       tbsp dry white wine, I used sauvignon blanc

4       4-oz halibut fillets
1       tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1       tbsp real butter
½    tsp sea salt
½    tsp black pepper

Instructions (40 minutes, 15 minutes active):

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

While oven heats, prepare your produce: Core, trim, and thinly slice one fennel bulb. (I used a mandolin slicer.) Trim, peel, and julienne carrots. Finely chop shallot, cut tomatoes into quarters, and thinly slice basil. Set ¼ cup of the basil aside for garnish. Mince or press garlic. Combine all ingredients in a suitable sized mixing bowl. Toss with the zest and juice of one lemon, and season with 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves and ½ tsp each sea salt and black pepper.

Prepare your packets: Cut four 15-inch squares of unbleached parchment paper. Place ¼ of the tomato-herb mixture in the center of each square. Pour 1 tbsp of dry white wine over each serving. Top each piece with a halibut fillet. Brush each fillet with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with ¼ tbsp of butter.

Gather and bake your papillote: Gather and secure each packet with a piece of kitchen twine tied in a tight knot. Place packets onto a rimmed sheet pan. Bake 18 – 22 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 140-145 degrees. Transfer pan from oven to a wire cooling rack, and let rest 5 minutes. Transfer packets to serving plates and cut twine with shears. If desired, serve with whole wheat couscous and enjoy!

Notes: This meal is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. Vegetarians can omit the halibut and use a 4-ounce portion of extra firm tofu in it’s place. Both of my girls loved opening their “presents” for dinner and really enjoyed the flavors of this simple dinner. It would also be delicious served with quinoa or brown rice.


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Truestar Health


  1. Hi Katie,
    I’ve been sharing your book now for over a year, ever since you came and spoke at our Knowing moms group at Olathe College Church of the Nazarene. I think it’s so funny that you just started selling Pampered Chef. I’ve been doing it for 5 years now and everytime I read your blogs or your cookbook I wished I could figure out a way to make Pampered Chef recipes more “healthy.” It seems that they use so many pre made things that I can’t eat now that my body is starting to heal from UC. I LOVE my pampered chef products and it’s the main reason I countinue to sell. Good Luck with your new business. I can’t wait to hear your tips on the recipes you’ll use at your shows.

    • Definitely Julie! I am going to get creative and find some good ones! I’ll keep you posted. I’d love to connect in person and see what recipes you are using and how we can healthify them!

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