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A mouthwatering recipe for Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw and the best fish taco sauce ever! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Video.
Here is one of our “go-to “dinners when time is short and I want something healthy on the table, fast! Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw.
The fish is perfectly seasoned with Mexican spices, and depending on the season can be grilled, or baked in the oven or quickly panseard on the stovetop. Paired with the tangy Cilantro Lime Slaw and optional Fish Taco Sauce ( Chipotle Mayo) the combination is out of this world! I seriously could eat this every day!
how to make Fish Tacos!| 45-sec video
Why this recipe works!
Besides the flavor, what I love most about these fish tacos is their adaptability! 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!
Fish Taco Ingredeints
- Best Fish: tilapia, mahi-mahi, red snapper, black cod, 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: Fish tacos are typically made with flour tortillas, but a blend of flour and corn work well too.
- Best Fish Taco Sauce: This Chipotle Mayo is our favorite with fish tacos. Or for something different, try Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde), Vegan Cilantro Crema, Fermented Hot Sauce,
- Favorite Toppings: Avocado, Cotija Cheese, cilantro, lime, pickled red onions
How to make fish tacos
Step 1: Make the spice rub! Stir together the Mexican spices and season the fish with it on both sides.
Step 2: Make the Taco Slaw. Either chop the cabbage or buy pre-chopped cabbage in a bag and place this in a medium bowl. Add onion, cilantro, jalapeño, salt and fresh lime juice and toss well.
Step 3: Cook the fish. Grill the fish (my favorite), pan-sear it on the stovetop, or bake it in the oven. See recipe notes. Squeeze with lime.
Step 4: Warm the tortillas. If you are grilling, warm the tortillas on the grill, or use the the stovetop, or oven! They are done they start to bubble.
Step 5: Assemble the Tacos. Place the seasoned fish in the warm tortilla, top it with the crunchy, cool taco slaw, drizzle with our Chipotle Mayo, add avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime!
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 tastes even better the next day!
These Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are such a delicious and healthy meal that comes together in 30 minutes flat.
What to serve with fish tacos?
Fish Taco Faqs
Most mild-flavored white-fleshed fish work best in fish tacos. Our favorites include: Tilapia, mahi mahi, red snapper, wild cold, black cod, sea bass, halibut, grouper, and flounder.
Consider serving Mexican rice and beans on the side when serving a fish taco dinner. Margaritas are a bonus!
Fish tacos are typically served with flour tortillas, but using a blend of flour and corn tortillas work well too!
Fish tacos are typically served with a Mexican-style taco slaw made with cabbage and lime, and a creamy sauce, aka “Mexican Secret Sauce” made with mayo and chipotle peppers.
Yes! Use the same rub on strips of tofu and pan sear!
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Enjoy the tacos and please leave your comments and rating below!Print
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8–12 tacos 1x
- Category: main, vegan, fish, tofu
- Method: stovetop, grill, baked
- Cuisine: mexican
Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw and Chipotle Mayo 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 lb white fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi, red snapper, halibut, black cod, grouper, flounder) or 1 pound extra firm tofu
- 8–12 x 5-inch flour tortillas (or a blend of flour and corn)
- 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:
- 12 ounces shredded cabbage (green and purple is nice) about 6 cups
- 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
- Chipotle Mayo- our favorite!
- Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde) Vegan-Adaptable,
- Vegan Cilantro Crema,
- Avocado Sauce (Vegan!),
- Fermented Hot Sauce
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. OR 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!
TIP: To make this recipe a little faster, buy pre-shredded cabbage, and make the spice rub ahead, and any sauces you plan to use, ahead.
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: 2 tacos (without sauce)
- Calories: 233
- Sugar: 2.1 g
- Sodium: 163.2 mg
- Fat: 7.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 29.2 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 15.5 g
- Cholesterol: 29.2 mg
Keywords: fish tacos, fish taco recipe, fish taco, easy fish tacos, perfect fish tacos, grilled fish tacos, fish tacos with taco sauce, fish tacos with cilantro lime sauce, baked fish tacos, pan-seared fish tacos,
Over-the-top AMAZING!!!!! The only thing I changed was used Vegenaise instead of Mayo. So flavorful! We are making these with Soyrizo tomorrow night!!
Perfect Stacy! Glad you enjoyed these!
This is the BEST fish taco recipe. I’m typically not a fish eater but I actually crave these tacos! So so SO delicious!
Great to hear!
This was great. I changed a bit for what I had on hand, but the bones were the same, and that slaw made all the difference. We put it into a single burrito instead of tacos. Thanks for the idea! So good.
Sounds yummy Amy!
Wow! Made the Tofu Tacos (baked), Cilantro Lime Slaw, the Avocado Salsa, and the Mexican Rice tonight for dinner. My husband and I enjoyed all of them more than I can describe. You are a talented chef and are so generous to share your recipes! Thank you for opening my eyes to a healthier and tastier way of cooking! These will become regulars in my menu planning, along with some of your other recipes, I’m certain. Thank you again!
Thanks Hollie- Im so glad this worked for you. I like this with tofu too- so glad you gave it a go!