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Pan-Seared Swordfish Steaks with Citrus and Leek Slaw (GF)

A perfectly crisp and tender swordfish steak served alongside a zesty citrus slaw. It's the perfect balance of hearty and fresh. This will become one of your go-to swordfish steak recipes!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Healthy!, Seafood
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Gluten-free, fresh, healthy recipes, seafood, swordfish steak, fall recipes, leeks, citrus, simple, fish, swordfish steak recipes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 579kcal
Author: LM


  • cast iron grill pan or standard 10-12 inch cast iron skillet


For the swordfish steaks:

  • 2 8 oz. swordfish steaks 3/4 - 1 inch thick, from a sustainable seafood source
  • 2 tsp. sea salt course ground
  • 2 tsp. black pepper course ground
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • cooking spray

For the citrus and leek slaw:

  • 3 navel oranges
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1 leek washed thoroughly with roots and tips removed
  • 3-4 tbsp. dill fresh, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and pepper to taste


For the citrus slaw (do this step first!):

  • Section the navel oranges and place the sections into a large mixing bowl. Then, lightly smash them with a fork to release the juices, but be sure that they still have some structure and texture. Then, add shredded carrot and stir to combine.
  • Thoroughly wash the leek (leeks can be very dirty!), and remove the roots and the ends. Brush the surface of the leek lightly with olive oil.
  • Prepare a cast iron grill pan or standard skillet by coating it lightly with cooking spray. Then heat it over medium-high heat until the cooking spray just starts to foam. Add the leek (it should sizzle when it hits the pan), and cover the pan to prevent splashes. Cook the leek on one side for 1-2 minutes until you see noticeable browning or grill marks. Flip a quarter turn and cook in the same manner until that side is browned. Repeat with the remaining 2 sides of the leek until it is completely browned and crisp on the outside.
  • Remove the leek to a cutting board and roughly chop the leek into 1-2 inch pieces.
  • Add the leek to the bowl of orange sections and carrots, and then add additional slaw ingredients.
  • Stir to thoroughly combine, and set aside while you cook your swordfish steaks.

For the swordfish steaks:

  • Prepare your swordfish steaks by brushing them lightly on both sides with a bit of olive oil, sprinkling both sides with sea salt and cracked pepper in an even layer, and then rubbing the finely chopped garlic into both sides of the steaks.
  • Wipe out the skillet you used to cook the leeks, and respray with cooking spray to lightly coat the sides and the bottom. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is foaming.
  • Once the skillet is heated, place the swordfish steaks in the center and sear them on one side for about 3-5 minutes or until deeply seared. Then, turn them to the other side and continue cooking for 4-6 minutes or until the center of the swordfish reads 120-125°F. Pro tip: treat swordfish like a fine steak and be sure not to overcook it. My recipe as written cooks the steak to somewhere between medium rare and medium, but depending on your tastes, you can cook for a minute less or a minute more while continuing to check the temperature.

To serve:

  • Place seared swordfish steaks on a plate and top with a helping of the citrus slaw. Serve alongside whole cooked grains such as quinoa or brown rice, or marinated and slow-cooked white beans. A side salad also works well with this dish.
  • Optional: Garnish plated dish with fresh dill and thyme.



Please note: the cooking times outlined above are based on swordfish steaks that were approximately one inch thick. Adjust cooking time to accommodate the size of your swordfish steaks. 
Note: When choosing swordfish, be sure that you buy it fresh and that it is responsibly and sustainably caught. Whole Foods Market does a great job at labeling their seafood products so that customers know where they come from and how they were sourced. Their prices also tend to be very reasonable for high-quality seafood. However, if you don't have a Whole Foods Market in your area, talk to your local fishmonger or meat counter to learn this information.


Serving: 1person | Sodium: 612mg | Calcium: 196mg | Vitamin C: 149mg | Vitamin A: 3271IU | Sugar: 20g | Fiber: 7g | Potassium: 1606mg | Cholesterol: 150mg | Calories: 579kcal | Saturated Fat: 5g | Fat: 27g | Protein: 49g | Carbohydrates: 38g | Iron: 4mg
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