These Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.
Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are one of our “go-to” meals that are not only light and healthy- but can be made in under 30 minutes. (Vegans, substitute delicious tofu for the fish!)
The fish is perfectly seasoned and paired with the tangy Cilantro Lime Slaw and optional Fish Taco Sauce Chipotle Mayo (Mexican Secret Sauce) and/or avocado, the combination is out of this world! I seriously could eat this every day!
Why this recipe works!
Besides the flavor, what I love most about these fish tacos is how adaptable they are! These can be cooked on the grill, on the stovetop or baked in the oven. AND they can be made vegan using TOFU – perfect for mixed households where both vegans and non-vegans live in the same house!
Best Fish Tacos!| 45-sec video
Which Fish is Best for Tacos?
Most white-fleshed, mild-flavored, saltwater fish, will work best in fish tacos. Here is a list of our favorites:
- red snapper
- wild cod
- black cod
- sea bass
Ingredients in Fish Tacos:
- Fish: tilapia, mahi-mahi, red snapper, black cod, seabass or even shrimp! (or sub tofu!)
- Spice Rub: chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic, chipotle powder, (or smoked paprika) salt and sugar
- Mexican Slaw: Cabbage, lime, cilantro, jalapeno, salt
- Tortillas: Typically made with flour tortillas, but a blend of flour and corn work well too.
- Fish Taco Sauce: Chipotle Mayo (aka Mexican Secret Sauce), or sub Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde) Vegan-Adaptable, Vegan Cilantro Crema, Fermented Hot Sauce, or Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
- Toppings: Cotija Cheese, cilantro, lime, avocado
How to make the best fish tacos:
Step 1: It starts with the flavorful spice rub. Stir together the simple flavorful spice rub, and season the fish on both sides.
Step 2: Make the Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw.
Either chop the cabbage or buy a pound of pre-chopped cabbage in a bag. Add, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and fresh lime juice and toss.
This taco slaw keeps well and like I said before, gets even better the next day.
Step 3: Cook the fish. Grill the fish, pan sear, or bake! Squeeze with lime.
Step 4: Warm up the tortillas on the grill, stovetop or oven too!
Step 5: Assemble the Tacos.
Place the seasoned fish in the warm tortilla shell, top it with the crunchy, cool Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw, drizzle with Chipotle Mayo add avocado, cotija cheese and cilantro.
I love how simple and flavorful these fish tacos are, while staying clean and lean.
And the best thing, the leftovers can be repurposed into lunch or dinner the next day by creating an easy “buddha” bowl. Add cooked rice or grain to a bowl, and top it with the leftover fish (or tofu) and the Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw- which, by the way, tastes even better the next day!
These Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are such delicious and healthy meal that comes together in 30 minutes flat.
What to serve with fish tacos:
- Chipotle Mayo
- Mexican Pinto Beans
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Papaya Salad
- Refried Beans! | Instant Pot or Stove Top
- Smoky Mezcal Margaritas
- 30 Fresh & Tasty Mexican Recipes!
Enjoy the fish tacos and have a happy, delicious week!
Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw that can be made using a grill, stove top or oven! Vegan & gluten-free adaptable- sub tofu for the fish! A fast, easy and healthy dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes.
- 1–2 lbs white-fleshed saltwater fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi, snapper, halibut, black cod, grouper, flounder) or 1 pound extra firm tofu (4-6 ounces per person)
- 5– inch flour tortillas (or a blend of flour and corn) 2 per person
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or sub cayenne and a little smoked paprika)
- for more smoky flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:
- 1 pound thinly sliced or shredded cabbage ( green and purple is nice)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, more to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (packed), 1/2 of a large bunch
- 1/4 –1/2 of a jalapeño, finely chopped, more to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, more to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
Optional Garnishes: Lime wedges, Avocado slices, Cotija Cheese, Cilantro
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat or preheat the oven to 400F.
- Prep the fish: Pat dry the fish. (See notes for tofu) In a small bowl make the spice rub- stirring the spices and salt together. Sprinkle all sides of the fish lightly with the spice rub (you most likely will not need all). Set aside.
- Make the Cilantro Lime Slaw: Place the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss with the salt. Add the onions, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil and toss well. Adjust lime, salt, and jalapeño, adding more to taste– you want this to taste tangy and flavorful.
- Make optional Fish Taco Sauce: Make any accompanying sauce. Chipotle Mayo is nice here- feel free to do this ahead. Or sub avocado.
- Cook the Fish: Grill Grease the grill well before placing fish on it. Turn heat to medium. Grill each side for a few minutes, letting grill marks develop and use a metal spatula to flip. Cook until the desired doneness (center is flaky, opaque, roughly 140F) and squeeze with a little lime juice. BAKE: place fish on a parchment-lined sheet pan, bake 6 minutes then flip. Continue baking until cooked through- time will depend on thickness (another 4-6 minutes). Fish is done when opaque in the middle, flakey, and registers 140F in the center. Squeeze with lime juice. Pan-sear: Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add fish, and sear until golden, 3-4 minutes, flip, lower heat to medium, continue cooking until cooked through- until center is flakey, opaque. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fish. Squeeze with lime.
- Heat the tortillas– either quickly grill the tortillas on the grill, in the oven directly on the oven rack, or directly over a gas flame (on the stovetop).
- Assemble Tacos: Place fish in the warm tortillas, top with cabbage slaw and any garnishes. Drizzle with the optional (but delicious) Chipotle Mayo if you like.
- Serve immediately!
TOFU: If using tofu, place a block of firm tofu on paper towels and press down gently to release more liquid, patting dry. Cut into 1-inch thick, 3-inch long strips for easier grilling. Coat strips lightly with spice rub, grill on a well-greased grill, or pan-sear the tofu, in a skillet with olive oil until crispy, or bake the tofu (spray the seasoned tofu with olive oil spray before baking) until golden crispy, approx 30 mins.
The Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw is enough for 2 pounds of fish ( feel free to halve) but I like to make a big batch and keep the leftovers – and use it on everything (bowls, sandwiches, wraps, side salad…) during the week. If your slaw tastes bland- add more lime and salt. 😉
Left-over fish will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. Great in bowls, wraps, etc.
- Serving Size: 1 taco (w/ 6-inch corn tortilla)
- Calories: 233
- Sugar: 3.2 g
- Sodium: 239.1 mg
- Fat: 9.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.5 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 20.3 g
- Cholesterol: 43.8 mg
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