Recipe: Hazelnut Crusted Cedar Plank Halibut

Recipe: Hazelnut Crusted Cedar Plank Halibut

Easy Like a Sunday Morning, that’s how the recipes in my “Easy” category will be. Nothing rushed or frantic, nothing with a long list of ingredients. Something that is so easy, you don’t really need a recipe. Something that almost cooks itself or requires no cooking at all.

Hazelnut Crusted Cedar Plank Halibut, now doesn’t that sound fancy? I love planked and crusted fish, especially halibut, with salmon taking a close second.

If we are eating out at a restaurant that has planked and crusted fish on its menu, I cannot resist. That is most assuredly what I will order. After confirming the crusted topping is gluten free of course.


I think plank grilling is one of the best ways to cook fish and it is surprisingly simple. The results are always incredibly moist and delicious.


Not sure where to buy Cedar Grill Planks? I get mine at Costco but because it’s a seasonal item, I have to keep on my toes and get them in the Spring before they sell out. I’ve also seen them in major Department Stores and specialty Kitchen Shops, or you can order them from

If the planks are larger than you need, you can cut them down to size, which will leave you with extra pieces for more plank grilling :)


The package of planks I get from Costco, I think come with about 8-10 planks that are 14×7 inches. I get Mr Fox to cut some of them in half, some in thirds and leave a couple of whole ones for when we have company and wish to BBQ a whole fish. There are more than enough planks in that package to last me all season. The plank you see pictured here, is of a plank that was cut in half.


Hazelnut Crusted Cedar Plank Halibut
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Gluten Free | Grain Free | Dairy Free | Egg Free | Sugar Free | Omnivore | Paleo
  • Always refer to packaging labels for the most up to date allergy information
  • 1 cedar plank, large enough for grilling fish
  • 1/3 Cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 tsp honey, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 2 (3-4 oz) pieces halibut fillet
  1. Cedar planks have to be pre-soaked before grilling. At least 2 hours before, place plank in the kitchen sink with enough warm water to fully cover the board. You may need to weigh it down with something to hold it completely under water. I use a coffee cup or small jar filled with water. Soak for 2-4 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, mix hazelnuts, basil, coconut oil and honey until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid closed. Remove cedar plank from water and damp dry with a dish towel. Adjust the grill temperature to medium heat, around 350-400°F. Wash the halibut and pat it dry with a paper towel before placing it on the plank.
  4. Spread nut mixture evenly over the top of the fish. Place the planked fish on the grill. Close the lid and cook for about 15 to 25 minutes. It is best to keep the grill lid closed to capture the smoke and retain the heat. You do not need to turn the halibut over on the plank. Check briefly every 5 minutes or so for flare-ups. If a flare-up does occur, reduce the heat and use a spray bottle of water to extinguish flames. Spray just enough water directly on the flames to extinguish them. You don’t want to stop the plank from smoldering, as that is what produces the sweet smoky flavour.
  5. Fish is ready when an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the fish reads, 120°F for rare, 125°F for medium and 130°F for well done. Or if you don’t have a thermometer, insert a fork, fish is ready when it is flaky but still moist.
  6. If you are using a gas grill, turn it off. Make sure to extinguish the plank with your water sprayer. Using a long-handled turner or lifter, carefully transfer the halibut to dinner plates. Serve immediately, while still hot.
  7. Make sure the plank is completely extinguished by submerging in a pail or sink of water before discarding it.
Quick notes
  1. When grilling, it’s always a good idea to have a spray bottle of water on hand to douse any flames.
  2. Tip: (I haven’t tried this myself but it sounds like a great timesaver, especially if you do a lot of grilling with planks). Soak your planks ahead of time and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer. Prior to using, thaw the plank by soaking it in hot water for 10 minutes.
Please keep in mind that making substitutions will change the final outcome.
For nut free version, substitute roasted pumpkin seeds for the hazelnuts.

Laureens Signature


To see a text listing of Laureen’s gluten free recipes, click here

For dairy, egg, nut and gluten free flour substitutions, click here

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Laureen Fox
Laureen is an enthusiastic amateur cook and Canadian Food Blogger from Vancouver BC. She loves spending her days creating good wholesome food in this Fox Kitchen. Evenings will find her blogging about the best that living without gluten has to offer.

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  1. Allergy Free Alaska says:

    Hi Laureen,
    Growing up in Kodiak, Alaska, I caught halibut and ate it every way imaginable – baked, grilled, fried, etc… I (sadly) grew to hate it because we ate it just about every other night. It wasn’t until I moved to mainland Alaska and I was pregnant with my first daughter that I started to crave it and didn’t have access to it like I did growing up. I love halibut now, but don’t get to enjoy it as often as I’d like. I’m very picky about my fish, but your recipe looks stellar. I love the hazelnut/basil/cedar plank combo. It sounds perfect!

    • Laureen Fox says:

      Hi Megan,

      Halibut can be pretty pricy here so it’s a luxury we only have once in a while. I couldn’t imagine having it often enough to grow tired of it.

      You live in a beautiful State. We visited Alaska a few years ago and can’t wait to visit again!

      It was nice to have you stop by :-)

  2. vegetarianmamma says:

    Boy, these look beautiful! The crust looks great! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Can’t wait to see what you are bringing to the party this week! We have another GREAT giveaway!

    Cindy from

  3. Pingback: Healthy 2Day Wednesday {5/22/13} - Authentic Simplicity
  4. janet says:

    We made this last night. The planked soaked all day, and flames never flared. Did not have basil or coconut oil. Subbed a little butter for coconut oil. It was awesome! Cooking time was a little longer, based on thermometer. Bookmarked for future use.

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