8 of the Best Halibut Substitutes

Do you like eating fish? If you have ever been to a restaurant that serves fish, you have probably seen fish like tilapia, cod, and bass on the menu. Have you ever noticed halibut on the menu? Halibut is a popular fish that is an excellent option for a meal. Halibut can be expensive and more difficult to find. Luckily, there are substitutes that are easier to find and much more wallet-friendly.

Halibut can be expensive to buy or difficult to find. For this reason, it is remarkable that there are many fish that can serve as great substitutes for halibut. Many of the substitutes are fish you can easily find since they are so popular, such as cod and tilapia. Other substitutes are fish you may have never tried before, like dogfish or sole.

Continue reading to learn more about halibut. Also, continue reading to learn about eight substitutes that you can use in dishes that require halibut that are much cheaper and easier to find.

What Is So Special About Halibut?

Halibut is not necessarily the first fish many of us would think of when planning on having fish for lunch or dinner. Halibut is a flatfish that is typically found in the Northern Pacific Ocean as well as the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

The two most popular varieties of Halibut that people eat are the Pacific halibut and the California halibut. While there is the Atlantic halibut variety that people can eat, it is strongly encouraged to not eat this variety since the Atlantic halibut has become an endangered species.

Halibut has a sweet taste and a mild texture that many enjoy. Many choose to include halibut in their diet because of the health benefits that halibut can provide. Halibut is known to contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as other important fatty acids. Halibut is also a great source of protein and selenium.

Despite its health benefits, many choose to not add halibut to their diet because of the price of halibut. Halibut tends to be more expensive than other fish. For this reason, it is a good idea to know some substitutes that you can use to replace halibut in meals.

What Is a Good Substitute for Halibut?

Fish can be a great addition to your diet, and halibut is a great option. Halibut can, however, be expensive to buy or difficult to find when you are looking for fish to cook.

Luckily, there are many substitutes that you can use to replace halibut in the dishes you plan on preparing. These substitutes also help to incorporate similar health benefits into your diet that you would receive from eating halibut. These substitutes are also much easier to find.

Below you will find eight substitutes that you can use to replace halibut in certain dishes.


Flounder is one of the best substitutes for halibut. Flounder is similar to halibut since it is a flatfish, has a low-fat content that is similar to the fat content of halibut, and is sweet-tasting. 

Founder is known to have great taste and be good for you to eat. The most common variety is the Pacific flounder. You will find that flounder can make a great substitute for halibut if you plan on pan-frying, broiling, or poaching the fish. If you plan on grilling your fish, you do not want to use flounder. Flounder is not the best fish to be grilled.


Cod is a popular fish to eat. It is the most popular fish in the United States and can be found nearly all year round at fish markets. It is much cheaper than halibut.

You may not consider cod to be a suitable substitute for halibut because cod tends to not be as thick as halibut and has a flakier texture. Cod, however, does make a great substitute if you plan on either baking or poaching your fish.


Turbot, like halibut, is a flatfish. Turbot has a flavor and texture that is very similar to halibut, which makes it a great option as a substitute for halibut.

You will find that turbot has a slightly higher fat content compared to halibut, but it still consists of many vitamins and minerals that halibut also provides. It is best to either use a poaching or steaming method to cook turbot, but you can also bake, grill, or roast the fish if you are cooking whole turbot.


If you are looking for a halibut substitute that has a similar texture, you should consider trying dogfish. The texture of dogfish is firm, like halibut, but it is also flaky. Some may not consider using dogfish as a substitute because the meat of the fish is reddish, while halibut has white flesh.

Dogfish has somewhat of a higher fat content compared to halibut, but it can be cooked in a variety of ways that can suit your cooking needs. 

Striped Bass

Striped bass is more commonly referred to as rockfish or Atlantic striped bass. This freshwater fish has a mild flavor and a medium texture. It can make for a great substitute for halibut in some dishes.

It may be difficult to find striped bass because industrial fishing for striped bass has been restricted by law due to the low population levels of the fish. Like halibut, striped bass has a low fat content and a naturally sweet taste.


Tilapia is one of the most popular types of fish that is eaten in the United States. Tilapia is a freshwater fish that is very affordable to buy and very easy to cook. For these reasons, tilapia can be a great substitute for halibut which can be quite expensive to purchase.

Tilapia is rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids. It also has a very similar texture to halibut.


Sole is a variety of flatfish that can be found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. If you are looking to add a healthy fish option to your diet and are unable to find halibut, sole can be a great substitute.

Sole tends to be rich in many vitamins and minerals. The most common vitamin and mineral you will find in Sole is vitamin B12 and selenium. Adding these to your diet can be very beneficial. Sole can also be cooked in a variety of ways and has a texture similar to halibut.


Fluke is more commonly known as the summer flounder. This flatfish has a similar texture and flavor to halibut, which makes it a great substitute. Fluke can be found in the Atlantic Ocean stretching from North Carolina to Maine.

Fluke can be a great substitute for people who do not like fish. It does not have the common fishy smell that other fish have and has a delicate taste.

What’s the Best Substitute for Halibut?

All of the fish listed above can make great substitutes for halibut. The best substitute would either be flounder or tilapia. They are both popular fish that can be cooked in different ways. They have a great flavor and a similar texture to halibut.


Halibut can be a great fish to add to your diet, but it can be expensive to buy or hard to find. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the many substitutes that you can use to replace halibut. Some substitutes like flounder, cod, and tilapia are already commonly eaten. Others like dogfish are not eaten as much but can work as a great substitute.